Bethesda defends day-one DLC

Marketing VP says negative sentiment around day-one DLC comes from gamers not understanding the development process.

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Elder Scrolls and Fallout publisher Bethesda has spoken out in defense of day-one downloadable content. Marketing vice president Pete Hines told Official Xbox Magazine that the negative sentiment surrounding day-one DLC stems from some gamers simply not understanding the timetable of the development process.

"I don't think [gamers] quite understand the development process and the point at which you have to stop making the game and you have to finish the game," Hines said. "So, the content people stop making new content a fair amount of time before it ships; it's not like in the old days when it was like the day before or a week before."

Hines further explained that it makes more sense to put these developers to work on new content during this period--between when a game is finished and when gamers get their hands on it--rather than on other initiatives.

"Why would you make them wait some period of time, months in some cases, to start making new stuff so you can say it was after DLC?" Hines said.

Mass Effect 3 producer Casey Hudson also defended his game's day-one From Ashes DLC, using a similar argument as Hines. He explained that it takes around three months from "content complete" to when the game ships. And in that time, Hudson said the team at BioWare had enough time to get the content ready for players at launch.

Discussion

886 comments
bobek388
bobek388

I will never buy a game which tries to rip off customers with day 1 dlc, I will just pirate it to tell devs how much I despise what they're doing. If company though is straight with customers and doesn't do sh*t like day 1 dlc then I will support this company. Look at CD Projekt Red, they release free dlcs to their game and they're not even day 1 dlcs. Company doesn't go bankrupt because of releasing content for free and I support this company by buying their games and recommending others their games.

bobek388
bobek388

If game is released 3 months after completing it then why DLC can be released straight away? It's a fuc*ing rip off and it's true. Day 1 DLCs should be for free. What's the difference between day 1 DLC and additional content in the base game anyway besides customers spending more money on DLCs??

oskuuu
oskuuu

There's nothing to defend, you are fucking greedy and ripping off content from the game. If u do day-one dlc; at least it should be free to all (not only for people who pre-order and people who buy special edition).

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

Well, in the case of Bethesda, I don't think anyone can accuse the company of short-changing consumers.  The problem is with companies, mainly EA, who make it obvious that content is being with-held to be sold as "DLC."

TripSolidBounty
TripSolidBounty

I like any DLC as long as it is pretty involved with the main game. When I get DLC that is almost a half of another game with nothing to do with the story of the main game it pisses me off.

Kuari999
Kuari999

See, I'm fine with DLC to extent...  buuuuut considering a lot of day 1 DLC ends up being a significant part of the game that gets worked on DURING normal development, with the proof often being in the game files...

realbill586
realbill586

Although I agree with alot of you fellow gamers. Look at it this way.DLCs that are sold to simply unlock existing content already on game disc is a no no.DLCs to make up for a half ass game is a no no. DLCs that have loads of content for under 20, when game is in good shape is good IMO.Skyrim and Fallout 3 are all games I have played of Bethesda. I purchased Fallout3 GOTY as I do most games, I can often wait tell it goes GOTY, I save money :D. I have only purchased 3 DLCs in my gaming career. Hearthfield for Skyrim and the 2 for Fable 3 (I know it's not a Bethesda title but Lionshead) Of which I think are the exceptions. Then again we (gamers producers writers actors etc...) want something for nothing. It is what drives the economy. Allways some chum to purchase something some thinks is a rip. Now that we can all agree with!

James00715
James00715

It's okay for content team to keep working after the game has gone gold. That doesn't mean what they work on has to release day one. Take the time to make a proper expansion. Then charge an appropriate price like $20. This seems to be what Bethesda is doing with Skyrim, so I don't get Hines here at all. Then again this guy has gotten into trouble before releasing statements that aren't actually consistent with Bethesda's views.

tim1935
tim1935

Fine, I understand.  Then Day 1 DLCs should be a free content update, no price.  Or you DID plan to be a greedy bastage.

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

I have NEVER purchased day 1 dlc, nor will I.


