Author Topic: Star Wars: Battlefront  (Read 4910 times)

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Offline Sordid

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2015, 08:08:24 PM »

Offline random poet

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2015, 11:15:25 PM »

Almost eight minutes just to tell us he doesn't like DLC? What an asshole.

Some DLC is great, some is awful. But the SW:B DLC is probably going to be fine.

And in general DLC is good for the industry. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about.
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2015, 04:44:13 AM »
And in general DLC is good for the industry.

Is it? Could you elaborate on why you think so?

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2015, 08:46:33 AM »
And in general DLC is good for the industry.

Is it? Could you elaborate on why you think so?

Well, it is extremely profitable, as people continue to buy them, no matter the cost or content.

Offline EvilNick

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2015, 10:17:48 AM »
And in general DLC is good for the industry.

Is it? Could you elaborate on why you think so?

There are a huge number of gamers who do not buy the games new or at full price for whatever reason.  DLC is how companies can get some revenue back on a used title.  The only people that make money on used games are GameStop executives and fuck those guys.

Misused DLC can be damaging--but in general, it's a way for this industry to actually make some money back.

An argument can be made that bad DLC does more harm than good, such as the shitty way Evolve was released, which is probably why that game fell to the $20 level in retail pretty quickly.  But that's capitalism in action--people hated how it was done and promptly kept their wallets closed.

Nintendo is currently doing a frequently awful job with DLC.  For instance, they're charging players $4 each to download characters that were cut from Smash Bros.
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2015, 12:10:37 PM »
And why exactly should companies make any money from used game sales? Car makers don't make any money from used car sales either, nor does any other industry make any profit from the resale of its used products. I see no reason why the gaming industry should be special in this regard, especially given how much money it's already making.

Yes, Evolve is a great example of DLC doing huge harm, as is the practice of selling cut characters or those already present on the game disc that you bought but locked behind a paywall (I'm looking at you, Mortal Kombat). And yes, it's good that capitalism sometimes works and these practiced result in commercial failure.

However, I'd be very wary of equating purchases with customer satisfaction. Just because people buy something doesn't mean they like it. The problem with DLC is that often people buy it because they feel pressured into buying it. Sometimes this pressure is just a desire to have the complete version of the game, other times it's actually built into the mechanics of the game itself (e.g. DLC maps that you can't play unless you own them, so if your friends bought them you have to buy them too or you won't be able to play with your friends).

There's this really insidious thing where you buy a game and you're happy with it, it's a complete package that has everything it's supposed to have, then the publisher releases some DLC, and now suddenly your game is missing something, it's no longer complete. It's really, really shitty (and counter-intuitive) that publishers can retroactively devalue their games and make people unhappy with their purchase by releasing more content. You might argue that that's nonsense, you knew what you were buying and you still have exactly what you bought, the release extra downloadable content shouldn't affect your enjoyment of it, right? And I would agree with that, it shouldn't. But it does. Yes, it's illogical, but that's humans for you. We're illogical meatbags. There's nothing logical about deriving fun from wiggling a pair of thumbsticks based on on-screen prompts either, but we do. Games are entertainment, their only purpose is to please us, logic be damned.

Now yes, it is very easy to make tons of money by manipulating people's emotions and pressuring them into buying things they don't really like. Is that healthy for the industry, though? I'm not so sure about that. Like I said, the only purpose of games is to please us, and DLC makes a lot of people unhappy by its very existence. Is it a good, healthy business practice to make tons of cash by pressuring people into buying hugely overpriced products that do the opposite of what they're supposed to do? You tell me.

Offline EvilNick

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2015, 12:42:12 PM »
And why exactly should companies make any money from used game sales? Car makers don't make any money from used car sales either, nor does any other industry make any profit from the resale of its used products. I see no reason why the gaming industry should be special in this regard, especially given how much money it's already making.

