I don’t know about you, but I, for one, am sick to death of sub-standard games being sold for a premium price! “No Man’s Sky” and “Mass Effect: Andromeda” jump immediately to mind as being great examples of this, but there are of course many, many more. And yet the game publishers expect us to just keep tossing good money after bad, not only for their alleged “Triple A” titles, but then for season passes, day one DLC, and of course microtransactions.
At some point, we just have to say “NO MORE!”
I do understand that game companies have a significant investment in their titles, and as such want to get a return on that investment as quickly as possible. That said, there is a difference between making an honest return on investment, and selling us overpriced, buggy software,chock full of hidden costs!
Perhaps the time has come to put game publishers on notice? Perhaps it is time that we, the consumers, state with a single, clear, resounding voice that we are sick of Day One DLC, Microtransactions, Preorder bullsh*t, Season Passes for DLC that may or may not ever be released, and games that are rushed to market which were clearly not ready!
Now then, I’m not suggesting we boycott one or more AAA titles, as that simply won’t work. Nor am I suggesting we riot in the streets, burn a Gamestop to the ground (although… No, can’t give in to temptation!), or other such acts of protest. No, what I’m suggesting would be 100% legal, completely peaceful, and also very, very effective.
First, we have to stop preordering games, period. No more preorders, regardless of how much we might want to play that game on release day. Trust me, you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy day one, even without a preorder! And this will teach game publishers that bundling in virtually required kit to their preorders is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated any longer!
Along the same lines, no more purchases of Season Passes! This one will hurt, but we have to stay strong! Game publishers expect us to put out hundreds of dollars in advance for DLC that may or may not actually ever be released, and if it is, there is no guarantee it will be what was promised. So it is better to just buy the DLC we actually want, as it is released, to tell these game developers we will no longer take their word that buying the DLC in advance is the better deal, when often we never get what we paid for!
And speaking of DLC, we must never buy Day One DLC ever again! If a game company is offering DLC on Day One, then it should have been part of the main game, and not offered as a separate purchase! Period, full stop. So regardless of how enticing these day one DLC offerings might be, we have to resist, and refuse to purchase them ever again. Then maybe the game publishers will learn that anything which comes out for a game at release should be included in the purchase price, no exceptions!
But what about microtransactions? Well, they are the scourge of the AAA gaming market, and must also be resisted at all costs. Any game that includes them should be left on the store shelf, and if you bought said game without knowing it had microtransactions, that game must be immediately returned for a refund. We cannot continue to let these game companies continue to nickel and dime us with these little purchases, on a game we already paid good money to play in the first place! Microtransactions are only acceptable in Free-to-Play games, and even then, they are still a little sleazy.
And I think it goes without saying that any game that is found to have been released too soon, must be immediately returned for a refund, as well.
If we as gamers would be able to stand by our principles, and resist the above purchases, it would collectively teach the gaming industry to stop screwing with their customers! We are not piggy banks that the game companies can dip into time and again on the same game. We need them to understand that we want to purchase their products, but for a fair price, and without hidden or unnecessary costs tacked on. It’s that simple.
Maybe then the days of the allegedly-$60 AAA game (which actually costs a whole lot more, or isn’t worth $60 in the first place) will end, and we will see some fairness and sanity return to the gaming industry.