See how easy that was...I voted with my wallet.

Next



ps I love Bethesda

Cpt_Night
Cpt_Night

The problem comes when they offer an 'Expansion' to single player stories, Extra maps, weapons, and skins, on day one, Call it DLC that was developed after the game was finished and then when you go to download it you see that your download file is only a few kb of data which is a sure fire way to tell your consumer that the DLC they are paying for was already included on the disc and they are just buying an unlock code for something shipped with the final product. 


It's like buying a car that is sold to you with six cylinders but only 4 work until you pay your dealership another fee to unlock the last two. 


It's like buying food and being told you have to pay more to eat the extra side that was already delivered to your table with you meal.


It's like having a burger given to you at a fast food resteraunt with ketchup packets in the bag but you have to pay more if you want to use the ketchup already placed in your bag. 


THAT is what is pissing people off.  If companies truly had extra content that was made after the game shipped than I don't think anyone would be complaining. It's that these companies are removing parts of a finished product and selling it back to you to push up the price of their game. It's their loophole past the fix prices the game industry has shackled themselves with.

nechiken
nechiken

I understand the development process, alright. Release an incomplete game and then sell the missing pieces back to the consumer.

ShagsterP
ShagsterP

They're conveniently missing the point.  We understand from a production standpoint why day one DLC exists.  It's the fact that it's something created within the normal development time of the game and then sold to us separately right there on the spot that pisses people off.

GymFox
GymFox

I call BS..... You're telling me you can make quality expansive DLC for large games within 3-4 months??? I simply don't buy it. Now, if we are talking about some stupid #ss NPC or suit of armor, sure... But I find that kind of DLC despicable nickel and diming away.. So in that case, day-one DLC is a total farce. 

entan
entan

I might not be an industry insider but I can recognize a bs when I see one. Dear Mr Hines, if you ARE capable of offering the content on the day of the game's launch, then clearly, you are able to include it in the game proper. You can't argue that you have to charge for it because you couldn't make it on time, if it's quite self-evident that you CAN make it on time. Hell, you can usually make it early enough for the said content to be on the game disc!

I really do not care whether your employees made the content while the game was already "being finished". For that matter, I strongly doubt that was the case given that day 1 DLCs appear to be an integral part of some companies' marketing strategy, so they were clearly planned in advance rather than some last minute effort to add stuff into the game.

laser00
laser00

Day one DLC... just a move to trick people into buying the game at full price and guaranteeing pre-order sales.

epic40k
epic40k

**** dlc. If there is day one dlc, then where's the day one patches at? The first time I seen dlc was the horse armour mod for oblivion. I thought they had lost their minds trying to sell a few model, textures and a bit of code. It was near that time when cdprojekt red overhauled the witcher and gave you the update for free. Hines stop treating your customers like morons.

Sakuban
Sakuban

This has nothing to do with the development process morons! If you developed the DLC later why dont you give it free to gameowners dumbasses. Stop making excuses for your greed two faced cunts!

MisterWWEfan
MisterWWEfan

You know - I miss the Playstation 1-2 days when you buy a game like Final Fantasy VII or X, you know for a fact that the game is finished! When I mean "finished," I mean NO DLC!!! Now-a-days, developers and publishers are making half-ass $60 games, then charges you $20 for DLC afterwards. God, the gaming industry is so greedy now.

grove12345
grove12345

"Marketing VP says negative sentiment around day-one DLC comes from gamers not understanding the development process."

no but it does come from consumers who appreciate it when they buy a finished and polished product.  And arent nickled and dime while they own the product

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Well, most gamers have serious entitlement issues.  They wanted it yesterday the way they envisioned it without ever being involved in the process.

gameexpert33
gameexpert33

The DLC was good but Hearthfire could have easily been part of the main game, in fact I'd go as far as to say it originally was.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

If only DLC wasnt so thuroughly a rip off and "nickel and dime" ordeal i could agree but as it stands its just about being greedy.

