Day-one DLC good for everybody - Bioware

Developer says content makes most sense when available at launch, multiplayer microtransactions make for better support down the line.

by

Making downloadable content available for a game on the day of its release makes sense for everyone involved, according to Bioware. Eurogamer reported on Bioware's comments on its post-release content strategy at Game Developers Conference Europe today, saying gamers ask for more as soon as they start playing.

Thanks to DLC, their war will stretch on forever!

"From the moment the game launches … [fans] tend to say 'I want it now!' So it needs to be there when it's ready," said Fernando Melo, Bioware Edmonton online development director. He said day-one DLC gives concept artists and writers something to work on while teams responsible for tweaking and polishing before launch can continue on the main product. BioWare is no stranger to DLC, with the company including significant content in From Ashes, its day-one DLC for Mass Effect 3, and expanding the trilogy's controversial conclusion with a free download several months after release. Online passes for Mass Effect 2's planned content accounted for 11 percent of that game's DLC revenue, even though it was included in new purchases.

Mass Effect 3 also introduced a new revenue source for the developer in the form of online multiplayer transactions. Instead of charging $10 or $15 for a static piece of content, BioWare charged players smaller individual amounts to enhance progression through Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode. This both encourages more purchases and gives players greater choice, Melo said. "If you have five DLC packs at $10 each, you can only ever earn a total of $50." He said the popularity of the microtransactions has allowed for several free multiplayer content packs to be produced and released

"Gamers are actually happier, as they are able to spend money when they want. People may not want to pay upfront. They may be happier to pay when they are 'in the moment'."

Discussion

0 comments
iamdoomed
iamdoomed

Many supporters of this nonsense wallet raping I find have a few things about them.

A: Rabid fanboys that will buy anything related to that which they love regardless of quality.

B: Kids who aren't out of pocket as their parents and not they buy it.

C: Single and childless (or partner no kids) and buy anything and everything because they can.

D: Are American/British etc. and only pay $50-$60 for the game new compared to places like Australia and New Zealand where that same $50 title can cost $100.

I mean it's what gamers want? I beg to differ it's kind of like Dev's saying you spoke we listened because 1000 idiots on a forum apparently speak for all, forget the 10,000 people actually playing the game and not forum whining that are happy with said game, as shown by this quote from the above article:

"content accounted for 11 percent of that game's DLC revenue"

So what was the other 89%? People who said "are you #$%^ing me?"

It's not just EA/Bioware, but DICE, Gearbox and many others that are getting in on the action. I brought Battlefield 3 Limited Edition on Day one, with promises by DICE that there would be no "CoD Elite" type bullshit. Paid $115AUD for it, had double XP weekends, then low and behold along comes "Premium" for only $66AUD I can pay to keep playing (optional purchase? HA! ever tried playing standard BF3 when every server is running DLC expansions??? Hope you enjoy being booted at map changover if you can find an original map to begin with? Official servers? good luck when they're all rented out in your region.) Gamers like myself just wanted new maps to play on, I don't need extra guns when I haven;t even unlocked half the shit that came with the game to begin with. I don't need extra dogtags that do nothing. ooooo a new knife!!! that kills just like the default one..... new vehicles and maps that add to the gameplay??? yes that is what I want!!!!!


But no if I want less, then I have to pay more. (buying just the expansions cost shitloads) To rub salt into the wound they then release a "Premium Edition" $69AUD for the game you already own with all the expansions and useless crap, only $3 more than buying Premium for a game I paid $115AUD for. And then I find I'm also now not getting double XP weekends........
Is this now how dev's say thanks to their customers who have spent and supported them more than most over the years?
Heck it's not even the game I brought, many of the visual effects I loved were removed like sun glare when leaving a dark area, they change the weapons balance every friggin DLC release meaning we all have to relearn the game. (who needs to fix bugs when you can fix shit that aint broken huh?) , why? because "you the gamer asked for it" um no I friggin didn't, along with many others, who asked and who you listened to DICE was CoD kiddies who came to BF3, excpected CoD, got something they were not used to and bitched to hell about it, who then boosted the hell out of the game and left to go back to CoD.
Same kids who then tell everyone else to "adapt", you know that thing they themselves were unable to do?

You cannot even criticize products either as fanboys will spam the posts until they get locked and defend the company so it doesn't have to.

The games industry has become a joke.


