How The Internet Deals With EA


Comments

    I am yet to hear a convincing argument as to why on-disc DLC is less acceptable that any other form of DLC.

      I don't get it either. Although the pedant in me always wants to point out that on-disc DLC is actually just 'C'.

      Because at least with traditional DLC you actually have to download there is the possibility (whether true or not) that the DLC was intended as extra content they couldn't include in the full game due to time restrictions or the possibility of feature creep, so they continued working on it after release and and sold it periodically as it was completed. It's not perfect, but it beats not having the content at all, or having the main game become so bloated that it goes over budget, is too long and tedious to really enjoy, and your studio gets shut down because it didn't sell the 3,000,000+ units it needed to break even. Plus it enables the developer to think about consumer feedback and adjust future DLCs accordingly.

      With on-disc DLC, the DLC was completed on time and within the original budget and was then excised from the game for no apparent reason other than they can then charge you extra to unlock it. This is like, I don't know, paying full price for a new car with all the features included then being charged again for the cost of installing the air conditioning before you're allowed to use it.

        That incorrect assumption there is that it was on part of the original budget. DLC is part of a separate budget most of the time.

        However, that aside, the view upon which this your stance is based is that, whatever amount of content the developers manage to complete within a given timeframe, you have an innate right to once you purchase the base game. I disagree with this assumption, and find no real basis for it.

        As per your car analogy, you are charged more for leather seats. They're available at the time of manufacture, and certainly at the time of purchase, but they give you cloth seats by default, and they charge you extra for the leather seats. Is that also wrong?

          But if you pull up the cloth in your car do you have leather seats underneath?... No, that would be paying for an upgrade... something that someone has to put in your car... on disc DLC is something that you were given when you bought your car, but then had to pay to be able to use.

            OK. Demo discs have all of the content of the main game on them. By getting a free demo disc, which has all of the information there, should you have access to the full game?

              You're test driving a car, does that mean you get to take it home?

              Not at all, but you haven't payed for that demo disc, have you? On disc DLC is essentially giving companies a reason to withhold content that should already be included with your purchased game, just to increase their profits.

          You kind of sidestepped where I said "all the features". Glenn pretty much made my point for me, but I just want to add that no, I do not feel entitled to whatever they can produce as being the final/complete product that I pay $X for. What annoys me is that they are being dishonest. They are not really adding content - they are keeping content from you that they have already provided to you, that is already complete and incorporated in the finished product. You simply can't access it. You wouldn't sell any other product this way so similies are always going to be able to be picked apart like you've done with my car analogy and the eggs analogy below.

          Someone once made the argument that it's like having a house built, you pay $500,000 for the house to be built, but the builder locks the bathroom until you cough up an extra $5,000 even though the bathroom is already part of the house.

          In reality it's more like the builder thinks the house is worth $505,000 but will let you live there for $500,000 and you can access the bathroom later, when you feel like you need it.

          You could argue that this enables the developer to reduce the cost to gamers by only charging them $X for their game when they feel it's really worth $x+10%, and making back that +10% via post-release unlocked, but when there's a standard RRP for games (whatever $X is, from country to country, publisher to publisher) I think it's the responsibility of the developer to bear that in mind when making their game in the first place. If they genuinely think more content can be added later, then by all means, let them do it, and charge us then.

          Back on the "dishonest" point, DLC has traditionally been a way for developers to add content to games that are otherwise complete, in the form of extra missions and/or items and other bonus content or full expansion packs. Hell, when you look at games like Starcraft and Warcraft 3, you've got expansions like Brood War and Frozen Throne which COMPLETELY change the game, especially in multiplayer. Other expansions don't have the same impact but it still adds content, and this is what we've come to expect.

          By creating all the content ahead of time then closing it off, irrespective of the reasons, you aren't really being honest about what the finished product is and isn't. If it's a finished standalone product without the locked content, why is it on the disc? If it's not finished without the content, why are you charging full price for an unfinished game?

          Putting it on the disc just makes it blatantly obvious that you're intending to wring money out of your customers well ahead of the release date, especially when you still have the audacity to still call it "DLC".

          That's why on-disc DLC is seen as more reprihensible than regular DLC.

            Matthew wins

            I agree with all of these things.

            The other thing is why did they simply not release the game sooner while they worked on these optional extras? That is another thing that stinks of them taking things out of the game to sell back to you.

              They don't just release a game the day after it is done. Release dates of games are designed to occur during peak purchase times, like school holidays, or christmas/new years.

            This is by far the best counter argument I've seen, so well done on that.

            But still no. Let's take your point of standardised pricing further. Almost every game in retail in the US sells for about $60, regardless of content.

