MW2 DLC = ripped off!

Discussion in 'Digital Distribution & Mobile Game Applications' started by Harry Reems, May 19, 2010.

  1. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    I was having a look through Internode's top sellers on steam. The MW2 dlc, with a wowzy doozy 5 MP maps topped the list. Now, I wouldn't complain if this sort of thing was free, but $5, let alone the asking price of $15 is pretty damn rich!

    Whatever happened to the good old days of just giving their loyal customers an added bonus for buying and playing their games? Whatever happened to offering these types of minor upgrades as an incentive for new customers to buy a game? I know that the modability of a game is a major selling point for me. Knowing there are constant updates and improvements are a major selling point also. I am turned off by the DLC merry-go-round that has become the norm. Especially when these DLC consist of nothing more than a hand full of MP maps that should have been released for free in a patch.

    As the saying goes, a fool and his money are easily parted. There are obviously way too many fools in the world nowadays.
     
  2. Dreadly

    Dreadly Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately with millions of people around the world happy to pay real money for in game items, mostly spilled over from MMO I believe. The days of free mods and maps are over.

    They are now leeching on peer pressure and hope if people want to play with thier mates then they will cough, and invariably they do.

    I share your pain Harry.
     
  3. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    I'm sorry, I'm no MW2 fan but I'm going to disagree here. 5 Maps isn't a "minor" upgrade by any measure.

    Ask anyone who's actually made a game map to that level of detail with custom textures and models just how much time and work it takes. It's no afternoon job. It can take months of solid work to turn out a polished and well tested game level.

    I'm also not aware of any previous game that has added 5 full MP maps for free in mere months since the release of the game. Other FPS games might have received one free MP map every 4-6 months via a patch but it'd be several years before you'd see 5 full free maps like this, even from a Valve game.

    This is a rare thing in the video game world, and has always been the exception, never the norm. You get what you pay for in the box, with some expectation that bugs will be fixed and if you're lucky you'll see one or two extra maps come out that weren't fully polished and cut prior to retail release. Extra free content should never be expected and you're just foolishly setting yourself up for dissapointment and nerd rage if you think that way. It costs IW/EA money to keep the game service alive too (except on 360), sure there could be dedicated servers, but you'd have to pay for them, so what you've saved in server costs could easily cover the $15 for DLC.

    Also, games used to come out with expansion packs all the time but you had to pay for them. They were larger and cost more, and the content to cost ratio for modern "DLC" is probably not quite on par with expansions of old, but it's not that bad either. I recall paying $30 for an 8 map expansion to Rainbow Six many years ago, so that's actually worse value than 5 maps for $15.

    And come on, $15 for a bunch of content you're going to get 100+ hours out of is damn good value for money. Movie tickets cost more than that nowadays. If you're not a MW2 multiplayer fan and you don't think you'll get your hours worth out of it then simply don't buy it - it's not a mandatory update.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
    wHiTeRaSTa likes this.
  4. Mixa...

    Mixa... Retired Captain

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    Well said Drac, however I still agree with Harry and Dread...The way things are moving, with Launch Day DLC and penny ante Costume DLC is sad...especially as it's creeping more and more into the PC realm (BTW I blame consoles not MMOs). Dev's that built their rep on being modder friendly (I'm looking at you Bethseda) are looking at the piles of money DLC bring in and try to slow down the mod community. Fallout 3's mod tools were only released after major complaints by fans (amongst other reasons/dev time). Thank God Valve realises the value of a strong community. We've been blessed with multiple free updates in L4D 1-2 and TF2 some of which I would have been happy to pay a small amount for... but when a company screws us on initial pricing then tries to squeeze even more out I get a bit cross...
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  5. camdy

    camdy Well-Known Member

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    well my understanding with this game,that there are no dedicated servers and with the new maps i thought only 3-4 are new
     
  6. Bikkies

    Bikkies Well-Known Member

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    I thought they were 5 old maps or is that the new paid dlc coming for COD:MW2?
     