Yes, Evolve is a great example of DLC doing huge harm, as is the practice of selling cut characters or those already present on the game disc that you bought but locked behind a paywall (I'm looking at you, Mortal Kombat). And yes, it's good that capitalism sometimes works and these practiced result in commercial failure.

However, I'd be very wary of equating purchases with customer satisfaction. Just because people buy something doesn't mean they like it. The problem with DLC is that often people buy it because they feel pressured into buying it. Sometimes this pressure is just a desire to have the complete version of the game, other times it's actually built into the mechanics of the game itself (e.g. DLC maps that you can't play unless you own them, so if your friends bought them you have to buy them too or you won't be able to play with your friends).

There's this really insidious thing where you buy a game and you're happy with it, it's a complete package that has everything it's supposed to have, then the publisher releases some DLC, and now suddenly your game is missing something, it's no longer complete. It's really, really shitty (and counter-intuitive) that publishers can retroactively devalue their games and make people unhappy with their purchase by releasing more content. You might argue that that's nonsense, you knew what you were buying and you still have exactly what you bought, the release extra downloadable content shouldn't affect your enjoyment of it, right? And I would agree with that, it shouldn't. But it does. Yes, it's illogical, but that's humans for you. We're illogical meatbags. There's nothing logical about deriving fun from wiggling a pair of thumbsticks based on on-screen prompts either, but we do. Games are entertainment, their only purpose is to please us, logic be damned.

Now yes, it is very easy to make tons of money by manipulating people's emotions and pressuring them into buying things they don't really like. Is that healthy for the industry, though? I'm not so sure about that. Like I said, the only purpose of games is to please us, and DLC makes a lot of people unhappy by its very existence. Is it a good, healthy business practice to make tons of cash by pressuring people into buying hugely overpriced products that do the opposite of what they're supposed to do? You tell me.

The auto industry is often reselling their own used cars.  The video game industry is not.  A used Honda is frequently resold by a Honda dealership, for instance.  A used Ubisoft game is not being resold by Ubisoft.  Now, should the industry make money on used games?  Not necessarily, no.  I honestly think that was an odd thing to assume as I never said the industry should make money on used games.  My point is on lost revenue.  GameStop sells used versions of games within days of a new game being out.  That is a crucial period for new game releases.

The video game industry is also not like the auto or film industry, in that it doesn't appeal to everyone.  We've seen on this very site at least one individual who somehow sees video games as different than books or movies or TV shows.  That stigma isn't quite as prevalent anymore, but the audience is still far smaller than, say, the audience for Hollywood or the auto industry. 

There is also a consumer disconnect where people appear to be willing to pay for cars or to go to movies, but seem to think the video games that cost $50~100 million to produce should be fucking free and get pissed off when companies try to make money.  There are indeed serious issues within the industry concerning production costs and revenue.  Dead Space 3 needed to outsell Dead Space 1 and 2 together to break even.  There is clearly a development issue there, but at the same time, it's showing drastic increases in development costs.

More than any other industry, consumers of gaming wait for used releases or sales or discounts to get the products, and this is harmful to the bottom line of the industry.  People want video games more than ever, but no one wants to pay for them.  This has given rise to bad DLC practices, harmful microtransaction games, and publishers looking for ways to squeeze out some profit from a userbase increasingly against spending money.  This concept of "only buying when on sale" is also notably harmful for other reasons.

Gamers themselves have grown increasingly acidic towards the very industry they claim to love--growing demandingly entitled and arrogant concerning anything from artistic license to DLC to sequel direction.  "Nothing is good enough, everything is terrible, and all DLC is bad" have become knee-jerk assaults towards people who really fucking deserve to be paid for their work.  There are problems on all sides, and I'm sure this will sound like victim blaming, but if gaming consumers wanted better treatment from developers and publishers, maybe they should've treated the industry fucking better.  Harsh anti-piracy implementation started because of harsh amounts of piracy.  Apple and Apple users helped create a consumer trained to think video games are $1 or free throwaway bullshit, so microtransactions and ad-heavy games were born. 

