Before I get started, I know there were always cartridge based games that were rediculously priced but I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who grew up in a time where disc-based video games were the norm and prices were nearly universal. And I watched them creep slowly from $40 to $60 over the last two decades. But since the introduction of the seventh generation of video game consoles in 2005 the cost for a "full-priced game" has been consistently $60. Now lets talk about the necessary evils that keep it this way.
Let's start with these...
Microtransactions started off in free-to-play mobile titles as a nice and more-often-than-not unbalanced way to keep a free game up and running. These little goblins slowly worked their way into full priced console releases some time in the past 5 years to the chagrin of most. Starting with multiplayer titles like Call Of Duty and somehow more recently infiltrating my beloved singleplayer experiences in the form of bland cosmetics and loot boxes. Looking at you, Lord of The Rings: Shadow of War. These allow major and minor companies alike to collect extra dough on top of that $60 chunk you already dropped. You wanna buy some extra "energy" to continue a certain event? $0.99 please! You want a gold skin for that useless gun that you wont even be using in a few hours? $3.99 please! You want some in game credits we purposely make hard to earn in an effort to make EXCHANGING REAL MONEY FOR FAKE MONEY seem more reasonable? Just go ahead and input your credit card information here. The most hated version of these is the new loot box craze. Will you get a progress breaking end-game weapon for your $10? Or better yet, A RARE EMOTE?! You can thank Blizzard's Overwatch for that. They didn't invent it but they definitely let every other game company know it was "a good idea". We've all been gotten by one of- if not all- of these kinds of microtransactions. We may not have even realised it. It sucks. I just hope they stay unessecary to make sufficient progress in the game. As long as I can still hold my own if I "Git Gud" I can deal.
Now lets talk about the bullies known as pre-order bonuses.
They get me every time with this. Every. Time.
Above is a promotional image for a pre-order bonus that has been in both EA Sports UFC titles that have been released. They allow you to play as Bruce Lee. That's amazing. There is nothing more amazing in all of video games than that. Your argument is invalid. Moving on. In UFC 2, pre-ordering will also net you four other legendary competitiors including "Iron" Mike Tyson (in ear eater and The Hangover flavors). You don't even have to wait 6 months for them to be available to purchase if you miss out on pre-ordering. I would come right out and say that these are the best pre-order bonuses ever conceived if it weren't for a small caviat... They don't really do a good job of telling that this is all unlockable in the freakin main game if you play through career mode! I discovered this was actually the case with the first and second iteration of the series. What the heck EA? It HAD to be something! You give us a great game with no bugs, no season pass, free updates with dozens of characters, but you hit us with this first. You just couldn't stomache being the good guy for once, could you? Now you might be asking yourself, "Why does this matter if this didn't cost you any extra money and you were gonna get the game regardless?" I'll tell you why. Because had I known pre-ordering was not necessary to "be like water" I would have just gotten the game after it's release for much, much cheaper. EA isn't even the worst offender. That award has to go to Bandai Namco for the first Xenoverse game. The pre-order bonus was Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta. An old-as-dirt character ALREADY IN THE MAIN GAME! He has a character slot and everything. Disgusting... And no. You can't just buy him later. To put the cherry on top, they didn't make enough codes and some codes didn't even work so many people were left without a character they paid for. Wow. Just wow. How did this not turn into a class-action lawsuit? I know most of you on Dtoid know this, but trust me. There are many who don't get it yet. Pre-order "bonuses" are just pieces of the game you already paid for that they block you from accessing it you don't buy it before it's even had a single consumer review. Nice way to beat out that used game market. 10/10
Now let's talk about season passes and DLC packs.
He's saying. "Go ahead. Pay for the game twice with this $50 season pass. It's Fallout bruh. It's gon' be good."
At least Fallout 4 had DLC that was actually made after the main game. I should have used a photo of Destinty's lackluster $35 season pass that didn't even include the real expansion, The Taken King. That really got my goat. My goat has never been so gotten. It was the gotty-est goat-get in all get-out. I preordered the white PS4 with Destiny and the expansion pass and the limited edition white headphones... I haven't played a minute of The Taken King expansion to this day. Not after I paid an extra $35 for what was obviously the rest of the main game. And I haven't bought Destiny 2 yet either for other reasons. Don't even get me started on how I feel about supporting their first endeavor into MMOs and being part black-part jewish and seeing them stick a Nazi symbol into the game and lying about it. That is literaly impossible to do by accident, Bungie. Nobody believes you. Just find out who did it and fire them. Not even for being a rascist, but for sneaking that crap in my game. That's not what I paid for, man. Now i'm going off on a tangent but I warned you, this is a rant. Back to the subject. Way back in say, '06? DLC was something the developers had made after the product was released. Or at the very least, after it had been finalised, pressed onto dics, and sent to stores to await the release date. Now most companies just take out chunks of the game like missions, skins (Looking at you Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite), and characters (Looking at you Street Fighter X Tekken) and sell it to you later (Looking at you [insert another Capcom title]). A lot of the times this stuff is already on the disc! One of the most agregious offenders is Asura's Wrath. While there were a couple cool crossover missions with Street Fighter and a couple of interactive Anime sequences, It's final story DLC was by far the worst thing I have ever seen. Let me tell you what these fools did. They cut off THE ENTIRE FINAL CHAPTER of the game and sold it back to us. They even had the nerve to throw it in our faces by dubbing it the "true ending". You could argue that this wasn't on the disc and it was cheap so it's not that bad but, your argument is crap. Especially when this "true ending" contains a major plot twist that had been hinted at during the main game. That makes it pretty obvious this so-called ending on the disc is just the pentultimate act of the story and this "extra" content had been planned from the start. The backlash from this killed off what deserved to be a hit. Type planned DLC into google and it translates into "Probably a significant piece of the game you paid for that we held back from you."
I'm sure we could all think of a lot more things like these, but I'll stop here since most of them could be considered as more microtransactions. My point is, I hate all of these things. I really do. But the facts are: Inflation is a thing. Games have been the same price for over a decade now. Every company wants the used game market to be killed off completely. To prevent this from happening and the retail prices from rising even higher, game companies employ these tactics to make money in a market where selling a million copies in a year is considered phenominal. So the point is this. These things suck but they have a purpose. They annoy us, but they help us in other ways as well. Here's hoping the big companies figure out less grimey ways of recouping money spent and at least keep the DLC off the disc.