Ubisoft: "DLC is Pretty Much Accepted Now"

LaoJim

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AstaresPanda said:
TelHybrid said:
DLC that expands on a complete game = acceptable.

DLC that completes an incomplete game (especially on-disc "DLC") = unacceptable.
pretty simple you would think, but i guess its not greedy enough and thats what it all boils down to.[/quot
I was thinking about it, this week you basically have two companies with different opinions:

EA: Gamers hate change.
Ubisoft: Gamers have accepted change.

Both companies are being ripped apart on these forums for their comments, but they can't both be wrong can they? I think they can, in that whichever position they take they seem to ignore TelHybrid's basic formula above.

I haven't played Black Flag, but from what I've heard from various people (the Zero Punctuation review, the Escapist Podcast etc) my feeling was that what most gamers liked about this game was engaging in various piratey activities which as I understand it were the things which unlocked the map and the other content Ubisoft gave people the option to buy. While many games think that these sorts of microtransactions are a pretty shadey business practice, it seemed like they didn't mind because they found these sections fun. Not only did they not feel the need to pay to unlock content, neither did they feel unlocking said content manually was all that grindy. Hence there were a lot less complaints about it than maybe there have been before, when this aspect hasn't been balanced so well.

What I think tends to infuriate gamers, is that both companies are starting out from a position that assumes the changes they are making are right and it is essentially the gamers responsibility to accept them. Often its not the changes the companies are making that are right or wrong: DLC can be good, free-to-play can be good, even microtransactions could potentially be good (I'm still not a fan). The issue is because its a new business model, there is negotiation between customers and publishers about the amount of value-for-money the customer is willing to accept. These spokesmen are always forcing the discussion onto whether gamers generally like DLC rather than whether their specific DLC provided value-for-money. (Except for those companies who feel confident that they are indeed provided good value for money)

That said, I think having to pay to unlock bits of content you could access if you played long enough is never acceptable. I think when you sell something, the price should directly reflect the effort you put into it and this sort of 'cheat code' type unlock is trivial to implement. I'm never going to buy such content on principle and if a game becomes unnecessarily grindy because the designers are trying to force players into making such purchases, I'm going to avoid the game. On the other hand, I'm not against buying a game with such purchases, if they are done in such a way that is doesn't affect my personal enjoyment of the game. If there are people who are happy buying such 'unlocks' I'll guess I'm okay with it, especially as I rarely used the old cheat codes anyway. I can understand why people who did like to use cheat codes would be upset at having to pay for them.
 

KaZuYa

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Basically they are saying "We feel that people have got used to the fact that full fat expansions have been replaced with small scale DLC for the same price and we've won this war of greed so peace out suckers!"
 

Thyunda

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"People are okay with these Time Saver packs." - Because they're not necessary. A little money plays the chores for you.
"People are accepting the Season Pass." - I hope they're not basing this statement off the previous one. The season pass is necessary to fully enjoy the game, and if you bought it used (as I tend to) or if you happen to share a console or games with family or friends, you have to pay extra just to play online on your own profile.

That's bullshit. I don't have a problem with DLC - except in the case of Crusader Kings II in which you require three different DLCs just to play as anything east of the Holy Roman Empire or south of Spain - but I have a huge problem with Season Passes. They're stupid and I hate them.
 

Xanadu84

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In other news, people widely accept E Mail, therefore they are going to love this offer I have for them from a Nigerian prince.

DLC is, in theory, great. People talk about it like DLC are inferior expansions, but the reality is that DLC is just expansions with variable sizes. I think of the big Civ 5 DLCs, which I would say fundamentally altered the game far more than, say, the Diablo expansion. Or you have the Borderlands DLCs, which add less content are fundamentally alter the game less, but are cheaper. DLC can be simply a faster way to distribute content. But justifying your business practices by pointing to the acceptance of DLC is kind of like saying that experimenting on infants is probably fine since people love science (WILD hyperbole here). Sure, the DLC model is fine, what matters is what you do with it. Ubisoft seems to view video game IPs and content as some sort of fungible asset, which will lead to worse games.
 

