You’re making it so tough to like you recently. I’m speaking about the fact that Destiny’s first DLC pack (The Dark Below) is confirmed as already being present on the disc whilst the second entry House of Wolves is rumoured also, at least in part, likely to be on there too.
You may well get the feeling after my Bored of Duty article that I am picking on you. Let me say this. I am not. It is only as was once a defender and fan of you that inspires me to write this, that and I read too many comics and have an inflated sense of social justice. Basically I’m not so much angry but disappointed. Plus I’m now skint.
I know you’re unlikely to read this and even less likely to care, but I shall try to speak plainly and get across what I want to say as carefully as possible .
It wouldn’t be half as galling if Destiny was worth £50 in the first place.
Firstly, I know Bungie made the game but it seems obvious to most that you, as the publisher and de-facto boss of Bungie determine the pricing for the DLC. Plus track record from Bungie’s previous work seems to suggest they were perhaps more inclined to generosity than you seem to be. So for now they are left out of it.
The pricing of Destiny and its DLC is all wrong. To those who bought Destiny full price, that is a £50 investment into your product. Regardless of what you might think, fifty pounds isn’t pocket change. Whilst you and the shareholders probably use the big 50 spot red notes for lighting enormous cigars or for wiping your behind on your puma shaped, gilded gold toilet, to some of us that’s still a lot of money and will have lost you a great many sales.
It wouldn’t be half as galling if Destiny was worth £50 in the first place. Objectively speaking and in comparison with other similar games, its lighter on content than Posh Spices lunchtime quinoa salad. For instance, when you look at open world games like Skyrim, Borderlands 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, its frankly laughable what a paltry amount of actual hard product you are offering.
Oh and padding out the content with daily raids which are basically the same level with a different boss, or same boss in a different (yet pre-existing) environment isn’t new content, its filler…like an ice cream sundae full of rancid squirty cream to add volume and give the illusion of value.
Destiny already contains more grinding than a stripper with chronic worms. The structure of the ranking system (which works reasonably well until level 20), is just so unnecessarily elaborate, like you and Bungie couldn’t decide between which ranking system you wanted…. so went with both. Like trying to staple a cat and dog together and expecting it will make a fully functional animal.
The DLC fares even worse. The Dark Below’s list of contents reads like a children’s short story about a lost mouse…. written in crayon on a crumpled fag packet. The fact that the DLC exists on the disc and uses most of the existing assets is pretty much inexcusable. This is the sort of behaviour which gets people talking about you when you aren’t looking, as Capcom found out using this tactic repeatedly. Is this the sort of reputation that you want for yourself?
You don’t get the plumber who fits your bathroom saying you can’t use the hot tap till you send him another cheque do you?
The Dark Below’s list of content reads like a children’s short story about a lost mouse…. written in crayon on a crumpled fag packet.
If the second DLC rumour comes to pass, then you will have likely lost a customer, sorry. Twenty quid per pack or the ‘bargain’ price of £35 for both isn’t cheap for basically a handful of missions. With this creeping and slightly disingenuous greed, you are starting to come across like the very same darkness that the incredibly bored sounding Bill Nighy and Peter Dinkalge are fighting, which is rather blackly comic if you think about.
If you look at the oft-compared Borderlands 2 DLC, the main packs themselves were not only great value but high on brand new content and the micro-DLC (Head hunters packs) which used the existing maps cost less than £3 each. Destiny on other hand is peddling old carbon-nano rope for big prices. For shame.
I know you have shareholders and quarterly profit statements to satisfy but the customer shouldn’t be treated like a bottomless well of cash to exploit, they should be treated like supporters, as they are the ones that pass on the word of mouth, fill the coffers and make you successful.
People who buy your game are buying into your ideas and when you charge them 20 pounds for content that they already own (but can’t yet unlock), worth maybe a quarter of that you make a mockery of this relationship.
We are all aware of the commercial pressures you are under and to an extent how DLC makes up for losses from pre-owned or non-DLC buyers’ market or how successful games fund less successful and more critically beloved titles, etc. However, the gamer who buys this DLC shouldn’t have to subsidise Destiny for everyone else. As I said before (RE CoD), make the DLC reasonably priced and you may find that it actually sells more anyway.
With this creeping and slightly disingenuous greed, you are starting to come across like the very same darkness that the incredibly bored sounding Bill Nighy and Peter Dinkalge are fighting, which is rather blackly comic if you think about.
You should also be careful for your own sake. Destiny is not a perfect game. There are many admirable and fine things about it but some things don’t work that well (see leveling-up listed above) and now is the time you need to strike while the iron is hot and get people on board. If you price your gamers out of a MMO now, Destiny may struggle long term.
So here is my naïve but heartfelt plea. Actvision, please charge less for the DLC and actually try creating some significant new content next time. Alternatively, make the DLC worth the money, we are talking brand new planets, aesthetics and enemies and at least 10 hours’ worth of content.
You may find that what you give, you receive back many times over.