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Old 2012-04-13, 09:43   Link #21
Kizoku Keenan
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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I feel like some gaming companies really don't consider how much money their target audiences make and there fore just presume that people will buy whatever crap they pump out time & time again.

A recent example would be mass effect 3...the ending as some of you may already know was disappointing and now they are going to be releasing DLC with a new better ending and such to make up for it and we will have to pay for that DLC when it was their mistake to begin with, in cases like that we as the customers should be rewarded for having to deal with their bullshit mistakes...am I wrong?
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Old 2012-04-13, 09:45   Link #22
creb
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Not to get totally off topic, but I hate when people presume everyone hated the Mass Effect 3 ending. I loved it. Though I agree that it's stupid they're releasing DLC to change the ending, but for completely different reasons than you do, I bet. From mine, it's hard to respect a company without the artistic integrity to stand by the story they envisioned, and this among a million other things over the last few years have slowly eroded my once rock-solid faith in Bioware.
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Old 2012-04-13, 10:09   Link #23
Paranoid Android
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
You also, like many others, want to believe there's a difference between 'pay to win' and cosmetic items. I already said why I don't, as I don't believe there's any real difference in the two concepts when it comes to what drives people to play MMOs. I find this argument popular simply because it gives one a 'moral' out for supporting some cash shops over others, thus perpetuating this stigma that we should all seem moderate, rather than extreme in our views (the roots of which, would make for a fascinating discussion in itself). I suppose we'll just have to disagree.
Except you never actually made a supporting statement to why you think there isn't a difference. People do everything for the purpose of having something more than others, but that general similarity doesn't make the two things indifferent. While there's gamers that play MMORPG for the looks, there's many players who simply don't care about looks and play entirely for PvP and Guild vs Guild. That's when people start complaining about micro transactions breaking the game.

People already accept that money = better clothing and fancy appearances. Nobody want's to be in a match or watch an MMA match between a man with boxer gloves put up against another man piloting a stealth bomber. Gamers generally see that as being unfair or cheating. In any competitive gaming, people expect fair ground competition. And that's when micro transactions providing power boosting bonuses is looked really down upon.
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Old 2012-04-13, 10:33   Link #24
Kizoku Keenan
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
Not to get totally off topic, but I hate when people presume everyone hated the Mass Effect 3 ending. I loved it. Though I agree that it's stupid they're releasing DLC to change the ending, but for completely different reasons than you do, I bet. From mine, it's hard to respect a company without the artistic integrity to stand by the story they envisioned, and this among a million other things over the last few years have slowly eroded my once rock-solid faith in Bioware.
Likewise I was disappointed by the ending but wasn't to annoyed about as most people got. Its best to sticks by your guns especially when you are a critically acclaimed gaming studio, they are just rubbing people the wrong way further by now changing the ending and charging people for it its almost like they are saying "Screw you guys for not liking our ending here have another one for a billion bucks"
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Old 2012-04-13, 10:56   Link #25
Flying Dagger
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1. Are MMO subscription fees outdated?
Yes and No.
Severs cost money. Continuous updates and maintenance cost money. In a "free to pay" model often time we end up with a situation where money buys power (there are exceptions).

I would like to use League of Legends as an example. The game is free to play, no purchase necessary. Paying "speeds up" your leveling process and grants you cosmetic skins. Because of its free model and Riot's effort to push the game onto the esports scene, its popularity has exploded and I dare to say have overshadowed the old "Hon vs Dota vs LoL" triangle.

However a free to play game still has its limits. You are not guaranteed income (very risky). Not all investors may nod their head to that, especially when it comes to MMO where server costs and development costs are much more significant (compared to LoL). A new dungeon in World of Warcraft for example, take months of programming and the combined efforts of a sound and visuals team (unless you are talking about the trial of the crusaders patch). Add things such as tech support, sales rep, etc into the mix and a free to play model may become unfeasible.

I believe a purchase+subs model will remain for MMOs, but at the same time companies may either readjust the subscription fee (atm WoW/ToR are @ $15/m), or, (ToR just started this) give incentives for players to keep playing by offering periods of free game time. Subscription reduction for long term customers (that does not lock people into a WoW-ish "Yearly pass") can be implemented: because they are the people who are most likely going to "burn out".