  7. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    IIRC, Oblivion didn't have mod tools on day one either. I think there's also fairly clear separation between fan made mods and developer DLC, which is evident with something like Fallout 3, the developer DLC is all quite substantial content - or more to the point, there is no horse armour. People will always buy the developer addons if they're heavily into the game and offer valuable new experiences.

    As for paying for things like costume/skins for FPS games, I'm fine with that too. Large popular FPS games don't continue to generate money after the initial sale yet the biggest and most popular ones always demand continued developer support with patches and feature tweaks. The only way a developer can do this long term is to either keep making new games like Valve or have some kind of alternative revenue system such as DLC.

    Some games/developers/publishers will always try for the quick buck with this kind of thing, like Motorstorm and the stupid prices for skins and extra cars, but it's their choice to do that and it's all optional content. People don't have to buy it, and they won't if it's too expensive. Also, if people view DLC as too expensive then it hurts the developers rep and discourages people from buying the sequel or their next game. Eventually, as everyone starts to adopt after-market sales models for game content, the developers just out for a quick buck will fade away and only those offering good quality content at a decent price will survive.

    Capitalism at it's best. Well, at least that's what I'm hoping will happen.
     
  8. Mixa...

    Mixa... Retired Captain

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    Again, well said...I guess that's kinda what I was trying to say re. Bethseda...There is a market for both, but it seems we are heading further into the console style market. My concern is when stuff that "would" have made it into the game is held back for DLC purposes.

    Must admit (and slightly off topic) I was amused at people complaining about the speed of turn around and relative lack of new content in Super Street Fighter 4 considering it's exactly what capcom did all those years ago.
     
  9. Chief

    Chief Retired Captain

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    Kinda half agree with Drac, but Borderlands, which recieved a lot of criticism due to it's Aussie pricing on steam, still gave us an extra 11 character levels, new weapons, new vehicles, new enemies, new npcs + old ones with new VA dialogue and various other additions for what, $13 USD?

    While MW2 has 2 maps which are just taken straight from the first MW and 3 new ones, all of which were apparently full of bugs for $15 USD.

    That said I don't know why anyone would want to play a CoD game these days anyway :rolleyes:
     
  10. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    I didn't know they were charging for old COD4 maps, that's pretty dodgy. That's the kind of thing that usually turns up from the mod scene and technically people have already paid for the development time of those assets in previous games so yeah, I can understand people being rather annoyed about that.

    If there was a generation of consoles in between then it'd probably be ok, say if they re-made some old COD1 or Joint Operations maps, that'd be ok, but charging for stuff they've already turned a large profit from in a previous game and which didn't need any "work" to fix it up because it was the same engine/tech/generation, that's not cool. That's the kind of stuff you can reasonably expect developers to release for free, especially in a large and profitable franchise like Modern Warefare.

    I can't help but think people would have been happier all around if they'd released the COD4 maps for free and charged $15 for the other 3. Even at $5 per map it's still fairly good value when you consider that if the maps are good, well balanced and professionally polished then they have a lot of legs in Multiplayer Shooters. I don't play MW2, but I know that if DICE were offering a totally new map for Bad Company 2 with support for all game modes for $5 I wouldn't think twice about paying for it. I got way more than $5 worth of fun out of the single map they offered for play during the beta, and that was only 1 game mode with a level cap.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  11. hoppy

    hoppy Guardian Captain

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    Drac, I know you have a history in the games development area, and are more aware of the financial side of things that I am, but I just don't agree with your perspective in this case.

    I have written a number of maps for the game I love (COD2) and yes it took many months of time and effort to complete.

    But did I expect money for it? No.

    Did the community (emphasis on the word community) expect to pay for it? No

    Am I happy that people across the world are enjoying my work? Yes

    COD2 is now over 5 years old, and we still have people writing maps for it on a weekly basis, and our servers are still well populated due to the variety and availability of maps/mods.

    There are over 1000 maps for COD2 now, and over 600 for COD4.

    And there are what 15-20 for MW2? Longevity is not going to be there in my opinion (and yes I bought MW2 and I have played it, but haven't bought the DLC and have no intention of)

    I paided $70 for COD2, and $90 for MW2 and guess which one I am still playing and which one I think is better value for money.

