Day one DLC

Guy from the 80's

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I'm a pretty big fan of Paradox Interactive but their day one DLC regarding EU4 made me loose a lot of respect for them.

So at the very day the game launches there is a DLC avaible for "only" a few bucks. The argument is oh content require work and thus we need to charge. So yeah are you going to charge extra for music and sound?

I've never bothered caring about these type of things but this really makes me hate it.
 

SonicWaffle

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Guy from the 80 said:
So at the very day the game launches there is a DLC avaible for "only" a few bucks. The argument is oh content require work and thus we need to charge. So yeah are you going to charge extra for music and sound?
There isn't really any argument to support Day-One DLC except as a preorder bonus, and even that argument has shakier legs than a postcoital giraffe.

However, what's left to say on the subject? It's a way to gouge the consumer, we all know it, developers and publishers know it even if they won't admit it, and now it's here it probably won't go away. We're stuck with it, just like that unpleasant painful growth on your armpit the doctor can't do anything about
 

CloudAtlas

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There is an argument to be made: There's often a lot of time passing between content developers having finished their work and games being sold in stores. And in that time, those people can work on DLC. But, yea, the seemingly irresistible temptation to cut out content just to sell it as DLC is enough reason for not exactly being a fan of it.
 

SonicWaffle

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CloudAtlas said:
There is an argument to be made: There's often a lot of time passing between content developers having finished their work and games being sold in stores. And in that time, those people can work on DLC.
Which is just dandy with me. I don't oppose DLC as a concept. The question is why release it on day one - knowing full well that consumers are going to view it as just another example of hacked-out content rather than additional work - instead of taking that content and building it into a full DLC? Day one tends to be little more than add-ons, extra maps or skins or levels, maybe a short questline. Leave it for a few months and then release that DLC, and you'll avoid accusations of greed or hobbling your own games intentionally. It'll also give you time to turn that small bit of DLC into something weighty enough to be worth paying for.
 

Eclectic Dreck

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SonicWaffle said:
CloudAtlas said:
There is an argument to be made: There's often a lot of time passing between content developers having finished their work and games being sold in stores. And in that time, those people can work on DLC.
Which is just dandy with me. I don't oppose DLC as a concept. The question is why release it on day one - knowing full well that consumers are going to view it as just another example of hacked-out content rather than additional work - instead of taking that content and building it into a full DLC? Day one tends to be little more than add-ons, extra maps or skins or levels, maybe a short questline. Leave it for a few months and then release that DLC, and you'll avoid accusations of greed or hobbling your own games intentionally. It'll also give you time to turn that small bit of DLC into something weighty enough to be worth paying for.
The problem, in a lot of ways, is there isn't a winning strategy here. Cut content from the game for DLC? Outrage. Cut content from the game for DLC (and it obviously shows)? Bloodlust. Went gold and had a team work on DLC for day one? Outrage. Produce significant content that is released shortly after the game? Accusations that it was cut from the game; outrage. Produce content that is released long after the game? Crickets.

Regardless of strategy or intent, someone gets made and screams and yells no matter what strategy gets followed. As far as accusations of greed go, that entire argument is just plain silly. The entire endeavor of making the game and then selling the game is designed to make money. Making and selling DLC is just the same. Why, then, does everyone prefer that business dance around and pretend their goal is something other than making a buck? Can't we all just accept that when someone is trying to sell us something, they probably hope to make money out of the deal? Can't we just get used to the idea that the interests of consumer and manufacture are, in this case, directly at odds - they want to make as much as possible while we (the consumers) want to pay as little as possible. Their position isn't natively evil just because it opposes our own goal in the process.

I suppose the best way to put the argument is simply this: if a game is released for sixty bucks but launches with day one DLC for another ten, and you choose to buy both, then you have voted, without any ambiguity, that the product package you bought was worth at least seventy dollars - the very same price the developer assumed their product would be worth to you.
 

