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Published September 29, 2014

Dear Gamers:

Please, stop blindly handing your money over to greedy developers and publishers. I’m referring to the endless stream of DLC and season passes that consumers eat up. Now, not all of you indulge the game developers and publishers, and I thank those of you who don’t. I’m writing to those who eat up these shady business practices.

By now you probably know that there was a bug in Destiny that revealed to the player a large amount of upcoming content for Destiny. Bungie had this to say through their community blog: “We noticed that you noticed that we already have plans for upcoming content packs in Destiny. We do! They have activity names (which may or may not change) and we have a really good idea what they’re going to contain. They even have placeholder nodes in the Director, as you’ve already discovered. But neither of the Expansion Packs we’ve announced are finished.”

Translation: “You caught us! We do in fact have tons of content that we will overcharge you for instead of shipping the disc with all of the content. We’ll call this DLC “Expansion Packs” so you don’t feel too cheated.

This trend is nothing we’re not used to. Season passes have been a staple in gaming for the past few years. Some developers have even advertized their season pass roughly two months before the game has released. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Ubisoft. DLC has been around even longer. The biggest proponents behind DLC, in my view, are Activision and EA. Activision loves to release a Call of Duty game each year, withhold some of the better maps, and then charge you the price of a full game (four map packs at $15 apiece), to get those better maps. EA has created an insanely popular game mode in each of their sports games, Ultimate Team, that is essentially a pay-to-win mode. The same can be said about 2K and the MyTeam mode. These aren’t the only games with overpriced DLC. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a popular game that hasn’t released expensive DLC.

But you all know what DLC is and how expensive it is. I don’t need to reference any more games for you to get the idea.

I’m going to be upfront with you — collectively, we have to stop letting developers and their publishers get away with this shit. They need to stop leaving content off the disc just to overcharge you months later. And you need to have the willpower not to buy the DLC or season passes. These developers and publishers can only get away with this because you let them. If people stopped buying, they would stop selling and just include all this content with the game when it ships.

Remember the days when every piece of the game was on the disc you purchased? Remember having to go to gamefaqs.com to figure out a way to unlock a new mode or character? Remember having to google cheat codes to unlock new appearances for your characters?

Because it seems as if gamers everywhere have gotten lazier. Developers now let you pay to access those features. Want a new skin? It’ll be five bucks or so. Want to play a challenge mode or “new game +” mode? Yeah you can get that right away in the season pass. Play as a new character? That will also be five bucks.

It’s gotten to the point, for games you’re not dying to get, that you’re better off waiting for the “Game of the Year Edition,” “Definitive Edition,” or the “Complete Edition” to get all of the content.

Now, I don’t mean to tell you how to spend your money. It’s yours to spend however you like. Though, let me ask you this: Would you ever buy a car and months later pay extra for the radio and cup holders? What about buying a book and then having to pay extra for some middle chapters that were removed? Or a movie with scenes taken out that you had to pay extra for?

I’m assuming you wouldn’t put up with anything I just listed. It would be ludicrous for businesses to remove elements of their product and then charge their consumers extra for things that should have been included in the initial purchase. If you wouldn’t put up with car dealerships, book publishers, or film studios removing content from their products, then why are you comfortable with game developers and publishers doing so?

I hope I gave you some food for thought. Next time, maybe instead of shelling out $25 for a season pass you’ll think twice and decide not to purchase it, joining the rest of us who refuse to give into the greedy ways of the gaming industry. Only when enough people decide not to give in will we start to get complete games for our $60.

Sincerely,
Austin

P.S. Again, I’m not writing to all gamers here. Just those who give in to corporate greed.

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