Saints Row the Third and THQ are an example of how it should go. You buy a game, all content on the disc, you have to buy this content to get a complete game (and it's still less than SR2 size and content wise), and a lot of the content you had in previous games free.
I bet they thought holy cow we'll make some easy money here.
Nope what should of happened did happen, People say @#$% you and THQ has now gone bust. and we the gamers should be saying @#$% you more often to devs. They say they listen to "the gamers" no, they listen to our wallets.
Remember when Dev's gave you free shit as a thanks for buying their product for huge amounts? Now it's thanks for the large wad of cash, but we want more.

Now haven't THQ learned the lesson the hard way? A lesson more dev's and publishers need to learn.

The problems come from both ends, idiot gamers who have more cash than brains and a willingness to defend a product out of nothing but fandom, and developers and publishers who have gotten gold fever and cannot control their desire for more money.

After 30 years of buying games and full fleshed expansions, who has supported dev's Piracy is looking rather tempting these days. Just feels fair, if dev's want to screw their income providers over well why shouldn't we do the same back?

If this was any other industry people would be up in arms over it. Imagine buiyng a car just to be told you have to pay extra to get the key, then being told you need the "fuel cap unlock DLC" so you can put gas in it?
Would you be happy and defend that manufacturer because "they makes my favourite car"

So why is the games industry any different? Heck I see movies with more crew and longing production times than many games and I don't find myself paying $100 for a DVD and an additional $10 for each of the "bonus features"

Heck look how many games these days are just broken from day 1? But what do you expect when a game that once too 5 years to make, has a sequel come out every 6 months.

Dev's think this is what gamers want? it just goes to show how many have lost touch with their fanbase. maybe get in game and socialise with the real gamers and listen to them, instead of having some mod relay bits and pieces from the vocal minority on your forums.

Seriously what the hell is wrong with this planet, where and when did we start going backwards?

csward
csward

Back in my day, before we had this DLC nonsense, we had expansion packs. They came out 6 months to a year after the game and kept the staff busy. The were more expensive, but you got a lot more and better content for your money, Blizzard (pre Activision) being a prime example.

rann89
rann89

The sad thing is this couldn't work unless there were customers who actually supported this mindset.

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

"Making downloadable content available for a game on the day of its release makes sense for everyone involved" No it doesn't, it's a money making tactic that's insulting to customers and it makes games feel less like "art" and more like incomplete segmented merchandise.

sircyrus
sircyrus

"Making downloadable content available for a game on the day of its release makes sense for everyone involved, according to Bioware."

 

Correction: it makes sense for everyone involved in making money off the game.

 

It does not make sense for the player to have to pay $50, then right on the day they purchased their game have to pay an additional amount to get the complete experience.

avatarIVN
avatarIVN

So, they expect me to agree to buy extra content that was ready at the time of the game release and that could go in the disc, just because they think its a "smart move"? I don't think so  

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I don't mind day-one DLC. It's might choice to buy or not. It isn't like they are forcing me to do it.

jdt532
jdt532

Bioware truly has fallen to the dark side haven't they? They've been fully assimilated by EA and are no longer the same studio I used to love. I'll just add their name to the growing list of beloved studios that were bought and destroyed be EA.

Henninger
Henninger

Is this person really that fuckin stupid??? I thought the people @ Bioware were smart?? Day 1 DLC hurts the industry. It says to the customers that the industry is gonna milk u & get that money regardless of what u have to say. Now yes u dont have to buy it. Some ppl like the extra content that it provides to the story. But it also sends the messege of being greedy. Now if ppl beat a game on day 1 & then want to play the "DLC", then i say they have no lives for beating the game so quickly. I feel that day 1 DLC is a slap in the face to ppl with intelligence. It should've been in the game from the start if its ready to be charged for more money the same day the main game comes out. If ur gonna withhold portions of ur game @ least wait a month to @ least attempt to make it look like it wasnt ready & that u were working on it post release. Gaming is heading in the wrong direction & this guy is a part of the reason y.

Destrond
Destrond

Bioware is now added to my list of companies to avoid, along with EA, Activision, and THQ.

 

THQ is slowly working off that list, but as for the others, screw them.

 

Games should be made complete. If your game is viable as complete, then maybe your day one dlc is viable as ok. Darksiders 2 is an example of this. I don't feel like I'm missing anything. Sure, there is tons of dlc I'm getting for purchasing it new and as a pre-order, but so far, not a single bit tears away from the core game.

