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Dead Space 3 Producer Explains The Game's Controversial Scavenger Bot

EA want your money. All of it.

Remember when we posted about the price of Dead Space 3′s micro-transactions back on Wednesday? Well, it’s doing the rounds again today, and we’ve got a little more information about perhaps the most contentious element of the DLC – the Scavenger Bot.

Dead Space 3 will launch with no less than than ten day one DLC packs that could cost gamers over $40 – that much is already known. What we can confirm is that these packs are separate from the in-game micro-transactions (remember it’s a dollar each time you want to top up your resources level) but they are are still geared to help with crafting new and more powerful weapons and suits.

Three of the packs upgrade the Scavenger bot, and Dead Space 3 producer Steve Papoutsis has posted a blog about your AI helper.

“The scavenger bot’s purpose is to give you an extra edge, since there’s a bit of game play (and risk/reward) to using him and finding the richest resource caches. You can also choose to download upgrades to the scavenger bot that double his capacity or speed up his trips to the bench. What will you do with all those extra resources? Be crafty! Think like an engineer. Build some ridiculous tool of terror. Just don’t forget to craft something that will help you survive.”

.. and don’t forget to top up your online credit before playing, eh Steve?

Of course all the DLC is optional and you may prefer to play the game without all the extra upgrades, it would certainly give you a more of a ‘survival horror’ feel if your weapons and ammo are limited.

The Dead Space team have been strenuously denying that the microtransactions had made the game ‘pay to win’ and Steve does say on his blog that “DS3 isn’t designed to require Resource Packs, but they’re an option that’s available should you decide to use it – the choice is yours.”

The question is, if they are not required by the game why do they exist?  My personal view is that EA may make some extra cash from monetisation of Dead Space 3 but the damage to their reputation will far outweigh it.

After years of being the ‘bad guys’ of gaming and churning out sequels and poorly made titles EA turned a corner and gave us some fresh, exciting new games in the shape of Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge. It is rather ironic that one of the games that made us gamers view EA in a different light has been butchered by the higher management and turned in to a cash machine.

I’m not even going to think what they would do Mirror’s Edge 2,  pay-per-step perhaps?  Almost certainly an entire shoe shop of DLC trainers for Faith.

The complete list of Dead Space 3 day one DLC is as follows, note that EA have yet to confirm the pricing for Europe:

  • Bot Capacity Upgrade – $4.99
  • Bot Personality Pack – $4.99
  • First Contact Pack – Free
  • Marauder Pack – $4.99
  • Sharpshooter Pack – $4.99
  • Tundra Recon Pack – $4.99
  • Witness the Truth Pack – $4.99
  • Bot Accelerator – $4.99
  • Epic Weapon & Resource Pack – $2.99
  • Online Pass – $9.99
  • Ultra Weapon & Resource Pack – $1.99
  • Resource Pack – $0.99

Source: Dead Space

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45 Comments
  1. psychobudgie
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    And for this very reason, the Dead Space franchise is dead to me… you see what I did there.

    I seriously hope that the average punter finally wises up to EA and their Day 1 DLC bonanza’s, Online Codes, Missing Content, £60 online versions and slow introduction of micro transactions to £40 games.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:07.
  2. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    jesus christ, it gets worse. no more for me from EA Games. Anyone buying these games, with these options is obviously wanting more of this. If you don’t like the idea of microtransactions to win and DLC on launch, then DO NOT BUY THIS GAME. If you do, you are encouraging more of it.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:07.
    • Forrest_01
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      “Anyone buying these games, with these options is obviously wanting more of this”

      Not if you buy the game (because you want to play it presumably) & choose not to use the options. At the end of the day, i don’t really see the issue – If you want the stuff, it is there. If you don’t want it, don’t buy it!

      The word ‘options’ generally refers to having a choice & you absolutely still do.

      Not saying i entirely agree with it of course, just that i don’t think everyone needs to be as up in arms about it as they are.

      Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:11.
      • Nickboss1
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        I agree. If you dont want it dont buy it.

        I think TSA are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 21:48.
      • SH Number 7/Mini-Lipscombe
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        I think the moles are making a mountain out of a mole hill, they’ve been very productive recently.

        Comment posted on 02/02/2013 at 15:15.
  3. Jakster123x
    Member
    Since: Aug 2011

    It really is amazing how EA were disliked for so long, and then began to get the respect of the public again, before making a series of poorly judged decisions leading them to here, with people disliking them once more.

    Every game seemingly requiring multiplayer (Dead Space in the firing line again), the whole Mass Effect 3 thing and now this.

    C’mon, they must’ve seen these headlines coming with all these microtransactions?

