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On-disc vs Day-1 DLC


The NZA
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This conversation is really growing all over the net, because of the questionable lines it creates - do I own a game, or simply the license to play it? I tend to reject the latter notion, as modding, fan restoration efforts, etc would be nullified by abiding it. but when i pay my $60, am i entitled to everything related to the game, if it's day 1 downloadable content, or on the disc, or both? to what extent will this argument be made clear in a digital download future?

 

for me, there's also a scale here: i don't really blame EA for selling throwback/specialty jerseys in any sports game, or capcom for alternate costumes (assuming the available ones are numerous), or even horse armor shit from bethesda because really, why not? if people are willing to pay for it, this isn't the gen to bitch about revenue streams, i get that. even gamestop promo weapons are fine, as long as others can get them/earn them or they don't break the multiplayer, really.

 

but this all feels like a different beast than Prince of Persia giving me one ending, and then the "full" one (or epilogue) was DLC, or say, moving content originally understood to be available to DLC-only (Catwoman in Batman: Arkham City, some complaints about Protheans (sp?) in Mass Effect 3, etc). the most recent is Capcom's ongoing practice of locking out entire characters from their fighting games - which returns to the argument of: did you feel you got a full $60 of value from the allowed roster? or either way, do you feel you're being gypped out of the full experience? one side claims the customer's getting fucked, another argues consumer entitlement is disrespecting content possibly budgeted outside of the main project, with early access for sales being key (and on-disc simply being more convenient, from this perspective). The one angle I find interesting is people normally 100% against piracy arguing that this isn't in anyway that, creating gray area to a moral argument usually spoken of in black/white terms.

 

I'm giving examples to show the scope here, because there's cases i stated above where i don't really mind, but they also don't affect me as much as others. what's your take?

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My main complaint is when you're unlocking content that's already on the disc. That really bothers me, because it's a blatant cash grab. The content was there already, it's no skin off their ass to make it available, they just want a little extra somethin'-somethin'. I get pretty irritated when I see that a download is 108kb.

 

I have no issue with day 1 DLC otherwise. They finished a game, they sent it off to go through whatever channels it goes through, they kept working on content and had some ready right off the bat. Fair game. They could easily recognize this and appease fools like me by just leaving the content off the disc...

 

The only way I'd have a problem with pre-order/retailer exclusive shit is if it effected multi-player. It's usually just cosmetic stuff. I wouldn't even have a problem with them offering things that gave you a clear advantage in single player. As long as it's not something that was intentionally removed so that I would have less of a game, it's not going to effect my experience.

 

Only providing an ending for the game via DLC is in poor taste. There are situations like Fallout 3 where allowing gameplay after the credits wasn't really in the cards originally, this sort of thing is bound to happen. It's fairly easy to recognize the difference though, I think.

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My biggest bitch against the arguement of on disc DLC, it that in most cases we also have a launch day PATCH, so instead of say making the game as good as could be made, they instead said fuck it, we can patch it later, let's work on getting even more revenue in instead. I have no problem with businesses making money, but as a customer I want to see some return on that extra money they want. You know if they had a "perfectly" polished game, no patch needed for months or at least weeks after release, then I could accept on-disc/day 1 dlc. But as it is, it just comes across as people trying to be as greedy as fucking possible. Which isn't really that bad, but at least don't make it LOOK like you are trying to just grab as much cash as possible and run.

 

What bugs me infintely more is stuff being left off because I didn't buy a NEW copy. But that is a different discussion.

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mortii, ive seen that point made prior (0-day patches) and i used to echo it prior; in the time since, ive seen some respectable developers explain why you just can't create the kind've vast, open worlds people want in a lot've games now and not run into trouble - even with simplified consoles, different HDD contents/partitions on PS3 have caused bad bugs in the past, and that's not even on the dev (which im told is irrelevant in many cases where QA is handled on the publisher's end, so devs like Obsidian get a rep for buggy shit when it's apparently not always them). so what happens when this option isn't present - like on the Wii this gen - is game-breaking bugs exist with no viable means of fixing them, even for high-end teams like EAD who spent forever working out said bugs. and all this is before you think about awful people like Logan who basically jump in just to find ways to break your shit. i haven't really bitched about patching since, unless it's fucking well excessive (Pain, MGO, LBP 1 etc).

 

and DoJ - there's different schools of thought there. PC players often look at big DLC projects in the same light as they did expansion packs in the day, which i think makes sense. don't get me wrong, i love when dudes like Kamiya say Bayonetta had no DLC cause "everything i could do was on that disc", but like logans said with Fallout 3, if it's a world i enjoyed romping around in, i'm down to revisit it. i wish Red Dead would've gotten more than just the undead thing, and i really do hope Nintendo sticks to their words on DLC next gen just because 3+ year Zelda dev cycles would be made a lot easier if i could drop them a few bucks for new dungeons or some shit, and i so will. I think Beautiful Katamari's the only day-1 DLC i purchased, but there's a small list of titles i'd do that for - if this month's Dark Souls announcement includes any, it's bought, no waiting on reviews.