That is to say the only misunderstanding here is that you take the public for fools, Hines...buying 2 quests for 10$ or some gun that you can do without for another 5-10$ its why DLC can get done so quickly cuz its literarly assets they already have, that are more/less finished. Get back to making proper expansions.....content that is actually worth 15$ maybe even more

<3 steam sales, otherwise id never buy dlc.

peteuplink
peteuplink

"day-one DLC comes from gamers not understanding the development process." If he's talking about patches... well.... No it doesn't. It comes from publishers wanting the game out on sale NOW! and not giving the developers time to finish the product, so they have to patch it on release. We didn't have day one patches or any other type of DLC when consoles weren't internet connected (obviously), and the games were fine without them. In fact they had less bugs that we have now as they had to make sure the game was 100% before it was shipped, because it couldn't be fixed after.

ekesp93
ekesp93

People need to stop and use their heads a second. There's one thing he forgot to mention and that is that it takes a good 2-3 months after a game is COMPLETELY FINISHED for it to actually come out. The game needs to get published (which takes a long time), ESRB needs to go over it, they need to print hundreds of thousands of copies, they need to ship said copies, and then they need cushion space in case any of the above goes wrong, as well as allowing game sites to review the game. 

DLC, however, takes a very short time to publish, for a variety of reasons, and since it is digital, everything can be done in a couple weeks tops. I urge all of you to keep this in mind with what he said. You have a whole team dormant for 2-3 months. So what do you do? Have them start on the DLC. And depending on the content, this can EASILY be completed in that timeframe. Especially when you consider that some of it was stuff that was started on, but ultimately decided it could not be in the main game due to budgeting, time, or even if it didn't fit with what the game wanted to do (From Ashes in ME3 is a great example of this).

People. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH (most) DAY ONE DLC. Now on-disc DLC.....that's a different issue.

timdogg42069
timdogg42069

Nobody can defend day one DLC because a lot of gamers are just crybabies, just buy the game when it comes out and stop bitching at companies that are making awesome games.

magnetite2
magnetite2

@bobek388


So you don't like them doing this sleazy business practice, but you follow up by stealing their software. That's just as bad.

magnetite2
magnetite2

@YukoAsho


EA is out to get people? Another opinion from one of the many mentally unstable gamers on the internet. 


It's all EA's fault, isn't it? Almost like hating on EA has become a meme of sorts. Gets pretty old after a while. 

Celiria_Rose
Celiria_Rose

@ShagsterP no you don't get it as is shown by your statement.


It is not created within the development process. The development process of content as he pointed out ENDS MONTHS BEFORE THE GAME RELEASES. Day one dlc is made during that period between that point and release during which they aren't able to add new content to the main product and the content devs would otherwise be sitting around unable to do anything. Just because they finish it during those months doesn't mean it was made during the dev process since the content side of the dev process ended before they started working on it.

Celiria_Rose
Celiria_Rose

@GymFox You realize that dlc is not necessarily that difficult to make. It uses a lot of the same resources the main game did so all they have to create is the content. They don't need to worry about a lot of other development aspects because they are already finished.

The shadow broker dlc for mass effect for example uses a lot of the same textures and aspects of the original game. They just used the stuff they already had to craft new content. The only real new stuff that was necessary were story and voice acting. Development on the game takes a long time because they are having to create everything. DLC is made using what they have already made.

Making the game is like creating a box of legos and then using them to build something. DLC is just using the legos you already have to build something. Significantly easier.

jpeezy77
jpeezy77

@entan I am not going to vouch for every game, but I do know games are leaked well before they are released, so the disc has already been printed and shipped to retail outlets. Good example was Gears of War Judgement, the game was complete at least a full month before the release date, based on the leak time frame. I am pretty sure some will use this as an excuse to charge for day one content, but I also see his point that if they do extra work after the actual titles are "completed" they should get paid for it.

