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Opinion

Launch Day DLC: A Guide for Internet Ragemonsters

Rage hard.

Launch day DLC has a bad name thanks to a couple of very naughty publishers who in the past have cut content from a game to create DLC. Those publishers have been outed by the press and received the lambasting they deserved, yet people still sneer and moan that launch day DLC should be included as part of the full game.

It should not and to explain why I have compiled this handy guide featuring two scenarios with my favourite made-up publisher / developer, Nerdsoft.

Scenario 1:

  • Nerdsoft have a budget of 10 million to create groundbreaking title Supercheese Racer. They allocate $9 million to the game and then $1 million for DLC creation and estimate they will sell 5 million games.
  • Two years later and Supercheese Racer is completed and thanks to excellent time management and the skills of the developers the DLC is also completed and they can take a well deserved holiday.
  • Internet Ragemonster finds out about the DLC and sets up a campaign to have it included as part of the game. Nerdsoft bow to pressure.
  • Supercheese Racer is released, Nerdsoft no longer have the DLC as a revenue stream, sell the predicted 5 million copies but are $1 million out of pocket, the cost of the DLC development.
  • Nerdsoft close, developers lose faith in console games, move to iOS games.
  • Internet Ragemonster rages that no one makes console games anymore.

Scenario 2:

  • Nerdsoft have a budget of 10 million to create groundbreaking title Supercheese Racer. They allocate $9 million to the game and then $1 million for DLC creation.
  • Two years later and Supercheese Racer is completed and thanks to excellent time management and the skills of the developers the DLC is completed as well and they can take a well deserved holiday.
  • Supercheese Racer launches with day one DLC. It is not part of the game; it had its own budget, its own development cycle and is a completely separate product to the launch game.
  • Supercheese Racer sells 5 million copies and lots of DLC, Nerdsoft are able to pay their staff and invest in future products.
  • Nerdsoft take their well deserved holiday, come back refreshed and make Supercheese Racer: Black Ops Future Soldier which is proclaimed to the best game ever.
  • Everyone lives happily ever after.

If you still have trouble grasping the concept then try this: next time you are in your supermarket, place one large bottle of champagne and one smaller bottle of the same brand champers in your basket. They would be roughly the equivalent to a £40 game and £15 worth of DLC.

When you get to the checkout explain that you are only paying for the larger bottle as the smaller bottle was on the shelf at the same time therefore should be included in the price.

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67 Comments
  1. psychobudgie
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    The champagne analogy is incorrect. It would be like buying the champagne, going home and popping the cork only to find you have to pay an additional 20% to make it fizzy.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 16:10.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      IMO, not really.

      that would be like knowingly buying a still drink, going home and paying an addition x amount to make it fizzy.

      You know exactly what your buying, it’s on the websites, promotional materials and the box, anything else is extra to that.

      Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 16:23.
      • psychobudgie
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Yes, the bubbles are extra. They tell you that it won’t affect the game. They tell you that not having it won’t ruin your enjoyment. However, they know and you know that despite all the PR and hollow promises that it’s never the same without the bubbles.

        I am correct with my analogy, well less incorrect than you :P

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 16:31.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      No beacause that would mean the champagne was not ‘complete’ when you bought it, it was ‘unfinished’.

      A game is complete when you buy it you can play it from start to end, so is champers you can enjoy every last bubble.

      Extra champers costs more, extra game costs more.

      Simples.

      Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:03.
      • psychobudgie
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        The lack of bubbles does not diminish your ability to drink the champagne. Your enjoyment however may indeed be diminished but you can always buy the bubbles for a little more.

        I am right and you are wrong. The champagne is simply more complete with the bubbles. Infact if the bubbles where to expire (PS+, (you see what I did there?)) it would still be champagne, just flat champagne rather than bubbly but alas still champagne.

        Extra Champers does not always cost more btw, it depends where you party.

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:26.
  2. Sympo
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Well.. if they’re so expensive to make now they could just cut wages, use PS2 style graphics, rip off a book and less Movie tie ins since they’re a waste of money plus cut down on the sound production. Jeez just..make a multi-platform game better than a PS/xbox/GC game for once!

