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There has been a lot of controversy over EA and BioWare's day one DLC for Mass Effect, the highly questionable From Ashes downloadable content. While some consumers are feeling burned, an ex-BioWare developer defended the practice at the Game Developers Conference.
ShackNews reports that Christina Norman -- formerly a designer at BioWare, now with Riot Games -- gave a one-minute rant at GDC on the topic of downloadable content hitting the first day of a game's release. Here is the text as provided by ShackNews:
"There's no point in releasing DLC a year after your game has come out when most people have already sold your game back to GameStop three times. That means getting it out early; that means even day-one DLC. That is a terrible thing to some players. Players rant -- they know nothing about this DLC that's coming out except its name. But then it's, 'Oh this game must be incomplete, the game must be ruined.' Game developers are not evil. Some are evil. But most are not evil."We just want to release awesome stuff. Players, please give us a chance. Judge our games based on what they are. Judge the DLC based on what it is. Stop thinking you're a producer and telling us when and where we should be building our content."
I think that Norman presents a strong opinion here, although speaking of the Mass Effect 3 DLC in particular, I think judging it on what it is still produces some problems. What are your thoughts on the topic of day one DLC? Are you against it in all cases or do you think sometimes it can be okay?
[Disclaimer: Game Informer is owned by GameStop]
Developers aren't evil, publishers are evil.
The problem with From Ashes is that the squad member is a f*cking PROTHEAN! A living prothean is a pretty big deal and completely changes what we thought of the protheans, so it should be on the disc.
Well players on PC can literally change ONE SENTENCE in the coding of Mass Effect 3 to unlock From Ashes. Because it's ON THE DISC.
What a bunch of babies
I'm all for dlc, doesn't matter when. As long as it's not ON THE DISK. If it's just an unlock code for something that they took the time to print on the disk but not actually give to you, that is not cool.
it is already a very expansive and complete game so i am fine.
I don't have a problem with day one DLC in and of itself, if they make it good and worth what they charge. What I have a problem with is that they charged $10 dollars for 'From Ashes'. It is so obviously not worth that. I'm not sure it is even worth half of that. For $10 dollars I expect a little more content than what they give. And I certainly expect more than 50 extra achievement points.
When you charge 1/6 of the price of the full game, I expect 1/6 more game, and I am not sure they gave even 1/20th more game. I love Bioware but with 'From Ashes' they failed, and failed miserably.
I don't have a problem with day one or early after release DLC as long as it is good and actually feels like it is something extra. From Ashes was neither of those. In it's case, it really did feel like it was cut content that they decided later to release, but at a charge.
i love the fact they released it early. from ashes was all worth it
Yea,the life span of the game is determined by its quality of the complete game when shipped on launch. Wether or not it does or will have DLC for the game already should be irrelevant. First impressions are crucial in an industry like gaming & day 1 DLC is a low move. Takes away the spotlight of just getting a brand new game in my opinion. Maybe I'm just jaded on the subject matter or just how bout letting me play your solid game that I just bought & let me enjoy all the hard work you put into this for a change. You can't exactly form a good feeling of the game when your trying to play it & enjoy it when new stuff is being advertised in your face already. Makes you scratch your head (or @ least I do) a lil bit & think "So the experience would be better if played with this DLC that didn't make it into game in the first place instead or on top of playing what your launch title made into the game itself?"
DLC as a whole is getting to be ridiculous now. Starting to feel like its a mandatory practice for companies. It's lost its excitement like another bad practice....yearly releases,both are going downhill fast. I really really liked when I heard Dark Souls doesn't need DLC or will have DLC because the company is confident in their own hard work & are more then happy to call it a complete package. I will & have enjoyed that game more so because you have that feeling that you are satisfied that you got what you paid for. No matter how big or small that slightly negative feeling you have while waiting to play an upcoming game or playing a game now,having already been told & are now thinking you have DLC waiting for you is just a poor decision in my opinion. You really can't shut your mouth for one second while I start to immerse myself & enjoy this amazing game that I just bought from you before you try to start selling me something else? Too much of a good thing ruins it completely. Kills the mood & leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
The $ takes the wheel again & turns what used to be special (a game as a whole or DLC) & now churns it out for extra cash in more pockets is maddening to me. Is there no pride anymore? Or do you need to keep adding onto your game because it still doesn't sit right with & yet you released it anyways? Maybe that last sentence was a bit much,I know it's not the only reason but I can't shake off that feeling that it's a descent portion of it all....
You can burn me @ the stake or not but that's how I feel bout the whole matter.
Not only is there a problem with day-one DLC, there is a problem with DLC in general. I find it fascinating that people pay $60 for a game that has a dozen hour story built from the ground up, all of the interactions between characters and NPCs, the technical mechanics, menus, stats, and pretty much all that goes into a game, and are willing to pay $10 (1/6th of the game's cost)for one extra character and an hour story. It just makes no sense. This DLC should by at most $1 or $2, if you look at the scope of the entire game.
When a game offers new weapons or costumes for $3 (see FFXIII-2) it is absolutely disgusting. You are saying of the thousands of weapons and costumes you've created in the game, you want me to spend 1/20th of the cost of the game on one outfit!? Absolutely ridiculous.
All in all, this developer is right, it should be judged on the content and not when it is released, but price is also a huge factor. When I'm spending $60 for a game that has been in development for 2 years and I can see that my money is well spent, and well deserved by the developer, you really think you ought to charge the consumer $10 for add-on content? It's added on! The systems are already constructed, the combat already set. Why it should cost more than $2 is beyond me... maybe someone can intelligently explain..