Atmos Duality

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black_knight1337 said:
Because both Child of Light and Valiant Hearts (two of the three games being referred to) belong to "milkable franchises" and conform to "safe, predictable, market-proven design".
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/15/ubisoft-not-interested-in-games-that-arent-franchises

Spot the difference.

Can't see anything wrong with offering time saving micro-transactions for those that want them, it's a win-win situation.
The fact that people are paying to avoid something deliberately placed in the game they bought should be raising serious questions about its design, not eliciting simple nods of compliance.

Why is the inconvenience (or time-wasting) element there?
Besides being a means for enabling an Idiot Tax, what does it add to the game?

If people are paying to skip it, it obviously adds nothing of value, and the company KNOWS this because they're not only offering a fix for it, but charging for it.

Creating a problem (threat of inconvenience) and then selling the solution? Sounds like extortion to me.
 
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Kolyarut said:
Since when are expansions dead? All the franchises you cited there had expansions for their next releases - Diablo 3 got an expansion in March this year, and Dawn of War 2 and Age of Empires 3 got two each. Civilization 5 has had two major ones, each of which introduced things that made the game feel fundamentally different and added new civilizations to learn and master, but it also introduced a lot of minor single-Civ DLC as well.

Expansions aren't all that common in console games (although X-COM still did one! Really hoping they bring that to iPad) but they never have been.

All that's really changed in the last twelve years is that non-strategy games are getting additional story content too.
Not sure if you read the rest of my post, so I'm just going to sum up.

Yes, those sequels did get expansions. I don't know of that many other games that did. The era of the Expansion is over, and the era of the DLC is here. Why should they work hard to give us one big expansion (again, some people still do it, but not as many as DLC) when they can sell us what is basically an expansion but split into pieces for 5 bucks a pop?
 

RandV80

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The fundamental problem here is they can set the goal posts however they want to determine 'success' or 'adoption'. Lets say 5 million people buy the next Assassins Creed. 1 million season passes sold? Success! 250K cheat packs sold? Success! This is what the consumers want people!

It's kind of like Black Friday madness in the US. I'd imagine the majority of Americans look an appalled at the inhuman 'pigs to the trough' like shopping, same as the rest of the world. But retailers are too busy counting how much money they just made off the smaller percent of the country, and the media declares it a big massive success.

When you're talking about big numbers, and Ubisoft games tend to sell big numbers, you don't need widespread adoption to call declare it successful.
 

Sofus

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I'm telling you... it won't be long before we actually have to buy service passes for our games in order to get patches. After that, it won't take long before publishers/developers purpously add bugs to the game in order to ensure that everyone buys a pass.


Game: 50 Euro

Service Pass: 30 Euro (Remember the Cerberus Network for Mass Effect 2? why not sell it as a service rather than a game feature.. heck they could even make the payment a yearly requirement)

Season Pass: 30 Euro (Requirement: Service Pass)

Priority Pass: 20 Euro (Servers suck.. but for a small amount, we can ensure that you will be among the last to lose connection)


I think that selling more content for games that people actually enjoy is a great idea.. but I don't trust that greed won't get the better of the tripple A industry.
 

sXeth

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Lesse, of Ubi DLC I've ended up with.

AC2 DLC = Terrible, you obviously cut chapters out to release later. Or you released a faulty prduct. Either/or.
Blood Dragon = Not exactly DLC, but still awesome.
Call of Juarez Gunslinger = See Blood Dragon.
Freedom Cry looks pretty good, but the PS4 standalone (I have Black Flag on PS3) version crashes like it was Skyrim PS3 at Launch. So big F on that one until they fix it, if they ever do.

"Timesaver" DLC doesn't really bother me, as long as the game isn't built to force it. Its whoever decides to buy its problem. It wasn't hard to get all the stuff in Black Flag (the fact you could buy the "rare" crafting materials in the ingame store instead of doing the hardest whaling/hunting missions, was already kind of silly), but if you don't want to spend a few hours pirating and want to just toss 5 bucks out the window, whatever.
 