TK421

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Eclectic Dreck said:
SonicWaffle said:
CloudAtlas said:
There is an argument to be made: There's often a lot of time passing between content developers having finished their work and games being sold in stores. And in that time, those people can work on DLC.
Which is just dandy with me. I don't oppose DLC as a concept. The question is why release it on day one - knowing full well that consumers are going to view it as just another example of hacked-out content rather than additional work - instead of taking that content and building it into a full DLC? Day one tends to be little more than add-ons, extra maps or skins or levels, maybe a short questline. Leave it for a few months and then release that DLC, and you'll avoid accusations of greed or hobbling your own games intentionally. It'll also give you time to turn that small bit of DLC into something weighty enough to be worth paying for.
The problem, in a lot of ways, is there isn't a winning strategy here. Cut content from the game for DLC? Outrage. Cut content from the game for DLC (and it obviously shows)? Bloodlust. Went gold and had a team work on DLC for day one? Outrage. Produce significant content that is released shortly after the game? Accusations that it was cut from the game; outrage. Produce content that is released long after the game? Crickets.

Regardless of strategy or intent, someone gets made and screams and yells no matter what strategy gets followed. As far as accusations of greed go, that entire argument is just plain silly. The entire endeavor of making the game and then selling the game is designed to make money. Making and selling DLC is just the same. Why, then, does everyone prefer that business dance around and pretend their goal is something other than making a buck? Can't we all just accept that when someone is trying to sell us something, they probably hope to make money out of the deal? Can't we just get used to the idea that the interests of consumer and manufacture are, in this case, directly at odds - they want to make as much as possible while we (the consumers) want to pay as little as possible. Their position isn't natively evil just because it opposes our own goal in the process.

I suppose the best way to put the argument is simply this: if a game is released for sixty bucks but launches with day one DLC for another ten, and you choose to buy both, then you have voted, without any ambiguity, that the product package you bought was worth at least seventy dollars - the very same price the developer assumed their product would be worth to you.
The reason most people complain is that DLC is largely bullshit. About 10-15 years ago, you could also get extra content for games after they came out. This extra content had two names: Mods or Patches. I'm sure everyone knows what mods are, but some of our younger console gamers might not know about patches. A lot of times, a developer would fix bugs in a game, and then add in some extra content with the release of the patch. A lot like Minecraft(pc). This extra content used to be free, but now they charge for it. That is why people are mad. There were expansion packs that cost, but they were usually almost a whole game's worth of content for $10-20, whereas now, $10 grants you the ability to play one measly character class, maybe.
 

Eclectic Dreck

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TK421 said:
The reason most people complain is that DLC is largely bullshit.
DLC, like everything else about video games, is widely reviewed with a veritable avalanche of information being available in the time immediately surrounding it's release. It is trivial to determine if DLC is worth buying or not. I find it utterly impossible to side with someone who shouts vitriol about something when they have sufficient information to quickly determine if it's suitable for their tastes or not.

TK421 said:
About 10-15 years ago, you could also get extra content for games after they came out. This extra content had two names: Mods or Patches.
The mod scene is as prevalent now as it has ever been with some games producing thousands of user mods. Hell, even games that don't officially support them still often see some mods made. Patches, meanwhile, are incredibly common - overwhelmingly more so now than in the early days of the internet.

TK421 said:
A lot of times, a developer would fix bugs in a game, and then add in some extra content with the release of the patch.
Sure, this happened from time to time. Of course, it wasn't frequent and the content that was added required a far lower investment on the part of the developer. In the Quake 1 era, for example, a single person could produce a polished multiplayer map in the space of a few days. In the modern era, producing a single map can take an entire team several weeks to accomplish. You still see this play out in a different way: maps now cost several dollars each in a game like Call of Duty. Meanwhile, the game Team Fortress, only shipped with a handful of maps - players simply made new ones and distributed them widely.

What you have to keep in mind here is that there is a hugely significant difference between what the developer offers you directly and what they give indirectly. Your only source for maps for Call of Duty is Activision; there are neither tools nor a means of distribution available to the player base. By contrast, Duke Nukem 3D shipped with sufficient tools that you could produce a total conversion simply by using the tools available on your DOS computer in 1996. 3D Realms didn't directly give us the Platoon mod - three modders did that.

TK421 said:
That is why people are mad. There were expansion packs that cost, but they were usually almost a whole game's worth of content for $10-20, whereas now, $10 grants you the ability to play one measly character class, maybe.
You can largely blame the skyrocketing costs of development for this trend. In the ancient days of quake, producing a new character model was easy considering you only hand a handful of polygons to work with. Producing a skin was easy because you only had a scant few pixels to work with. Producing a map was easy because you could only use a few hundred brushes (the name quake used to refer to world geometry) to build it and you didn't have a lot of space to work with. What one person could do in a day can require a team more than a week to achieve with a modern game.

