Sessler's Soapbox: Game Pricing and Mass Effect 3's DLC

Posted: February 28, 2012
Sessler's Soapbox: Game Pricing and Mass Effect 3's DLC
Adam discusses the current price of video games and the recent debate over Mass Effect 3's day-one DLC.

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  • Tmidiman

    Time to wake up people. Long ago Sony realized that DVDs were not the big money maker they were when they were first released. It was because the pricing model was now lower than when hey were introduced. So they said," look it's time for a new video media that we could make increased revenue from", and from that bluray was born. Oh yeah, it looked better, but the main reason for its release was to make more money. It was covered in the financial news and most people did not pay attention to it.

    Back a few years ago MS said to game companies,"look we're going to make it so not only can more content be added to games, but you can charge for this content." it's purpose to was to make more money. Agian it was covered in finacial news, but most people did not pay attention.

    Then, and this is my guess, EA and others figured out that this was not only a good idea, but that it was best to release this DLC as close to the release of a new game as possible. That way the game is still fresh in people's mind and they will purchase that as well.

    This people is how your $60 game started to really cost more like $80 to $100! Have you ever figured out how much the first Dragon Age was if you purchased all the DLC?

    Now Adam and the rest of the gaming media will laugh and ask what you are so worried about. "Companies need to make money" "You don't have to buy it if you don't want it." They will laugh at you, but will never ask the Dev and publishers WTF is going on?! They will call you stupid before asking game companies the hard questions.

    Skyrim, GTA, and games like those give us a big bang for our dollar and are worth $60, but for some other games it's never bad to ask yourself, "how much does this game really cost?" I'm sure some companies want to sell a great product for a fair price, but just like in other industries some companies want your money for very little product or, more likely, want to hide the true cost of mediocraty.

    Remember, the gaming media will not ask the tough questions. You have to ask them yourself!

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:42 PM
  • Starclimber28

    Adam Sessler is a genius when it comes to gaming. He always inspires me to write a blog on a similar issue to express my own opinions. Check it out and don't be afraid to comment.
    http://www.ign.com/blogs/sta rclimber1928/2012/03/01/dlc-an d-where-they-belong/

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:20 PM
  • XxOptimus-CRIME

    Activision will totally take advantage of that with call of duty but setting a ridiculous price for a game that they just copy and past year to year.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:11 PM
  • CamperHunter1

    I don't expect everyone to be Valve, but there should NEVER be day one DLC that isn't something purely cosmetic. Put everything there that needs to be there in the first place to show the person buying the game the experience they are in for (and ideally, your appreciation for them believing that your product was worth their hard earned dollars). If said person then feels that they want to see more or have a few more bells and whistles, then offer that as DLC sometime post-release.

    There are so many ways that a company can monetize it's products further, yet they pick the most polarizing ways they possibly can when doing so. People aren't voicing their concern/disgust/outrage over these things for their health, they DO feel that they are being nickel and dimed because of companies seemingly demanding loyalty instead of making it optional.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:11 PM
  • ShadowViper87

    Please check your facts or get someone that isn't lazy to do it for you. Here I'll do it The Mass effect 3 N7 collectors edition is 79.99 from gamestop and best buy your welcome.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:10 PM
  • Brian T

    The collector's edition of Mass Effect 3 was priced at 79.99, only 20 dollars more than the standard edition price of 59.99. Many fans of the series who could not find the collectors edition at retail will probably spend an additional 10 dollars to download the "compelling" day one dlc. If the same fan buys the weapons and armor included in the collector's edition through the Cerberus Network, that would probably cost close to additional 10 dollars. So many of those players are angry that in order to have an ideal experience, they will spend roughly 80 dollars, yet not have the sound track, art book, steel case, etc. Those same vocal fans wanted this merchandise in the collector's edition, but it was in short supply. Certainly some fans experience the "narcissism of petty differences"; others feel that the money they spent on the standard edition was devalued. Not many people want to spend more for less.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:08 PM
  • IntelliMoo

    Well since Mass Effect is my all time favorite game series, and I did put out 60 for the 2 DD, the only reason I justify the 3 DD for 80 is the multiplayer because it adds -- at least to me because I love it so much -- infinite replayability. So all this mess about day-1 dlc and bonuses and crap about multiplayer ruining the singleplayer etc. is kind of meaningless to me. At least I was able to avoid tax and get a $10 discount towards another game by buying it at Amazon instead of whOrigin! lol

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:02 PM
  • sargentsyko

    I have a solution make deals with indie developers to developers to make games for the Iphone and other devices to fund these cheap projects and pay the developers 10% of net sales take the profits off that to fund these AAA blockbuster that drive the industry forward. What needs to change is the way AAA titles are funded while still producing a stellar experience and driving the industry forward. This is a way to do it. The 60 dollar price point is fine for games like Uncharted, Killzone, Mass Effect, Battlefield 3. Games that aren't are sports game where a yearly 10 or 20 dollar dlc for a roster update and the yearly tweeks made, or stuff like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed which release yearly expansion packs a full retail releases. The problem is not with the fix its with the companies being honest with themselves and the consumer and saying hey we feel this product's content is valued at X dollar amount.
    They can't blame second hand sales as the right of first sale law says when I purchase your product I now own the rights to that content and can sale my rights to that content or let someone loan or borrow. I believe the online pass I a violation of this law but nobody has said any thing about it. If I have a book that I purchased I can sell that book with all that content same thing with a movie, It is only due to the unique nature of games that they have the ability to do some of these things. Long term used games sales will help thing industry because its good for the overall economy which in turn helps out the industry.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:01 PM
  • Malice_Unarmed

