The Entitlement of Video Gamers
Over the year I've looked back at video gamers and seen that the most outspoken crowd is those that seem to have this sense of entitlement. An entitlement mostly to be treated like kings and such. No bull with on-disk DLC, making people pay to more for purchasing a used game, no DRM crap (which exists on all platforms), lowering the price of things, etc. I don't understand why people think they have such enttielement. At best, all I can do is look at some scenarios and articles over the matter and comment on them.
One of the first ones I'd like to pick out is DLC. Kyle Orland from Ars Technica wrote an article discussing the matter of on-disc and day 1 DLC. It provides a view that such DLC isn't really as bad as people think, and it's just being blown out of proportions. For instance, if the DLC is on-disk, saying it should be free is like asking if pre-loaded Steam games should be unlocked (Steam will let you pre-load some games you pre-ordered days in advanced) or not pay for the pathetically small unlock file for game demos downloaded from PSN or XBLA.
Another instance of this I found that was particularly jarring was last summer's Steam sale. The hottest item that everyone wanted to buy was ARMA 2, because this was around the time of the DayZ hype. The complete package, which includes the main game and its expansion (like, actual expansion) and all other DLC went for $25. When it had it's turn for a daily sale, it dropped to a "pitiful" $18. Cue the torches and pitchforks over how Bohemia Rahpsody is trying to price gouge people. All for an okay zombie apocolypse mod that was in the alpha stages of development. You know, buggy as all hell that would probably make Windows Vista look better by comparison (okay, maybe not).
I may go on for a bit more, but the point of the matter is, you're not really entitled to anything in video games. It's a want, a desire, it's not a need. Once you hand your money to the company, that's it. Marketing has done their job. You're not going to get it back. Return policies are optional, not mandatory. If you're pissed off, then you can only do one thing: stop giving the companies money, period.
You make a good point, I won't deny that, but to go as far and say this is the worst article on this site is ignorant. This article does bring up a good point. Sure it may be a dickmove for a company to have on-disc DLC and cocktease gamers with it, but that still doesn't change the fact that this is an enhancement. It was planned as DLC and wether it is on the disc or not doesn't change the fact that it's still DLC.
Again, this isn't how software development, or "projects" I should say work. Take for instance where I work. You would think anytime I work on a project, I charge to the same number (we have charge numbers). No. If it's something different, like investigating a problem or general bug fixes, I have to charge to different number.
"Why?", you might ask? It's so project managers know where the money the bean counters allocated to them are being used. Thus the game you pay for is funding the "charge number" for the main game. The DLC you pay for later funds the charge number for DLC work.
On disk DLC shouldn't be treated as part of the main game, no matter how hard you think otherwise. Resources that developed the DLC weren't being funded by whoever is in charge of the main game.
And also, the $60 you pay for a game is not for the data on the disk. It's for the license to use the data.
Of course I think it through, don't assume someone is an idiot when they don't agree with a point. The main reason I feel on-disc DLC is a such a dick move from developers is that they have already been paid for the development of the game before it comes out by the publisher. If any DLC is completely usable (when it gets into extra missions, maps, and characters, and not costumes/color swaps since those take work from members other than the art designers) and implemented, then they would already have been paid for that work by the publisher and are holding the content back for the sole reason of squeezing out extra money. The fact that some studios say that this stuff could be worked on as extra because other members of the team aren't done yet is a decent point, however it is quite a slap in the face to any developer that existed and put out a game before all this DLC boom happened. They claim that these employees would do nothing before, when before they would be working on concepts and demos etc, for other games in the company that they want or have received funding. The fact that there exists companies like Double Fine that survive and work on 3+ games at a time and are still a very small company without resorting to this practice is enough evidence for me to say that we could do without it and companies resorting to it are assholes.
I actualy disagree. This article brings up a good point. You saying it doesn't tells me you have no idea how the relationship between the market and the consumer is and is probably one of those people yelling on-disc DLC is bad when not actualy thinking it through.