This is why, for example, the mod scene for games of all sorts has evolved over time. Total Conversions were incredibly common for Doom or Duke Nukem or Quake because a handful of people could do something enormous and professional looking without spending years on the task. By contrast, mods today tend to be small in comparison - a few new weapons or armor pieces or a set of changes to game logic or tweaks to a map. The ever increasingly complexity of games comes at the price of simply taking more time to achieve a tangible result.

This isn't to say that I'm always on board with such things. League of Legends pricing model is simply gross to me - asking 30 bucks for a skin is outrageous. But, then, that's just my own personal value judgement - Riot seems to be doing fine regardless.
 

1000000

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In general, DLC is a good thing, even day one DLC. As technology and the way we produce and consume products changes, so too must the business models adapt.
 

Lightknight

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Here's how a dev cycle goes:

1. Develop the game. Test the game. Fix the bugs. Continue developing. Test. Fix. Finish/code-cutoff (the line when no more code can be added).
2. Then there's several MONTHS in which the game goes through certifications and packaging and shipping and all that crap. The developers can't edit the game or it'd have to restart the whole process. Here they either move to new projects, work on any necessary patches, or work on DLC.

So sometimes when you complain about day 1 DLC, you're just complaining that the dev team didn't sit on their asses after code cut-off. Heck, some developers finish their area well before code cutoff for the team and so are free to work on DLC even earlier.

Yes, I do have a problem with DLC that could have been included in the game. On disk day one dlc should practically warrant pitch forks and torches. But just because it's day 1 doesn't mean it could have been. You have to think about the cycle. It's silly to think that the developers should get to continue to pull a paycheck for months after code cut off without doing any work. They have to do something and DLC isn't a bad thing to work on.
 

jackinmydaniels

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The problem with DLC nowadays, and why a lot of people fucking hate it with every fiber of their being, isn't because we used to get 'patches' or 'mods'. Mods are still a pretty prevalent thing, and patches, to my knowledge, rarely actually added much content at all.

No, because 10-15 years ago, the content we're paying for now used to be unlockable bonuses within the game itself. Look at costume packs or bonus levels for instance. Ten years ago I could play a game with twenty bonus costumes/levels that I could earn through playing the game, now I have to shell out anywhere from five to fifteen bucks for that bonus content. It's greed, it's not defensible, and it is most certainly bullshit.

And don't even try telling me a lot of content isn't gutted directly from games these days to be sold back to us for extra profit.

There's three guns in our game you can use! Well yes, the previous game had seven, but this one's only got three. Oh what's that? You want some more guns? Well that's great! Because we spent a lot of time and resources making extra guns for you as Day One DLC!

It's DLC like THAT that really drives me up the wall.
 

The_Echo

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Day-One DLC is generally stuff dev'd up during the time between going gold and the release date. That's extra work for extra content, so a couple extra bucks seems reasonable to me.

Some Day-Ones DO look like they should be apart of the core game, but unless you actually know at which point in development it was made, I don't think you have the right to be super upset about it.
jackinmydaniels said:
No, because 10-15 years ago, the content we're paying for now used to be unlockable bonuses within the game itself. Look at costume packs or bonus levels for instance. Ten years ago I could play a game with twenty bonus costumes/levels that I could earn through playing the game, now I have to shell out anywhere from five to fifteen bucks for that bonus content. It's greed, it's not defensible, and it is most certainly bullshit.
I don't know what games you're playing, but I've never seen costume packs go for anymore than three bucks. And usually I see them going for free.
 

Mobax

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As many have said, day 1 dlc always looks like a cash grab and a holdout on content by the developers. I understand that in the time from production wrap, to on sale, is enough time to make more content.

Here's a novel idea, and will likely never happen. Why not give out day one dlc for free? After all, players just shelled out $50-80 for your game, throw them a bone. Make the dlc free for the first 30 days of the games release. Who knows, you might even sell a few more copies of the game.
 

jackinmydaniels

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The_Echo said:
Day-One DLC is generally stuff dev'd up during the time between going gold and the release date. That's extra work for extra content, so a couple extra bucks seems reasonable to me.

