In a recent interview with GameSpot, Cliff Bleszinski called on-disc bonus content an “ugly truth” of the gaming industry, adding “When you’re making a game, and you’re getting into a ship cycle, there’s often three or four months where the game is basically done. And you have an idle team that needs to be working on things.” Oh, CliffyB, how you’ve led us astray.
It’s because of events like this that people will continue to find ways to exploit that content (after all, their community did not take the news lightly). Charging $20 for some characters that were on the disc all along, as though you put in some additional hard work after the game released and then charged us for it seems absolutely insane. But was the precedent set long before video games and DLC became common place?
As gamers, we think it’s outrageous that we can buy a disc, but not have a legal right to everything that is contained on this disc. Developers claim it’s for testing purpose, to ensure compatability… right, because no game has ever had patches downloaded to it to fix technical issues. I never bought a VHS and had somebody tell me that I couldn’t watch it past the credits until the tape itself reached its limits and rewound in my VCR. DVDs never came with “bonus content” that required a microtransaction. Sony Music Entertainment CDs didn’t have hidden tracks that wouldn’t play unless I put the disc in a PlayStation or a Sony branded WalkMan. Leonardo da Vinci didn’t ask for a few more florins to complete the Mona Lisa. Gamers are in an uproar about this, and with good reason. But, just because it’s on the disc, do we really have a right to it? People have been arguing over similar questions for years. Some of the fees attached to the items have been hard to swallow for decades.
- Windows Phone 7
- taking a test overseas
- Windows 7
- airline baggage
- so many pieces of shareware
- extra cable channels
- Angry Birds Space
- multiplayer gaming
- paying your bill online (luckily reversed).
- getting a PassPort
- extending your household internet to more than one computer
- merchant account fees
- court costs and surcharges when you’re already being fined!
- backing up your own data (a reasonable expense, unless you also need the SQL Agent
All of these are things that are sold at one price for one set of featres, but have been intentionally restricted and usually requre a fee to (at least legally) perform the way they’re fully capable of performing. It’s aggravating and insulting to consumers… but, unfortunately, it’s nothing new.