This article originally appeared in our exclusive eMag which we launched earlier this month. To download the magazine for free and read other awesome content before anywhere else click here.
DLC, love it or hate it, it’s here to stay! I personally despise it, well most of it anyway. Since it’s conception in the womb of a title called The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, disguised as horse armour and priced to make the average, drooling idiot pay for a copy while PC gamers laughed in the faces of a console generation that grabbed at anything they could get.
Since then, every publisher and their pet devs have conspired to turn gaming into a hobby which likes to make you dust off your wallet for a full experience. When I was a nipper, you bought a game for £3.99 and got a whole game, even if they were repetitive and lacking in varied content.
In the late eighties and early nineties, gaming still kept this custom. You went out to a shop, paid a price whether it be a budget title with appropriate cost or a AAA title for your Super Nintendo or Megadrive (Genesis) which felt a little too much but nonetheless, you got a full game with cheats, multiple characters, infinite replayability and unlockables…
Now, an unlockable means that you have to pay a few quid to unlock the content that exists on the disc already. Obtaining new characters or costumes in beat-em-up’s will cost you top dollar, instead of actually being rewarded for spending a shitload of time and hard-earned money on something that should contain these bonuses as part or the parcel.
Replayability is also almost non-existent, as publishers now feel that gamers need to be spoon fed extra levels that continue a story that should have ended when you hit the credits at the end of a game and if they thought those twists were an integral part of it, why the hell do we have to pay a quarter of the price for something an eighth the size of the original game to see it?
I’ll tell you why. Its because of the recent change in social and cultural behaviours of the human race. We want things now! We need it and we’ll throw money at it because we’re an impatient troupe of greedy chimpanzees with no thought before action… At least, that’s my opinion. See, if society had thought, ‘This armour is a bit pricey.’ or ‘How much for a swimsuit!?!’, rather than gormlessly hitting the button that adds cash to the online storefronts day after day, then publishers would have had a harder time at gouging you for every penny you earn.
Maybe we’d still have expansion packs… remember those? Half the price of the original game for about three quarters of the content if not more? That was worth it… Not these half-arsed attempts you see nowadays.
I’ll admit, I’ve handed money over for some titles. Rockband for one captured my love of music and the DLC rode me sore for months when an artist appeared that took my interest. To be very honest, I have over 150 downloaded tracks. Oh the shame!
I guess it’s down to what you regard as worth and where your loyalties to franchises lie and your personal interests. I still find that costumes and characters should be free downloads though as they’re not worth the invested cash to keep a game infinitely replayable.
Games like Farmville really make me feel like grinding my testicles on a cheese grater while pouring vinegar on them for good measure. They lure you into a mildly addictive gaming community that has a love of building things and seeing how their results compare to a friends… But you’ll never be as good as those who hand over the readies and ‘cheat’ their way to superiority.
Every facebook game has done this recently and from simple puzzle games to creative, complicated Civilization type construction titles, they all want you to play for an hour then stop you in your tracks and wave a big sign in your face saying ‘PAY ME NOW IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE!’.
My answer to that is always, piss off and you’re getting deleted. I refuse to pay for an extra three minutes of repetitive gameplay and messages from my friends telling me I’m a twat and getting deleted from their friend list if I send another request.
Yes you can avoid them like the plague that it is, although only by muting your friends on your status wall that continue to ask for some horse shit for their crops or a ticket to open up another random level of that game I can’t and won’t mention because they think the word candy is theirs by right… It’s almost as bad as Paris Hilton trying to secure ‘That’s Hot!’ Gimps!
Not only is this a horrible platform to base gaming on but it spreads… Oh yes it contaminates real gamers enjoyment. Free-to-play you say? My hairy, Scottish backside!
As a lover of MMORPG games, I used to find it satisfactory to pay a decent price for a game that would take literally months to complete, if not years with added content and expansions. I was also willing to pay between ten and fifteen pounds for a monthly subscription due to the size and content of these behemoths of the gaming world.
I spent years playing Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest II and World of Warcraft, absorbing the lore, exploring the lands and building my characters epic story from the ground up… Now when I play an MMO, I’m more or less asked to unlock the content piece by piece for a sum that I’m not willing to pay. Most of these games have lost their charm and the content is valued in exactly the same way as DLC… Overpriced.
The concept of Guild Wars 2 worked, pay for the game the rest is by choice. Even the inventory and bank slots were reasonable to purchase. I have recently been having a go of Dragon’s Prophet and free as the game may be, I look at the price of Station Cash and the fact that opening up a bag slot, bank row and extra spots in the dragon’s lair makes you pay an increasing amount per item, I’ve lost all interest. That and the fact that dyeing armour isn’t an in-game function, but a way to extort near 50p for a random colour in a whole array for 700+ in the spectrum. Not only that, but if you want to start an alternate character, you have to pay all over again as the unlocks are not account-wide.
You could probably spend a small fortune playing these games if you don’t have your head firmly screwed on your shoulders. I’m just hoping that SOE decide that Everquest Next is going to have a decent subscription model before I throw the towel in on MMO games entirely.
Again, some games have got it right, offering the chance to unlock everything in their game with virtual currency to be collected while playing or by drops from whatever you may be punching/shooting/chainsawing in the face that particular day. Warframe is one such title, although you’d have to spend a massive amount of time with the game to reach this mighty pinnacle.
At the end of all this pointless ranting, I’d like to point out that if you haven’t noticed the usual suspects when it comes to these business ideals, then you must have been poked in the eyes hard as a child or have been playing one handed for too long, if you get my meaning…
What we, as a civilised community must do to counteract the thoughts from publishers of paying to reload your guns, forking out over £100 for a COMPLETE game and getting rid of pointless, overpriced guff such as Dead of Alive 5 Ultimate Conman Ripoff Edition with 8000 costumes with varying levels of breast visibility that only extreme perverts with a healthy bank account would shell out for, then stop paying for it all and play something with a bit more substance until they learn that we will not be cornered into bit-part gaming that seems to be the aim of the industry for the near future.
Well, I better pick my toys up and go and have a coffee and chocolate biscuit to calm down. Just think on what I’ve said here though. It makes sense. Now bugger off before I get started on something else…
Next month, Miserable Old Bastard gives first-person-shooters a good going over with a spiky baseball bat and some lighter fluid.
(You can find this ranting piece of vitriol in the January edition of the monthly n3rdabl3 magazine alongside some fantastic articles by less mentally unstable members of the team HERE. Download it now!