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?

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  • I think a big part of the problem is the willingness to purchase games that aren't finished. I don't mean indie games that need backing, but too many companies seem to pump out unfinished, buggy games at full price and we gamers are the ones who aren't getting value for money. A game that demands users pay for a feature that should have been included for free seems like an extension of this. I just won't pay for a game on release day anymore because it's nothing but frustration for me when you pay a lot of money for a game that doesn't work properly. Perhaps it's time to "vote with our wallets".

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  • I think a big part of the problem is the willingness to purchase games that aren't finished. I don't mean indie games that need backing, but too many companies seem to pump out unfinished, buggy games at full price and we gamers are the ones who aren't getting value for money. A game that demands users pay for a feature that should have been included for free seems like an extension of this. I just won't pay for a game on release day anymore because it's nothing but frustration for me when you pay a lot of money for a game that doesn't work properly. Perhaps it's time to "vote with our wallets".

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