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On-Disc DLC


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#1 PriZm

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:31 PM

I don't understand what the big deal is about on-disc DLC. Why are people so angry about this ?

To me, on-disc DLC is just a more convenient way for companies to prepare for DLC launch. For example, if a character is to be available for future DLC in a fighting game, everyone has to have the model since the only info that is being transmitted between players is input data.

So, if a company wants to release the character, they either have to:
1) have it already on disc
2) make a patch that everyone has to download to play online (does not unlock the character but provides the data for its model)
3) disallow this character against people who do not have the DLC

1 is clearly the most convenient for everybody. Would people prefer if companies intentionally stripped this content from the disc and offer it as a patch that would need to be unlocked anyways ? Why is that a disgusting business practice ?
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#2 PixelPanic

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:36 PM

The issue is that DLC is supposed to be content to improve gameplay in addition to the games complete data and keep entertaining after release.

It had been just an exaggeration until now, but there are literally taking aspects out of the game and calling them "DLC".

There is no reasonable explanation for this. Either just make them unlockable characters or don't take the easier route so they can at least protect their scheme they call 'marketing'.

#3 Jax Mandrake

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:39 PM

I guess I fail to understand what "on-disc DLC" is supposed to be. To me, it means something like Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition's inclusion of the extra characters and other bonuses on the disc. Or, perhaps, stuff like the Dreamcast Collection and the Capcom Digital Collection: packages which consist primarily/exclusively of content that was previously available on download services.

EDIT: I don't yet have MKKE so I do not know if it is like that, or if it's instead like the Borderlands GotYE where you get the extra content by redeeming included codes.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will flame the f*** out of me. Flame Shield ON!

Anyway, one of the biggest reasons people get upset over an idea like this is envy. It's a disgusting business practice because someone else thought of it first.

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#4 Fishy

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:53 PM

If they have features ready for release enough to put them on the disc, I fail to see how it is anything other then a douche move to deny access to it.

I hate DLC as it is, mainly because it's ridiculously overpriced. Think about what you're paying for:

COD MW 2 £40
All of the work that goes into the engine/graphics/animation/audio/weapons etc
10 hours of single player
25 Co-op missions
16 maps

Stimulis Package £10
5 maps
crap all else


You're just not getting your money's worth, so if I found out today that that shit was on the disc when I bought it, I would go mental.

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#5 Level 99

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:03 PM

On-Disc DLC is the closest thing our industry has come to an oxymoron.

DLC = DownLoadable Content.

On-Disc = not downloadable

If you put something on the disc and the only thing you're downloading is an unlock code for said content, that's not downloadable content.

The idea behind DLC goes back to the days of Patches and Mods from PC Gaming. Until the widespread availability of broadband AND large enough rewritable content storage built into them, modern consoles had no way to really update a game after relase to either add things or make fixes. Normally, a different hardcopy of the game would be released if it was fully warranted. PC Games, by way of being the pioneering format for the internet, have had the ability to be patched, upgraded, and modded since the early 90's. You could simply release some files and only have to pay for the bandwidth that people use to download them and BAM instant upgrades.

Due to how locked down consoles are with security countermeasures, and the amount of control exercised by the console's respective online marketplaces, its not nearly as easy to release content or patches but at least now the services are on par with what is available for PC. However, publishers have found people so overly willing to pay to keep their games usable and relevant for longer (considering the vastly increased prices of game creation and marketing these days) by releasing DLC for it.

Some DLC is very good. Some DLC is very bad. The point is that DLC is normally content that is not available on the disc at time of release that you have to pay for or download to get.

Why On-Disc DLC is considered disgusting by many is that it is an extremely shameless nickel-and-diming scheme to get you to pay more money to get everything on the disc that you bought available to you. Pardon the phrase, but back in my day, we either had to PLAY to unlock stuff or had to enter cheat codes.