V4Viewtiful

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How's this for an overused comparison, "DLC is Fast Food, Expansion Packs Are (were) Steak." Eh?
 

Someone Depressing

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[Insert witty comment about forced DLC here]

Ubisoft has been making a bit of a stink lately, as opposed to EA or Sony, who we're at least used to hearing this kind of stuff from. They're not infamous for it, but it's not unheard of for Ubisoft. They've been slipping up a lot recently.

And now this. Ubisoft's got a ton of money, but that doesn't mean that its fancy graphics and one voice actor = one character formula is going to work forever. People are going to get pissed over their shittiness soon.
 

wetfart

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I think it all depends on the DLC itself. Do you want four extra missions for $1? Well, sure, I'll give you a dollar for that. Do you want to spend $1 on each of our two dozen different skins? No, thank you.

It's a shame we can't force Chris Early to play DLC Quest....
 

seditary

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I've accepted DLC.

It took me a while but I managed to come to terms with buying less games.
 

black_knight1337

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Atmos Duality said:
The fact that people are paying to avoid something deliberately placed in the game they bought should be raising serious questions about its design, not eliciting simple nods of compliance.
No it shouldn't. Some people have a high income and are short on time so they don't mind paying extra to get through the game quicker.

Why is the inconvenience (or time-wasting) element there?
Besides being a means for enabling an Idiot Tax, what does it add to the game?
Here's what the dlc in question do:
-Instant upgrade for your ships storage along with some supplies
-Revealing the location of all the collectibles in the game
-Revealing all activity locations in the game
-Instant unlock for high end ship upgrades
All these are doing are making relatively easy tasks even easier. There's no reason why anyone who can sink a reasonable amount of time into the game would need to buy any of those. And even if you did want to speed things up, there's a number of tools you can use to do so.

If people are paying to skip it, it obviously adds nothing of value, and the company KNOWS this because they're not only offering a fix for it, but charging for it.
Following that logic we shouldn't have any form of progression system in games. Just have everything fully upgraded from the start. Just because some people are willing to pay to make their progression through a game faster doesn't mean that the game is excessively grindy. This is Assassin's Creed, not Dungeon Keeper.
 

Elijin

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Fox12 said:
Elijin said:
dragongit said:
Announcing a season pass before the game is released, knowing well it's content you could have waited to put onto the game itself, is always a grubby money grab.
I dont understand this. I hear it a lot and it baffles me. Season passes usually get you like 4-6 DLC pack over a year or so. I can maybe see people arguing that the first pack could have been included in the game. But the rest? You wanted it to just shelf the game for a year until all those packs were ready? And dont say yes, because its pretty common for gamers to say 'Pushed back another year? Well whatever, window passed, I dont care about this title anymore.'

To me a Season Pass says 'We intend to release DLC for the next 12 months.'

But I guess Im just a sucker or something?

Said sarcastically, because I've purchased like 1 season pass ever. I tend to be done with games by the time the later DLC's come out, so they're not the best option for me. I mean I picked up the BL2 pass, but only got like 1 DLC in before the unskippable cutscenes + needing to repeat all the content wore me down.
Its kind of like pre ordering. There's no guarantee of quality, so you're taking a risk. If you hav faith in the developer, however, like I do in telltale, then the deal can be good. You just have to be careful. DLC isn't evil, it's just exploitable.
While I agree with your statements (One of the other reasons I dont get season passes actually), my point was more towards not understanding the people who feel like announcing you're going to have a year of DLC, is bad, and they obviously feel the game should be delayed a year and released with all that DLC. As indicated by the posted I originally quoted, who called it a 'grubby money grab of content you could have included on the original game'.
 

Kameburger

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Steven Bogos said:
**Snip**

In the past, gamers would complain that such "shortcut" DLC packs used to be available as free cheat codes, but Early says that those days are over as gamers have come to embrace their nickle-and-dime overlords.