            So if you produce a game with way more content than you feel is worth $60, (even if it is that way by design) you have 2 options: Undervalue your work by selling it all for $60, or sell the amount you think is worth $60 for $60, and sells the extra content separately, as extra content.

            Selling a game for $60, with $10 of on-disc DLC is no different to selling a game with all of that content for $70, except that 1. It allows people who don't want that extra content to get the stuff they do want for cheaper, and 2. More of the proceeds from an otherwise entirely retail purchase go to the developers themselves.

            The release date of a game is rarely set to "When the game is done being made", and is instead decided about when it is best for marketing and sales. It's not a coincidence we have dry july and then the summer floods. The game developers don't all coincidentally finish their work in the same 4 week block of time. Many, many times, the content of a game is done well ahead of time, and it's just programmers and QA staff left crunching out bug tests for the last few months, with the content artists and designers just doing idle polishing work.

            Meanwhile, software, especially SAAS oriented products, are delivered like this all the time. Look at stuff like website hosting. Most hosts have unlimited licenses for the software services they provide, but they still charge extra per feature. This isn't price-gouging, this isn't dishonesty, it's charging more in return for delivering more.

            Windows 7 had 4 versions. They all released at the same time, but they charged more for Ultimate than Home Basic, but offered a service to upgrade people from Basic to Ultimate. Is that also wrong?

            At the end of the day, this is game developers and publishers going "this much content is worth $60, this much content is worth $75, etc".
            Now, if you think that the amount they are delivering for purchase price is not enough, that's a separate issue, but it's not a complaint that can be universally applied across on-disc DLC as a concept.
            Otherwise, your argument has again become "They should give me everything they've done, not matter how vast, for $60"

              you're kinda clutching on straws. you wanted a convincing argument, you got one...but I guess nothing is gonna make you change your mind.

              its hard to argue with someone who already made up their mind. Me included.

      I think that if you have on-disc content that you force players to pay to access later on, you shouldn't call it DLC. If it's already there, you're not really downloading anything. I haven't personally bought any such add-ons, but I liken it to hiding sections of the product I've paid for in the package, and then trying to lie to me later on to convince me to pay you more, for a product I've effectively paid for already.

      Yes, you could argue the EULA path and say I'm not buying the game, I'm simply buying a license to play the game, the way the publisher deems appropriate. But the bottom line is, it seems to go against generally accepted good business practice to make someone pay twice for something, without disclosing it upfront.

        If the game is incomplete without it, then there is a problem, on-disc or not.
        But talking entirely about "extra content", you're not forced to pay for it, and you haven't purchased it. You've purchased the base game, and the DLC, on disc or not, is not part of the same game.

        The argument you're making with regards to "I have the bits of digital information on the disc, I should be able to use them", is the akin to saying "I've got the demo disc, all the content is on there, I should be able to play the full game with this".

      Because, gosh darn-it, it's just not cricket!

      If you paid $12 for a carton of eggs, and got all 12 eggs, you've gotten what you've paid for.

      If you paid $12 for a carton of eggs, and then paid an extra $1 for 13 eggs, you've gotten what you've paid for.

      If you paid $12 for a carton of eggs, get to the checkout, the manager comes out and takes one of the eggs out, then demands an extra dollar to give you your egg back, you have the right to choke that fucker with his own clip-on tie.

        But they never give you any pretence of the content being available to you as is, and then take it away.

        Right. But you're not buying 13 eggs here. You're buying 12.
        If the back of the game box says "You get 40 characters to play with", and you get 40, with an extra 12 being locked away, you've paid for a dozen eggs, and received a dozen eggs.
        If the back of the box says you get 40, but you only get 32, and 8 are locked, then that is false advertising, and a completely separate issue, but I'm yet to see an instance of that happening.

          That's the whole point, it's not about how many they SAY you're getting.

          If they say "You get 40 characters to play with", when it's really the case that there's 48 characters on the disc, and would be playable if they hadn't chosen to charge you more for something that's there, ready, final, and has been arbitrarily locked for the sole purpose of price gouging, that's bullshit.

          And before you say "but, is there any difference between putting them on the disc, as opposed to not - and simply holding back content to download instead - how would you know?" In a way, yes.

          Naively you might say, it's down to trust. However, I know some companies (Valve, CD Projekt) that have earned my trust and I KNOW that they wouldn't 'cut and hold' content to make a quick buck, whereas someone like Capcom has soiled their own reputation - and as a result I've not purchased Dragon's Dogma or Street Fighter X Tekken.

