MW2 DLC = ripped off!

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

  1. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    You have some funny ideas about the popularity of PC gaming.


    The Sims, which is the highest selling PC game ever only has around 16 million recorded PC sales followed by The Sims 2 at 13 million and World of Warcraft at 11.5 million (subscribers, probably much higher actual sales). Half-Life is currently estimated to be at around 10 million including PS2 sales. Counter strike at 4.2 million most of which were probably $20 sales, was beaten by MW2 in a single month and they were full price sales.


    MW2 worldwide sales to date on both PS3 and 360 is 14 million, well past anything Valve has ever made, because Valve aren't focused on consoles, they're still PC developers at heart.

    To put all of that into an even more harrowing perspective: GTA:SA on PS2 alone: 17 million. Super Mario Bros NES: 40 million. Mario Kart Wii: 22 million.

    Consoles have been shitting over PC gaming sales since the 16 bit era, and the PC's crowing title mega title is casual love fest The Sims.

    I know, the numbers are disheartening, and this is why so many developers are chasing the console market - they're mega cash there. But as a PC gamer I'm actually fairly happy because consoles have grown gaming into a massive market that PCs couldn't do alone and we see plenty of kickbacks from the new revenue that consoles generate.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  2. Jigoku

    Jigoku Retired Captain

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    CS hasn't been free since about the end of 2003. The WON servers were shut down and everyone who wished to continue playing CS had to purchase it to play over Steam. So whether that particular sales figure is useful to your argument is debatable.
     
  3. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    The retail box was released in November 2000 and CS moved to Steam in January of 2004. CS retail was most likely removed from shelves and replaced by Condition Zero in 2004. Condition Zero only sold half the amount of what CS did, so that would give me the impression that up to (or more than half) of the original CS sales would have been in the initial 2 years before Steam took over. Many people (including 2 people in this house) bought copies of CS in 2001, even though they actually owned Half-Life. As for WON closing, WON2 was quickly developed by CS fans and was used extensively by ardent fans. As of writing this there were 1200 people playing CS 1.5 online.

    I'm not trying to be a nit picker. Though I do believe that sales of anywhere from 500'000 to 2'000'000'000+ for a game that was freely available to download is down right amazing in anyone's books.
     
  4. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    This was actually through all platforms that the original half-life was released upon. For all we know Valve could have sold another 10 Million+ copies of Half-Life through Steam over the past 6-7 years?

    I know that consoles are a Juggernaut and far outweigh PC Gaming by a long shot. They pretty much have done so since the PS2/Xbox. Though as a PC gamer I will not do get suckered into the revenue raising pyramid that is so easily accepted by the Console owners.

    Call me an old crone, but hey, I've been playing games on PC's since 1995 and been playing PC games online since 1996. I've grown accustomed to custom maps, mods (Team Fortress was the first game I played online) and the such over a 14 year period and find it quite appalling that you would have to pay a relatively significant sum of money (quarter the cost of an expansion) for 5 maps.
     
  5. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    That's fine, but COD isn't a PC game. Seeing it as such is just setting yourself up for disappoint, but hey, if that's what you want then by all means, knock yourself out.

    There are still heaps of mods and stuff around in the gaming world.
     
  6. Beavis

    Beavis Well Torn Member and Previously Retired Captain

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    There in lies the problem, Call to Duty started off as a pc game,CoDUO was one of the most popular online pc games for it's time, it wasn't until COD2 came out that it was made for console.
     
  7. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    But that's not at all an unusual thing in the gaming world. It's been happening since the 16-bit console era in which platform and many RPG games pretty much disappeared to consoles. With the PS2/Xbox it was the adventure and still more kinds of RPG games disappeared to the console. Now with the 330 and PS3 FPS games are going that way too. Perhaps in introduction of Natal and Playstation Move will see strategy games flock to consoles as well (I think this unlikely though).

    There will always be PC focused games in those genres, but the titles with the biggest budgets will not be PC games, they will be console only (Halo) or Multiplatform (COD). At which point they're no longer "PC games" and they follow different rules.

    The latest big budget PC shooters were Crysis and TF2. TF2 was not a big enough title in it's own right (no one would stock a multiplayer only game on retail shelves) so it was the Orange Box and had Episode 2 and Portal to satisfy single player only gamers. Crysis didn't much much money at all compared to how much was invested in it, not compared to Multiplatform games, however it was developer more as "technology" than "gameplay" so it's hard to see where/how that fits in the big picture of all this.

    Hmm... Perhaps that has something to do with this shift from open community to closed content as well?

