- Jun 18, 2018
Yesterday I was reading the 1998 Computer World Magazine (I think I got the name right) and it opened with an editorial talking about the lose-lose that is (or at least was, at the time) releasing an expansion for a game instead of moving on to a new release. To summarize, he said that it may look like a good business decision to have the devs working on an expansion while the new and shiny engine is being developed as they otherwise wouldn't have anything else to do, and player generally want more stuff. However, stores hate expansions because the product that is being sold at 15 bucks is occupying the same space that could have been used by a 25 bucks new release game. So retailers don't like to sell smaller products that make them less money, which in turns means that the publishers have an incentive to increase the price of the expansions, but that makes players unhappy.I musr be getting really old, because i remember a time where a game (any as in every single one) would not get ANY content update and patches were only bugfixes, like the name "patch" actually suggests. I honestly don't get the entitlement with which some people cry about the DLC policy when in truth they should be happy that they get yearly free content for a years old game with the OPTION to buy more.
Comparing that to the fabled horse armor or paid mods is not just unfair, it is an insult
We can argue about DLC pricings or presentation, sure but the truth is PDX gives the players not free flavour updates (poland/manchu etc) a lot of free features whenever a DLC comes out and rework older features.
It would even be fine if there was no free updates at all but only payed exrra content. Like basically any old game did. But we even get way more than that.
What about downloadable content? Well, it is 1998 and most of your player base either don't have net or have no way of reliably downloading stuff, and download sizes are a problem.
Ok. Repackage the game + expansion then. Well, that can lead to players being burnt by having to buy the same game twice just so they can have the expansion and the expansion and however many patches the game shipped.
I'm old enough to remember buying the game, then the expansion and then the golden version of a game. Hell, I own more different copies of AoE II then there are EU installments.
And here we are, 22 since that editorial was written, and counting, and both players and publishers are still trying to reach and agreement on what kind of Downloadable Content is good and which is the ideal price point for it. The only difference is that now the internet is widely, widely available.