So, anything on the disc that's locked that requires me to pay extra money to unclock it is technically NOT DLC. It's ODLC: On-Disc Locked Content. Examples of this would be me buying a fighting game and then charging me money to unlock all the characters. If the characters weren't on the disc in the first place, then I would pay money for them. But when I buy a game, I think I'm buying everything on there open to me should I try hard enough to get it. When I pay for DLC, I'm choosing to pay for extra development time that was spent that couldn't or wasn't put into the initial release.

People like me get upset because this is technically ripping people off. I don't even see it as being convenient to anyone but the publisher. The developers had to work hard to get the content done regardless, and if it is on-disc they had to work hard before the game was released. And to get On-Disc DLC, you still need to go online on your system and buy it. No excuse there.

"Here you go, sir. Your cheeseburger with fries and a drink for $12.99. Oh, by the way, the drink comes with the combo, and it's on your table, but you have to pay me an extra five dollars on top of the $12.99 in order to drink it. It's On-Table DLC."
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#6 Kenogu Labz

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

The basic problem people have with on-disc DLC: The content is already on the disc, so why do the consumers still get charged extra to be able to use it? This follows the line of thought that DLC should be used for post-release expansion only. If the content is available at release, there should be no reason to withhold it.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Stevo!
DOUBLE EDIT: And Fishy!!
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#7 Level 99

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

The ire that people are drawing from the SF X T current event is that characters are on every version of the game, but only come unlocked on a specific version. This also boils down to the idea that console-exclusive content still sells systems, which is so unbelievably flawed these days that I don't even know where to begin dismantling it.
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#8 OA

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:37 PM

The ire that people are drawing from the SF X T current event is that characters are on every version of the game, but only come unlocked on a specific version. This also boils down to the idea that console-exclusive content still sells systems, which is so unbelievably flawed these days that I don't even know where to begin dismantling it.


I don't think you actually can dismantle it. Plenty of people who have multiple consoles decide which version of a game to buy based on little exclusives.
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#9 Modus

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

I'm with OP and don't really see a huge issue. You don't have to buy DLC/unlockables. So then, just don't buy it. On-disc content makes file downloads like 99% smaller, which I'm all for. A line is only crossed if the content itself is something imperative to success in the game, and publishers don't do that. Some bad MMO companies do, but that's all I've personally seen.

#10 omnipotentBagel

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

I'm with OP and don't really see a huge issue. You don't have to buy DLC/unlockables. So then, just don't buy it. On-disc content makes file downloads like 99% smaller, which I'm all for. A line is only crossed if the content itself is something imperative to success in the game, and publishers don't do that. Some bad MMO companies do, but that's all I've personally seen.


So you don't have a problem buying a game with content completed and on-disc and not being allowed access to all that content that you already paid for? Post-production DLC makes sense to me, in that, after the game is completed, the company kept working on it. They're asking me to pay them money to receive stuff they made after the original game I purchased was finished. I'm okay with that, because I'm buying additional content that extends the life of my game (if said content is worth the price, naturally). This content is already on the disc. It's already finished. By definition, that's not additional content, that's just content. You've paid for the disc it's on, so you've paid for that content. Basically they're charging you twice for a single product. I cannot understand how anyone can be okay with that.

#11 orlouge82

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:45 PM

"Here you go, sir. Your cheeseburger with fries and a drink for $12.99. Oh, by the way, the drink comes with the combo, and it's on your table, but you have to pay me an extra five dollars on top of the $12.99 in order to drink it. It's On-Table DLC."


Sums it up P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y.

This goes hand-in-hand with the rumors that the new XboX system is going to prevent anyone from playing used games.

The market isn't growing at the exponential rate that it used to, so game companies are finding any new way they can to squeeze every last penny out of their current market base.

I'm curious to see how well it works out for them.

#12 PriZm

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:47 PM

I understand how you could say that voluntarily withdrawing content from a product in order to make consumers pay more eventually for it is a douche move, but what I don't get is why people get upset about the fact that it was on the disc.

