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Too Much DLC?


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#21 froop   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:41 PM

I also see a problem when money improves the game, instead of extending it.

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#22 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22779

Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

I talked more about the weapons because when I see a weapon which costs 4,00$, there is a problem. That means if I don't buy 12 objects like this one, I will be able to buy a game. Surely a game is not equivalent to 12 small models.

It costs a small fortune -- usually much more than one developer's annual salary -- just to get a single item posted for sale. It doesn't matter if that item is a single weapon or a large map, that's the cost just to get it posted. That is in addition to development costs, testing costs, and so on.

Weapons and small items have far less demand, so the cost needs to get spread among more people, so it costs more.


It is a little different in PC land where adding items to an in-game store can cost less money, but it still has a significant additional cost.

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#23 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:19 PM

frob, I'm interested in your opinion on this in particular but this question is for everyone:

Take a game like Goldeneye (N64 version) and think of how many features were available: single-player content, multiplayer maps, weapons, characters, etc. Next, a game like the original Halo, and think of the same features. Finally, think about a game like Black Ops 2. I don't play a ton of shooters so I'm not in a good position to make the comparisons.

My thinking is that Goldeneye came out before DLC was really possible and was certainly considered "complete". Halo came out when DLC was possible, but not as popular on consoles. Black Ops 2, as above, is firmly in the DLC camp. If the number of maps, weapons, characters, and so on are similar between all of these games on release (without DLC) that would suggest that there is no "holding back" on the companies' parts and even games released in the DLC age are "complete" as well, with DLC being a legitimate post-release sale. Less release day content in the more recent games would suggest the opposite.

Regardless of the above, if people are demanding more content than is currently included with games on the day of their releases, and companies are trying to satisfy that, I would prefer a later release with a marginally higher shelf price if necessary. The additional costs to post-release deployment all but guarantee that the DLC will have a worse price to value ratio for me than content included in the initial release. Things like development costs for DLC seem irrelevant to me, as the content would not be produced if companies weren't turning a profit off of it.

#24 Sirisian   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1793

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:58 AM

Yeah looking at a lot of professional AAA titles coming out they feel incomplete. I think the best example of this is say RAGE vs Red Faction Guerrilla. Similar games but one has a much higher production quality (Red Faction) and went above and beyond with bonus content (whole extra campaign among other things). I think some companies are just getting lazy when it's obvious they can produce quality games, but basically come up short at release.

Regardless of the above, if people are demanding more content than is currently included with games on the day of their releases, and companies are trying to satisfy that, I would prefer a later release with a marginally higher shelf price if necessary. The additional costs to post-release deployment all but guarantee that the DLC will have a worse price to value ratio for me than content included in the initial release. Things like development costs for DLC seem irrelevant to me, as the content would not be produced if companies weren't turning a profit off of it.

Exactly. You're seeing this with a lot of shooters nowadays that seem to rush to market their game. I'm glad some game companies realize that they need to take their time to release a quality product. (Thinking of the upcoming Bioshock Infinite in particular which is aiming for extremely high quality). I prefer games where their content far exceeds what you're expecting. The Elder Scrolls has always been amazingly good at doing that such that expansions are nice, but not 100% necessary and DLC is often pointless.

Edited by Sirisian, 06 December 2012 - 12:58 AM.


#25 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19409

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:39 AM

if someone makes a real DLC ( = size of a real add-on ) with a fair price ( less than 30 euros ) that will be good

Like Wrath of The Lamb (add-on for The Binding of Isaac)? The add-on costs US$2.99 (the original game is US$4.99) and adds 10 new "challenges" (different objectives and special equipment load-outs) around 60 new items (which provide different one-off or static abilities), a series of new bad-guys, several alternate level designs, and an entirely new type of static-effect items with 20-30 available.

In my opinion this is a great example of DLC done right.


I don't have any general objection to DLC in any other title either though, although in some cases it's definitely not good value for money or interferes with the balance of the game, which is not a good approach.

#26 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22779

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

Take a game like Goldeneye (N64 version) and think of how many features were available: single-player content, multiplayer maps, weapons, characters, etc. Next, a game like the original Halo, and think of the same features. Finally, think about a game like Black Ops 2. I don't play a ton of shooters so I'm not in a good position to make the comparisons.


Yes, let's do compare a few things...

First, the rough amount of content. Content is expensive to create.

How complex were worlds in Goldeneye? The total cartridge was 12MB, so I'll guess that all the maps and worlds came it around 3-4 MB.
Many good maps from HaloMaps.org weigh in around 30-50 MB.
Black Ops First Strike was 1695 MB, although it did include significantly more than just maps.

Let's next look at developer count.

Goldeneye's wikipedia page says it had 9 developers for 2.5 years.
Halo 1 was 3 studios and based on the credits had roughly 50 developers for roughly 2 years.
Looking at credits for Black Ops, I'd estimate around 100-150 developers for roughly the same duration.



Just on that --- comparing costs to develop and not other factors like markup, advertising, and so on, I'd say your getting a relatively great deal on the later games, and Goldeneye was relatively overpriced.

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#27 Rakilonn   Members   -  Reputation: 421

Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

Yes, that's what I was thinking some days ago. Even if game prices are roughly the same, teams are now really really huge and so are the investments which explains a lot about why some producers don't want to innovate ( especially when we add the crisis ).

So in a way, it will be logical to increase prices, but at the end you have to sell your games and if games are really too expensive, they will not sell well. Of course nothing new but you can see that some games tend to be more expensive. ( Black ops for example and console games ).
But another thing which balances game prices quite well, is the fact that there are much more players than before.

To be fair about this discussion about DLC and add-ons, one should say that some add-ons were really bad. For example, the Blue Shift add-on which adds 3 hours.

Edited by Rakilonn, 06 December 2012 - 01:28 PM.


#28 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1834

Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

frob: also don't forget the multiplayer mode in Goldeneye was added in at last moment and without permission from management
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/175899/How_GoldenEyes_famous_multiplayer_mode_was_sneaked_in_at_the_last_minute.php

But yeah, you mentioned another issue, development costs have been constantly increasing over time =/
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#29 Art Whiz   Members   -  Reputation: 194

Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:19 PM

No, I don't believe it "ruins the value of the game".

I first consider who is complaining, and the extent of their complaints.
Many players whine "these maps should have been included!", but these same players whine about just about everything:
The same people whine that games costing tens of millions of dollars should be free or cost just $1.


Frob does make a good point here...
Personally, I prefer to wait a few months to get a new episode from the games I love -- thinking of Half-Life 2, Fallout 3 and The Walking Dead -- then wait years for the next chapters. And yes, I would gladly pay/did pay for DLCs.
:)

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#30 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

Looking at credits for Black Ops, I'd estimate around 100-150 developers for roughly the same duration.

I betcha lots of those werent working on the core game but filler polish
eg cgi films, voice work, soundtrack etc

#31 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:37 PM

Looking at credits for Black Ops, I'd estimate around 100-150 developers for roughly the same duration.

I betcha lots of those werent working on the core game but filler polish
eg cgi films, voice work, soundtrack etc

you'd be surprised. Iterative titles have a crapload of developers just because they have such small turn around time. I actually feel like 150 is probably at best a modest estimate.




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