I am not condoning money grabbing DLC, but I don't mind certain DLC as long as it isn't integral to playing the game.

dussan2
dussan2

@epic40k The time between the wrap of the game, and moving towards final debugging and production is about right.  With the internet you can add additional fixes, and content as they become available.  But there isa point when any additional content being added before you go gold master will set you back months.  I don't mind DLC.  I bought all of Mass Effects, and Elder Scrolls.  Don't mind spending a few bucks for the extra goodies.

Celiria_Rose
Celiria_Rose

@Sakuban Why don't you tell your boss that you will work overtime for no pay because thats what your demanding. Why should they give something away that they spent extra time and money developing. If companies did that half the industry would go out of bussiness from the financial losses.

grove12345
grove12345

@MisterWWEfan shoot i remember back in the day PC developers would have huge updates that included new bad guys and maps for free. 

basically they would give you DLC and fixes for free! Bc they respected their fans. Not call them names

grove12345
grove12345

@Gravity_Slave i think publishers are the one with issues. $15 for DLC that is already on the disc or $5 for a different colored weapon. Or pre order a game only to get ripped off 3 months later with a complete packaged DLC game for a cheaper price.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@Gravity_Slave what about value? and where does entitlement come in?  i never recall a game in history spoiling consumers, we all paid for 99% of our games didnt we?  with what i suspect was real money, not monopoly money....

xXNutcrackerXx
xXNutcrackerXx

@peteuplink  

In a lot of older games when they discovered things that these days would need to be patched after the game was in production they would often refer to them as easter eggs and such. Sometimes it would even be mentioned in the game manuals.

Don't get me wrong. I am not defending broken games being released too early (I'm looking at you, New Vegas). There are certainly some companies worse than others at doing this than others. I usually don't mind the day one patches as long as they aren't meant to patch something terribly wrong with the game. If it's minor tweaks, I feel they did well enough with their deadline.

entan
entan

@ekesp93 Ah yes, I'm certain ME3 was meant from the very start to only have one new companion character who happens to be the most bland and uninteresting in the entire series. They also meant not to include Javik in the plot and it was a pure coincidence that the theme of a prothean super-weapon appeared at exactly the same time Javik does. They had the character design done, the dialogues, interactions with other crew members and cutscenes all ready to ship on the disc. They just changed their minds about it "fitting with what the game wanted to do" in the very last moment. 

Then they decided to include it free with all the collector's editions as apparently it only didn't "fit with what the game wanted to do" for the regular players. Apparently their game aims to do different things depending on how much a player is willing to pay. I suppose that's one way of looking at it...

If I were you, I'd cut down on appeals for other people to use their heads man. If you actually believe that stuff, you're clearly not using yours enough.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@ekesp93 DLC is usually a rip off, there is plenty wrong when your payin 15$ for one or two quests, that have more production value in the trailer that shows off the content than the actual content itself... DLC is deceptive  nickel and dime tactic, day one or not.  Publishers know they can get away with selling something piecemeal instead of one lump sum, and thats the SOLE REASON why its the way it is, nothing to do with production and development, dont perpetuate this greedy nonsense

grove12345
grove12345

@timdogg42069 pre order game and spend $100 investment getting DLC. or wait 3 month for game to include all DLC for 50?

$5 DLC to turn you gun pink.

$5 DLC for horse armor, when you can get 1000 user created armor sets for free. 

DLC is total bs on all spectrums

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Celiria_Rose @ShagsterP If they can include it with a flip of a bit then it was created during the regular development process.

Mass Effect From Ashes Day One DLC was a scant couple hundred kilobytes.  You're seriously suggesting they did the work after the game content was finalized?  Stop intentionally averting your eyes.

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

@dussan2 @laser00 You know day one dlc has existed for a long time... they are called pre orders. I'm just pointing that out

bobek388
bobek388

@Celiria_Rose @Sakuban How are they going overtime by adding content to the game BEFORE the release? BTW half of the industry would go out of business? Tell that to CD Projekt Red, they release additional content to their games for free no matter if it's day 1 or 1 year after game release and they're doing completely fine...