If a company decides that x content will not be in y game, they will make it unavailable anyway so why bother with the technicalities (on-disc vs not on-disc)? Would it be better if they stripped the content completely from the disc before releasing it ? That would be only more costly for bandwidth and for the company. Believe it or not, stripping code away from a product is extremely time-consuming.

Maybe they wanted to develop 24 characters but only had time to fully balance 18, so they leave the art assets and all that shit in the released package and then work on balancing the characters and when everything is ready they release the unlock code along with the updated frame data.

I have never seen a game that was obviously unfinished and then made complete with DLC. There are map packs for shooters, if it's overpriced or you don't really care, then don't buy it ? Is it really frequent that an online community for a game will completely migrate to the new maps and will make you unable to play on the ones that were included in the original license ?

And people complaining about Capcom charging for palette swaps... really ? If it is so important for you to have more colors for your fighters then buy them, if not then why bother complaining ?

Are people complaining about deleted scenes in movies that are released exclusively on the DVD or Blu-Ray release ? Because to me it seems comparable.

I'm getting off-topic talking about DLC in general when my original question was about On-Disc DLC (or On-Disc Locked Content, however you want to call it). I'm really curious to understand what gets people riled up because as it is I really don't understand.


EDIT: Actually, the fast-food analogy does not work so well, because we are comparing digital content (intellectual property) vs physical stuff.
In order to clarify, let me ask you about this hypothetical scenario.
The new iPhone has a 900 Terabytes capacity and contains all the music available on iTunes. It is sold the same price as the one before it. Therefore, when you are buying songs on iTunes, instead of buying the digital content itself, you simply unlock it from your massive hard drive and make it available to play. Would that bother you as well ?
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#13 omnipotentBagel

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:56 PM

Unfinished content is one thing. Budgets and timelines can invariably lead to cut or abandoned content. Most games have had that and the cool thing about the modern gaming age (like Stevo was mentioning earlier) is that we have the ability to patch that stuff in later, if the developers can justify continued work. But it's one thing if that content wasn't developed as part of the initial game for time or budget reasons. Developers intentionally keeping finished content out of the initial release is another. And that is the exact problem we're upset with. Fundamentally, it doesn't matter if it's on the disc or not, since the issue is that, rather than buying a complete game, we're paying full price for a partial game, then being spoonfed the remaining pieces of the game later for a nominal fee. The fact that it is on the disc and won't require additional downloads means it IS completed content. Holding it ransom from (otherwise) paying customers is just plain wrong. Companies have done this before (and it's pissed me off then too), but they've never been this brazen about it.

Edit: I see you updated your post while I was responding. The fast food analogy is fine because digital or not, we're talking about product being supplied for an agreed-upon price. The implied contract when you buy a video game is that you are buying access to all the content on that disc. We're upset that some companies are trying to change this contract for the reason I mention above. Your analogy is flawed because in your case, the iPhone is a delivery method (the console). In this case, the game itself is the content. A closer analogy is buying an album on iTunes for the normal price for an album of its length, but having some songs on that album locked unless you pay additional money.

#14 Malaki-LEGEND.sys

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

It all boils down to this in regards to Street Fighter X Tekken.

Street Fighter X Tekken has been getting killer reviews across the board save for a few online, interface, and other hiccups. By and large, it's looking to be a pretty great game.

The game already comes with 38 characters, which is a bunch o' stuff. Add that to all the modes and infinite replay value, and that's a pretty great value by itself. They're planning to add more characters by the time the Vita version hits? That's cool, and I'm down with it. We live in a wonderful world where now console games can easily be upgraded and patched through DLC.

What? The characters are already on the disc? But I was under the impression that these were being worked on still? Uh huh? You say they're already finished and loaded to go, but not only do I have to wait to get access to them, but I have to pay for stuff that's already on my disc?

Uhh...

The sad part about all of this is that the devs themselves were probably going through serious crunch time to get all that out, but will probably not see any of the DLC profits.

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#15 Darklink42

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:07 PM

Are people complaining about deleted scenes in movies that are released exclusively on the DVD or Blu-Ray release ? Because to me it seems comparable.


