Posted 13 May 2010 - 05:48 PM
Consider me shocked, honestly and deeply shocked, over the lack of reaction to the EA Online Pass system. I, myself, am torn over the issue however I'm one of those dirty, dirty bastards who enjoys DLC. The enemy to the show in several ways. However, with the online pass and now money actually exchanging hands, I have to wonder what impact, if any, this will have on EA's tendacy to close servers. What I mean is this, count the days until Bad Company 1 can no longer be played online (if that day hasn't already passed), Skate 2 becomes road kill, and Madden 2010 empties it's arenas. With EA running the servers, the threat of shutdown hits every title they publish. Hint, this isn't an EA exclusive deal either. I have plenty of 360 and PS3 games that now have no servers. With EA now actively charging for the online servers, does this now obligate them to keep them open?
Having said that, I'd like to chime in on the DLC debate. There IS good and bad in this field and while the costume packs of Super Street Fighter IV absolutely deserved the ire they gain, think about Wipeout HD Fury Pack. $10 essentially doubles the content of a $20 game. And think about how bland Rock Band would be if you couldn't expand it nearly infinitely (personally, my copy of Rock Band 2 has over 400 songs, with 47 to be added June 8th). Map packs, additional episodes, all of these things can help boost a game beyond it's initial purchase. Despite the crews opinion otherwise, the good DLC isn't stuff that would have been in the game, but rather the stuff that would have remained chopped or even held back for a "Directors Cut" or Expansion Pack. And I don't mind if they are planned at the beginning. Why? Because as a 3D artist myself, I know my job is done relatively early in a games cycle. Aside from having masses of artists suddenly unemployed, it keeps us busy between the time one projects art assets are finished and another project is ramping up. In the old days, we would be hired guns, wandering between studios, but nowadays DLC has added stability to an unusually unstable job profession. While I now work in flight simulation, I had a bunch of friends who essentially moved every 8-10 months and aside from one, most are now over 5 years living in one spot.
As to your book analogy, I'm afraid it too falls flat. More often than not, should a book become a huge success, further printings often include "insider info," research notes, new epilogues leading into sequels, forewords by other authors, after words provided by the authors, sometimes even maps and in the case of fantasy novels, translation notes from whatever variant of gibberty joob joob this author made up to add "realism" to his/her hippie elf commune. And this is all before the trilogy collections drop... books, despite being in print, do have a LOT of DLC. In fact, the entire text book industry is built around the model. The reason why we don't hear about it that often is because 90% of books are expected to fail.