Some Day-Ones DO look like they should be apart of the core game, but unless you actually know at which point in development it was made, I don't think you have the right to be super upset about it.
jackinmydaniels said:
No, because 10-15 years ago, the content we're paying for now used to be unlockable bonuses within the game itself. Look at costume packs or bonus levels for instance. Ten years ago I could play a game with twenty bonus costumes/levels that I could earn through playing the game, now I have to shell out anywhere from five to fifteen bucks for that bonus content. It's greed, it's not defensible, and it is most certainly bullshit.
I don't know what games you're playing, but I've never seen costume packs go for anymore than three bucks. And usually I see them going for free.
Saints Row the Third
Sleeping Dogs
Hitman Absolution
Soul Calibur IV (And probably V)
Street Fighter IV
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
Mass Effect 2 (I think, been a while)
Batman Arkham City
Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2 Off the Record
The Sims 3

And I'm sure there are more I could come up with provided I actually sat down to think about it. Now I admit that the price was a bit of an exaggeration but the majority of costume packs I've seen are definitely not available for free.
 

Eve Charm

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I kinda hate more DLC packaged with, and only with Limited or collector's editions. Want all the GTA5 DLC, get ready to buy the 150 dollar edition. Before that the flaming halo armor was something a lot of people bought an 150 dollar collector's edition for ;p

Other then that, If it's a piece or two, fine. But then you get devs like Scamco, NIS, and Aksys that just go way to far. Here's the Tales of Xillia DLC, mind you this game has been out not even 2 weeks yet. Even if you bought the 100 dollar CE you'd still have to buy this stuff if you want it.


300,000 Gald (x2 available), $4.49/£3.19: Cha-ching! Acquire 300,000 gald, instantly
Adventurer?s Nest Egg, FREE: Begin your adventure with 1,000 gald of pocket money. No reason for a hero to scrimp and save
Alvin?s Steward Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Alvin is ready for any formal occasion with his Steward costume and matching hairstyle
Alvin?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Bare it all with Alvin?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle and fashionable diving watch
Color Variation Set, FREE: Spice up your gaming experience with an alternate color palette for each main character
Elize?s Maid Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Elize is looking prim and proper with her Maid costume, hairstyle, and hat
Elize?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Have a swim with Elize?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle, floatie, and Mieu doll
Jude?s Steward Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Jude is ready to serve in his Steward costume and proper hairstyle
Jude?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Get ready for the beach with Jude?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle and accessories
Leia?s Maid Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Leia looks the part with her Maid costume, refined hairstyle, and headdress
Leia?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Nothing like a healthy tan with Leia?s Swimwear costume. It also comes with matching hairstyle and sports cap
Milla?s Maid Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Milla is changing up her look with her Maid costume and twin hair buns
Milla?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: It?s time to show it off with Milla?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle and hat
Rowen?s Butler Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Rowen truly plays the part in his Butler costume and matching hairstyle
Rowen?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Rowen?s Swimwear costume is perfect for a nice stroll on the beach. It also comes with matching hairstyle and diving helmet
Level Up +10, $4.49/£3.19: All members gain 10 levels (max level is 99)
Level Up +5 (x2 available), $2.99/£2.39: All members gain 5 levels (max level is 99)
Sample Material Set, FREE: Get a head start in your material collection with a sample of every type of material in the game. Why start with zero when you can get something for free
 

Hades

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CloudAtlas said:
There is an argument to be made: There's often a lot of time passing between content developers having finished their work and games being sold in stores. And in that time, those people can work on DLC. But, yea, the seemingly irresistible temptation to cut out content just to sell it as DLC is enough reason for not exactly being a fan of it.
Totalbiscuit once said something about that argument. I believe he said that the time between the game completion and the moment they hit the store, the official release date is accounted for in the games budget and thus shouldn't be charged extra for.
 

Cybylt

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I've discovered my way of being okay with it from ATLUS. Day one dlc is presented as free for the first month or two to reward early adopters. Still produced post-production and all that but definitely removes that feeling of being ripped off that happens anyway.

