Since there’s numerous mumblings and grumblings lamenting the cost of the Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Map pack DLC I thought it was the perfect time to bring up the subject of the virtual market place compared to the real world.
So here’s how I’ve traditionally gamed:
- 1 – Buy Game
- 2 – Play game
- 3 – Complete or get sick of game
- 4 – Trade in game for credit or moolah
- 5 – Go to 1
Essentially I’m only paying full price for the first game and I’ll get a decent percentage off the purchase price of each future game as long as I do it before the trade in value plummets.
This scenario for me provides the best balance between value and playing. Some players, like a friend of mine called Mike, keep every title they have ever played (but he also has every copy of GamesMaster published too….) so it’s not something that everyone will do.
The thing is, when you buy a physical copy of a game you actually own a tangiable product. You can hold it, you can look at the artwork (like I do with my Hardened copy of Modern Warfare 2), you can lend it to your friend(s) and, should you wish to, you can sell it on to fund further game purchases.
However, there’s a cloud on the horizon. Many publishers are looking at ways to get us to download titles. And they will only be available to download. Okay, that’s convenient. You don’t have to trudge into town and queue up in Game (why are their shops so small!?) – you just turn your machine on, make your purchase, wait 10 minutes (or 30 hours if you are being throttled by Virgin Media for daring to use your connection) and there it is – your spanking new game, ready to roll.
So what happens then when you finish the game, get fed up with it, or find that it’s a big stinking pile of turds? Well……nothing. You could delete it – but that’s the equivalent of giving £40 to Sir Fred Goodwin. You paid your cash and literally have nothing to show for it.
What happens if your machine blows up? Content begone! If you had a physical copy you can just reinstall – but in most cases with a download it’s a one shot deal!
Although DLC (down loadable conent) is convenient, it only truly benefits the publisher. As a consumer you have no real rights, recourse or even resale value to the content. I think there needs to be more safeguards in place to protect consumers and improve the support available for DLC. For a start, if you purchase a title, you should be able to re-download that title to your account as many times as you like in the same way that you can reinstall your physical software. I’d also like to see some sort of loyalty value associated with a title/publisher – if I can’t physically trade in then surely that’s not too much ask.
Moving completely to DLC in my case would mean that I would purchase maybe one title a year compared to the five or six on average that I have previously bought (on console). If I don’t think something is value for money then I don’t buy it – no matter what the hype.
What are your thoughts on this?
Peas and loaves.
Find me on PSN – evaDlivE