    No need for a extra colour for Ryu now or insta-unlock item for Shift.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 16:30.
  3. Rabid-Coot
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Scenario GOTY/Ultimate/Complete edition

    Internet Ragemonster waits 4-12+ months for the re-release that includes the day one DLC and all the other DLC for a very wallet friendly price.

    Nerdsoft get a small bump in sales

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 16:31.
  4. Zephyre
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Good DLC (IE Burnout Paradise) – here’s my money
    Bad DLC (£4.99 “day one” T-shirt) – Pass, thanks.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 16:56.
    • psychobudgie
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      To be honest, the day 1 costumes and skin packs never really bother me as they are normally pre-order bonuses. We should differentiate between them and actual DLC such as Batwoman or ME3 From the Ashes. The costume packs are nice little bonuses for those that pre-order, the full on Day 1 DLC is, imho, a c#@k slap from the publisher.

      Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:02.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Don’t get me started on day 1 unlocks/cheat packs

        That is charging for something that was always free via dedication/cheat code

        It’s even worse when they’re available in multiplayer.

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:09.
      • psychobudgie
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        @cc_star

        Oh crap, I forgot about them. To be honest, the idiots that buy unlocks, etc deserve to be fleeced. More money than sense as my mum would say.

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:30.
  5. HoboCastro
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    I care less about day one DLC than I do about massive day one patches for the online element. I’m looking at you GT5.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:13.
  6. Moshbag
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    They should be selling Supercheese Racer: Black Ops Future Soldier as DLC anyway, it’s the same fucking game! They’ve just rehashed the engine, put in a few new game modes and sold it for another £40. And what’s the betting they sell all the good tracks from the original as DLC (although I would pay for Cheddar Gorge and Cathedral City again).

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:14.
  7. Burgess_101
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    I grasp the concept. Its just surely you could spend extra time on the DLC rather than release it day 1 and therefore hopefully give myself a better product overall. I suppose you run the risk of losing your potential customers due to other games being released around that window but that’s business risk and reward.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 17:24.
    • colmshan1990
      Member
      Since: Apr 2009

      It costs more to spend extra time making something.
      Either the budget increases, or the scope of the project gets smaller.

      Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 18:31.
      • Burgess_101
        Member
        Since: May 2009

        The budget could increase due to sales already made. The percentage made back on such DLC could be well worth the extra money they pool together from the money they make on said game.

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 19:14.
      • colmshan1990
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        If the budget is increased because of sales already made, then the accountants aren’t budgeting properly.
        That’s them reducing their profit because the sales were better than expected. A very poor way to run a business.
        Much better to put it into the sequel.

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 23:00.
    • Burgess_101
      Member
      Since: May 2009

      I dont think so. Look at how PC Games used to work for the majority of games. Full stand-alone expansion packs were released which may never have been if they had not sold well. At the end of the day if you make an expansion back (which is pretty much DLC) it will cost a lot but will no doubt reap most sales of the original if done well. I dont know if that makes sense :P

      Comment posted on 10/05/2012 at 02:29.
  8. Jakster123x
    Member
    Since: Aug 2011

    No arguing with Supercheese Racer.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 18:39.
  9. indigo19
    Member
    Since: Apr 2012

    I have no problem with dlc, if the developers have crafted a game I enjoy I am happy to open my wallet again. Safe in the knowledge that supporting them will prolong their prospects in these financially unstable times, to hopefully create more games that will get my money.
    Day one dlc, if I want it I buy it. If not I don’t. That is the power I weald as a consumer.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 19:56.
  10. C_S15
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    Post calling people rage monsters who disagree with some of gaming’s business practices. Author of said post rages throughout the comments calling everyone wrong and insulting people when they bring up good points contrary to the article. Brilliant.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 21:54.
    • jikomanzoku
      Member
      Since: Jan 2010

      This was my problem with it too. Disappointing. Especially given that the “example scenarios” are completely hypothetical and so, open to challenge.

      Comment posted on 10/05/2012 at 10:10.

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