TSA Talks #7: Sequels And Flatpack Gaming

Having been temporarily incapacitated, TSA Talks is back and we’re fast approaching double digits. It’s a small panel this week but that’s where you, the lovely, somewhat sunlight-deprived denizens of TSA come in. Remember, if there’s an issue in gaming that’s really giving you the pip send me a rant at jim[at]thesixthaxis[dot]com and we’ll work you into next week’s edition.

It may have launched back in March, but EA Sports’ Fight Night Champion caught our attention again this week when it hit the PSN Store. As well as selling the game in its entirety, EA also portioned it into separate components which can be purchased and downloaded individually. Are you an absolute sucker for Champion’s meaty singleplayer career mode but not so much when it comes to multiplayer or instant action? Well, now you can just pay for part(s) you want. It’s a fresh approach to video game distribution and one that has been clattering around in people’s heads for a while now.

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Aran: This is an interesting approach. Personally liked the whole package of Fight Night Champion but I can see this model gaining pace, especially in the FPS genre where most aren’t too bothered about the campaign mode. It may even lead to more time spent on campaigns to maximize sales or could lead to the likes of CoD and Battlefield ditching singleplayer altogether. I think I’m actually going to be positive & give my blessings to EA on this.

Kris: This is quite an interesting concept, and realistically something that we’re probably start to see more and more, although I doubt it will be how games are initially released for quite some time. However, putting the game out this way sometimes after its original retail release makes perfect sense, and would be a good way to give a title a little kick when its retail sales have tailed off.

Jim: Though I can certainly see the benefits, I doubt publishers will subscribe to this method of distribution for some years to come. As consumers, the majority of us are always shopping around for the best prices; even after its re-launch on the PSN Store, you can still pick up the retail version of Fight Night Champion for less, and that’s  including the over-priced online pass.

It may promote choice but could also put some publishers in a bit of a dilemma. Selling a game in portions and allowing the user to throw away any offcuts is less profitable than having that same consumer buy the full retail copy and simply ignore the modes they don’t like instead. On the flipside,  consumers may claim that the only way that publisher will get them to play their game is by allowing this added layer of choice.

We know Activision won’t be employing this method of distribution; despite millions having not even touched the franchise’s singleplayer component they’re more than willing to shell out £40 on launch day.

Dan: It certainly is an interesting approach, and one that I’m sure many will take advantage of. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve paid £40 for a game, yet totally ignored the online portion purely because there are only so many times I can hear the word “fag” without wanting to tut ferociously. I can actually see this new “pick and mix” method becoming the norm a few years down the line.

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11 Comments

  1. Its like how I’m not bothering with Revelations so early, I’d rather wait since the money wouldn’t be worth much to me. Wouldn’t play online after fisishing the Single Player or something.

    The Seperate parts is a good idea, I never bother with the online mode.

    The Sequels….. eh its annoying thats all, not much games that have been released since like September are not fresh. Would like to see that but with all the big sequel theres just no chance that companies would be confident enough.

    The worst… some are just like watered down… Some things in Skyrim is gone like seperate spells from like weapons which is a shame, shields doesn’t seem to block arrows great now although I can’t remember how that was so I avouid shields now…and the menus >_> its a bit akward to use K/m sometimes especially going through spells so I’ve resorted to the gamepad for nights…

    • Oh… and Ultimate Tenkaichi needs to be mentioned.. argh worst Sequel ever ruined by silly QTE and ruination of the gameplay that made Tenkaichi/Raging Blast Enjoyable.

      DW: Gundam 3 even had a silly fields design, that almost ruined it more me, the huge fields and gameplay wasn’t a problem on Gundam 2 now they’ve just made it super samey.

      Seeing the next game to be so limited…is so cruel.

  2. What i don’t yet understand about the splitting of a game is how this affects the platinum trophy – Surely if you have no access to multiplayer & multiplayer trophies are required to be earnt for the platinum, that essentially means you can never get it doesn’t it?

    • Good point.. maybe a platinum for each half of the game, if you half it. Only one if you get the whole game. Or only one if you get one half of the game, then the other (to stop double platinizing). Or maybe they could just give you half the platinum for each half of the game, that might be the easiest..

      • Oh come on. Going this American disabled-oriented approach into competitive will mean the next Terminator game will have a Platinum for every level

    • Indeed, as far as I’m aware the whole trophy list is added regardless of which components you buy, however in order to get said platinum trophy you would need to buy all the seperate parts (or the full game bundle).
      In a related note, I really enjoyed the story mode except for the final fight which was a total nightmare … it was totally scripted. You weren’t allowed to just fight the guy, you had to basically avoid him for two rounds, land x amount of body blows in the next three, avoid him for another two rounds and then you could actually fight him.

      • Crikey, with all that hoo-ha, i’m surprised you weren’t instructed to take a dive in the fifth! XD

      • Indeed, it totally ruined what was quite a fun story mode.

  3. I’m usually willing to take a gander at new IPs if they look good, sequels annoy me slightly sometimes. but yeah, I wish there more more new games, although I fully understand that it’s a huge risk and the companies would rather stick to what they know, and only take risks when they have to, much less often. Also, Dan, you can mute other players when playing online?

  4. Why bother being making new IPs when the same old Call of Duty, a £40 Map pack with a bolt on single player sells so much every year? The industry needs to change before more inventive and creative IPs are developed.

  5. “somewhat sunlight-deprived denizens ”

    Yeah, the weather has been awful this summer and autumn.

    “there are only so many times I can hear the word “fag” without wanting to tut ferociously.”

    I think you’re overreacting here. I get that you hate interruptions to your game, but if you’re playing with randoms you’re going to have to accept that some of them will need a break for a smoke every now and then.

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