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Posting has been (officially) postponed. Get a jump on the facts.

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FWIW 00: Just so you know, DLC Sucks.

Posted 10-17-2008 at 09:25 AM by Variable Gear
In my opinion, this great DLC saga began in 2006 with the addition of horse armor for our equine companions in Oblivion. That's right, gamers were asked to pay $2.50 for some armor for their horse, and, of course, the reception was not quite as positive as Bethesda would have liked. In fact, there was quite a bit of outcry.

That's right, Oblivion is a "different game" meaning that you've gotta pay to play this time around.

Bethesda eventually learned the error of their ways, and released content that was actually worth purchasing. However, we're still talking about pay-to-play content, unlike the free updates to the PC version of Morrowind, which eventually trickled down to the original Xbox in the form of a GOTY edition that included all of the expansions along with the base game. On the 360, PS3 and PC there is a GOTY edition of Oblivion, but this doesn't include any of the smaller downloadable items that Bethesda earns a wider profit margin on.

This is what you look like after you buy any horse armor. Stay safe.

The horse armor debacle of 2006 influenced how gamers responded to all upcoming cases of DLC. Seemingly unnecessary and poorly priced DLC was painted as "horse armor" by the critics, especially if that content simply unlocked data already available in the game. Prime examples of contemporary "horse armor" include Beautiful Katamari, Ace Combat 6, My Life as a King, Ninja Gaiden II, Tales of Vesperia and, most recently, Mega Man 9.

Why do the Rock Band 2 disc tracks cost so much less than the downloadable tracks?

One of the bright spots in the DLC landscape that hipsters often point to is Rock Band 2. Players have access to a wide variety of downloadable songs, but the price of these songs seems very high when compared with the price of the disc itself. After calculating sales tax, each track on the Rock Band 2 disc costs the end-user about 76 cents. Most Rock Band songs available for download cost 160 MS points, or $2 in US Currency. There is no justification for this price difference. For some reason, 84 pieces of Rock Band DLC, which cost about as much money to license and chart as the disc tracks do, are much more expensive than the entire Rock Band 2 disc.

Something's wrong here.

What's best for a party of three (or four)? A game that doesn't glitch, and a game that can be played online.

This is a new and frightening trend in our industry, at least in the console space. A flawed game, being released to XBLA alongside a majority of positive reviews, that crashes and burns when it hits the global gaming population. Sure, the patch is finally coming, but the damage has been done. Some people have already lost their progress and they won't want to come back. Some people won't ever hear about the patch going live, but they will hear the complaints of their friends. No matter where you're getting your information from, know this: it sucks to purchase a flawed product, especially one as over-hyped as Castle Crashers was. This is becoming more and more apparent in the industry, which makes it more and more legitimate for a developer to release a broken game and then promise patches once the outstanding issues have been discovered.

As the old saying goes, may the buyer beware.

To get the full debate, you should read king3567's argument as well.

I'd love to hear what kind of feedback the community has about this feature. Please leave me a comment if you've got anything to say.

Also, if you'd like to contribute to next week's episode of FWIW, feel free to send me a PM entitled "The More You Know." Our topic for the 21st of October will be the increasing necessity of multiplayer functionality in modern games.


P.S.: Sorry for the lateness of this post. FWIW entries will usually go up on Wednesdays, but it helps to have an internet connection.
Posted in VG Features, fwiw
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Rock Bandit's Avatar
The original Rock Band had 53 songs which averages to $1.13 a song, very close to the current DLC pricing.

If you want to get really technical, with the 20 free DLC, Rock Band 2 has 104 songs. That's $.56 a song. I don't think it's fair to criticize their overall DLC pricing because they decided to throw as much value as possible into Rock Band 2. Would you of preffered those 51 extra songs weren't included in the RB2 package and put up as DLC in order to keep the pricing of on-disc songs equal to online songs?

There's also other factors to consider; there may be different licensing agreements for a song that's on-disc as opposed to online (i.e. why there was a re-licensing fee to be able to burn RB1 songs to your hard drive) and the fact they have to keep a crew running constantly to meet weekly demand of product.

And even after all that they're still cheaper than the current Guitar Hero model.


I love your rants, you're such a big bundle of rainbows.
Posted 10-17-2008 at 12:27 PM by Rock Bandit Rock Bandit is offline
Variable Gear's Avatar
Those are all good points. There could well be multiple licensing agreements for online and disc versions of songs.

Oh, and this isn't this week's VG Rant. It's been postponed due to excessive gaming by one Variable Gear.
Posted 10-17-2008 at 09:44 PM by Variable Gear Variable Gear is offline
Kielaran's Avatar
I love the caption on the Castle Crashers picture!
Posted 10-18-2008 at 09:48 PM by Kielaran Kielaran is offline
Variable Gear's Avatar
Thanks, Kiel. That took two (or three) iterations to perfect.
Posted 10-19-2008 at 02:01 PM by Variable Gear Variable Gear is offline
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