I agree with the point on DLC so much. I always see this argument, but I never got why people were so pissed about it. Having it on the disc, and premade just means you get to play that DLC earlier when you buy it. That's all there is to it. I get people feel entitlement, as they should to a certain degree, but they usualy take this out of proportion and get on a high horse. Not to mention a lot of people cheap out on buying games a lot of the time, so if you want game companies to survive these hard times, don't be a dick.
Well I think as a consumer we are entiteld. Because we wre the ones that puts the food on the developers table and without us they would be without a job but I so agree with you on the point that its freaking frustrating to hear the whole gaming world shoot something down verbally and reach for the wallet at the same time.
Problem is, instead of "this game is selling bad, we shouldn't use this DLC method" it'll go "this game is selling bad, we shouldn't sell anymore games like these".
In short, if you want change but not want to risk the series, you have to buy the game but not the DLC.
People need to stop using the word "entitled" and start expressing themselves with their voice and their wallets.
In lieu of this being suddenly front page, I have an obligation to comment on a few things here (since I can't edit this anymore)
A friend of mine, after saying "wtf, this post is on the front page", pointed out that some folks aren't aware of how development works. For starters, if you didn't read the article, DLC is not something that's worked on at the last minute. If any software development team is worth their salt, they would use the Agile Software Development model or similar. Part of this is when a team is idle (due to finishing a task) or stuck (due to dependency on another task that isn't at a point where work can be done), the team works on something else. If anything, DLC may even be in development at the same time as the main game, just by a team that did something earlier in the main game's phase of development. Since DLC has a much shorter cycle of development, it would make sense that day-1 DLC can exist.
Onto on-disk DLC however. I'm not against it because... well aside from not getting games in the first place that don't have it, I understand it from the other side of the fence. First of all, I don't think any DLC, day-1, on-disk, or otherwise has yet to hinder you from playing the main game all the way through. Now if it's something silly like what EA did with Mass Effect 3, then sure (but that wasn't day-1 to begin with). As far as I know, Capcom uses day-1/on-disk DLC for purely extra content. For all we know, those extra characters are, for lack of a better term, "shit tier".
Here's the thing though, software is a different beast altogether than say buying a car or something. The $60 you pay for purchasing the game isn't to buy the physical copy. It's the purchase the license to use the game. I've said this before in a topic about DLC, but basically, you're on the company's terms when you put that disk in and run the software. If they don't allow you to access extra content without paying more money, then that's their terms set for you. Disagreeing with those terms though, means you're legally not allowed to run their software.
And in fact, we can put this in another way with cars. But with a twist. If you buy a car on a loan, the car is not actually yours. The car is the bank's (or whoever loaned you the money). Therefore, if the bank makes terms on say, what kind of insurance you must get, then you have to get that coverage. If you disagree, you don't get the money. If you get the loan on the bank's good faith but later fail to do as they wanted as per terms of agreement, they take possession of the vehicle.
The software isn't yours when you buy a copy. The ownership still belongs to the publisher who distributed it. I'm not saying that on-disk DLC is illegal, bad, good etc. Is it a crappy practice that should be abandoned? Well, that's really up to you.
Aside from the A/C, all that other stuff IS extra costs when buying a new car.
Unlike other commenters here, I don't really have a problem with Day 1 DLC, provided it is the following:
1. No Day 1 DLC should be essential to enjoyment of the full game experience: it should all be optional features; stuff like extra skins, bonus characters, maps, or items, stuff like that which can be left out from the original game and can allow players to pick and choose what they want.
2. If it is not the above, it should be something that had to be delayed in the production timeline of the original game and could not be completed by the time the game had to be printed on the disk and distributed. If such content includes any necessary patches, stages or game modes, I feel consumers should not have to pay extra for it given that if it was not delayed it would have been in the original game.
If extra game modes, stages, etc. are developed for distribution after the release of the original game (e.g. after Day 1), then I feel it would be completely fair to charge for it and no gamer should complain about that.
As for on-disc DLC, sorry, but I feel that's just highway robbery. As many have said, the content is already on the disk. You already have it, you have already paid for it. That would be like providing a full season of a TV show on DVD or Blu-Ray but blocking your player from being able to read the last two episodes without paying an extra fee to the network. You already have the entire product. Companies should either just open up everything and charge what they feel is a fair retail price for the whole thing, even if it's above $60 (let the free market work; if we feel the extra content is worth more than $60, we will pay it!), or just not put that content on the disk and release it as DLC later (or if completely optional, Day 1 is OK with me too).
