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LONG BLOG

Spare Me Your PVC Statues and Pre-Order Costumes

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What goes on in a gameís development is beyond me. If development is as complicated as they say when making excuses for day one and on-disc DLC, then that may be true. But publishers need to recognize the position those practices put us as customers in as well. Itís one thing if a companyís typical business model has become untenable, but itís another thing altogether to worsen an already failing business model by alienating your customers and effectively removing value from your products.

If it makes certification for the game disc, then they should take advantage of that by passing the savings on to the customer. That shouldnít be too much to ask. Pretty much all of any gameís sales happen in the first month, and whatís more, in the first week, and day one DLC only discourages those sales while at the same time doing nothing to promote long-term sales. Maybe if the DLC wasnít day one, then it could do something to encourage long-term sales like Capcom half-heartedly tried to do with Street Fighter X Tekken but then that is itís own can of worms entirely. Itís not like all this DLC gets any cheaper over time or anything either. So it just ends up taking away value from the pre-orders and day-one purchases. And letís talk about those pre-order sales for a minute.



Most of these publishers pretty much live off of their fans, who are willing to put money down on their games and buy them day one in the stores. But rather than treat their meal tickets with respect and gratitude, they instead spend all their time scheming for more ways to take even more money from them. I mean, these very same publishers are always the first to complain about used sales ruining their chance at an honest dollar, but is it the kid who went up to Game Stop to pre-order the special edition whoís responsible for that? The answer is no. And yet those are the only people who are adversely affected by all of this DLC business. They go out and pre-order the games and theyíre still expected to pay even more for the special, PVC paperweight editions and day-one DLC. Meanwhile, the guy who buys the game six months down the line for thirty dollars saves both money and disappointment by circumventing the publisher.

Simply put, my sixty dollars should be for the disc and all of itís contents, not just the contents the publisher or developer is willing to divulge. Games are already bad propositions at sixty dollars. It is not only in the consumerís best interest, but also in the publisherís best interest to offer as much content for that sixty dollars as possible. Or at least it should be. On-disc DLC is typically just a means of exploiting customers, and unfortunately, gamers are willing to be taken advantage of; Iíve already mentioned how the fans are the first to suffer and suffer the hardest. But that certainly doesnít make it right for publishers take advantage of them just because theyíve got a captive audience. Thereís a reason everyone is mad at Capcom and EA, and itís not because absolutely everyone is an over-reacting and overly-entitled child. These publishers have been pushing their luck with absolute garbage DLC for several years now, selling over-priced costume packs and cheat codes as DLC. So the hatred for DLC in general hasnít just come out of nowhere.



Unfortunately, most of these publishers are so concerned with quick profits that they are actively sabotaging their future profits. Itís a cleverly self-perpetuating system, which lets them blame their failures on last weekís business decisions because this weekís business decisions are going to fix all of that. Itís not difficult to see that most of the good will toward these companies, especially Capcom and EA, has dried up over the past couple of years, and their DLC output has had a large hand in that. If these companies want to have a better time selling their games, they should consider offering good games at better prices. But it seems like they're more interested in online passes and making superfluous crap to sell for their games than actually making the games themselves.

-Kristopher Osborn
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About stubblemanone of us since 8:53 PM on 05.04.2012

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