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BioWare Explains Day One Downloadable Content

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by Black Wolf, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Super Cupcake

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    Original Article: IGN

    What got my eye though is this part:
    Typical marketing talk. I'm saying it out loud: DLC's are bull<REDACTED>! It's a despicable way to get more money from customers. In itself there is nothing wrong with that of course, they too have to make money. But how DLC's work at this time makes me puke. Especially a day one DLC. It's despicable. It's content that should be included in the game in the first place.

    I don't mind spending money on an expansion. You could call an expansion a DLC, but there is a difference. DLC typically refers to small chunks of game content that runs between $0.99 and $10 which include things like cosmetic enhancements, weapons, map packs, and minor missions. Expansions consists of major changes and additions to games that were packaged up and purchased for around $20 - $30, these were usually game changers and added several hours of game play.

    Another phrase in the article that catches my eye:
    Then there is something totally wrong with your game. Fix that first, before you release extra content.

    Anyway, I want a game that is complete from day one. With maybe an expansion if it's needed. Not every type of game lends itself for that. Companies like Bioware makes me wanna puke, but I still have hope. A developer like Mojang (Minecraft) does it right in my view. They listen to their customers and fans. The developers would listen better if DLC wouldn't sell. But that's not the case. Mass Effect 3 is maybe the best example. I will never touch that game. I'm an old school gamer and maybe that is the problem.
  2. Chrilin

    Chrilin Cupcake-About-Town

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    Remember all of the stuff they took out of the Swtor beta right before launch?
    Peeps kept complaining about it with comments like "Why did they take that out? It worked just fine."
    Kinda makes sense now.
  3. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

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    Funny, I completed both the games I have from BioWare, and I made 2 lvl 50 toons on SWTOR before quitting. I do like their games though. Just like I like SOE games, but am disgusted by their top management.
  4. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    While I too dislike DLC in general, you have to remember that usually the game gets officially complete a couple of months before the actual release date. A lot of companies let go people who worked on the game at that point. But giving them something to work on outside of the main game (i.e. DLC) they keep them on for a while longer. I hate that DLC is acceptable especially day 1 DLC, but imo it's becoming a necessary evil for single player games so that companies can keep their people longer.
  5. Scooter

    Scooter Carbine Studios

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    A million times this. Single-player games (i.e. not MMOs) are finished months before launch, so your option is either to layoff 3/4 of the studio, or get to work on DLC. Day 1 DLC does feel wrong emotionally, but if the choice is that or dump the team... I can't possibly side with "no day 1 content".
  6. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Super Cupcake

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    Of course, I don't want to see people loose their jobs as well. But since DLC's are something from the last several years, I wonder how they managed before that? Maybe they worked on the next project instead?
  7. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Why would they work on DLC instead of a new game or a follow on game? At the very least an expansion pack. Having to work on DLC makes it sound like a company that is a one hit wonder.
  8. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    If it's the last game in a trilogy, why would you make an expansion or a follow up game?
  9. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Why wouldn't you? Game companies can't work on just one game and leave it at that. Are you saying after the trilogy they either do DLC or close up shop? They can't make a completely new trilogy?
  10. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Super Cupcake

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    Or maybe they should be working on squashing bugs, instead of investing time for DLC. People complain all the time of bugs in games.

    But that doesn't make money in the short term. And that is the core of the problem. They want to make as much money as they can with the least effort. I don't mind that, it's only efficient. But while doing that they screwing over customers. Ever wondered why games from Blizzard tend to sell like hot cakes? They deliver quality games like none other. Their support is (still) unmatched. They release patches still after 10 years.

    That is the main reason Blizzard sells 10 million copies of Diablo III without 2 months. It's because of their reputation and the reason people regard Blizzard as one of the best developers out there.
  11. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    From my limited understanding of the industry, when a game gets released that is single player, the company then let's go a decent chunk of the team. I'm not saying that it's right, it's just how it is. If the game is a trilogy, then I expect that they keep people going for the next games (but again that's just conjecture).

    At this point, they try and figure out what game they're going to do next. They don't need EVERYONE that worked on a previous IP on the new one. So what do the previous programmers do? They either work on DLC or get let go.