    I love Mass Effect and I really don't care what the price tag is, guess cause an extra $60 for the CE isn't a whole lot of money compared to my love for the game, I want all the content I can get. I am not sure if they remove content from the game just to call it a DLC or if they actually spent extra time on it meaning you have to pay the devs for that extra effort. No company will ever say they pulled content out to make extra money so you have to have some faith in them. Really comes down to the consumer, are you satisfied with what is there or is that extra content worth the money to you, I'd rather have it then not and if it costs extra for them to release more content then to me it's worth every penny. Hope they release more DLC down the road cause it will be a sad day when I finish the game for the 8th time. That is actually another reason why I am willing to pay extra, I won't be playing the game once, I will be playing it many times over.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 3:00 PM
  • SchoolBoyReggin

    Everyone that hates day one DLC doesnt realize that a month or two b4 the games release date that the game is already done and is just being mass produced so the developers start working on the DLC and they just happen to be done with that b4 the release of the game...so i support day on DLC that shows they are not just sitting around the office picking boogers

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:58 PM
  • SchoolBoyReggin

    Everyone that hates day one DLC doesnt realize that a month or two b4 the games release date that the game is already done and is just being mass produced so the developers start working on the DLC and they just happen to be done with that b4 the release of the game...so i support day on DLC that shows they are not just sitting around the office picking boogers

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:56 PM
  • xplayfan1500

    I think all this is just the result of the maturation of the video game. Video games are changing with each new generation. Either because of the possabilities allowed by technology. Or the demands of the consumer. Because of these changes, I think the publishers are experimenting with different ways to make the most money. While keeping the cost of producing said game low. I agree 100% with Adam in that we need to change the way games are sold. Wether it's tiered pricing or a clearer definition of what your buying. Maybe there should be a universal agreement among the game publishers that state what you can charge per hour of gameplay? I'll have more on this later.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:45 PM
  • Bookmarkreader

    when was this recorded, feedback already adressed this....

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:40 PM
  • Madav

    All I wish is for game developers to finish the core game and make it as solid as possible before moving onto these extra DLC or expansion packages that effect game play. It's quite evident to me that companies like EA are indeed nickel-and-diming us for us to receive the entire experience. They obviously plan this out ahead of time like any good business, but the fact that we're seeing these packages set to release earlier and earlier--even before games ship and probably before they go gold--is ludicrous.

    It's fine when it's a whole separate piece of content on its own, such as an extra skin (doesn't effect gameplay so I'm fine with it) or even a whole new area of the game world in the form of an expansion (isn't a part of the original story or experience so again, I'm fine with it), but their incessant use of these marketing tactics to coerce gamers into paying beyond the initial 60 bucks just to receive the entire game is out of control! It's a whole new type of extortion where it's not our life that hang in the balance, but it does effect our initial experience with each and every game.

    I realize companies need to make revenue for their work and they should, but forcing customers to pay out the ying-yang for stuff that should've been included with the game disc is wrong. Withholding content that's already on the disc or already available for download, provided we pay an extra fee (I'm not talking about online passes, mind you) before the game ships is ridiculous.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:38 PM
  • Scarfo

    If anybody paid $130 for the collector's edition of Mass Effect 3 when you could had bought the collector's edition from Gamestop, Best Buy, and Amazon.com for on;y $75-$80....then you got straight up ripped off!

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:24 PM
  • JohnM79

    LOL, as others have said, It's not $130. Paid $80.

    Adam is wrong on the point of people needing to have exclusivity over others when it comes to the collectors editions. I buy them when I like what the I like the content added. Not because I have a need to feel superior. If people are to fulfill that need, then they need a better outlook on life.

    As far as the price goes and day one DLC, I'm okay with it. If I want it, I will get it. If it doesn't appeal to me, I don't. NO ONE is forcing you to buy it and there is nothing game breaking there if you don't.

    Adam is correct in saying game making is a BUSINESS. Sorry, but profit margin is what counts. And if you still want great games, you're going to have to pay for their work. A shocking concept to some, I know.

    I know I don't work for free. Do you?

    Posted: March 1, 2012 2:17 PM
  • Luck702

    I really think it's getting ridiculous as well. First off, THERE SHOULD BE NO DAY 1 DLC PERIOD. Secondly, if you pay more than double for a collectors edition, there had better be some important additions, not some cheaply made figurine that cost 3 dollars to make.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 1:52 PM
  • crazybs

    Yea, I'd have to say, if they just gave it 1 month and people really liked the game(which they will), they could release anything and people would buy it.

    It's all about the time-frame, give the player base 1 month to love the game, and then you can sell them more.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 1:50 PM
  • Poezilla2010

    It is nice to see I am not the only gamer left who never touches the multiplayer. Separating the single-player/multi-player seems to be the most effective way of changing current game/DLC prices. I have never purchased a new $60 game in the 3 years I've had my 360, nor will I. I have Gamefly and eBay, both of which feel like better options for a guy who could care less about online play. Now if the new games were offered at $40 without online play, I'd bite.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 1:35 PM
  • Snakepond

    I somewhat agree with his idea, but I would like to take it a step further.

    Make a 3 price model. Single Player Only $40 / Multiplayer Only $40 / Both $60

    At least this way people like me who are only interested in the single player can save money and those who are interested in multiplayer only can save money.

    Posted: March 1, 2012 1:35 PM