And don't get me started on trying to stifle used game sales. If any and all other media outlets have no problem with it, game companies shouldn't throw a fit over it either.
And here I'm thinking... this was a half-assed post written late at night. How'd it get front page?
This post seems to support stagnation, if people don't complain, nothing will change, nothing will improve. Complaining is inherently negative, as long as its constructive criticism there's nothing wrong with it.
While others do bring up a good point, I do have to say I am a supporter of On Disc DLC. For some reason, my PS3, while plug directly to my router, takes a frikkin long time to download everything. It takes me multiple tries to get something that takes a minute to download. With it on Disc, I don't have to worry about trying to download it numerous times only to find it stops at 46% and make the waiting time longer. (Which is weird because my PC can download Steam updates with ease.)
And if you don't want it, you don't need to download a patch that lets you play online against others that do. I see that as a convenience for those with poor connection speeds or limited space on their PS3s.
Heck, it annoyed me that I HAD to download the demo of Skullgirls despite buying the full game first.
I agree, how the hell did this blog get promoted?! I was on the verge of making a long post about the horrid business practices game companies use, but most of the commenters have already said what needed to be said (see also firemonk and Riverwolf's post)
"An entitlement mostly to be treated like kings and such. No bull with on-disk DLC, making people pay to more for purchasing a used game, no DRM crap (which exists on all platforms), lowering the price of things, etc."
Wanting companies to get rid of shitty, non-consumer friendly business practices does not equate to wanting to be treated like kings!
I agree completely with this article.
This is by far the worst article I have ever seen promoted on this site. Despite the fact that the person that wrote this has no idea what the definition of "entitlement" is, it is just all around poorly written and one of the most anti-gamer opinions I have ever seen. If whatever staff member promoted this didn't do it as a joke then they should feel damn ashamed of themselves for having us see this.
Say you bought a brand new car. It comes with GPS, CD player, Rear DVD player for the kids,, Air Conditioning, but you can't use any of that stuff, until you pay extra. This is a better example of what On-Disc DLC represents.
What this article seems to be saying is that if there are problems with industry practices, ignore them because they aren't really problems. However, that's not a good approach. There was an excellent episode of the Escapist show Jimquisition that addressed the problems of boycotting, in which the host argued quite well that not buying games because of industry practices doesn't help the problem at all, since all the companies will see is that nobody wants that game, and thus games like it are less likely to be made.
I don't think it's accurate to compare on-disk DLC to unlocking the full game from demos or pre-loaded games, because of what DLC is supposed to do. I theorize that it's primary purposes are to: 1. Address bugs that didn't have time to be fixed before shipping, 2. Add in new features that would have required delaying the release otherwise. If there is content already on the disk, then that means it's already finished and ready to ship. There is no reason, then, why it should not be available right away; all that ends up getting accomplished is giving the player unnecessary work to do in order to fully enjoy the game, which I think is perfectly reasonable to complain about; it demonstrates that the company doesn't care about the customer. If it's not free, that's even worse, since the only reason it would be there at all is because the company is trying to nickle-and-dime us: IOW, rip us off. I think it's perfectly reasonable to be mad about that.
I don't have a problem with day 1 DLC, though, since development needs to stop before shipping can be completed, and working on such DLC can give the developers time to work out some bugs or finish up features that wouldn't have otherwise been finished before shipping.
I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect to be treated like human beings, especially when putting up so much money. Many video games are not just mindless entertainment; they can be great sources of inspiration and experience. Take Ultima IV, a game about self-mastery and enlightenment (from freaking 1985), or the Mass Effect games, which put the player in a position of making decisions that effect an entire galaxy, and won't necessarily be popular. Heck, take even Missile Command, which the ex-Escapist-now-Penny Arcade show Extra Credits has described as the most potent narrative on nuclear war in any game.
(...though, I also have to scratch my head at people complaining about a *lower* price during a *sale*...)