by raines

Big Companies Love Your Money And Hate You

Remember when video game companies actually cared about making good games for everyone to play? Remember when you could buy a used console game and play it online without having to pay some bulls*** fee? Remember when you didn't have to be connected to the internet constantly to play a game that wasn't an MMO? Remember when you bought a game, and you got EVERYTHING on the disc without having parts of it locked out and paying a bulls*** fee? Remember when you actually OWNED the game you shelled out good money for?

I remember those times, and they're never coming back. Seems like the bigger a video game related company gets, the dumber and more sadistic their ideas become. DRM, disc-locked content, completely ignoring to fix technical issues after release, online passes, microtransactions, Day One DLC,....all horrible, horrible ideas born in marketing meetings by rich people in suits who probably never played a game in their lives. Seems like people from EA, Blizzard, Activision, Capcom, Microsoft, and many others are out to squeeze every last dime out of you they can get. This is the future of gaming. You won't own what you paid for; you're basically renting the rights to use it and you'll pay and pay and pay.

Here's what you get to look forward to now and forever more:

1. DRM - Geared more towards PC gamers. Digital Rights Management isn't necessarily a bad thing. I can understand a company like Blizzard not wanting Diablo 3 pirated all over everywhere and losing money from it. But requiring an always-on internet connection? For a game that many gamers probably play by themselves? That's a serious jerkass move there. Blizzard's certainly not the first company to do this. EA did it with Spore, and I'm sure there's plenty others out there I can't think of right now. What happens when your internet messes up? Oops, no hack 'n slashing for you my friend. No login, no play. This is of course assuming you can log in in the first place and not get some @#$%ing error. I figure eventually console players will be subjected to this crap regularly as well.

2. DLC - This is not a bad thing either. Good content post-release adds new life to your games. Map packs, extra characters, weapons & vehicles all can be good stuff and it can be content you want to buy. The problem is how the publisher goes about it. Take Capcom, who just loves locking out content sitting there on the damn disc that you paid $60 for, only to charge another $5 or $10 to use it. Think about it this way: You're at a bakery and you see a delicious looking chocolate cake with frosting. You see a price tag of let's say $10 on it and you take it to the register to pay for it. The cashier then informs you that you have to pay another $5 for that frosting already sitting on that cake. Would that not piss you off? Same thing with games. If we're gonna shell out $60 for a disc, then we damn well have the right to ALL the content on that disc. Day One DLC is similar. OK I understand that during game development the dev may not get everything on disc that they wanted, but why do we have to pay out more money for content that comes out THE SAME DAY?

3. Microtransactions - Similar to DLC, but not quite. This has long been a practice of Asian MMOs. You pay a ridiculous amount of real money for virtual items that maybe give a temporary boost to XP earned, or weapon skins, or something totally game-breaking that other players may not be able to afford. This was one of the reasons I quit playing World of Warcraft. Some players work for hours to get gold or items to make their character better and more powerful, but others just contact some Chinese gold farmers and pay up money for the same thing. Now Blizzard is embracing this idea with a real money Auction House. Seems horribly unfair to me.

4. Online Passes - Thanks EA for this middle finger to used game buyers. Buy new and redeem your code or shell out $10 to play online, or you're f***ed. I rarely buy used games anyway, but many, MANY other gamers do, and companies like GameStop build their business on this. What's worse, more and more single-player games are getting subjected to this s***. An Online play a fairly large amount of content for a SINGLE PLAYER game. Kinda goes along with disc-locked content. Wanna play the Catwoman parts of Batman: Arkham City, which is fairly substantial to the storyline? Oh, I see you didn't buy new. $10 please.

Most of it boils down to one idea in general: If you wanna play, you're gonna pay. Even when you do pay, you probably won't even get access to all of what you paid for without ponying up more cash. Or you'll have to tolerate BS security measures that screw over the hosnet gamer more than pirates. Gone are the days of buying a game and knowing you got your full money's worth. Rich Uncle Pennybags is going to take more of your hard-earned money one way or another. Until the majority of gamers stop putting up with it, then it's going to keep on rolling with even worse ideas in the future, perhaps having your credit card charged every time you turn on your console or PC. Hell, maybe you'll have to provide a DNA sample after you buy your shiny new gaming machine to get past the security measures and DRM.

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