Has the "pro consumer" narrative gone too far?


#1

I noticed this tweet by Jim Sterling: https://twitter.com/JimSterling/status/1047888614045224962

Holy shit the in-game store for AC: Odyssey is unbelievable. SO much content portioned off for microtransactions. It’s overwhelming.

This is a game that people are playing for 40 - 60 hours and yet the existence alone of more for-pay content is inherently bad?

There is zero argument here to warrant the claim that content is portioned off.

Not “the real ending costs extra” or “the best weapons are dlc” etc.
Just: “You can buy more game, and that means you’re getting cheated”.

Why is it only in games that this is “unacceptable”?
Are people mad that they’re not getting the next George RR Martin book for free, because they paid for the first one?
How about Peter Jackson shooting all three LOTR movies at once, should you only pay for one movie ticket then?
When Jim Sterling walks into a supermarket, is everything he isn’t buying “portioned off”?


#2

The sequel game isn’t free. That’s clearly not analogous to expecting a free copy of the next George RR Martin book.

But what would people say if they paid full price for the last George RR Martin book and it was filled with pages that advertised for extra chapters for this book that are not included. Does it matter if this book isn’t light on content if what used to be a single purchase that felt complete is now used as an advertising vehicle for additional content that fits into that book? I suspect you’d find readers likened this theoretical $20 hardcover to the $3 comic issues or periodical pulp magazines, saying that these additional points of advertising inside the body of the work cheapened the experience (irrespective of how much content was inside the book).

We used to have a term for this, “day 1 DLC”. It was widely frowned upon (by enthusiast press, even some more mainstream coverage, and players) until it was normalised. Even the existence of an in-game hook for DLC (someone wandering into your camp in Dragon Age: Origins) used to be considered breaking the magic circle in order to try and push profits over selling a complete experience (ie a piece of media that, consumed as it is sold, feels complete).


#3

If you’re seriously looking to discuss this, start by differentiating between complete and incomplete products. We can go from there.


#4

i mean idk if its gone so far more then it just brings out some ugly shit but either way this isnt one of those times


#5

How is 60 hours of play time not a complete product?


#6

the play time is irrelevant, and usually padded to make the micro transactions more desirable


#7

By definition, if there’s content already included in the game that you can’t access without paying more, that product is incomplete. Doesn’t matter if it’s 60 hours or 600, it’s as simple as that.


#8

I think it’s productive to focus on the feeling of the product as a single purchase. Traditionally games have been just that (expansions were self-contained boxes coming well after release, a mini-sequel that just happened to build on top o the base game) and so it’s a previous expectation that’s slowly being eroded. That’s why you might find this an outlandish complaint while others think of it as core to the very essence of this form of mass media.

Only a couple of weeks ago I was talking about my experiences with Forza 7 and GT Sport - two games where it wasn’t the volume of content but how they expanded over time (via different DLC strategies) that was central to how I felt about those franchises after buying them. GT Sport always felt the complete product, even releasing in quite a slimmed-down form. FM7 released with more cars than possibly any car game ever had before and yet the monthly advertising churn of trying to up-sell me even more cars (for a vastly inflated price per vehicle vs what I’d already paid) inside the game made the experience worse for me. The existence of explicit marketing, buttons that when clicked would reduce my bank balance, inherently harmed my time inside the game world as escapism.


The Forza Horizon 4 Thread: Please Drive on the Left!
#9

That’s simply nonsense.

Like I said, the LOTR films were shot all at once, does that make any single movie an incomplete product?
Of course not.
That logic doesn’t hold water.


#10

lmaooooooo “why didnt lotr show a 8 hour movie in theaters then”


#11

You’ve already been told this is an irrelevant comparison: the LotR films were marketed as a trilogy, not a single film segmented into arbitrary portions. “Fellowship of the Ring” wasn’t presented to its audience as a standalone, self-contained work, only to inform viewers that they’d have to purchase two more movies at the very end to get the whole story.


#12

Well by your and Sterling’s logic it would be because they portioned it into 3 parts to cheat movie goers into paying three times the price.


#13

its pretty obviously not my logic seeing as im laughing at ur dumb ass for saying it


#14


#15

just take the L


#16

I’m not sure how I can be any clearer: different movies, different products. But good job building those strawmen, Halloween’s right around the corner


#17

Erhm no, no answer to both questions is:

They divided the content they had into parts that fit with reasonable expectations on what a single movie / game is.


#19

So what you’re arguing here is that Sterling’s description of “Seven tabs of items, each with multiple tabs of their own. Boosters, skins, weapons, maps, ships, mounts” exceeds the expectation of what a single game is, and should therefore be identified and sold as a separate product.

O-kay then. I’m out.


#20

A game and microtransactions. Two different products.
See how how easy that is?

Just because a game as a medium is in a unique position to add to the base product after the fact, does not mean that the extra work provided - that someone needs to be paid for btw - should be free to you the consumer.


#22