By now, most gamers have gotten used to the idea of paying for extra content seperately — even on the day the game launches. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s something players particularly like. Many have argued that if the content is already made and ready to go the same day the game launches, it should be included in the game.
But, whatever we may have to say about this, it’s become apparent that this method of monitization isn’t just going to go away.
BioWare recently discussed day-one DLC and microtransactions in general in the context of providing extra content to players (at a cost) after a game’s release. According to BioWare, day-one DLC is something that gamers can be tempted to buy. As the company’s online development director Fernando Melo stated at GDC Europe yesterday:
Fans do want more content. From the moment the game launches. They tend to say ‘I want it now!’ So it needs to be there when it’s ready. They choose when to pick it up, day one or later.
He goes on to compare the Online Pass — which brought in 11 percent of the Mass Effect 2 DLC revenue — to free to play games that offer a “premium layer of service”. According to this comparison, an Online Pass can be seen as an “out-of-the-box premium service”.
Melo also explained the addition of micro-transactions to the Mass Effect franchise with ME3 which allows players to unlock weapons and character classes more quickly using real-world money rather than in-game currency. Bioware feels that this gives the players the ability of extra choice. And according to Melo:
Gamers are actually happier, as they are able to spend money when they want. People may not want to pay upfront. They may be happier to pay when they are ‘in the moment’.
While I’m not certain most gamers will agree with all of this in principal, it seems that this is one of those cases in which money speaks louder than words.