You don't have to take my word for it, but the idea of making some microtransaction-laced drivel for phones has come up uncomfortably a few times during my team's meetings.  We know it could make us the money to finally do this full time, but we also aren't sure we'd be comfortable with that as our public image.  We're serious gamers, and we don't have respect for that kind of policy, but we would also like to be at a point where we can really focus on this job.  Our Wii U release didn't even pay off the fucking dev kit, and we reviewed positively.  But Nintendo fans are another problem entirely--they care about Mario, Link, and Pikachu first and foremost, cartoon graphics second, and nothing else after that.  Which is why third parties abandon the platforms.

Every new generation sees studios crash because of one poor-selling game.  The industry has a lot of problems, and where to make revenue is one of them.  Steam sales devalue games and train players to wait for a $5 price on a game that should be sold for $50.  Others wait for GameStop to sell it used.  And frankly--and I developed this opinion from working at GameStop--anyone who buys a week-old game used to save $5 is a penny-pinching asshole.  If you like that game enough to pay $55 for it, then you can spend $60 on it and fucking support the designers. 

Disclaimer: I have sold games at Best Buy and GameStop.  I have worked at Activision and have my own indie dev team.  We have released on Android and Wii U.  We are approved as PS4 developers, and are finalizing a Steam version of our game.  I have also had this argument a dozen times over on various forums, including GameInformer and NintendoLife.  I personally restrict myself to only buying used when the game is too old to purchase new, or when getting new would no longer benefit the publisher.  I am a collector, but increasingly look forward to an all-digital future where reseller shills like GameStop can eat a turd and fuck themselves.  The way people talk about "evil DLC practices" of the game industry generally borders on the kind of rhetoric found in conspiracy theorists where suddenly the publisher is an evil corporate shadow government intent to only sell you half a game to control you.  And gamers never forgive or forget--many still attack Capcom for including DLC characters on Street Fighter IV disks.  Capcom was wrong to do so, but that doesn't mean they're forever evil for that gaffe.  The industry has changed rapidly over the last generation as DLC became more important and microtransactions got their first spawn points.  There are mistakes, and there is bad DLC.  That does not mean it's all bad, or that you have to buy it, and if you hate something you bought, that's a consumer problem, not a developer problem.  This is a topic on which I can and will--uncontrolled--write and talk for hours, and yes, it gets a lot of sand up in my bits.

Except for Metroid Other M.  That game is proof Nintendo hates the world.

/rant
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 12:47:56 PM by EvilNick »
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2015, 02:17:33 PM »
So on the one hand you're saying the gaming industry shouldn't necessarily make money on used games, on the other hand they're losing revenue because GameStop is selling used games? That sounds like a contradiction to me.

You're right, the gaming industry isn't like the movie industry. It's much bigger and makes way more money. In 2015, the film industry's revenue was $35 billion, while the gaming industry's revenue was $75 billion. So no, it's not a niche little cottage industry at all. That doesn't work as a justification of DLC at all.

Yes, you're right that rising development costs can be a problem, but pretty much all such cases can be traced to project mismanagement and unrealistic sales estimates. I don't know the specifics of Dead Space, but we can look at the 2013 Tomb Raider as an example. After it sold like 4 million copies Sqare Enix said it barely broke even and that they considered it a commercial failure. Well guess what, first of all it continued selling and currently it sits at some 8.5 million as the best selling TR title ever. More to the point, you know why it was so ridiculously expensive to make? Because they changed their minds about what they were doing halfway through! The original prototype had Lara riding around on a horse in a big open world and fighting giant monsters a la Shadow of the Colossus and burning hordes of enemies in tight corridors with a flamethrower like Ripley in Aliens. Of course the game is going to be ridiculously expensive to develop if you don't know what your goal is and you spend two years developing something, then throw it away and start over on something completely different. That's just project mismanagement, and it's entirely the fault of the company. There's plenty of other companies that release complete games with very little paid DLC or even none at all and they're doing just fine, such as CD Projekt Red and their Witcher series. So no, this doesn't work as a justification of DLC either.

