Totally agree. Path of Exile and Warframe are examples I can think of where a game as a service has been a huge success. Not just financially, but in terms of how damn good those games have gotten over the years. Neither title would have approached anywhere near the level they reached without their development model.
It’s definitely a square peg, though. It needs to fit.
I have to confess that I am very very guilty of this.
It’s not intentional and I can’t speak for Paradox but I will tell you my story with regards to Galactic Civilizations III.
As you guys know, I designed GalCiv I and GalCiv II. But during the development of GalCiv III I was busy working on other things. Namely, Soren and I were founding Mohawk and other Firaxis alumni and I were getting Oxide Games going. So I was MIA for almost the entire time that game was being made.
Now, the original designer of GalCiv III was actually Jon Shafer. But he was really interested in doing a historical game about post Rome and I suggested he pursue that while he was “young and single” which later became “At the Gates”.
So once Jon was gone, I had my long-time friend and colleague Paul take over. He started with what Jon had but he really really liked how GalCiv II was, particularly the ship designer.
So anyway, they did GalCiv III and it came out and it sold well and got good reviews. But when it came time to do the first big expansion, Crusade, I now had time to return to GalCiv and I have a very different vision of what I wanted to do.
But with Crusade, I only had 6 months to do it so there was only so much that I could realistically change about that game (not to mention, I’m very aware that many people object to games being changed post release).
So anyway, Crusade came out and people seem to like it a lot. But it also is very different from the base game.
Should we have just taken Crusade + Intrigue and another year and done a GalCiv IV instead? I don’t know. We learned a lot about the way the market has changed and I now see that the growing awareness of what we can call “update fatigue”.
So anyway, I’m not sure what my point was other than to say, I am guilty of what Paradox has done too. Sorry!
I got the impression that alot of the PDX dislike is because of the 10000 dlc.
And to be honest, I am slightly worried about how this will roll out for Planetfall.
I can see so much opportunity to locking cool stuff away and then releasing something “new” every 3 months, even if just cosmetics, which Triumph included fo free in one of the updates to AoW3 (around about Xmas time you got new hats)
So do we want game developers to work on games post release or do we want them to just move on?
The DLC blow black is enough that we’ve reduced the DLC we make on games. But there’s a cost – we have laid off most of our artists because we don’t have enough work for them to do anymore (we contract artists instead). So there isn’t DLC at all since the review score hit was greater than the amount of money being made from DLC.
There are lots and lots of people who feel that ongoing new development comes as part of their purchase. They’re very up front about it.
Unfortunately, we can’t afford that. We can either do new development and pay for it through DLC or not do new development.
In 2018 so far, we’ve done one DLC for GalCiv III. Our road map had planned on 1 every 90 days. But we took such a beating on Steam user reviews (which dramatically affects sales) that we had to discontinue it and lay off the artists and scripters who were assigned to it. :(
I never understood why people are so entitled. I don’t care if the DLC is created before the game has been released and held back as long as the base game doesn’t feel like it was missing something necessary. Companies gotta plan ahead and try to make some money.
If some DLC isn’t worth it, then just don’t buy it. The minor exception is when someone releases so much that it makes the shopping experience a pain - but that doesn’t prevent me from buying the good DLC.
If there are clear and obvious bugs or the game performs terribly then it should be fixed at the developers expense and shouldn’t be classed as new and ongoing development.
New and ongoing development, where new features or an extension to existing features which enhance the gameplay, should definitely be done and the DLC model is a good way to fund and execute that.
However, DLC exhaustion is a real thing and “certain” developers/publishers are putting off customers. Normally this is from too many weak “Content Packs” or just rehashes of the same DLC with a different “theme”.
The DLC model is great when you are up to date, where you purchased the original game at release and buy the “important” DLC regularly. However, if you let them build up, purchasing the game and all DLC just isn’t feasible without a bundle i.e. anyone buying Crusaders Kings II and all DLC for the first time would probably need to apply for a loan.
I guess I don’t understand why its a problem if the base game was worth the money that was paid for it.
I’m not an author so I don’t know if this is a great example…If an author write a series of books and plans out some of them in advance, and actually does some work on book two before book 1 is released, should they be expected to include book 2 with one?
I don’t get why gamers seem to care when the work was done. Time was spent making it, employees were paid and companies need to make money. If their product is worth it then buy it. If not then skip it. If you want to wait for a sale then wait. It doesn’t seem reasonable to slam them with negative reviews. Not saying you do any of that BloodyBattleBrain, but some people seem to.
Here is my gripe about DLC in general. I play the base game for a while and them I am bored of it. These games generally have a campaign of some kind. The DLC typically adds a new area to adventure in. The thing is, I am bored of the regular adventure. I do not want to go through it again. What I would like, is an expansion. I would like to take the characters who finished the other adventure on a new one. Perhaps a continuation of the story or something totally new. This content could be as big, if not bigger than the original adventure. This is far to big for a DLC.
However, games like galactic civ are not campaign, story driven games, so a DLC that adds a new faction with very different mechanics to play with can work for me. IE: Add a machine race where nearly all worlds are fully habitable. They do not care about temperature, air pressure, fertility, etc… The only thing that matters is how mineral rich the world is.
So yes, mostly DLC doesn’t work for me, but sometimes it does. I am waiting for Stellaris to get to a point where it is a fully developed game from beginning to end. If and when that happens, Ill probably buy a lot of DLC.
Totally agree, DLC works well for sandbox/repayable games as long as they introduce enough new or different features to re-ignite interest in the game. Crusade did that for GC3, Intrigue not so much, 90% of the CK2 dlc are a big nope for me.
If the game is a story based, linear game, then the DLC needs to add a significant new campaign, or something new to get me to re-visit. Completed Mafia 3, no interest in picking up the DLC. However, Mooncrash for Prey has my interest because it’s something different.
In the paradox forums, someone suggested assymetrical victory conditions.
Lennart Sas said it was a good idea, and something to consider for an expansion.
That’s because the game as is has been designed and now it’s being made.
Adding something so central as a new victory condition (well 6 really because if 6 starting races) would be challenging to put in now.
So far so good, expansion material. Everyone’s happy.
Now, what if Triumph revealed that they had 8 different victory conditons already done, and 8 different races, but that you were only going to get 6 and 6 because they’d decided to withold already created stuff in order to get more money of you.
People would be pissed.
It’d be better for them to focus on the 6 original races, make them dammed fun, release the game, get feedback from the community at large, issue a few patches, and then go make race number 7 and 8.
That to me seems the more honourable course, and more profitable too I imagine, as it responds to the community.
I personally would be OK with it if the game with 6 races and 6 victory conditions were worth the money they charged. Nobody is obligated to give me stuff just because it was created before the game was released.
This is subjective and hard to define, but if the game didn’t feel like a whole experience or felt lacking because things were missing - then I would be unhappy. But, that would be the case whether the DLC was created ahead of time or not.
As far as “on-disk” content it’s also about association with a physical item. Most people don’t see games or software any differently than buying anything else, so they see content that is on the physical device but inaccessible as equivalent to buying a 4-door car and having the unlock code for the back seats cost more money after the fact.
I think another part of it is that people commonly think that the price they should pay for something is essentially the cost to make it (including the makers’ salaries). So if part of it is “already done” or “missing” then the thought is that the cost has already been included in the base game. Of course, the price that something will be sold for is in actuality the price that the buyer is willing to pay–which is not the cost to produce it in all but the freest and most competitive of markets. DLC is a very handy form of price discrimination, which consumers don’t like, but which works.