For the past few weeks I’ve been shopping around, trying to get some 4x to get back into the genre. My library is full of them so I thought I’d check which DLCs I’m missing for some of them and I quickly realised I’d be paying upwards of 40 dollars for dlcs for titles that are at this point 5+ years old.
And then bam, Fanatical comes out with a Civ VI Gold bundle. Perfect! Right? No. Turns out that these new bundles mean fuck all because the goddamn DLCs keep coming. Civ VI now has a new DLC called Gathering Storm which costs 40 bucks. 40 fucking bucks. Seeing how the game is now 3 years old I did the reasonable thing - refused to play an incomplete game and skipped on buying the bundle and the missing DLC.
Let’s move on. Gal Civ3, came out in 2015, has 95€ worth of DLC. The game is on sale right now and I can’t help but wonder if they’re trying o sell me a game or a way to squeeze more money out of me. Pass.
Endless Legend: 2014 release date, 80€ worth of DLC. Fortunately I’m only missing 4 dlcs for this one which cost a measly 52€ total. Yeah right. Not to mention the various editions that plague all Amplitude games.
Endless Space 2: 2017 release date, 50€ worth of DLC. One of the more reasonable offerings.
Stellaris: 2016, 143€ worth of DLC.
Crusader Kings 2: 2012 (!!!) release date, 300€ worth of DLC. Jesus fucking Christ Paradox, stop updating the fucking game already please. I actually own all the dlcs for this one because I kept buying them over the years, but this example will be relevant to my point at the end.
Europa Universalis 4: 2013, 361,72€ (!!!) worth of DLC. Come on, man.
Civilization 6: 2016, 107€ worth of dlc. Base game still sells for 60€ too. Gold default price (all dlcs minus Gathering Storm) is 100€, so you save about 30 bucks. Yay.
And these are games where most of the DLCs have some substance to them, meaning no time savers or other consumable mtx bullshit that plagues some other genres.
So what’s my point? 3 years after release when I feel like trying out one of these games I’m really not inclined to a) spend a minor fortune up front to get a complete experience or b) spend several hours researching the various dlcs, trying to eliminate the needless ones to cut down the cost, at which point I’m already disinclined towards purchase. Sure, I could go with option c) buy the vanilla game at low price and hopefully be able to ignore the fact that I’m not getting a complete experience. DLCs can of course be bought later, but who honestly has the time to properly asses these games during the duration of an average sale, to see if further investment into DLCs is worth it. And that brings me to Paradox. For the love of god, Paradox games ON SALE at -75% were still around 80€. That’s more than the price of a new AAA release. Is the value of these packages good? Yeah, probably, considering how many hours of entertainment these games generally provide. But from the perspective of a new customer with no experience with the game it’s a huge risk. So instead of paying a medium amount of money years after the game came out to get a complete experience I instead spend absolutely no money on the game and start looking at more reasonable options on the store.
Being a patient gamer used to be worth it, but now I’m starting to think it might be better to buy the game on day 1, reviews be damned, and then allot 20€ each month for the inevitable barrage of dlcs, some of which are surely to unfuck some of the design mistakes and the bugs these games generally launch with.