My entire life just about, video games have been one of the most relaxing forms of entertainment I have enjoyed. With Hollywood and the music industry being so fundamentally criminal with the way they operate, it was a different experience knowing developers enjoyed their work and wanted us to appreciate their efforts because they, too, lived the video game life. It seems all of that is changing, though. Developers continue to be pushed to the wayside to become cogs in what is a now a businessmen-led industry whose sole purpose in our community is to drain consumers of their every last penny through the increasingly disgusting practice of paid downloadable content.
Take Evolve for example. $60 for a game I was initially interested in. Sure. Not an issue – if that were the real price, anyhow.
For $60 you gain access to twelve (and all subsequently released) maps, twelve hunters, three monsters, four multiplayer modes, offline solo-play, and a campaign mode. Good stuff, right? Not so fast. Now take a look at a portion of Turtle Rock’s DLC plan:
“If you love the idea of more Hunters bringing a lot of additional variety to the hunt, you’ll want to keep an eye on this. The Evolve Hunting Season Pass contains four new Hunter characters (one from each class), as well as three new Monster skins (Magma Goliath, Magma Kraken and Magma Wraith.) and will only cost you $24.99. Considering that if you bought them all separately, all of that content will run you about 30 bones, stash that extra $5 in your pocket as a thank you for joining us on the hunt.”
So, for $30 – unless you buy the season pass which knocks off $5, you receive four new hunters and three skins for the base monsters. That is more than $5 per hunter. And they were announced before the game had even gone gold. And they have said they plan on releasing many more!
That is not all, though. Turtle Rock has also announced a Monster Expansion:
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Monster Expansion Pack for Evolve – gives you two things: At launch, you get an exclusive Savage Goliath skin. After the game ships, you get the fourth Monster (BEHEMOTH). That is a retail value of more than $14.99 and adds a whole different gameplay mechanic to how you’ll fight. If you pre-order, you get this FREE when the Monster is done. If you’re already thinking of buying Evolve, this really is the no-brainer.”
Unless you pre-order the game, you will be spending more than $15 per every new monster they release. Holy cow. That means at launch you could be spending more than $105 just to experience Evolve in its entirety. How do they expect their target audience to be able to afford their game?
If it were just Evolve, however, I would just brush it off as a game I will end up skipping until an inevitable re-release, but that is not the case. Did you catch the various versions of Mortal Kombat X that were announced? Here’s a blurb from the statement:
“Mortal Kombat X Premium Edition ($89.99) is download only and includes the Kombat Pack: available for PC, PlayStation 3 PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
…Kombat Pack which contains four extra unnamed fighters which will be a mix of classic and guest fighters.”
The Kombat Pack; a DLC pack that includes four unnamed fighters for $30. That sets the individual character prices at $7.50. I just do not understand how NetherRealm Studios can charge that much when they are offering the entire base roster and all of the on-disc content for $60. Not to mention they are offering Goro as a pre-order incentive and he will undoubtedly not be included in the Kombat Pack, likely running you another $7.50 if you do not pre-order.
AAA titles are beginning to feel like early access titles with the preposterously priced DLC nowadays. It is getting out of hand. Instead of defending these companies and their sketchy practices, it is our job as gamers and consumers to stand up for ourselves. It will only get worse if we do nothing.