    One of my maps here!!
    Codutility.com - cod5 maps,cod4 maps,cod2 maps,cod maps,uo maps,custom maps
     
  12. Jigoku

    Jigoku Retired Captain

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    I disagree with your perspective there Hoppy. You were making those maps for fun; it was a hobby. You have a full time job doing something else.

    These people make maps as their job. If they don't get paid for doing that, they don't get paid.
     
  13. hoppy

    hoppy Guardian Captain

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    So loyalty to the customer and creating a sense of community to create additional longevity in the game is no longer on the radar of game developers??

    If your mates don't buy the DLC, you can no longer play when them, that is fragmenting not collaborative.

    I am not begruding people earning money, if someone wanted to give me money for a map, I would take it.

    But they need to look at the eco system as a whole, not just a money grab that will have a limited shelf life. That loyalty will lead onto increased sales for the next title, disloyalty will be punished by lower sales.

    How many people (in the PC world) are ever going to buy a multiplayer game without dedicated server support. I know that I never, ever will again as a result of Activision and IW's dealings. And this additional money grab is a knife in the back to all PC gamers.
     
  14. Jigoku

    Jigoku Retired Captain

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    Console sales are where the money is made. Console sales are where the releases are targetted. Console sales drive the development of marketing strategies. Any thought you have in your head that revolves around a PC player's mindset is automatically irrelevant.

    Longevity is bad. It means the next title isn't automatically snapped up at full price on release. Longevity means the customer might hang on playing the older title until the new one has a price drop.

    Games need to provide instant gratification but not enough long term appeal to entice the player to forgo newer titles. In my opinion, COD MW2 is a perfect example of this. "Oooooh pretty. BANG! BOOM! HEADSHOT! When's the next one coming out?"

    Loyalty to the customer was a forgotten concept the instant gaming stopped being a niche hobby enjoyed by a few and became an entertainment industry providing revenue rivaling cinema.
     
  15. hoppy

    hoppy Guardian Captain

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    I disgree, Valve with their Team Fortress 2 game has had a long successful history of providing updates, changes, enhancements to the same game, so creating that longevity, loyalty and community all the while allowing and encouraging the community to create additional content.

    I don't think that they are doing it for love!!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  16. Jigoku

    Jigoku Retired Captain

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    Sure, but we are talking about a console-centric company in this thread.
     
  17. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    Mod/map friendly games like Quake, Half-Life and Starcraft gave these game longevity and selling power well past their normal use by dates. Half-Life alone was still selling copies 5 years after it's release just so people could play free mods like DoD, CS, TFC and Natural Selection (I know that's what enticed myself and my partner into buying Half-Life). Lets also not forget Starcraft and the trillion home made maps, and second to none MP capabilities that has kept it going for 12 years!

    These games sold millions of copies over many years and did not require any form of micro transactions. Just support by the developer for the product they created and the people that bought it.
     
  18. hoppy

    hoppy Guardian Captain

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    But written by a person who uses the game on a PC (Harry Reems) and written from a PC perspective.
     
  19. bookbuster

    bookbuster Well-Known Member

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    Sad, but very true. MW2 is, perhaps, the best example of this we've seen in gaming to date. Charge a lot for the game, but remove all the features that grant it longevity, parcel out just enough new content (at premium prices) to keep things interesting (and so that people feel like they're still getting value out of their original purchase) until next year's version of the game. Rinse and repeat.

    The strategy that Valve employs is valid- building loyalty to the company's brand rather than to a particular gaming franchise - but inherently more risky because it relies on making long-term investments in both community management and consistently producing high-quality games that are likely to appeal to those who bought other games you made. Fewer games, but a much longer shelf-life, which they hope will translate into more revenue.
     
  20. Jigoku

    Jigoku Retired Captain

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    Valve shouldn't be used as an example I feel. They generate a ton of revenue from games they didn't even make which allows them to be more focused on the few games they do release. They also don't have the concerns of being a publicly traded company that needs to generate ever increasing returns to shareholders.


    But that's my point. Activision did not release the game and develop their marketing strategies to cater for a PC market but you want to judge their actions as though they did.
     

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