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I understand the neccessity for patching. But I also think that in a way, being able to patch post-release makes developers lazy. Sure certain games in the past on consoles had some game-breaking bugs or exploits, but for the most part they were pretty solid. They can point blame at whomever they want, and I will readily agree that not all of the blame is on the devs or programmers or QA, but I do think that standards have been lowered and it shows.

 

Secondly, to expound upon what I was saying before, if I knew that a dev had done all it could prior to release, and something game-breaking just happened to slip through, and they had to patch day 1, and they also had day 1 dlc, I wouldn't mind really. It is just the mentality seems to be to half-ass it, because they realize that they can depend on people who paid for the product to essentially be their QA. These people will go buy the game and play it, then when it breaks they will complain on forums or wherever, and the dev can just get their product QA'd for free almost. Why try and pay money for it when you can have people pay YOU to do the job for you. And since we have this free time and money we don't have to spend on making the game stable and playable, let's make more content for it we should really include for free, but we will charge people for this as well.

 

That is what bugs me. And as time goes on, this standard will become lower and lower, until we get games that wont even start without being patched. It will happen. But it won't be a big deal because everyone will just patch it immediately and never even experience that, or a few people may day one, bitch about it, and the dev's (who knew it would happen and have been working on it since sending off the final product for distro) just throw out a patch and who's really hurt?

 

But the thing is, they are essentially killing themselves. People will only put up with so much, and from where I sit today it looks like the gaming industry (mainly the console makers and dev's) are doing everything in their power to make as much money as possible on delivering as low quality a product as the consumers will allow, and it will catch up with them one day and either the market will crash (again) or maybe companies will learn to give people quality and COMPLETE product for the money.

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god, yeah. and this ironically was one of my big problems with PC gaming as i saw it back in the early 2000's.

i get you, i guess my bar's lower down already though (sadly) so it's only when response is delayed as fuck (skyrim ps3) or basically absent (fallout NV PS3, fucking SH HD collection PS3, etc) that i bitch. i don't buy day 1 too often, but if you've got the patch before i load it - Uncharted 3 did this - i'm not gonna be too pissy, personally. game-breaking bugs i run into, or worse yet, save-deleting glitches, however, are borderline unforgivable.

 

i also totally agree with you saying it's gonna get worse...but your point on "how much consumers will take" is always one that troubles me. i try not to let gaming forums overly-represent the public - i know these corners are niche, and given the # of corporate apologists, maybe that's a good thing - but shit i find deplorable sometimes till gets rewarded with lots of dollars, so i don't really know. i'm told stuff like COD subscription models are actually delivering content, and on the more positive end, consume pressure has seen DRM lifted from a few capcom and ubisoft games. your point on the crash...i keep saying this cold war mindset of raising dev costs and relying on a single-tiered price point (mostly at retail, too) without new revenue streams is gonna bring that about faster than anything, but i can't fault you one bit for saying some ET level shit could play a big part too.

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I think the difference between Fallout 3 versus most is that Fallout 3 minus DLC is a full game. The DLC just adds extra content that has nothing to do with anything, the Broken Steel DLC may "finish" the story but it's really just a tacked-on epilogue.

 

In the case of Batman: Arkham Asylum half the fucking game is on a piece of paper I have to redeem online for free if I bought the game new. Which I did, but confoundingly my Xbox isn't hooked up to the internet so too fucking bad. I legally obtained the full game but I can't have it because of stupid bullshit.

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The whole Cloud Save thing on the ps3 should, in theory, get rid of most save deleting bugs.

 

The thing is though, whether you want to accept it or not, gaming forums ARE representative of the public, because in most cases they are the only places the public interacts with dev's thus they are reality. Whether the coporate apologists or those on the extreme opposite side are "real people" or not is a different point. Some people like sucking coporate cock, no matter who's it is. That is just they way they are, and then there will always be people who are vehemently opposed to anything corporate, just because it is corporate.

 

Baytor makes a good point about on disc DLC, and it is not like you can return your product if your unsatisfied for a refund. That is another staple, that for some reason we have put up with. Gamestop (and other companies) know that EVENTUALLY your game will be complete and fixed and patched, so any complaints you have with the game you just have to wait and they will be fixed, so if you can't play a game, or play a game and are unsatisfied with it, you're stuck. It's all give and no take.

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I hate DLC in general. Why not just make a full game and release it. :sad:

 

 

 

 

Agreed. Day 1 DLC is especially evil though. And there is a difference between DLC and Expansions. I get expansions. Like Baytor said, Skyrim/Fallout are big fucking games that I can and have wasted well over 100 hours on easily by themselves, so I have no problem with an expansion giving me more time to waste with new shit. I've never been a fan of this micro shit though. I'm guilty of buying it, even now, but that's the way its going so no point in fighting it.

 

Bottom line- day 1 DLC=awful and should be on disc. And ON DISC "dlc" is mine and I shouldn't have to pay for it.

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