I think in this analogy, the situation would be more akin to having the deleted scenes available on the DVD/Blu-ray, but having to pay money to actually watch that content.

Personally, I take offense to the practice because it's comes across as just plain underhanded given the previous practices that games were released under. We're no longer hiding secrets and additional content with codes or mastering elements of the game, we're just up front making people pay for them with no other recourse. A lot of consensus is being brought up with the issue of not having complete data by the time the game ships. That was the seemingly original point of the DLC model. Add stuff that couldn't be completed or additional stuff that the developers came up with later. I guess what a lot of people are upset about is that publishers/developers are now just choosing things to be DLC not because it's unfinished or unbalanced, but because "Something has to be DLC." Not only does that not make sense from a buyer's standpoint, but it's shady in that it raises the actual price of the game without explicitly doing so.
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#16 Global-Trance

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:19 PM

Remember when we used to have to play the games to unlock stuff?

The whole pay for on-disc DLC is dumb and stupid. Thank God for hex editors so I can just unlock all that stupid stuff that Capcom wants people to pay for. Even if the datamining is a bit of a headache at times, I'd rather do that then pay however many dollars it takes to get a full roster.
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#17 Toadofsky

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:56 PM

People like me get upset because this is technically ripping people off. I don't even see it as being convenient to anyone but the publisher. The developers had to work hard to get the content done regardless, and if it is on-disc they had to work hard before the game was released. And to get On-Disc DLC, you still need to go online on your system and buy it. No excuse there.


It's not technically, IT IS ripping people off.
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#18 Modus

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:11 AM

So you don't have a problem buying a game with content completed and on-disc and not being allowed access to all that content that you already paid for?


No, you did not pay for that content. The content you are paying for is made clear on the game's back cover, in media previews, on the company's official website, etc. I will acknowledge that it is a bit exploitative by nature, but at the end of the day all it does is tempt people. There's no deceit, it doesn't pry open your wallet or steal your credit card info. Just because an extension of the game is pre-finished does not mean you are entitled to own it.

That's what this boils down to for me. Entitlement. Because every game I've seen do this still has LOTS of content, lots of characters, and is a full game on its own. Even if it's sparse on content, you know this because it's advertised as such and there's reviews to tell you that. So then you don't buy the game, and the company responds by not doing that anymore!

Companies go as far as consumers allow them to go. If you keep buying their shit regardless of what they do, then what the heck do you expect? They'll keep doing it.

tl;dr I think people should stop buying products that start being exploitative. I don't get why that's not an option, especially in the entertainment industry where you don't need the item in question.

#19 linkspast

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:48 AM

Id be all for content like that if the game was cheaper at launch. say $50 rather than 60. If I dont get 2 items or what ever just so I can save 10 bucks Ill do it. Maybe I only have 50 I can spend on games right now and ill get the other chunk later.
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#20 omnipotentBagel

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:31 AM

No, you did not pay for that content. The content you are paying for is made clear on the game's back cover, in media previews, on the company's official website, etc. I will acknowledge that it is a bit exploitative by nature, but at the end of the day all it does is tempt people. There's no deceit, it doesn't pry open your wallet or steal your credit card info. Just because an extension of the game is pre-finished does not mean you are entitled to own it.


Legally, that's correct. But legality does not make a practice right. It's not just a bit exploitative, it's incredibly exploitative. The muddying in definition of digital property from physical media is being downright abused by companies. It should be simple, if I buy a piece of property with content on it, I should have the right to access all content placed on that disc, and I should be able to do whatever I want with it.


Companies go as far as consumers allow them to go. If you keep buying their shit regardless of what they do, then what the heck do you expect? They'll keep doing it.

tl;dr I think people should stop buying products that start being exploitative. I don't get why that's not an option, especially in the entertainment industry where you don't need the item in question.


I agree with this statement and have refused to purchase products (or borrowed them/bought them used/etc.) because of this. But I am still entitled to complain about it. If something is crappy or unfair, it's our right to cry foul.




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