2. Is it fair to charge beyond the initial purchase to unlock content already on the disk?
No.
Not even if the content on the disk is only "partially done".

There is a bit of a grey area. As developers are not getting any money off rentals, if those content is free to buyers, but comes at a cost for those who rent then game, then sure.

3. Is it fair to pay full retail cost for a digital copy of a game?
Yes. As long as the digital copy of the game carries all the function of a physical copy from rental. Rental agencies save money on transport/storage while people can get the copy over the wire.

However, the copies must be a legit copy. An agent with only 10 keys should not be able to rent out 11 copies at once time, physical and digital combined.

[b]4. Are virtual console titles (like old NES games) over priced?
I do not pay attention to that market so I cannot comment.

5. Should virtual content be locked to account instead of device?
Yes.
For the most part it only affects those who wish to trade in game licenses. Locking a game to an account would provide some benefits such as being able to re-download a game over the wire some time down the road even if the physical media is lost. Those who are looking forward to selling the game can lock the game onto a seperate account (unless accounts are unique per device/requires upfront payment - then that is stupid).


Some of these questions touch upon the core topic of rentals, I would like to throw out some questions of my own:

1. What are your thoughts about rental games? Developers generally are not recieving any money from it. Should the devs and publishers adapt a model where they support game rental? Ie: you pay $3 to have the license "unlocked" for a certain period of time and the renter will gain full access to the game. Are game rentals cutting into the profits of a title?

2. Discuss the "hidden costs" of being a gamer. New hardware, time invested, etc. Have you ever skipped a morning class because you spent the whole night trying to kill a boss? Have your MMO experience cut into some of your social time, such as calling off a night out because your guild has an important planned raid/event? Do you feel pressured to "keep playing" in a competitive environment (ie: I must show up to raids to keep my raid spot, I must play some sc2 every day to keep my spot on the ladder and not keep rusty)?

3. Share the "hidden rewards" of being a gamer. Such as meeting new people, etc. Back in the days when I played the Age of Empires series it taught me a lot about world history, and motivated me to research on related subjects.

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Old 2012-04-13, 12:03   Link #26
synaesthetic
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1. Are MMO subscription fees outdated?

MMOs as they stand now are outdated. The entire genre is fucked. Tera might be an exception, but I recall Tabula Rasa promising to be different years ago... and it wasn't. I recall SWTOR promising to be different, and it's not. The only one that was actually different was Guild Wars, which is why it hasn't been crushed by the anomalous juggernaut WoW.

The only reasons I'm even bothering with Aion is because it's free and, well, lolis.

2. Is it fair to charge beyond the initial purchase to unlock content already on the disk?

Yes, this is bullshit. Intel pulled this crap not too long ago with CPUs. You bought a chip with features disabled, and you had to pay Intel extra to re-enable those features. People got pissed, Intel stopped doing it. People are getting pissed about this in regards to gaming as well.

3. Is it fair to pay full retail cost for a digital copy of a game?

Hell no. Digital distribution cuts your costs significantly, so man up and drop the price. Steam does, and that's why it's wildly successful and why almost everyone loves Valve, despite the fact that Steam games are just as DRMed, if not more so, than retail box PC games.

4. Are virtual console titles (like old NES games) over priced?

Who needs that shit when you have emulators?

5. Should virtual content be locked to account instead of device?

Absolutely. Steam does this, and it works quite well. I have Steam installed on both of my computers, so I can play my little indie games on my craptop while killing time between classes.

---

1. What are your thoughts about rental games? Developers generally are not recieving any money from it. Should the devs and publishers adapt a model where they support game rental? Ie: you pay $3 to have the license "unlocked" for a certain period of time and the renter will gain full access to the game. Are game rentals cutting into the profits of a title?

I'm a PC gamer so rentals are a non-issue.