    For a while there you had several different companies making "technology" along with their games (ID Software & Quake Engine, Half Life and Source, Unreal and a bunch of others). The big budget was being focused on tech development just as much as game development and with that we saw a lot of community content as the same tools were put in the hands of players and on a whole the industry hadn't had much time to explore the tech they were given. However, that could only last so long and now we have all these years of tech development behind and a huge mass of developers just focusing on game/content development.

    Unreal Engine 3 is more or less free, yet most people creating content for it that's on par with modern games aren't giving that away for free. Well, a few are but their agenda is usually focused on getting a job in the industry or getting their game to a point that a publisher will throw money behind it and turn it into a full game. They're not just doing stuff for warm and fuzzy feelings.

    But there are still people making maps for TF2 maps just for fun you say?

    Well of course there are. That will happen with any MP community if you give them the chance to do so, but remember, the COD developers are not in the tech development industry - but Valve very much are. People making awesome TF2 maps or source mods helps them sell source engine licences. People making fantastic Cyrsis mods helps crytech sell Cryengine licences and the same with Unreal Engine 3 (now free) and many other popualr game developer tools available on PC are free or as close to free it's not funny (Unity, Torque ect) yet you don't see a mass of free PC games flooding the market. People making COD maps doesn't really help activation make anything because the majority of their customers, console gamers, can't even play on them thus polishing mod tools for consumer release is not really worth it for them.

    Again, not so say free cool mod community stuff doesn't happen, it's just much less likely to happen in the current gaming climate with cross-platform games unless the developer is also involved in the tech business, and COD/Activision are not. Just like Bioware no longer release mod tools (Like they did for Neverwinter nights, their own engine) they use third party tech for their games now (Unreal Engine), and they could release tools for it, but don't.

    Could we say the days when every 2nd game developer was also making cool tech engines and trying to garner community content are a thing of the past?

    A golden age of gaming we're not likely to see again?

    p.s. really liking this thread btw, has gone is so many different directions and lots of cool ideas and view points being tossed around.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  8. Mixa...

    Mixa... Retired Captain

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    agreed...great thread
     
  9. Thermal Ions

    Thermal Ions Retired Captain

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    An interesting angle.

    Too true. Most other places this would have mostly degenerated into a flame war rather than a debate / discussion.
     
  10. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    Whether it can be deemed as a PC game or not is of little significance. My issue is the acceptance of PC gamers to shell out $15 for something they got for free in the previous version of COD. It sends a message to other Devs/Publishers that it is acceptable to charge money for something that was seen as an incentive to keep on playing or for prospective buyers to make the plunge.

    Instead I see all forms of MP games becoming money sinks where you have to constantly pump cash in to keep on playing. While this is all fine and dandy for MMO's (yes I played WoW daily for 3 years), I do not see it as acceptable for a conventional FPS shooter with a tacked on MP component.
     
  11. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    So you see MW2 as a single player game first with MP as a side bonus?

    I can defiantly understand why you don't see any value in the $15 DLC then. I think a lot of people who do pay for the DLC only got MW2 for the multiplayer and do play that daily, for them $15 for a game they play every day is probably worth it.


    Would you pay a subscription fee to play an FPS game with MMO features such as progressive character development, persistent servers and on a high output of new world/game content?


    I know a lot of FPS gamers scoff at the idea of paying fees to play. I don't know much about MMO development but I'd imagine that with an MMO the company doesn't scale back (as much) staff after it's launched, most everyone stays on continuing to design/produce content and release it over time which is paid for by the subscription fee. Most developers making an action game would be working on the sequel or some other game as soon as the first one is finished with smaller teams assigned for patchs or DLC/expansion content.


    Well, we know for certain that they don't have the full IW team working on those DLC map packs because most of the company left, haha. Anyway, I think it would be really interesting to see a popular hard core FPS game use the MMO model of not scaling back after launch. I doubt people would buy into "mega ongoing content for monthly subscription fee" for an FPS but I'd like to see one none the less. Global Agenda are kinda doing that, tho subscription is optional, and I'm keen to see how ABP develops and evolves using a pay to play model. No clue how close to a hardcore shooter that game is though as I never got into the beta. :(
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  12. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    Yes the single player of MW2 sucked badly. But that really is what it is. A mediocre single player experience with a supposedly good MP experience. I'm not playing it, as I have no interest in P2P style game browsing/playing. So can not comment on the MP component. Would I feel it was worth paying $15 for extra maps? No! Would I feel paying $15 for extra content on TF2, BFBC and any of the other FPS games I play regularly worth paying? No!