Yeah, I get it, selling a discounted game results in less profit. Well maybe don't discount your game, then? It's not like discounts are something that happens to a company, they're not an act of god. Discounts happen because the company decides that they will happen, and it decides it because it thinks it'll make the most money that way. Maybe sometimes that's a miscalculation, but that's the company's own damn fault. Discounts aren't mandatory. Again, plenty of examples. Blizzard never discounts its games and it's doing just fine, selling tens of  millions of copies of anything and everything it puts out. So no, this doesn't work as a justification of DLC either. Also don't forget that the gaming industry has a global audience these days but the prices are still American. I live in eastern Europe and our purchasing power is about 1/4 of that of Americans, so what is a 75% discount to an American is a full-price buy to me. Maybe I wouldn't wait for sales if I wasn't being price-gouged with quadruple prices to begin with. Just a thought.

Yes, you're right, harsh DRM started because of harsh piracy, but you know why harsh piracy started? Because of harsh pricing. What goes around comes around. Yeah, I buy all my games at 50% or more discount. You know why? Because I can't afford them otherwise. I try to go legit in the only way that's financially bearable to me and I get called arrogant and entitled for my trouble? Fuuuck. Yooou. Fuck you, gaming industry. I don't have to buy your games at all, I can just keep pirating them or play free games or not play at all and do something else instead (all three of which is the same result from your point of view, i.e. no sale). Get it into your heads that you're not entitled to my money. Get it into your heads that putting out a game does not automatically guarantee sales. Get it into your heads that a discount sale or a used game sale is not a loss, because you never had anything to lose in the first place. That sale you supposedly lost was never guaranteed, you were never automatically entitled to it. Get it into your heads that me buying a discounted game isn't a loss of revenue for you, it's a gain of revenue, because the alternative isn't buying the game at full price, it's not buying it at all. Get it into your fucking heads. If you can't get that into your heads, dear gaming industry, you can solve the problem by stopping discounting your games. Complaining that I took you up on a discount offer that you yourselves willingly offered is asinine and hypocritical, and it does absolutely nothing other than lessen my already non-existent sympathy for your $75 bn/year plight as well as my motivation to continue giving you my money.

I have no problem with people being paid for their work, what I do have a problem with is publishers looking for any way they can to price-gouge me on the base game and then nickel-and-dime me with DLC that retroactively devalues it for me using psychological manipulation. "All DLC is bad" isn't a knee-jerk reaction, it's reality. Even the best DLC in the world is overpriced for what it is. Remember Lair of the Shadow Broker for Mass Effect 2? Amazing DLC. The problem with it is that it cost $10 and you could fully explore it in about 2 hours. Compared to the $50 base game that took 50 hours to fully explore, I think the problem is obvious. The ratio of price to content is ridiculously skewed even in the best DLC, and don't even get me started on shit like a single gun for $5. Was LotSB good? Sure. Were its 2 hours of content five times better than 2 hours of base ME2 content? No way. Was it worth $10? Only if ME2 was worth $250, which, spoiler alert, it wasn't. But LotSB sure contained some pretty important story and character development for major characters. That's to say nothing of the Arrival DLC for ME2 that bridges the story between ME2 and ME3 and the Prothean crew member DLC for ME3. Do you seriously mean to tell me these aren't specifically designed to manipulate people into buying them by making the base game feel incomplete? Again, the gaming industry is twice the size of the movie industry and it's growing at a much faster rate. It makes enough fucking money already, this price-gouging is nothing other than greed. I have no sympathy whatsoever for companies that engage in it.