2. Discuss the "hidden costs" of being a gamer. New hardware, time invested, etc. Have you ever skipped a morning class because you spent the whole night trying to kill a boss? Have your MMO experience cut into some of your social time, such as calling off a night out because your guild has an important planned raid/event? Do you feel pressured to "keep playing" in a competitive environment (ie: I must show up to raids to keep my raid spot, I must play some sc2 every day to keep my spot on the ladder and not keep rusty)?

Hardware used to be a big deal for PC gaming. Now it's not since the consoles drive the high end of gaming these days. My new desktop was expensive, yes, but most of the cost was sunk into parts not purchased for their gaming acumen.

I did not buy an IPS monitor for gaming, nor did I spend money on an SSD or a mechanical switch keyboard or a potent quad-core CPU for gaming. The video card in my PC is good, sure, but it's not the best, and I could have easily kept within the same $1600 budget and gotten a much better video card by sacrificing the keyboard, the SSD and using a weaker CPU. None of these would have affected game performance that much.

Because the unique position PC gamers are in now, PC gaming is cheaper and easier than ever, especially if you play MMOs. They tend to be graphically easy on systems and integrated graphics are only getting better.

As for gaming cutting into other things, it does at times. There's a lot of times when I'm playing a game and I should be doing homework. Back when I was heavy into MMO endgame content (both in WoW and FFXI) I never actually broke social engagements or called in sick just to play the game. The game came second to my real life.

3. Share the "hidden rewards" of being a gamer. Such as meeting new people, etc. Back in the days when I played the Age of Empires series it taught me a lot about world history, and motivated me to research on related subjects.

I met a number of cool people playing online games, some of whom I'm still in contact with, so yeah, it's been pretty neat.
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Old 2012-04-13, 12:15   Link #27
Linkark07
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Join Date: Aug 2009
1. Are MMO subscription fees outdated?
Dunno to be honest. I can understand the fact that the developers must have those servers working 24/7 and doing that isn't cheap but I also believe $15 is right now too much. I believe that at the beginning yes, you can charge for something like that but if you get many players who are paying perhaps lower the price for attract more players, or do the f2p model and charge for cosmetic stuff or pay to win.
2. Is it fair to charge beyond the initial purchase to unlock content already on the disk?
Big no. Why should I pay for something that is already on the disk?; I strongly believe that doing that is ripping off gamers by locking content. Shame people fall for that, especially now with the "Developer team isn't doing nothing while we are in certification stage so why not to make new content"; I actually liked what Bioware did with ME2 in which they offered free dlc for customers who bought the game first hand. Shame they didn't continue with that.
3. Is it fair to pay full retail cost for a digital copy of a game?
No. Even worst now that companies like Bethesda, EA or Activision are charging $60 for digital pc games.
4. Are virtual console titles (like old NES games) over priced?
Can't comment on this.
5. Should virtual content be locked to account instead of device?
To account
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Old 2012-04-13, 12:58   Link #28
DragoonKain3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Are you sure you meant what you said?
Because if I wanted to play for a month, I pay a month of subscription. With one time payment games, I'm paying the full price regardless of how much I play. So it can be a completely shit game and I just payed the full price.
Actually, most subscription games I know of you basically pay full price for the first month, and the rest is 'discounted'. Which to be honest isn't really suited to casual gamers to the MMORPG genre.

I personally am a living example of this. I started WoW with BC, and that costed me vanilla at half price of launch and BC at pretty much full price, and bought a 60 day card as well. (30 + 50 + 40 = 120)

After the 90 days was up (more like 60; got bored after the second month), I quit and came back with Cataclysm since my friend wanted to play again. So that's another 60 day card, with WotLK plus cataclysm itself. (30 + 50 + 40 = 120)

So I spent 240 dollars for a game I only played for 150 days, and even then I didn't play for the full 150 days. For that price, I could've bought 4 full games, and I have the advantage of playing them at MY leisure.


It's not just WoW either. Take the newest MMORPG, The Old Republic. You're basically paying full price for a game you can only play for one month, as it is already 60 bucks off the shelf.