 

And if you think a complete game doesn't make money, then clearly From Software would like to introduce you to Dark Souls

 

 

Maybe game developers that actually make finished games should use Dark Souls slogan as a competition against the retards of the business. Prepare to Die seems to be a reasonable things to say to these companies that think that overloading DLC, Day One DLC, Online Passes, and Always-On DRM is the way to go.

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

It really annoys me when game developers say they do such things, because "the fans" asked for it. No they don't. I find it insulting to be honest.

 

The only people who want day-one DLCs are you guys and you're publisher. So stop saying you're doing it for us.

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

charging for day one dlc and being proud of it sis just as bad as them saying steam sales is a joke and hurts the dev... i laugh in there face just like valve and all the devs who see's their sales skyrocket up to SIXTY TIMES

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I'm a gamer and I'm OK with day 1 DLC.  Because I understand their business model well enough to understand why it exists.  Game development is frontloaded with writing, concept art, and core programming.  It mainstreams through needing all talents (writing, design, art, sound, programming, QA, etc) and tails off to just programmers and QA with very limited cycles in design and art, almost nothing in writing.  So what happens to those people?  They either move on to another project or do DLC or get pink slips.  You can easily find examples of all three cases. So if you want expanded content for your game post-release then it makes sense to keep those guys on the project, starting sometime before release.  Certification from the console makers can take weeks or months after the game is "complete". 

 

So if they make the DLC and its done by the day of release they could just make it a download and a lot of you people would quiet down.  But why would they do that?  They pay MS or Sony for every byte you download.  And you have to wait for the download and they have to have enough capacity for everyone who would download it.  Its way better to just put it on the disc.  But we rip them a new one for putting that DLC on the disc.

 

Gamers rage that developers target the mass market, "dumbing things down" rather than catering to hardcore niche gamers.  Then we rage when they try to find ways to generate more revenue from their hardcore niche fans.  A game like Mass Effect or Dragon Age is mammoth in scope.  It costs tens of millions to make.  Either they appeal to a massive audience or get a smaller audience to pay above average rates.  Or they stop making games.

 

Other entertainment industries don't have this problem because it is generally agreed upon what you get for a single TV show or movie.  People don't throw a fit because the studio starts working on Batman 3.  "They should have put all of that content into Batman 2!!  I'm being ripped off!!"  But the nature of games is that they could be anything from 5 minutes to 5 years of entertainment.  And the internet makes them living products that can change over time.  I'm not sure how we ever agree on what is a fair deal as it will just keep changing over time.

 

iluvOP
iluvOP

In a way its good I suppose but really for the most part their intentions arent as noble as they make it seem. But its how some games work these days, change happens.

fullxtent
fullxtent

oh my - ...

really?

The copious amounts of stupid coming from Bioware boggles my mind. Where is their PR department?

BionicBrando
BionicBrando

And I dont support the buying of DLC, but if you think about it, games will only always increase in price becuase they keep putting more and more resources into it. AND they cant charge $70 instead of $60 for the BASE game so they use DLC as a way to get that extra $10 they need from their product sales to pay for the heavy costs of development.

BionicBrando
BionicBrando

The fact of the matter is, Bioware's artist need to pay the bills and they cant do that unless theyre creating, so (as sad as it is) DLC is a neccessary part of and making a living in game development.

tgwenz
tgwenz

Bioware...talking themselves down the shitter. Someone should tell Melo not talk about exploiting customers in public.

shingui5
shingui5

Oh..Oh, Bioware..No!!

 

*looks at DA:O case and cries*

vochelli
vochelli

Day-one DLC will usually result in an incomplete game, no matter what the developer's  intentions were. I have a blog article better detailing my argument, but to put it simpily, when a developer has the goal of putting out DLC more quickly to the consumer by planning and developing it alongside the game, they will leave spaces in the main game for the DLC to better fit when it is released; this situation will necessarily result--no matter what the developer's intentions were--in a game which is incomplete, since they leave spaces to insert their day-one DLC later. Ergo, people buy a game and do not get a full experience due to those DLC spaces, which is why people do not like this DLC practice; and how is that good for the consumer?

koospetoors
koospetoors

Is that truly Bioware speaking? No that can't be, they'd never stoop that low...

