We’re Being Nickel And Dimed By DLCFiled inside: Games
You arrive at your local video game store (or mega-big box store as the case may be) and take out your hard earned $60 to pay for the video game you’ve been waiting for all year long, as you wait in line for the game’s midnight release. After bringing the game home and shoving it into your gaming console of choice, you’re set for an all-night play session in your living room. But then, you see something on your screen that reads, “DLC Now Available. Buy Now!” And that’s when you have to make a decision: do I want to buy even more content for the brand new game I just bought before even playing what I already paid for? If you’re like me, you’ll say no and at least try the game for a few hours before even thinking about purchasing any DLC. But, what if the DLC isn’t more missions or extra game modes, but smaller bits of content, like a specific gun to use in the game or a specific car that you may or may not want to play?
In an article on GamesIndustry.biz, writer Rob Fahey makes a great point about all of Microsoft’s flagship titles for the Xbox One having a paymium system, which suggests the company is trying to normalize in-game micro-transactions. I hadn’t even thought about it until I read Fahey’s words– and he’s absolutely right, and he’s shed some light on just how incredibly obnoxious paymium really is. Last weekend, when the Xbox One hit retail stores in the U.S., many gamers took to the internet forums to take out their rage against Microsoft over Forza Motorsports 5‘s use of paymium. In fact, the outcry was so loud that developers Turn 10 decided to make some changes to the game’s economy, and they’re also offering 50 percent off every car in the game. Did this small offering make the whole DLC/paymium issue better for Turn 10? No—because you still sold millions of people half a game at full price. While it’s undeniable that Forza Motorsport 5 looks incredible and plays like a dream, you can’t help but be maddened by the fact that Turn 10 still expects you to purchase some cars that for no reason other than to squeeze more money out of the consumer have not been included in the original retail packaging. It is THIS type of paid downloadable/paymium content that I’m talking about when I say that DLC is the most infuriating part of the video games industry right now.
It’s another story when you’re a free to play title and you try to earn money with micro-transactions (which in my history, these micro-transactions are usually cosmetic), but when you release a supposed “retail ready” video game and attempt to nickel and dime the gaming community with content that could have (and should have) been included, you’re part of the problem. For instance, back in 2006, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had a set of armor that you could purchase for your horse that was an extra $2.50. Obviously, no one was forcing you to spend the extra cash on the content, and some people did actually buy it. But my question is this: Why the hell wasn’t this included in the original game? Could the developers not squeeze an extra 4MB of content onto the game disc?
Oblivion and Forza 5, of course, aren’t the only offenders. One of the most unnecessary bits of DLC came after Gears of War 3‘s release when Microsoft began offering a DLC pack of weapon skins for $45 (at that time, it was 3600 Microsoft Points). It’s bad enough that Microsoft was just trying to earn some extra cash by selling cosmetic changes to your guns, but it’s even worse that the cosmetic changes made you easier to kill, since they were mostly bright colors in a lifeless world of brown and tan. Excellent! I’m going to pay $45 to get killed quicker!
With these types of micro-transactions taking over our tightly budgeted wallets, it can be hard to enjoy games that have DLC simply because you know the DLC is there for you to buy, taunting you every time you crash your less-than-perfect car in Forza 5. But, stay strong my fellow gamers, and don’t let Microsoft (and other offenders) nickel and dime us!