Main reason why League of Legends is my choice of game nowadays. I spent like 300 bucks over 2 years (and all that for mostly cosmetic stuff as I love skins), and I don't have to force myself to play long hours every day just to get my money's worth.
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Old 2012-04-13, 13:28   Link #29
Flying Dagger
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One of the features of a MMO is that the more time you invest into it, the "stronger" you get. This "strength" may be in form of random loot, wealth, consumables, etc.

Given that, MMO players want more content so they can become "stronger". And of course, people get bored if they do the same thing over and over and over. Think random daily dungeon/quests in WoW: do you find them fun? For me they feel like chores.

However there is another side to the coin.
If there are too many ways for people to "get ahead". They will feel that to remain "competitive" the MMO (or just have "fun) will be consuming a good majority of their time (the "grind" and "farm"). The game must also be appealing to the casual audience, which is going to be a significant portion of the playerbase.
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Old 2012-04-13, 17:30   Link #30
creb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Except you never actually made a supporting statement to why you think there isn't a difference. People do everything for the purpose of having something more than others, but that general similarity doesn't make the two things indifferent. While there's gamers that play MMORPG for the looks, there's many players who simply don't care about looks and play entirely for PvP and Guild vs Guild. That's when people start complaining about micro transactions breaking the game.

People already accept that money = better clothing and fancy appearances. Nobody want's to be in a match or watch an MMA match between a man with boxer gloves put up against another man piloting a stealth bomber. Gamers generally see that as being unfair or cheating. In any competitive gaming, people expect fair ground competition. And that's when micro transactions providing power boosting bonuses is looked really down upon.
You're completely missing the point. What I'm saying is there's absolutely no difference between people competing against each other in pvp compared to people competing against each other in the game of who has the most outfits/pets/etc. The driving force, at the root of all of this, regardless of 'power' or 'cosmetics' is the same: to one up the Joneses, to use a cliche. More peer-reviewed studies than I could possibly reference have proven beyond a doubt that the typical person is driven by that basic motivation.

Which is why I continue to say that the entire basis for claiming there's a difference between buying power and cosmetics is based on a fallacy that pretends they aren't one and the same at a basic level.

To take a quick page from the post above mine, he's absolutely right that the basic premise of an MMO is put time into something, get something back. That doesn't just apply to your +10 Greatsword of Epeen. It applies to your Pet of Silly Squacking Noises as well. When you're able to buy a Pet of Silly Squacking Noises and bypass the time investment, there's absolutely no reason why that's somehow ok, while the same people moralize that it's not ok to sell +10 Greatswords of Epeen in the cash shop.
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Old 2012-04-13, 17:36   Link #31
gsilver
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1. Are MMO subscription fees outdated?
I'm not an MMO player, but the choices seem to be between monthly fees (with timesinks in-game to keep you paying and playing month after month) or locking away key abilities in the "free to play" model until you either pay or sit through a lot of time-sinks... Either way, it does seem like a huge hassle that I have no interest in. Pick your poison, IMO.


2. Is it fair to charge beyond the initial purchase to unlock content already on the disk?
I find modern DLC trends laughable. I've gone more and more into the mindset of 'wait a year for them to release a "complete" version'... Because the kind of 5 and 10 dollaring of modern games is bull****.

3. Is it fair to pay full retail cost for a digital copy of a game?
I don't see why not. A disk and a box is mostly something that you have to store. As for what I, personally, am willing to pay, it's very low, since I don't have much time for gaming, and have a wealth of options available at 75% off of retail (often $5-$10 for an entire game, or less for indie titles) on Steam, and the rate the games go on sale far exceed my capacity to play them. I'll make exceptions, if I'm really exited about a game, but the last two games that I was able to justify full retail price were Skyrim and the original Street Fighter 4... two years apart.

4. Are virtual console titles (like old NES games) over priced?
Yeah. Some of the big titles may be justified, but for the most part, it's hard to justify those prices compared to newer, better games at the same pricepoints.

5. Should virtual content be locked to account instead of device?
Always account. Systems can and do die all the time. The key thing needed for digital distribution to work is that it needs to be better than physical media. Valve/Steam understands this, and their games will work on my desktop, laptop, work computer, and potentially anywhere else. They also have aggressive pricing that gets me to buy/try out games that I otherwise would not.