**Snip**

So there you go. If you dislike the practice of developers shoveling DLC down your throat the moment a game goes live (or in some cases, even before that [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119376-Pre-Order-Borderlands-2-DLC-With-Season-Pass]), you're in the minority (at least according to Ubisoft).
lol I love the overlord comment, editorializing can be a good thing sometimes.

As for being in the minority. I guess that makes us one of the Infamous 12. I hope marvel makes a comic about us.

Here`s the pitch:
The infamous 12: A renegade group of gamers who aren't thrilled with their wallets being drilled for resources by the BP of entertainment companies, Ubisoft. Those 12 guys will sometimes speak up when they, unlike the rest of us who hate our money and wish Ubisoft would work faster to take it off our hands, decide that enough is enough. Their master plan is to heroically play other games, but how long can they hold out when Ubisoft releases the best trailer ever at next E3.
 

frizzlebyte

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Lilani said:
Yeah I suppose if you leave a pile of shit in your sitting room long enough, your guests will eventually see it as a normal feature in your house. That doesn't change the fact that it's a pile of shit in your sitting room.
True, though the analogy that first came to my mind was of a military occupation. After a while you get used to the jackbooted thugs harassing you, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't like to see them gone.
 

Nazulu

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black_knight1337 said:
Atmos Duality said:
The fact that people are paying to avoid something deliberately placed in the game they bought should be raising serious questions about its design, not eliciting simple nods of compliance.
No it shouldn't. Some people have a high income and are short on time so they don't mind paying extra to get through the game quicker.
Yes it should. The whole experience should be fun to go through. If you've made a game where people feel the need to skip parts of it, then you have failed as a designer. In fact, I'd say you failed as an artist.

Why is the inconvenience (or time-wasting) element there?
Besides being a means for enabling an Idiot Tax, what does it add to the game?
Here's what the dlc in question do:
-Instant upgrade for your ships storage along with some supplies
-Revealing the location of all the collectibles in the game
-Revealing all activity locations in the game
-Instant unlock for high end ship upgrades
All these are doing are making relatively easy tasks even easier. There's no reason why anyone who can sink a reasonable amount of time into the game would need to buy any of those. And even if you did want to speed things up, there's a number of tools you can use to do so.
It's called cheat codes. I don't believe this should stay an old idea. This DLC is just taking advantage of people.

If people are paying to skip it, it obviously adds nothing of value, and the company KNOWS this because they're not only offering a fix for it, but charging for it.
Following that logic we shouldn't have any form of progression system in games. Just have everything fully upgraded from the start. Just because some people are willing to pay to make their progression through a game faster doesn't mean that the game is excessively grindy. This is Assassin's Creed, not Dungeon Keeper.
And my first 2 answers fit here too.
 

Kolyarut

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ObsidianJones said:
Kolyarut said:
Since when are expansions dead? All the franchises you cited there had expansions for their next releases - Diablo 3 got an expansion in March this year, and Dawn of War 2 and Age of Empires 3 got two each. Civilization 5 has had two major ones, each of which introduced things that made the game feel fundamentally different and added new civilizations to learn and master, but it also introduced a lot of minor single-Civ DLC as well.

Expansions aren't all that common in console games (although X-COM still did one! Really hoping they bring that to iPad) but they never have been.

All that's really changed in the last twelve years is that non-strategy games are getting additional story content too.
Not sure if you read the rest of my post, so I'm just going to sum up.

Yes, those sequels did get expansions. I don't know of that many other games that did. The era of the Expansion is over, and the era of the DLC is here. Why should they work hard to give us one big expansion (again, some people still do it, but not as many as DLC) when they can sell us what is basically an expansion but split into pieces for 5 bucks a pop?
Well, I just rattled off a list of games that did, but if you want more, there's Starcraft 2, all the Total War series, almost every MMO, the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise (last expansion released last year)... how many examples do you need to establish that these are still happening?

The majority of the content DLC is coming from game genres that never used to get expansions in the first place. The people who used to make expansions still do. It's just that primarily those were a strategy game thing, above all else, and those aren't as common as they used to be.
 

BloodRed Pixel

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It's more like people stopped caring for that at all.

Why waste time & energy on someone who does not listen.