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:15.
    • psychobudgie
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      I can only assume that they believe their market position is now so dominant that they can essentially do what they like with no serious repercussions.

      The sad and terrifying thing is, that they are probably right. They own pretty much every major franchise out there. They have exclusivity deals for most of their sports games. They have a relationship with a lot of journalists and media companies which also helps to perpetuate their dominance.

      Out of curiosity does anyone remember the last EA game to get slated in reviews by the majority of media vendors?

      Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:21.
      • Jakster123x
        Member
        Since: Aug 2011

        I think you’re right about that.

        Btw, Medal of Honor: Warfighter…

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:23.
      • psychobudgie
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Forgot about MOH, however they have now fixed that by ditching the franchise or “sending it on a extended holiday” as they put it.

        Should also mention that while EA appear to be getting away with this, others, such as Ubisoft and Activision are more than likely taking notes.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:27.
  4. quinkill
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    Yeh, not buying this. gona rent it. If this is the direction that dead space is going then I hope this is the last in this trilogy (ei with Isaac). Then they can screw around with in game purchases in spin-off Dead Space games that I can ignore more easily.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:22.
  5. aerobes
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    I don’t know. I still want to play it, I’ll just wait until it’s $20, buy it, play through once, trade it and won’t buy any of their other crap in between. Just like every other game I’m only mildly interested in.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:24.
    • mugsybalone
      Member
      Since: Aug 2008

      Exactly that, Ernie m’boy. You’re not going to buy a new title, fresh off the shelf, for $60, if you aren’t 100% confident that it’s an A1 “must buy” title. And EA know this.

      They know this, to the point that they’ll tag on a buttload of DLC add-on guff – $40 worth – so that should you pick up the game at $20, the “full experience”, being the game and everything EA want you to have, will be $60.

      The add-on DLC is clearly targeting the second-hand or post-release week game buyer, knowing that the price won’t drop until a PSN/XBLA sale, in order to cover the loss made against price reductions on the game itself.

      God help the poor souls who buy the game itself at full price, eh? They’d be as distraught as… as… someone waiting FOR A STEAMBOT CHRONICLES SEQUEL.

      Comment posted on 03/02/2013 at 04:41.
  6. rSp8
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Anybody falls for this shit is a bigger idiot than EA. Don’t they realise that the reason micro transactions and paying for in-game upgrades works on mobile and tablet is because the games are usually free or less than a quid, not 40.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:30.
  7. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    What’s the point of paying for something to give you an extra edge, when the playing field is levelled again by anyone else buying the same upgrade?

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:33.
  8. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    I still think people are getting a little carried away. I’m going to play the game without buying any of this DLC, and if the demo is anything to go buy, I don’t think it’s going to take any enjoyment away from the experience or that it’ll hinder my progress. But feel free to complain about stuff you don’t have to buy.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:33.
    • kjkg
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      Yip me too. Think I have to avoid these stories from now on. I can understand the annoyance at these additions but I’ll say it again. They are NOT forcing us to buy them. Until someone plays the game and can confirm that the game is impossible to complete without the micro transactions (which lets face it, will never happen), then who really gives?

      Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:46.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        I concur my friend. I have an issue with DLC and microtransactions, but to blame Dead Space almost exclusively this week is ridiculous.

        Square Enix – Final Fantasy XIII-2 has over £33 of DLC, for a single player game.

        CodeMasters – sold loads of cars and bloody ‘horn sounds’ as DLC!! Not to mention a new game at £30-£40 (Showdown) that has most of the DiRT 3 circuits in it, not even as DLC.

        I didn’t see either of these get the same kind of bashing.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 15:55.
      • Alex C
        One for all.
        Since: Forever

        Neither of those two had repeated free-to-play style transactions like Dead Space 3 does.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:06.
      • Bilbo_bobbins
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        DLC and micro transactions are different. The thing is, its the fact they are trying it is what annoys people. Because you will always get the idiots who will buy it thinking they are getting something better than everyone else.

        The best way to stop companies doing this is not to buy their game, or buy it second hand.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:21.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        No, but the first game is relevant to this comment regarding total cost of release DLC:

        “Dead Space 3 will launch with no less than than ten day one DLC packs that could cost gamers over $40″

        And the second is relevant to the overal criticism of DLC and “churning out” of sequels.

        TSA just seems to have bashed DS3 since the very first articles. This business model must work, otherwise I doubt EA would implement it, so I blame the people who buy this, not EA for doing it. And did I mention it’s not essential that you buy it?

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:28.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        And you still don’t get the meaning of the word “optional”. Is there anything else bothering you? You seem fairly hung up on that single argument.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:13.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        “TSA just seems to have bashed DS3 since the very first articles. ”

        Actually I’ve been looking forward to it. I still am.