Now, if Steam betrays my trust (deactivating games I paid for or banning my account), things will change quickly.
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Old 2012-04-13, 18:23   Link #32
Keroko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
This argument is a red herring. And a classic one at that. It completely ignores that the entire reason they went F2P was because they were too crappy to keep subscriptions. When you're too crappy to make money with a subscription, it's hardly a feat to make more money via a cashshop and F2P business model, since making some money is better than making no money. Do I really have to explain why, then, comments about how they now make X times more money are so empty? So, sure, the F2P model 'saved' those games, but that in itself doesn't serve as a logical basis for the game actually being any good.
That's actually exactly what I said. It shows that the F2P model is not insta-fail, and definitely not the reason for a game to fail, which is the argument most micro-transaction opponents use. I never said the games themselves were good because of it (indeed I rather said the opposite) just that the F2P model is not the reason for the game's failure, but did aid in saving some games from complete death.


Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
Not to get totally off topic, but I hate when people presume everyone hated the Mass Effect 3 ending. I loved it. Though I agree that it's stupid they're releasing DLC to change the ending, but for completely different reasons than you do, I bet. From mine, it's hard to respect a company without the artistic integrity to stand by the story they envisioned, and this among a million other things over the last few years have slowly eroded my once rock-solid faith in Bioware.
Bah, I never bought the artistic integrity argument. Every media, from paintings to books to movies to comics, has reworked their works in response to their customers. Games neither are, nor should be, any different.

I can hardly accept this is the ending they envisioned. What they envisioned, and shared with us, was an ending that was shaped by your actions across all three games. This ending was not, which makes it hard for me to accept it was what they envisioned at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizoku Keenan View Post
Likewise I was disappointed by the ending but wasn't to annoyed about as most people got. Its best to sticks by your guns especially when you are a critically acclaimed gaming studio, they are just rubbing people the wrong way further by now changing the ending and charging people for it its almost like they are saying "Screw you guys for not liking our ending here have another one for a billion bucks"
Actually, the epilogue DLC is free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
You're completely missing the point. What I'm saying is there's absolutely no difference between people competing against each other in pvp compared to people competing against each other in the game of who has the most outfits/pets/etc. The driving force, at the root of all of this, regardless of 'power' or 'cosmetics' is the same: to one up the Joneses, to use a cliche. More peer-reviewed studies than I could possibly reference have proven beyond a doubt that the typical person is driven by that basic motivation.

Which is why I continue to say that the entire basis for claiming there's a difference between buying power and cosmetics is based on a fallacy that pretends they aren't one and the same at a basic level.

To take a quick page from the post above mine, he's absolutely right that the basic premise of an MMO is put time into something, get something back. That doesn't just apply to your +10 Greatsword of Epeen. It applies to your Pet of Silly Squacking Noises as well. When you're able to buy a Pet of Silly Squacking Noises and bypass the time investment, there's absolutely no reason why that's somehow ok, while the same people moralize that it's not ok to sell +10 Greatswords of Epeen in the cash shop.
Players will want them, yes. But there are two very important differences. The first one is that a cosmetic hat won't affect the gameplay of the players who aren't interested in said hat. The double-damage one will. This is something that is not even remotely subjective, the respawn button will sharply remind you of how the other player has better stuff every single time.

The second is that cosmetic gear is... well... subjective as hell. While an armor that gives +300 strength and +250 stamina is clearly better than the one that gives +100 strength and +75 stamina. No ifs and buts. But is the purple hat with a feather better than the blue beret? That totally depends on the person in question.

There is far less "one upping" in cosmetic items simply because it is subjective as hell. Someone in free gear obtainable through quests might consider himself to be better looking than someone who's walking around in a fifty dollar outfit.