I do agree with you that buying a used game for $5 less a week after release is a scummy move. And yeah, GameStop and its ilk need to die as soon as possible. IIRC TotalBiscuit mentioned at one point that he was told by industry people that the reason why digitally distributed games are the same price as physical copies is because physical retailers went to publishers and said, "if you price your games less on digital, we won't stock you". So yeah, the sooner that dies the better. You are also right that the industry is changing, though I'm not sure it's changing for the better. Bethesda and Valve tried paid mods and thankfully failed, but make no mistake, that's coming back. They outright said so. And when it does, well... Let me put it this way: Even now you often have to pay as much for DLC as you had to pay for the base game in order to get the complete experience, and the DLC only adds a tiny little bit of content on top. Once DLC creation is outsourced to third parties, which is what paid mods are, you're going to have to pay ten times more. And that's only if you get the really good mods. Dark times are coming, mark my words.

/rant
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 09:13:34 AM by Sordid »

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2015, 03:04:35 PM »
If the game is good on its own and the DLC adds value then I don't mind.  If the game is crap without the DLC or the DLC doesn't add value then I don't like it.  Also, the notion that publishers can't make money without DLC's is silly.  As noted by others, they're making money hand over fist.

I think that's pretty much the most reasonable position.   Does that guy boycott Lego's because they don't all come with every piece? 

ETA For another analogy, its like claiming that GRRM is a dick because he didn't finish his story in one book.  He is a dick because he's stretching things out with a bunch of lists of clothing and food not for providing additional content.   IMHO, far worse than DLC is the games released with a bunch of bugs that don't get fixed for 6 months to a year or not patching games like fallout 3 which I'd love to replay but is basically unplayable on multi-core computers.  How come I can play the original wasteland but not fallout 3. 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 03:09:20 PM by Ah.hell »

Offline random poet

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2015, 03:27:58 PM »
The ongoing controversy on the financial aspect of DLC has many pros and cons, which you two are doing a fine job of discussing, but that's not really what I was referring to. I am not very interested in how much money that industry is making, and whether or not used games sales are taking away from it, and how DLC helps to recuperate those losses. The successful game companies are basically printing money right now, so maybe they should stop complaining.

I am more interested in the rights of workers in the games industry.

Working in gaming right now is a disaster. Game companies exploit the devs and QA, then as soon as that project is over, workers have outlived their usefulness and are laid off. Now they either have to wait 9-12 months for a new project to come along, or uproot their lives to go work for a different studio. It's madness. Ideally, they would unionize and fight for better work conditions, but in the current business and political climate, that has no chance of happening.

DLC helps alleviate the brutality of this cycle. When one project ends, instead of getting fired, a good proportion of the devs and QA are kept around to work on the DLC. With a little luck (this does not always work out), they stick around long enough to get swept into the next major project, acquiring job security for at least another year.
DLC is a weird market anomaly that actually benefits workers. It's the only instance of partial job security that market has created. I can't think of anything like it, in any other industry. It's one rare instance where savage capitalism is doing something right (by which I mean doing something that benefits workers rather than itself (or rather "as a side effect of benefiting itself")). Hence why it's good for the industry.

(Maybe I should add that the mistreatment of workers is not universal in the entire industry. Some companies keep a good proportion of their workers between projects. Ubisoft is known for this, even paying devs to do nothing, just for retention. But this is the exception.)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 03:33:25 PM by random poet »
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Offline Guillermo

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2015, 08:24:16 AM »
Is it me, or am I the only one that wants a new Rouge Squadron game?
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Offline Ambious

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2015, 08:37:13 AM »
Is it me, or am I the only one that wants a new Rouge Squadron game?

I've been playing mostly "Fighter Squadron" mode - so yeah, it's not just you.
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2015, 09:20:55 AM »
I want a new Jedi Knight game. That was such an excellent and beloved series, I don't understand why they won't make another one. Does Disney not like money or something?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 03:56:17 PM by Sordid »

Offline teethering

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2015, 02:43:18 PM »
What we really need is Republic Commando 2.  The original was awesome but way too short and it's been 10 years already.

Offline Ambious

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2015, 02:38:21 PM »


I'm dominating fighter squadron.
Must be because I'm using a gamepad instead of a mouse and keyboard.
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