Yea , it's been almost a *checking watch* year since I last made a post, sorry about that. I was very bu---screw it, I was lazy and was jumping between Azeroth and the various worlds of The Old Republic. But, I've made my triumphant return.
In the digital age, games no longer have to wallow on the back shelf of your collection while caked in dust; the introduction of DLC breathes new life into “old” games for a small price. New maps, characters, weapons, skins, and various other modifiers are packaged and released for roughly $10 a pop, which could, in turn, inspire you to replay the game again as you need to refamilierize yourself with the controls. You’d be hard pressed to find gamers who feel that DLC released months after the intial game’s own release is a bad idea, or a sign of game companies trying to whore out their fans. At what point though, does DLC cross from “great idea” to “blatant money making attempt”?
The first attempt at pure money making grab is the timing as to when the DLC is released. Recently, Bioware had day one DLC for Mass Effect 3, a game which has been drawing the ire of gamers the world over since release. At its core, it seemed like a pretty crummy move on Bioware’s part, but it wasn’t until the contents of the release were announced when the nerd rage boiled over. The contents, which I won’t spoil for you here, contained, in some aspect, a character that was extremely important to the overall lore of the Mass Effect series. Gamers who didn’t preorder the Collector’s Edition (which received the DLC for free) were up in arms that they’d be charged money for a character so integral to the story. Bioware tried to deflect it by claiming that the DLC came into existence well after the game had, for the most part, been finished. Wasn’t a valid excuse for the community at the time though. Eventually the hate died down, and then resurged with the monumental backlash from the game’s ending, which again, I will not spoil for you kind folks, but Bioware has pretty much caved and will be releasing either a content patch, or full blown DLC to better explain the game’s ending.
The second attempt you can’t even defend, as it’s nothing more than an insult to not only gamers, but to the entire industry itself. Capcom, who aren’t strangers to the idea of DLC, or repackaging the same game eight different ways by adding words like: “Turbo”, “Hyper” or “Ultimate”, has come under fire from the community after it was discovered that their newest release, “Street Fighter X Tekken” had the DLC already on the disc. Yea, you didn’t read that wrong, the DLC, the content that is to be released sometime after the game’s initial release, was on the original retail disc. Characters, stages, all of that, where there from the get go, but Capcom decided that instead of giving you the game they had just completed, they’ll lock out about 25% because, well, they fucking can, and their reasoning pretty much told everyone to “Go fuck themselves.” In an even more delicious twist, their partner in this, Namco, went on record as stating that their version, shockingly titled "Tekken X Street Fighter", will not have DLC already loaded on the disc.
In Capcom’s case, there have been a few complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau; unfortunately, they were able to have those cases closed as Capcom was able to play semantics with the way the complaints were written. However, one would think that if writing a complaint, you would cite precedence, something akin to this where the judge/court ruled in favor of the customer. The most recent one that comes to mind is the case brought up in California where a judge ruled it was legal for customers to jailbreak/root their phones as, once they purchased the device, everything that it was able to do out of the box, should’ve been available to them without the fee to activate hardware built into the phone. It’s the same example here; the players bought the game, there is content that is physically on the disc that is unavailable to them unless they pay an additional fee to, and stay with me on this, to gain access to content they already paid for. There’s not even the ability to unlock these extras by meeting certain requirements in the game, you have to shell out cash to unlock everything on the disc you just paid $60 for. It’s extortion, plain and simple.
So, how do we, the gamers, fight this? First, you have to come to the realization that any and every developer is a business, whose loyalty lies to its stock holders and employees. Their main reason for pumping out anything is to make money. It’s the reason why we get a Call of Duty every year, it’s popular, it sells, it hardly changes, but it makes “bank”. We get all up in arms when we feel the least bit slighted, and go on tirades on various forums, we bombard the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages with our contempt for their action, in short, we throw a massive fucking tantrum. The developers treat it like an adult would treat a child in that situation, appeasement. They’ll offer apologies, they’ll offer explinations, they’ll throw us a bone every now and then, but it’s just to shut us up, but they have no intention of changing their plans. If it’s bad enough, which the Capcom example would qualify as, we remove our “gamer” hat, and put on our “consumer” hat.
We, as a community, have to look out for ourselves, we have to unite with a common message which basically says “We aren’t standing for this bullshit.” Capcom gets away with this because they know they can, they know people will still line up to buy their new games all the while complaining about everything underhanded Capcom had done with it. No amount of forum whining and veiled threats of no longer buying their product, it has to be mass, they need to see that you have to more than appease us, you have to respect us.