Are there similarities? A bit. The drive to collect is still there. Are they the same? No, not by a long shot.
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Old 2012-04-16, 06:03   Link #33
Sides
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1. Are MMO subscription fees outdated?
What is that?
Joke aside, as long as MMO suppliers offer good service, like hosting daily or weekly events and offer new content, i don't see subscription based games as a problem or outdated. It is only when services starting to slack off and just re-run events, and stop offering new things. It is just like a season ticket for your local club, you want experience a new game every week, not watch a re-run of an old match on the big screen.

2. Is it fair to charge beyond the initial purchase to unlock content already on the disk?
Yes, but only if you can unlock the content by other means, such as showing some gaming skills. For people who do not want to beat a game 50 times or the likes, they should be allowed to purchase the locked content if they choose to. Buying locked content should be a way to punish "gamers" who don't really want to play.

3. Is it fair to pay full retail cost for a digital copy of a game?
Depends on how good the servers are and the terms and condition. If a publisher chargers the same or higher price than local retailer, i would expect at least high speed servers and early access to the game, beside being allowed to play it on different devices.

4. Are virtual console titles (like old NES games) over priced?
Don't know, how much are they?

5. Should virtual content be locked to account instead of device?
No, it should not be completely locked to an account, it should offer people the chance to trade and transfer their virtual content/times to others.
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Old 2012-04-16, 08:20   Link #34
Paranoid Android
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Additional note* Nothing should be account locked if you got a shitty service provider like PSN that has a hamsters running its database/network security.

Any other case, account locked is better accessibility and safer.
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Old 2012-04-16, 08:23   Link #35
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Additional note* Nothing should be account locked if you got a shitty service provider like PSN that has a hamsters running its database/network security.
Not hamsters. Just underpaid, overworked contract-ComSvcs personnel who are sick of being undercut while the executives are enjoying sushi everyday.
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Old 2012-04-16, 09:07   Link #36
Keroko
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Oh, and region locks. Few things frustrate mke more than seeing a fun looking game, but being unable to buy it for no other reason than living in a different country.
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Old 2012-04-16, 10:05   Link #37
Benoit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Oh, and region locks. Few things frustrate mke more than seeing a fun looking game, but being unable to buy it for no other reason than living in a different country.
People praise the PS3 and the Xbox 360 for being region free, but the developer can always add a region lock if they want to. That's why I prefer a standard region lock that you can bypass once.

But let's assume that you're fine with that. While the games are region free, DLC isn't. It's really bad if you're European as things like downloadable games and extra characters may not be available in your country, or delayed for many months for no good reason. Worse, sometimes they're available but disappear after a couple months.

Can it get worse? Yes, it can! If you're not in the UK but prefer to play games in English, you are likely stuck with DLC that is only available in your country's native language.

Region free? I think not!
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Old 2012-04-16, 10:37   Link #38
Paranoid Android
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit View Post
People praise the PS3 and the Xbox 360 for being region free, but the developer can always add a region lock if they want to. That's why I prefer a standard region lock that you can bypass once.

But let's assume that you're fine with that. While the games are region free, DLC isn't. It's really bad if you're European as things like downloadable games and extra characters may not be available in your country, or delayed for many months for no good reason. Worse, sometimes they're available but disappear after a couple months.

Can it get worse? Yes, it can! If you're not in the UK but prefer to play games in English, you are likely stuck with DLC that is only available in your country's native language.

Region free? I think not!
Ugh the number of bad examples of international distribution are flooding my head now XP
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Old 2012-04-16, 10:48   Link #39
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Oh, and region locks. Few things frustrate mke more than seeing a fun looking game, but being unable to buy it for no other reason than living in a different country.
Region locks should have been made unconstitutional under the human rights amendment.
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Old 2012-04-16, 12:01   Link #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit View Post
But let's assume that you're fine with that. While the games are region free, DLC isn't. It's really bad if you're European as things like downloadable games and extra characters may not be available in your country, or delayed for many months for no good reason. Worse, sometimes they're available but disappear after a couple months.
Yes, because it is oh so difficult to make a PSN account for another country. It's so difficult, I have both a HK and Japanese PSN account but no American account, despite living in America.

The only real condemnation you can have for DLC in this instance would be one country's DLC not working on another country's game, even when both countries have the same DLC available (thus being forced to buy twice if you want it).
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