        Every game has DLC, this is the first AAA title to have $40 worth of day one DLC on AND microtransactions. That deserves discussion.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:32.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        To be fair Tuffcub, the first two mentions of DS3 were by you, and how you criticised it for not being scary….before playing it. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        Discussion yes, but it appears every TSA article has an agenda against this game – like nothing similar has ever happened before. Just my view of course.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:51.
      • xdarkmagician
        Member
        Since: May 2009

        I think its entirely EAs fault, and I don’t say that because of my opinion of EA. and heres why I think that.
        EA knew this would cause some uproar or controversy. They could have very easily waited a few weeks and then offered the added resources via DLC, or just sold improved whole weapons and armor. At least that way everybody would have been able to judge the game on their own accord. But the way EA did this we’ll never know if these resource bots have been tampered with. Maybe the developers wanted slow resource bots, but now everyone will assume the bots are too slow, regardless of what speed they were originally intended to operate at. Is it optional to buy? Yes, but why should a persons experience be dictated by how much they’re willing to spend? If thats the case why not just charge more for easy or veteran difficulty mode. furthermore why can’t these resource packs carry over into multiple games, why punish the people that choose to keep playing your game instead of trading it in.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 22:26.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      “The question is, if they are not required by the game why do they exist?”

      I guess the same reason unlock DLC is available for MotorStorm RC, DiRT3, NFS, Burnout, Battlefield 3 – because some people can’t wait to do it slowly, they want everything now….or because they don’t have the time to grind for stuff, and just want to have some fun. It’s not that hard to understand. If EA can cash in on those people, good luck to them.

      Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:43.
      • OnlineAssassin77
        Member
        Since: Jun 2012

        I agree with youles totally on this matter its not like there getting our arms behind our backs or giving out Indian burns making us buy things its just an option if people do want to buy them and several companies have been doing it for a while now. It’s begging to feel like a crime to enjoy EA’s games especially at the moment with all the oh no they’ve done this with DS3 let’s boycott there games talk. Fair enough if people want to boycott EA’s games that’s there choice the thing is I like quite a few of EA’s games and I ain’t gonna cut my nose off to spite my face.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:07.
      • OnlineAssassin77
        Member
        Since: Jun 2012

        In fact I’m going to play a quick round on a another EA game that ive seen get battered for making you purchase stuff…tiger woods 13 now but hold on dont I have to pay for all the extra courses…silly me my mistake! I can actually earn the credits to buy them buy actually playing the game it was all an option…or was it all a dream!

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:21.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        I wonder how the developers feel. After spending years carefully crafting a balanced game EA make the player massively overpowered for most of the game in exchange for cash.

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:35.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Tuffcub, that’s the choice of the player though, not EA’s fault surely?

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:49.
  9. OnlineAssassin77
    Member
    Since: Jun 2012

    love dead space 1 and 2 and will also be getting this and shock horror I enjoyed the demo DUN DUN DUN oh no micro transactions/DLC/add on’s that no other company has ever done before that I don’t actually have to buy if I don’t want DAM YOU EA and all that jazz :D p.s keep up the good work ;)

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:19.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      I think I love you. Bike sheds? 5 minutes?

      Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:29.
      • OnlineAssassin77
        Member
        Since: Jun 2012

        HA HA HA ;D

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:09.
      • OnlineAssassin77
        Member
        Since: Jun 2012

        And a Oooh Matron to boot :D

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:11.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Haha ;)

        Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 17:53.
  10. blarty
    Member
    Since: Apr 2011

    I want more money…. it’s not likely that I’ll get it… same here, it’s completely acceptable for people, even EA, to want more money, especially when costs etc are rising, the unacceptable thing is forcing people to give you their money.

    These are two very different things – as long as I can play DS3 and complete the game without having to feel the need to part with extra cash then it’s all good, they’re not forcing you.

    It’s the same with Mass Effect 3 – you can play the game to get credits or pay to unlock now – either way is down to a choice available to the player.

    That being said there are far, far worse transgressors of IAP games on iOS – the one that springs to mind for me is Kingdoms of Camelot where you are near enough forced to part with cash as there is no other way to accrue the in game currency used to purchase things.

    Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:25.
    • blarty
      Member
      Since: Apr 2011

      I suppose what I’m trying to say, is that IAPs done in the right way are fine…. there should be no lockouts, no penalties other than possibly time and scarcity, if you play the game away from IAPs. You shouldn’t need microtransactions to get an advantage that you can;t achieve otherwise through time and a little effort.

      Basically, If you’re impatient and have cash then who cares, you’re a lazy, impatient knob with too much cash.

      Comment posted on 01/02/2013 at 16:34.

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