banana23man
banana23man

"Day-one DLC good for everybody" says no gamer ever. The idea that companies can slice a game up and then jack up the price of each individual portion to rip off gamers is not something that will make "gamers happier". Sugarcoat it all you want but we gamers are smart enough so why not call just a spade a spade?

firehawk998
firehawk998

If Day 1 DLC were in the form of I dont know some extra character or mission that doesnt affect the core game but extends it for a few hours and this DLC was offered to people who bought your game new then I am okay with it. But when Day One DLC means a crucial character of the games ( Prothean) that is still locked on the disc, isnt offered to new buyers but for people who bought the premium edition of the game and then making up excuses for doing so is not something I  support. ME3 was really the last Bioware game I will buy and based on their last efforts TOR, DA2 and ME3( while the game was okay the actual shooting dragged on for too long and felt repetitive) I will not miss much from their future titles.

Animatronic64
Animatronic64

I just borrowed ME3 from a friend. I'm done being ripped off by these huge companies like EA.

AFiercePancake
AFiercePancake

This both encourages more purchases and gives players greater choice, Melo said. "If you have five DLC packs at $10 each, you can only ever earn a total of $50."

 

And there it is. It is all about the money and how it to milk more of it from the customers.

mogqwai
mogqwai

So, when you buy a new game in a few years it will go like this:

 

"Hello and welcome to your new open world RPG. You have purchased the main part of the game, but if you wish to move a step, go ahead and download our 'Next Step DLC', yours for a paltry $15! If you'd like to see another town, go ahead and purchase our premium 'Town DLC' for only $15! You look like you might need a weapon to slay that wolf coming towards you, but to do so you will need to grab our 'Fantastic Sword DLC', yours for just $15! If you are not interested in any of these awesome DLC's, thank you for your purchase of our new game, we hope you enjoy the view because you need to grab the DLC's to move anywhere or do anything else!."

 

 The answer to this nightmare? Don't buy games that openly rip you off, BOYCOTT the greed!

Homeless-_-
Homeless-_-

So paying 50E for a game and then paying 10 more for something that should have been included with the game is fine for everybody? I swear the amount of monkeys working and spouting nonsense in video game industry is too damn high.

Gandoclaus
Gandoclaus

Good for everyone, y'know except gamers who get less content for their money.

brownyyy
brownyyy

I think DLCs are great but NOT if they are day , on the disc or milk a dead story hint hint BIOWARE your original ending sucked your extended ending were a tiny bit better but still horrible like the 3rd games story line was awful and now this new DLC if it changes the endings is even worst.

 

I will say this if the ending changed because of this upcoming DLC I will have lost all respect for BIOWARE at least stand next to the Pile of S**t you made if it doesnt change the ending then what is the point of it its a loosing battle for them I'm afraid queue the fan boy defending

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

DLC:

(1) cannot be resold,

(2) provides an excuse to cut content from the retail game,

(3) is easy to buy on impulse (and that money adds up),

(4) can diminish the value of the retail game, especially when it's available day one.

Clearly, the "everybody" under consideration doesn't include the gamer.

 

msfan1289
msfan1289

i love Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3. Mass Effect 3 was great but it still felt like it was missing that spark that part 2 have. I say Mass Effect 2 is the best out of the 3, i can say with no doubt part 3 was not the same like Mass Effect 2. and the multiplayer is really fun, bot you can just keep doing the same thing over and over so just so much time till you get board.

q-w-e-r-t-y
q-w-e-r-t-y

Bioware,

You have been going downhill for a quite a while now and with statements like this you will continue to go downhill.

staranise
staranise

looks like they are pushing day one dlc for dragon age 3.....and another nail to their coffin.

EzcapeTheFate
EzcapeTheFate

Only us elite people with money should be allowed to buy DLC day one. If you fall into a lower tax bracket you should have to wait 4 months. If you have no income you will be issued a voucher for the DLC after 8 months.

strayfies
strayfies

No, it's not good for everybody.  If they managed their resources more tightly, they'd be able to support a DLC team without diminishing the virtue of a newly released game.  They'd realize that we don't want to buy an incomplete game, to be hocked at within an hour of our new $60 purchase.  They seem to think their games *should* cost 16% more than other games.

 

Google image search "Boycott Modern Warfare 2 Steam Group", and you'll see why they can get away with blurting out this nonsense.   It's sad how few gamers seem to have any restraint at all.