            OK, taking the 'cut and hold' argument, if they're not including enough content with the base game, that's a separate issue, and a serious one. But looking at Capcom, for instance, SFxT launched with like, 40-something characters, and a dozen or so as locked on-disc DLC. 40+ is a huge roster, and people were obviously getting their moneys worth with that, but as soon as it was revealed that there was on-disc DLC characters, people complained.

            Gears of War 3 was praised for how long it's campaign and multiplayer offerings were. Then they revealed that there was on disc DLC, and the complaints flooded in.

            So, the argument being presented is not that "it's wrong to be charging for more content when the initial offering is weak", but that "it's wrong to be charging more for more content, not matter what".

              But it isn't "more" content. It's hidden content.

              1. I would argue that they didn't release enough content, given that they kept some characters in, while leaving out SF staples such as Blanka, Sakura, and Tekken staples like Alisa, Bryan, Jack, and Lars (the MAIN character from Tekken 6).

              2. That's not the argument that's being presented. The argument is that "It's wrong to take finished content that's purposely locked for the sole purpose of price gouging". It's the difference between locking a squad member in ME3 and charging for an additional set of unique missions developed after Borderlands was shipped.

                so, "charging for extra content" = "price gouging"?

                Again, you're arguing that you should be given a bunch of non-essential content that you weren't promised based purely on the merit that it was technically possible to give it to you. Every single bit of content that the developer has made by the time the game is ready to go, you should have access to.

                So, if a developer gets the core game done quickly, then starts work on the extras package, and manages to get the extras package done by the time the game is ready to be submitted for publication, then they should throw it in for free, and get no reward for their hard work, and to do otherwise is wrong and merely "price gouging" or "nickel and diming".

                SF3 came with 11 characters, and that was ok with everyone. SFxT comes with 4x that many, each of which take way more effort to develop, but somehow they're ripping you off because they decide to sell another dozen characters as an extra.

                  Not so much price gouging as a cynical attempt to hide the true cost of the game. I view it this way, with on disc DLC they decided to seperate their budgets and manpower so they could still charge the normal amount for the game but then have the true cost of the game be higher from day 1. It is a way to get around peoples psychological barriers to rising costs.

              It's still about the cut and hold, though. If those things weren't on the disc, there'd be a lot less of an issue.

              With the car comparisons going on above, it's much the same as buying a car with an air conditioning system, but you have to pay someone to remove the metal padlock from the on/off switch.

                If your car comes with optional air con, and you take the model without aircon, and upon examining the car find that the slot and connection ports and controls and everything is there for aircon, but that they just didn't install the actual unit, are you going to feel wrong done by?

                You were not promised aircon, you didn't get aircon, but you can get it later if you want. What is the issue?

      Primarily because it should be available to the player by default. Ideally DLC should be a way to add content to the game that was missing on launch and offered to the customers due to their criticism. Day-one DLC is just a method to grab money and nothing else. YES, I know DLC is designed to make money but at least DLCs like Dawnguard and Fall of The Samurai add content that isn't just a blatant attempt to make a quick buck.

        "Day-one DLC is just a method to grab money and nothing else."

        Unless that Day one DLC is actually free, which it is a lot of the time.

      Its not really - my issue it removes any pretense that the content "couldn't have been included". It pisses me off just as much when Bioware does day one dlc for what I'd describe as significant story content.

        I agree that DLC that is a core part of the game (like paying for an ending), is wrong, but that holds true whether or not it is on-disc.

      It's like buying a blu-ray at full price and then having to pay to unlock the extra featurettes.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP BUYING GAMES BY EA YOU IDIOTS

    Seriously, I didn't buy Mass Effect 3. At all. I loved ME1 and 2. But I wanted to stick by my principles: game has on-disc DLC? Origin instead of ANYTHING ELSE? Charging Australians almost double? Screw that.

    I saw the Command and Conquer on sale, $5. Didn't buy it because it was EA.

    It's not that hard.

      I personally don't have a problem with EA, but that's probably because I'm primarily a console gamer so I don't have to deal with Origin.

      Got the right idea

      But there are people like me out there, people who just don't care, who ruin it all for you people that do care. If one person buys the game, it's as if everyone bought it, so you may as well. This is how economics work, I know because I flunked out of year 8 econ!

      That's your choice - why call other people idiots for making their own decision?

      If you didn't buy Mass Effect 3 out of some principled protest, you're doing nothing but depriving yourself from a largely excellent game. It still sold well enough to justify all the extra free DLC we're getting, and people who didn't buy it don't even have the credibility to suggest constructive improvements.

      Clearly day-one DLC, use of Origin, etc aren't deal-breakers for millions and millions of people. I couldn't care less. The game was great.

      For the record, the "on-disc" DLC was largely developed in the three months of free time between the rest of the game being finished and it being certified/rated/made ready for release.