Eve Charm said:
300,000 Gald (x2 available), $4.49/£3.19: Cha-ching! Acquire 300,000 gald, instantly
Adventurer?s Nest Egg, FREE: Begin your adventure with 1,000 gald of pocket money. No reason for a hero to scrimp and save
Alvin?s Steward Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Alvin is ready for any formal occasion with his Steward costume and matching hairstyle
Alvin?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Bare it all with Alvin?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle and fashionable diving watch
Color Variation Set, FREE: Spice up your gaming experience with an alternate color palette for each main character
Elize?s Maid Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Elize is looking prim and proper with her Maid costume, hairstyle, and hat
Elize?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Have a swim with Elize?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle, floatie, and Mieu doll
Jude?s Steward Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Jude is ready to serve in his Steward costume and proper hairstyle
Jude?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Get ready for the beach with Jude?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle and accessories
Leia?s Maid Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Leia looks the part with her Maid costume, refined hairstyle, and headdress
Leia?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Nothing like a healthy tan with Leia?s Swimwear costume. It also comes with matching hairstyle and sports cap
Milla?s Maid Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Milla is changing up her look with her Maid costume and twin hair buns
Milla?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: It?s time to show it off with Milla?s Swimwear costume! It also comes with matching hairstyle and hat
Rowen?s Butler Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Rowen truly plays the part in his Butler costume and matching hairstyle
Rowen?s Swimwear Costume, $2.99/£2.39: Rowen?s Swimwear costume is perfect for a nice stroll on the beach. It also comes with matching hairstyle and diving helmet
Level Up +10, $4.49/£3.19: All members gain 10 levels (max level is 99)
Level Up +5 (x2 available), $2.99/£2.39: All members gain 5 levels (max level is 99)
Sample Material Set, FREE: Get a head start in your material collection with a sample of every type of material in the game. Why start with zero when you can get something for free
I could see the money and level buying going up there day one anyway, but the costumes thing is pretty weak. That said, Tales games are never really lacking in costumes and Xillia's accessories can be moved, rescaled, and recolored so you got a pretty good amount of visual customization as is.
 

ZZoMBiE13

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Lightknight said:
Here's how a dev cycle goes:

1. Develop the game. Test the game. Fix the bugs. Continue developing. Test. Fix. Finish/code-cutoff (the line when no more code can be added).
2. Then there's several MONTHS in which the game goes through certifications and packaging and shipping and all that crap. The developers can't edit the game or it'd have to restart the whole process. Here they either move to new projects, work on any necessary patches, or work on DLC.

So sometimes when you complain about day 1 DLC, you're just complaining that the dev team didn't sit on their asses after code cut-off. Heck, some developers finish their area well before code cutoff for the team and so are free to work on DLC even earlier.

Yes, I do have a problem with DLC that could have been included in the game. On disk day one dlc should practically warrant pitch forks and torches. But just because it's day 1 doesn't mean it could have been. You have to think about the cycle. It's silly to think that the developers should get to continue to pull a paycheck for months after code cut off without doing any work. They have to do something and DLC isn't a bad thing to work on.
Lightknight, spelling it all out. Like a champ.

For me, I don't mind Day One DLC as a concept, it's just when it's practiced poorly as mentioned in the quote above.

But for the most part, I'd rather have the extra content while I still care about the game. As this business grows, as more and more games come out each year, there's simply more things vying for my attention. So if I can get another piece of Dead Rising while I'm still possibly playing the core game, sign me up so long as it isn't just unlocking something on my disc I already paid for. It's ready while the game went through a platform holders lengthy certification process and I can use it now before the next week's batch of new releases hits? OK.

You have the power sitting right in your wallet. If you don't care for it, don't buy it. If others want it, let them have their fun. But if Day One DLC can keep even one person from getting laid off while a company I care about waits for release and production, I'm OK with it. That's one more family who isn't suffering in a rocky all-or-nothing industry like video gaming.
 

Longstreet

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The only DLC i have problems with is on-disc DLC. That can fuck right off.

Day one DLC i can take, since devs have lots of time after they are done with the main game to do something else.
I have no problems with other regular DLC.

But if the ONLY thing i have to do is buy a 20 digit code it can fuck right off.
 

runic knight

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I have always been of the stance that dlc on day one is alright if the dlc is not an advantage nor would take away from the development or play of the game itself if not included.
Things such as alternate costumes and color schemes, item models, sound effects or music packs are all non-critical things that offer no advantage and only give the player a little more option and enjoyment, if they wish to buy. Since they result from the creative team after the main game has been finished but they still need something to do, I find no faults there, though pricing on said dlc might cause fault to be given.

If we are talking full missions, unbalanced gameplay items, extra classes or the like, then we have a problem because now you go beyond just giving the creative team freedom with busy work and into a full blown money grab. A skin or novelty item can be added last minute and not change the game at all. They don't have to be tested much and can be the result of a single modeller just goofing around to pass the time. Larger ones suggest the game either could have been relieased earlier but was held back for those dlc, or that the company wanted that extra cash dlc, neither of which endears them to me at all.