DLC Should be free

Have a gander at this:

Agree disagree? Certainly going to rumble a few feathers

There’s no norm of any kind these days, so it’s hard to make ironclad statements. CDPR is the exception that proves the rule. Game development is expensive and developers have to make their money back somehow. CDPR uses cheap Eastern European contract labor to keep their costs down. That’s not an option for Blizzard or EA. As a rule, I don’t buy micro transaction type DLC like CDPR is giving away for free. And for significant content they are charging. So I think it’s more of a publicity statement than some sort of revolutionary policy.

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CDPR has released a bunch of free content for the witcher 3, but they are also preparing two paid dlcs. It’s a matter of scale. You can(and, in my opinon, must) give free content, like extra armors, missions, horse armors(Oblivion I’m looking at you!), and make your costumers really happy. THEN you can sell a huge DLC, with brand new zones, totally new history, cinematics, etc… and your happy costumers then will buy your dlc, because you treated them fairly and you can spend a few extra dollars/euros/whatever in their game, cause you love it and enjoy it.

But this is a company decision, not a “cheap contract labor” in Europe. Rockstar has been releasing free content for GTA since its launch date, with free heists, clothes, weapons, cars, houses, missions, editor… I’ve never spend more money in GTA, apart of the proper game price, and it recieved better free content than, for example, Destiny, were if you want all expansions, have to pay more than the game’s price. If tomorrow Rockstar says “we are going to put one history DLC for XX€”, I probably will buy it, because they have a good historical of DLC regarding quality vs price.

Not all DLC should be free, but many should be cheaper, and almost all companies should have more details with us, the players. Some practices, like Battlefield’s Premium pass(40 $?), season pass, or revisions(SF IV goes out, then SSF IV goes out and you are forced to buy it because they are not updating SF IV) are criminals!

First time they started to speak about dlc and how it should be free I had an idea that it may have been a rather good marketing strategy. dlc is a huge issue for gamers and there are so many variants on the theme and in regards to where it should go.

However what CDPR are doing by releasing statements like this is pure genius on their part. It will certainly soften the b l o w when gamers are charged for the bigger add ons later down the road.

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Dlc speaking, Killer Instinct it’s brilliant
I have a friend with whom I play Street fighter. I usually pick a vast variety of characters(Hugo, Gen, Gouken, Dudley, Bison, Vega, Hakan, even all-random sessions). We have played for years, maybe only between us, 200 hours. He only choose two characters: Ryu and Evil-Ryu. I bought all Killer Instinct characters cause I love switching pj from time to time. He paid only for Jago. He gets happy playing with all that he needs for only 5$, and each time a new character comes, he can fight against it too. Any game with season pass wouldn’t allow that, splitting the community.

Bravo

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Depends on the model, KI’13 is free. You pay for costumes and the ability to use characters when you wish. Otherwise all achievements are 100% earn-able for free.

It’s not polite to share my views as to why it’s not logical to want everything for free… Or as though we all had infinite funds.

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It is brilliant on their part, and clearly they recognize their status among gamers as a “developer who gets it right.” Frankly, though, I find it aggravating because it feeds into the whole “we should get this all free!” mentality of the whiny gamer. At heart, many of those guys simply don’t recognize or care that developers need to make money, otherwise they can’t make games. They just want as much as they can get for as little as possible.

Yes, some companies take advantage and charge too much for too little. But no one is forced to buy DLC. Vote with your wallet. Sadly, it turns out people will pay money to play Candy Crush. 32 million people will buy GTA X and 20 million will by CoD: This week’s edition (pew pew), but they aren’t as interested in games I think are much better, like Alan Wake or Sunset Overdrive. Just like TV, where we can’t keep Firefly but the $#%# Bachelor is still a thing. DLC practices that make money will stay, and those that don’t will go. “Free” DLC will only work if it drives sales of the core game.

I will be really interested to see how SFV plays out. They claim they will be giving away DLC characters for free as “unlockables” in the game. But I suspect they will be behind a grind wall set high enough to make people fork over real money. I just don’t see how Capcom is going to get their money back otherwise. They can’t seem to break even selling full retail or DLC updates that only add a few characters and tweak the mechanics…

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Yeah, but that works both ways. On one hand, pay less / get more is kind of the consumer motto. On the flipside, there are many companies (though certainly not all), who’s goal is to minimize internal costs while maximizing profits as much as possible. In a perfect world, the market keeps both sides in check.

For DLC, I think the problem that gaming has is that the concept of post release content came long after the concept of owning a whole, complete video game. There’s still a vast swath of gamers that grew up playing $50-$60 for a game and getting the whole game. That was it. They didn’t have to fork over any more money for additional characters or content. They bought the game, played the heck out of it and waited for the sequel. It’s just what was done.

There wasn’t additional stuff that could be purchased on day 1 that sure seems like it could’ve been included in the final product. There wasn’t on disc DLC locked behind a pay wall. No microtransactions. No one seemingly trying to monetize every aspect of the game. The concept of “the game as a platform unto itself” didn’t exist. All of this stuff has made a lot of consumers wary and somewhat untrusting of publishers and developers, and sometimes with good reason.

Not all DLC is created equally. Didn’t Morrowind charge $10 for horse armor or something ridiculous like that? I think that there’s been a long sort of “feeling out” process or a conversation being had on the part of both gamers and developers to determine what stuff is worth, what’s okay and what’s not in terms of business practices in this new consumer paradigm.

The pitfalls in this relationship are many. There’s the Morrowind example, but also there’s the issue of having so much content and it’s so expensive, that fans wind up spending a ton of money because they love the series and/or they’re completionists. How much DLC did the recent Dead or Alive have? I think it was somewhere around $100 worth of just character outfits.

There’s also the idea of DLC cost as related to the cost of the whole game. I saw several arguments pertaining to MKX having a pack of 4 character and a few skins that costs half the price of the full game. It’s not simply a matter of “vote with your wallet” for a lot of people. Many fans want everything of that which they’re a fan of and some companies are all to eager to take advantage of that fact.

Then there’s microtransactions and the free to play / pay to win model. It can be hard to tell which is which at times, and when the latter model can feel so predatory, again, it tends to make consumers suspicious.

So the idea that DLC is a winning proposition for both the gamer and the developer seems great at face value until you add in all of the pitfalls in pricing structures and the sometimes enormous amount of added costs on to something that many see as needing to be one flat price because that’s what they’ve always paid and it can be a recipe for conflict.

Honestly, it’s a complicated issue. It’s on the buyer to make sure that they’re getting their money’s worth, but it’s also on the publisher to set reasonable prices and create structures that aren’t quite so dubious.

Side note: Why hasn’t Serenity received a sequel yet? There is no justice in this world! :rage:

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It’s a great and thoughtful post, and I don’t disagree with you. But here is the part that gets me:

I understand this completely. Fans should want all that content. But then as mature, grown up consumers they need to ask themselves “is this worth it to me?” If the answer is “yes” then spend the money, buy the content and don’t complain. If the answer is “no” then don’t spend the money, don’t buy the content and don’t complain. But what’s really going on is the classic story of some people saying “yes” and buying content they can afford and are happy to spend money on while some people who say “no” just can’t stand to see other people have something that they don’t have. So they hit the internet and howl about it should be free so they can have it. That I have no sympathy for.

I liked Serenity (although I’m still mad they killed Wash), but there was something so magical about that weekly show… Damn, I still get bummed out thinking about it.

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