Are Games Becoming Too Monetised

Don't know if anyone else has seen the outrage that seemed to be caused by the devs for The Callisto Protocol announcing that they are planning to release a paid DLC that adds "extra death animations" (along with other expansion content). Many gamers are arguing that content like that should be a part of the core game experience that you already paid for and should not be locked behind a paywall after having already purchased the game. The devs argue that it is additional work done by the programmers/designers beyond what was initially intended for the main game and that that work should be paid extra for and should be treated as is if it was an optional cosmetic skin that does not affect gameplay just like any other cosmetic skin microtransaction you would see in Fortnight for example.

I feel a bit torn as I'm all for supporting game designers work and can see the devs point of view that it is an expansion to the main game and that extra work should be paid for by those that choose to buy that expansion and those who don't buy it still get the core game experience as they intended.

But on the other hand the main game isn't even out yet and sounds a bit like content that should/could have been in the core game and that you are essentially buying access to only part of a game only to have to pay to unlock the rest of the game. Games already feel like they are becoming more of a subscription service to play. You no longer 'own' the game, often it is tied to the game company's online service to activate and if one day they choose to no longer support the game then boohoo you just can't play it anymore. And often games are being released long before they are ready and inevitably have to be patched extensively after launch (sometimes just to get the game to work) but at least those are free. Games are also becoming bogged down with loot boxes, microtransactions, season passes, pre-order bonuses etc. but a least most of those are purely cosmetic in nature.

I'm worried that going down this road will lead to games being compartmentalised into versions dependant on how much extra you are willing to pay and the experience you have could be different to someone else's just because they threw more money at it; a bit like when companies like Tesla and BMW sold electric cars that have heated seats or high capacity batteries already built in but they locked the ability to use those features behind arbitrary paywalls so you have to pay extra to unlock them even though they are already installed in your car that you already paid for.

Interested what others think.  Am I just getting old and this is the future of gaming? Will games, gamers and studios all benefit from this model? Or is it just greedy game publishers trying to milk more out of your wallet and gamers should protest to end this madness?

  • I hope this will not be the future of games, micro tansactions are great for multiplayer free games like Pubg, Fornite, mobile games ecc.

    Dlcs are also incredible because they add depth to he history and require a lot of work, If you like it you buy it.

    But sell an incomplete product is an inappropriate choice

  • I am annoyed when games are made with the intention of cutting some parts to leave room for DLC like fighting games missing popular characters to release them as DLC later, or are made extra difficult or grindy to get you to pay for cheat items. I'd rahter buy a complete good game rather even if it means waiting longer or paying more than this business model and I want games like that to fail so it doesn't become standard practice. When it comes to skins, or animations like you say or other small stuff I don't really care, I just see it as a way for devs to make some quick money with low effort content that is completely optional, that's fine by me.

  • I think the issue is, a lot of us are hypocrites on this topic - myself included. I'll swear blind that battle passes, small DLC's and stores are killing gaming for 99% of games, but then along comes a title I really enjoy and play for a good year or more and I'll happily spend extra on anything worthwhile that isn't just skins. Maybe a better way of thinking about it is that i've got no issues paying for battle passes and some extras in a game if the devs are fully supporting the title and the optional paid content is balanced out by enough useful free content, but I definitely think that single player games or games that you know aren't going to get a cult following should stay clear from microtransations!

  • Pay to win is all the rage recently 

  • Personally, I hate it.

    Some DLCs are good, you can tell they're add ons to a finished game and they're enjoyable, witcher 3 DLC for example. But they're also reasonably priced for what you got. Then there's crap like Capcom and street fighter games. At time releasing a whole new version of the game with 4 new characters. In cart days, fair enough, but otherwise its just a cash grab.

    Back in the day, if there was a cool skin or costume itnwas usually behind an in game feat or clearing a difficulty. Now its behind your wallet. Which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't ask 60+ for a standard game, then have 2 other more expensive versions with items or cool stuff that should be in game. Like Hogwarts legacy tying thestralls in there deluxe edition. I bouggt the preorder for my girlfriend and it annoys me stuff is behind a preorder or deluxe version only. These things mean something to her can she's a Harry potter nut. It's just cheap targeted robbery at that point.

  • I don't mind if it is just cosmetics, but games shouldn't become pay to win.

  • Publishers are looking at the sale numbers of games like FIFA23 and their lootboxes and they see that players are willing to pay, so they try do implement this in normal, story-rich games, which is just sad.

  • I agree with Figen here. It wouldn't happen if people wouldn't pay for it. Some years ago we were all laughing at a developer trying to sell an armor skin for a horse. Today it's normal and expected. What changes is that we, the gamers / consumers, keep paying for skins and small add-ons.

    Also the line is sometimes less clear. When I was a kid, my parents bought me The Sims (1) expansions and I loved them. Developers created new content and sold it. Happy to pay for it, cause most of the expansions were good and fun. Now I feel like many devs cut out pieces of their games to sell them on top of the base game. Every improvement is extra work, though a certain baseline is expected. We, the gamers, should value a base game on what it is without extras. If it's good, consider expansions, if it's not, refund and leave it be. It'll force devs to release good content. But, myself included, sometimes want a game to be good so much, I overlook flaws that I shouldn't accept. And that's where they get us.

  • It's a simple question with no  clear answer beyond what someone else said already. The answer may be "When people stop paying for it. The reason why it's so hard to find where the actual limit is is because the discussion is being bloated and obfuscated by people with various agendas that have nothing to do with the morals or ethics of DLC or content policies.

  • yeah it's the sad reality of the industry isn't it? Even big budget and revenue games aren't happy making hundreds of millions a year in profit...