      So you are willing to give up playing a game you like because of a "THIS IS MY HIGH HORSE AND I SHALL CONTINUE TO RIDE IT" attitude? Your loss pal, no one elses.

        Nothing wrong with high horses.

        I'd rather ride his high horse (wow, that sounded rude) than make excuses for what more often than not is pure and simple greed. I get it, you need to play these games and have no other choice but to submit to buying parts of the game that were removed prior to release, but can we all stop making excuses for it? Publishers simply don't need any more encouragement for this kind of thing.

      Wow, so you don't actually like games, you just like being a gamer?

        Or, and bear with me here markd, he likes playing games that aren't made by EA. Such a strange concept, not buying products by a company because you disagree with their practices.

      Do what I did, and get Mass Effect 3 from EB Games on the cheap, when they have their sales. Yes, I have to deal with Origin, but it's not too hard to fix it if you're willing to play hardball with your computer.

    Personally. I don't find much wrong with EA games. I just don't understand the hate; am I normal?

    Scenario 3 is missing the steps where you start Origin, start the game, go through the process using the in-game menus of buying points on Origin, get a failure message, go back, try again, worrying it's going to pay EA twice, get another failure message, scratch head, check bank account for any deductions, go to Origin website, put in details, notice that price for points is *higher* on their website than from in game menus, sigh loudly, put in details, go back to game, try to deduct points for item through Origin menus, get cryptic UUID code as a receipt that you promptly forget to make a note of, go back to game, get "No, we can't find anything you spent your points on" while points still get deducted.

    Feel like you put money into a slot machine and you didn't get a payout.

    I just find it hilarious you can replace EA with Activision, Blizzard, Capcom and several other developers and it'd work out exactly the same.

      examples of blizzard on disc dlc, GO

      (not a fanboy, i actually got a refund for D3 because of it's piss poor endgame, i just hate people arguing with lies)

    "scenario 4: You pirate the game, then play the game, then demand EA for a refund" XD

    Scenario 5

    Don't buy EA games...

    On disc or not, I think most of the games nowdays are planned with the cut and hold method. Obviously I have no knowledge of what alot of game companies do to make their games, but I also truly believe that DLC generally won't (or simply shouldn't) have it's own budget.

    Assassin's Creed II as an example, a story was created the "base game" shipped with 14 Sequences showing in the menus, although Sequence 12 & 13 were "corrupt", you jumped from 11 to 14... DLC was released post release for those final 2 sequences, they weren't on the disc, but clearly it was content held back from the original game design.

    Same with SFxT, they knew there were going to develop for 48 fighters or whatever it ended up as, so if they feel as though the game was worth RRP+10% they should have just charged that in the first place, OR if they felt the game may have been overlooked because of the "higher price" they felt it was worth, then they should have reduced the roster to reduce their budget and align with the RRP and sales forecasts.

    I cant believe people still defend on disc DLC, its not about being legal its about it being ethical.

    EA is testing the waters, its not only that we have to pay to unlock its the fact that we have already seen games that are adding timed exclusives to these things.

    They are making it so if we don't live in america we don't even have the OPTION to unlock the content on the disc of the game we paid full price for because we didn't buy it from Walmart.

    Remember when Batman came out and each retailer had a different piece of DLC? The only people who got to experience everything the game had to offer were pirates. Way to make your product more attractive.

    The above Batman example shows that a large amount of companies want to live in a future where the game you buy isn't the game you get and it will lead to market fragmentation and over time dissatisfied customers.

      That's another thing that is annoying, the retailer exclusive pre-order bonuses. First of all, to companies that do this, if I like your game, then I'm likely to pre-order it and likely to also pick up from post release DLC, don't split it up, give me the customer that wants to buy your product the option to buy it all at once and get everything, we will like you more for it.

      All they do is hurt themselves when sales are lower than pre-order numbers, because there are some people (I've done this many times) pre-order the game at each store and then collect the bonus and the cancel the sale at all but one store.

      For retailers, a pre-order bonus isn't something that should be used to stop price matching, the definition is literally a bonus for pre-ordering, it's not something that is apart of the complete package, so it's not a different SKU.

      That's why they do it, to have a reason to charge the full RRP, but they also use it to entice someone to your store. However, this related back to the first point to publishers, if there was a complete package available to everyone, the end result is the customer will buy it from the store they feel comfortable with, the store shouldn't be enticing me an exclusive bonus, they should be enticing me with good customer service, so if and when there are games with no bonuses it will make me want to go back to that same store.

      It's sad, but the games industry has really become anti-consumer for the sake of profits, I'm not denying them a right to make a profit, but I believe there are far better and simpler options to encourage the customer to buy something.

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