    Since this is all conjecture, I'm sure I'm wrong on a lot of parts, but your kneejerk reaction to hate all DLC automatically misses the point that it helps people keep their jobs.
  12. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Well, I am in software development for a rather large company. We have about 10 teams that work on various parts of a project. When that one gets close, the architects have other projects that need to be done. So, we slowly get off the current one and get slid into the next one until all of us are on the new one. So, all the team is necessary for both projects at some point and it continues on.

    I assumed the game industry would work in a similar fashion so I was confused as to why they would need to let some go if they can be used on a following project.
  13. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    Because Blizzard's games never have bugs?

    Blizzard is very successful because they take what's working and don't fix it. Some of Blizzard's first games were Lost Vikings and Blackthorne. Then they moved to the very successful Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo IPs. Then they just created further games based on those. When was the last time Blizzard made an original IP? I'm not dissing them, they've done fantastically well with those games. Blizzard games sell well because you essentially get the same game with some awesome additions. Sure, the customer service helps. But to say that they deliver bug-free games unlike other game companies is an absolutely ridiculous statement.

    They haven't done DLC, and one of the major reasons is because they created their own engine for everything. So when a game is done, employees can be switched to working on the engine until a specific game is required of them again. Same thing with Valve...
  14. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    Are you building applications that don't need so much work after released? Or are you building ongoing software such as web development, or an MMO that needs to have constant updates?
  15. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Our software is updated quite often. All of us usually work on 4 different levels of software, which includes the current project. So, though we all transition to the new project, we have to fix any bugs in the previous levels as well as any new function a client may want. The majority of our time is spent with 2 levels though, the current project and the previous level.
  16. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Super Cupcake

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    I never said that Blizzard's games are bug-free. No game of program ever is. And I don't get why you bring up the IP's? That has nothing to do with DLC's. One thing I do know, you are no Blizzard fanboy. But neither am I. Just trying to explain that there are better things developers can spend their time on.

    Like Dyraele explained, I assume that game developers work on multiple projects at the same time in a large company. In a smaller one at least on the next project in the line. If they hire teams only to work one project at a time, there is something totally wrong.
  17. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood you then. I highlighted the sentences and phrases that I thought were implying that Blizzard's games are bug free. I figured that when you said that Blizzard is successful because of quality games and doesn't use DLC (which as you state companies should work on bugs instead of DLC to increase quality) you were implying that Blizzard's games have fewer bugs than other companies.

    I bring up the IPs because it does say a lot about DLC. When you have a single IP like the Warcraft RTS series, it's much easier to do the next game in the series rather than a DLC, especially when it isn't really meant to be played as a trilogy. Whether that's because of the era that Warcraft was originally developed in or not, I don't know... But it should be something to consider about game development.

    As for Dyraele's company, I don't know how it works, and I don't know how Bioware's works either. All I know is what they said, which was essentially that single-player games are finished months before release and having people work on DLC is a good way to keep them around. I do really enjoy people assuming things about companies though. "This bug has been in the game since launch! The dev team just has their head up their asses." "DLC is only to steal money from me! It should've been in the game to begin with!" Far be it from me to fully understand the bureaucracy and politics of getting games out the door combined with trying to profit.

    Why? If I hire one guy to build one website and another guy to build another for my company, why is that totally wrong?
  18. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Depends, are you letting one go, both go, keeping both? Someone has to upkeep and fix bugs. If you need both fine. If you only need one and hired the other to push the sites along at a faster rate and plan to let one go, the guy that stays will need to learn what the guy did that was let go. If you hired both as a contract job and let them both go, someone will have to pick up the slack.

    In the long run, it is not as efficient but in the short term it can save a little money and time. You have to put the labor calculations into Microsoft Project and see what it saves you, if it does.

    So, it may or may not be the right thing to do depending on your schedule, upkeep hours, and future business needs.
    JarNod likes this.
  19. JarNod

    JarNod WildStar Haiku Winner 2012 / Lead Guinea Pig

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    You are very right. And it's hard as a customer to know what a companies needs are.

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