Can you imagine (stick with me here) buying a jacket from your local high street shop. “Fantastic choice sir, that is one of our most popular items” the shopkeeper would say whilst counting your hard earned money. “I will go and collect your order from the back”. After a few minutes, said shopkeeper returns and gives you the jacket, “But this jacket has no sleeves? Or buttons?” “Oh no sir, you must return tomorrow and pay extra for those, maybe you’ll get the buttons and sleeves, maybe you won’t, but it’s only 79p each time you come back”. MADNESS. We wouldn’t tolerate that, so why do we within the gaming community? That silly metaphoric shopkeeper is the greedy gaming corporations we seem to have rolled over for, begging the question – do we actually own our games anymore?

Do you remember when you last purchased a game and it came with a full description on the back and a manual on the inside? Back in the “old days” I would study that thing religiously after purchase, itching to get home and play. Things are slightly different nowadays, if indeed you do actually buy a physical copy of a game, mostly you will be greeted with nothing on the inside, if you are lucky you may get an advertisement or a promotion for the upcoming DLC for the game you think you own. You might say: “But we get games within games! This means more content!” That’s not the point I’m making. Sure, individually they are not bank breaking (hence ‘micro’transactions) but this idea that was made acceptable within mobile gaming has snuck its way into our precious games. The chief financial officer for EA reported their profits from these ‘microtransactions’ were above $1.3 billion – is it getting out of hand? With those kind of profits, we should expect more in return.

Gaming-then-vs-Gaming-now~2~2

Not all games contain microtransactions. And, if you want to do this, and you’re happy to, more power to you. I do not mean to sound old and cynical, I’m also not saying we all should start a revolution, myself personally just can’t comply anymore. Now if this means I run the risk of not having a new coloured gun in Call of Duty, or a simpler way to get a new player on Fifa, etc, so be it.

I understand we are now in a digital age. (who needs manuals right?) and I do look forward to certain DLC, for example I gave my money for The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne’s DLC because it seemed worth it, they weren’t pulling the wool over my eyes. These are fully fleshed out content. Microtransactions (hopefully) have no place here. Practically all big releases are coming out with a season pass as an optional purchase with the game, a lot of gamers have FOMO (fear of missing out) so will blindly pay the extra £/$20 (sometimes a lot more) for the season pass in the hope it will be worth it. Most of the time I felt cheated for paying extra for something that should have already been in the game.

Are these companies not making enough profits? Are they worried their game will fade away, and the DLC is being used as an expensive throwback? Or is it just a business ploy to keep a trickle of cash flowing into their pockets all year round. The point is, we comply, is this the new norm? We dont use cheat codes anymore – we simply pay for them. And yes, things could be a lot worse, and this is indeed an exciting time for gaming technology, and as time and technology advances, there should not be any room for exploitation.

Mr Oliver.

12 thoughts on “Has Gaming Become Greedy ?

  1. I am no gamer, but some of my close friends are and so I often hear about this difficulty they face. It is never a whole ride. I love books. I would hate it if someone sold me half-a-book and said I’d have to pay extra to read the rest of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This industry has found a shrewd way to syphon money out of people’s pockets and convincing them that the extra content (or preorder bonuses) is totally great. Well, when I was growing up, earning those thing by completing objectives in the game carries way more merit. It’s like some magician act. I don’t want DLC, or episodic chapters released months at a time. It would be like if I played Demon’s Crest, and after I rean the Ground Gargoyle armor, my game stops. I get a message that says, “Come back 11-19-94 for the next Chapter!!” Why would that be acceptable?? Why would I be excited about that!? I bought the game, that’s not rite of passage!?

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  3. You have a nice blog and I am following you as well. And in regards to this discussion, I would have to say I completely agree with you! I don’t mind occasionally shelling out a few bucks for quality DLC, but when you have to pay for a bunch of stuff that could’ve been included in the game to begin with, it’s easy to feel cheated. I do find myself missing instruction manuals as well- I still have a whole bagful of SNES manuals that I refuse to part with!😉

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  4. There are a couple arguments that could be made on this topic. First and foremost, I have to say that I agree with all of what’s in this article. I’ll follow by saying that I abhor DLC in most forms. Here is my main gripe: Destiny. Destiny released with what was essentially a barebones package, and DLC trickled in when the game was barely a month old. I think it’s pretty obvious what was going on there.

    On the other hand, DLC done right can be a great thing for games and their developers. For example, Capcom released DLC for Dragon’s Dogma after the game had been released for a year in NA. What the DLC actually was, was a whole other game: Dark Arisen. Purchasing Dark Arisen for its price at the time was a good investment, in my opinion, due to the amount of additional content that was provided and it also included the original version of the game upon which it was expanding.

    Along that same note, games such as Trine having their differing release versions isn’t a terrible thing either. I picked up Trine: Enchanted Edition, and played through it in about 5 hours. The game itself was amazing to me, albeit short, because of the depth of its gameplay and the shear volume of apparent thought and creativity that went into its making. I would have gladly purchased (at a reasonable price) DLC that added additional levels, some side-story, or just other objectives to tackle either solo or with friends.

    In conclusion, I think that yes, the companies in the gaming market (particularly the producers and distributors, more so than the developers) are spreading a cancer across this hobby that I love and there are also games where DLC is actually done right and can be a boon to the game or franchise as a whole.

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  5. Good article. Mobile games, in particular, it feels like their entire modus operandi is to make frustrating, not very fun games, and the only way to get satisfaction is caving in and buying something.

    I feel like most games haven’t stooped this far down. At least for the games I play, if a piece of DLC doesn’t look interesting to me, I simply don’t buy it, and I still feel like I played the full game. There are also some games that sell costumes as DLC, and I’m pretty okay with that, as it’s just cosmetic, and thus optional. Although if the base game doesn’t have a decent amount already, I’m usually a little upset.

    It’s kinda hard to say whether or not a piece of DLC is cut content. Although I think one can assume things like day one DLC is definitely content held back to be sold as DLC. Also, what can happen over the course of game development is that parts of games have to be cut out due to budget or time constraints. Is it okay to then go back to these parts and make them into DLC? I think so, as it’s kind of outside the purview of what they worked on in this base game. And this is one of the good things that DLC can do. Stuff that might have just been permanently left on the cutting room floor can now see the light of day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree totally. This is sadly becoming the normality within gaming now and for people of an older generation, you can’t help but feel cheated. It also means that because I’m used to buying a game and having the whole experience already available to me, I am very reluctant to buy any add-ons or season passes, especially when some are the same price as the original game!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think there is also a lot to be said about the amount of content we are offered. Yes, microtransactions are rampant in the mobile markets, and yes, many AAA games like COD seem to be moving in that direction, but there are still plenty of games/developers that that provide us with amazing content that couldn’t have even been dreamt of 20 years ago. All in all, this is a fantastic article, and you bring up a lot of valid points. Great read, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember when DLC used to be called an ‘expansion pack’ and you got it because it gave you extra things that added to a complete story, not because the original story had things not explained correctly and needed a DLC to explain!

    Liked by 1 person

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