#FightFriday: Rise Up Against Publisher DLC Schemes

Injustice 2 has just released a new story trailer and all in all it wasn’t terrible, but it showed no gameplay. Instead, it showed off a few character reveals that were pretty nice. However, the more pressing matter at hand is Warner Bros. and their pricing for their different editions. To many who have been buying games in the current pre-order culture, this is far from a new trend. However, has this trend gone too far? Rather, have we let this trend go too far?

For those unaware, the pricing for the 3 Injustice 2 editions is as follows. For the standard $59.99, you get the regular game with no additions. Next comes the Digital Deluxe edition that is only available via PSN, XBL, or GameStop’s site for $79.99. That’ll net you 3 DLC characters and a skin to turn Supergirl into Power Girl (complete with new dialogue and voice) and 1 gear shader…? Yay, I guess. Finally is the ULTIMATE EDITION (for the price, it deserves Caps) that is a whopping $99.99 that nets you 9 DLC fighters, skins for Flash to Reverse Flash, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan to John Stewart), and the aforementioned Supergirl skin along with another gear shader.

The Lines are Redrawn in the New Injustice 2 Story Trailer!

To break that down, you’re paying about $4.44 per character for the Ultimate Edition and $6.67 for the Digital Deluxe. Of course, there are also skins and shaders, but let’s focus on the core content: the characters. How much it’ll cost post release is currently a mystery. Furthermore, its a mystery if the DLC stops at 9 characters.

Some would say that this is egregious and others would say that this is just how gaming is now, especially when it comes to publishers like Warner Bros. Still, to have 9 characters already? It’s a little insane. Nine whole characters is a good chunk of game and its difficult to say if it’ll all be released at once or if it it’ll release with the game. Oh, and let’s not forget the Darkseid pre-order bonus. Not as bad, but shouldn’t be forgotten.

Of course, its not just WB that has kept up with questionable release policies. Capcom and Arc System Works have had their own greedy practices. Capcom, while offering a “free” way to acquire content, offers a couple of season passes with season 1 being $20 for 6 characters ($3.33 a character) and season 2 being $30 for the same ($5 a character) which includes colors and costumes. Arc System Works, however, sell characters usually around $5-$8 dollars for their BlazBlue series…if they’re feeling generous. More often than not, they release brand new $40 releases for new characters and character balancing that isn’t even compatible with the prior iteration.

Then there’s Tecmo and DOA5…that’s a whole other beast of DLC. Though, that can be reasonably argued with their Core Fighters model where you just buy who you like. So we’ll leave them out of this. For now.

As the years have come and gone, developers have seen that we as fighting game enthusiasts will pay the price of admission and will only listen when we talk with our wallets. The thing is, a lot of the community has picked and chosen its targets; namely Capcom. The release of Street Fighter 5 has seen its share of rage, and at first I was against it. However, in time…I think the rage is not only warranted, but its necessary.

There will always be those who will throw their money at what they love. Nothing is inherently wrong with that. However, the outrage that offsets it is necessary because it shows publishers that gamers are less willing to be fed shit. An example is…well, SFV. While not the shining example of how to do a proper release, can we admit that its better than how SF4/SSF4/SSF4AE/USF4 was released? Remember how THAT pissed off people? They spoke up and now we have SFV, a single disk release. Its a step forward, if only a tiny one.

Now, can we take that outrage and spread it about? ArcSys for example. Why are they making ANOTHER retail release of GGXrd? Did Revelator really need one? I’d argue it didn’t. So does Rev 2? I would argue it doesn’t. Yes, I want Baiken, too. But a whole other disk? Really?

So, now let’s circle back to Injustice 2. Hate the practice? Don’t put your money on it. Seriously, its about time we stop giving up more than the industry standard of $60 so a publisher can so graciously give us the rest of the game. I’d hazard a guess that those 9 are ready to go, or so it seems given how quick they are to make us pre-order and shell out more cash. Yes, this applies to all the previously mentioned games. None are exempt. Now, you can argue that I’m on a soapbox and there’s not really a problem.

If so, then let’s chat. Let us know what you guys think. Of all of our topics, this is one I really wanna hear feedback on. Do you think the current fighting game market is messed up, or is all this okay and just a thing we all need to get with? Let us know in the comments.

1 thought on “#FightFriday: Rise Up Against Publisher DLC Schemes

  1. The problem with these kinds of practices is now all of these companies are paying attention to tournament scenes. They are seeing the money they make from TO's and companies like Gaming Generations who are buying complete sets like this just to run a tournament well. And the competitors suffer too, because if you don't buy the latest balance patch or character, you are handicapped as a competitor.

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