    I must admit if a dlc of the level of what they are offering for MW2 was only $5, I would most likely consider it. You can pay less for a Borderlands or Fallout 3 DLC which offer infinitely more content and actually have a longer SP experience than MW2's piss woeful effort. They should've given the customers 5 maps just to make up for the SP component :p

    I would probably consider splashing a monthly (or regular) fee for an online MMO FPS with an enormous interactive world and 100 or more people to kill in epic FPS battles. But I still could not force myself to pay $15 for 5 multiplayer maps, no matter what the game was.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  13. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    What kind of value do you consider a multiplayer map do be worth?


    Does the size/detail of the map have an effect on how much you consider it's worth?


    You suggest Borderlands and Fallout DLC is larger thus worth more, but isn't most of that stuff throw away content, you play it once then that's it. Do you place extra value on something "designed" for replayability?


    Hmm, chrome doesn't think replayability isn't a word, I think it should be!


    Speaking of such, I would be keen to hear from TF2 & BC2 players about VALVe & DICE attempting to reuse maps or build added replay value into them, is this a good thing for shooters, does it work well or does it simply feel cheap? - the reuse or attempt to make the same map play differently I mean, not DICE's DLC strategy which defiantly feels a bit cheap even though it's free.


    Personally I found VALVes changing maps downright confusing, but I was never heavily into TF2 so perhaps it would have all be much more obvious if I'd played more often. I like what DICE have done in Bad Company 2. It's similar to many other FPS games that use the same map for multiple game modes yet also different enough to make it feel like a new experience. I think they missed a an opportunity though as their engine doesn't use pre-baked shadow mapping they could have changed a lot more things around like time of day ect.


    Does anyone know of an FPS game that does stuff like that? Change time of day or weather conditions (clear, foggy, rain ect) between game modes or even randomly every time the map plays?


    Kinda surprised none of the big budget titles have done that yet, the tech exists for it now with games like BC2 and Crysis using fully real-time lighting which means shadows aren't rendered into static lightmap textures based on sun angle, they're computed and rendered in real time as the game runs. Fogging has always been a fairly simply thing for games that can easily be changed on the fly (L4D does this a lot as you move from point to point in it's levels) and weather effects are usualy just dynamic particle systems (again, L4D does this to great effect with it's storms in some levels). Shaders can even make surfaces look wet and shiny on the fly while it's raining or matted out with white if it's snowing. Well, the snowing one is a bit more complex, but I've seen tech demos of it.


    Do things like dynamic environmental conditions for MP shooters seem a bit of a no brainer? I'm mostly thinking about the tech side of things. Art wise I guess it'd be a much more difficult task. I know a lot of skies are still hand painted and often levels are "themed" and the sunlight and other lighting aspects are often very purposefully designed. For a map developer, light is a very powerful tool, take away control of that and you might loose a lot...


    Yeah yeah, I'm rambling again, shutting up now.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  14. Unknown

    Unknown Retired Captain

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  15. Thermal Ions

    Thermal Ions Retired Captain

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    Last edited: May 27, 2010
    hoppy likes this.
  16. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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  17. Thermal Ions

    Thermal Ions Retired Captain

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    Can I play devil's advocate here and suggest he also has an unspoken motive for promoting DLC on original discs: the larger size of Blueray over DVD discs gives them an edge (whether real or percieved marketing edge) should the regular content be pushing the boundaries of a DVD's capacity.
     
  18. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    You don't need to, he mentioned just that before the snippet 1UP quoted. I should have followed that to the original source, an interview on Gamasutra dealing mostly with exclusive titles/DLC stuff:

    Gamasutra - Features - The Sony Situation: SCEA's Rob Dyer Speaks

    PS: That links to the 2nd page of the interview with the text 1UP quoted. Be sure to click back a page if you want to read it straight through.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  19. Thermal Ions

    Thermal Ions Retired Captain

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    Ah, didn't pick up on that Drac. Thanks. Teach me not to click through to the original story source too.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  20. Harry Reems

    Harry Reems Active Member

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    I come from the PC age and deem MP maps to be worth nothing financially. Most were created by fans and fledgling level designers and in a lot of cases surpassed the original maps in quality. Just look at the evolution of Team Fortress. It started with 2fort and grew from there. Well, Rock, Canalzone (CZ) and I think even Hunted were all custom made. One of these custom maps is used by name in TF2. CZ's control point style is also used extensively in TF2 and most other MP games.

    If someone thinks paying $15 for 5 maps is just fine, so be it. I still think that anyone willing to buy them has too much money.
     

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