One of the more contentious realities that the current generation of video game consoles gave rise to is that of DLC and microstransactions. It’s gotten so far out of hand, yet every few months, some developer or publisher is able to push the buttons on gamers with more money-grabbing efforts.
If it’s not online passes, it’s game elements not included at a title’s launch, day one DLC, on-disc DLC (that’s a really bad one), and the always-annoying in-game microstransactions that Gears of War 3 and Mass Effect 3 shipped with for weapon skins and multiplayer items, respectively. If that bothers you, how do you feel about paying to progress in a game you bought?
We’re not talking about play4free/freemium models, we’re talking about players buying retail games and publishers/devs attempting to earn money through players paying to earn unlocks or skip a level. EA and DICE just implemented “Shortcut Kits” for Battlefield 3 which allows players with a little disposable income to buy unlock packs instead of putting in the time. Should EA be allowed to make money because their game takes time to earn in-game items? Does that not create an incentive for devs/pubs to intentionally make earning unlocks a slower process, if they’re charging for said unlocks separately?
Beatshapers, developers of StarDrone Extreme on PS3 and the Vita, took this a step further and they attempted to make money off of players paying to skip levels, before strong negative reaction made them realize it was the “wrong decision” and they had the level-skip DLC taken down, thankfully.
“Sometimes we make wrong decisions and would like to apologize for that. Please update your reviews if this possible… [players] didn’t like that once they’ve purchased the full version of the game, they have to pay to skip levels, and, in certain sense, pay to unlock the already purchased content.”
Oh, really? Were players expected to accept this as the new norm? Make the levels harder and then make consumers who purchased the game, pay more to get all of the content they purchased?
Everyone needs to play DLC Quest. It’s sad how accurate it is.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.