 

None of my gamer profiles will feature another Bioware game, from here on out.  I'm tired of game developers condescending to us - gurus of an industry that they're ruining.

 

SW:TOR was awful, by the way, and Mass Effect's endings, even improved, were astoundingly disjointed.  Never thought I'd say this but I hope Bioware tanks now.

-Jonce-
-Jonce-

 @SavoyPrime It's the point that day one DLC should've and even in some cases, would've, been included in the main game that narks gamers.

ZERO_X02
ZERO_X02

 @Henninger

 Try to learn some more advanced economics before you start calling people stupid. The producing company will lose money if they sit on a releaseable product just to add nonessential features. They have to keep paying staff and development costs for no profit, which hurts their potential to start future projects, and can (and likely will) hurt the quality of their next product by reducing available capital. Day 1 DLC is a form of secondary product that is designed based on sales projections accounting for conditions that could allow for maximized profit per invested capital.

 

"If X amount of people will buy the game, Y amount of people will buy DLC at this price Z number of times. Therefore, the company can spend A amount of money to make the main game and B amount of money to make DLC."  This is the kind of logic that leads to Day 1 DLC. The company has statistical trends that allow them to predict DLC sales, so they can invest in development of the DLC as soon as the main product is finished, provided the main game does not run over-budget or get delayed. While the main game is going through certification, the DLC is being developed and is then certified when the game is printed onto discs (goes gold) in most cases.

 

Companies like Capcom are exceptional to the aforementioned logic strain. They use predatory practices by intentionally selling a version of their product that looks like a trial version at best while touting it as the complete package only to sell a more complete version later with major core gameplay features. However, these companies are the exception rather than the norm when excluding non-major game developing companies (think the kind with public stock offerings, not the kind with nickel and dime Facebook games).

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

 @jimrhurst The problem is when Devs intentionally leave out key plot fillers or content that is done during the development of the game and then strip it and lock away. Ubisoft and Capcom are both examples of this. Oh and as far as tens of millions to make a game go, you might want to recheck your math. I will admit DLC pricing is skewed in terms of a RPG charging $10 vs a Fighter or Action Adv charging $10 for content as an RPG is expected to put out more content for the same price. That is why I had no problem paying for DA:O Awakening because there was a vast amount of content for the price. But when it comes to paying for DLC that is a important part of the CORE story, and there is little to no explanation if you don't get it, Bioware is guilty of this, then  I have a problem. Fact is DLC is a doubled edged sword. Great idea and intentions but the execution and exploitation we have seen leave a bad impression for those who do choose to use it properly.

mogqwai
mogqwai

 @AFiercePancake It boggled my mind that this jackhole used the word "earn' too! More like leeching or milking or draining or ripping off to me

FandomTheory
FandomTheory

 @mogqwai The sad part is, once you have purchased the game AND all of its DLC, there is usually nothing to actually do. There's no real game there. It's just... farm for EXP and gold and find items forever and ever.

 

So not only are they pressuring you into buying digital weapons and stuff, they turn out to be useless in the end because there's no real point to the game as a whole.

 

And that's the biggest ripoff.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @mogqwai lol. but on a serious note e.a. and bioware are dead to me. i guess that is why there starwars game failed so bad. buddy of mine log in for the last time on sunday and said he was the only one on the server lol.

omanojyaku
omanojyaku

 @Homeless-_- It is not the monkeys making the games, it is the sheep buying them. This is the kind of shit that makes me NEVER buy games upon release day or even full price.

shingui5
shingui5

 @EzcapeTheFate great, good to know you like having to buy content that was ripped from the original game.

 

I guess you like buying into that nigerian email scams as well, because i guess you're in a higher tax bracket so it doesn't matter right?

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

 @-Jonce- I understand that. I only find it a problem when a game feels incomplete without it. My example would be the Catwoman DLC for Arkham City. That was somewhat essential and should have just been in the game proper.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

 @MarcJL31 I don't disagree with your point about them deliberately designing integrated DLC as a day-one product.  I guess I can see why that annoys people.  But generally this is done as a way to combat used sales and piracy, not as a pure revenue driver.  Since I buy all my games new anyway, I don't even bat an eye at those types of day 1 DLC.

 

On the subject of development costs, I have anecdotal evidence, but I'll toss in wikipedia because its easy:  "The average price of game production slowly rose from US$1M–4M in 2000 to over 5M in 2006 to over 20M in 2010."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_development