Author Topic: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet  (Read 3914 times)

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Offline El Stevo

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Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« on: October 25, 2006, 04:34:04 am »
After a wave of crazy, crazy announcements in the last few days/weeks, I have become really rather depressed by the way the Marketplace is going. EA seems to be leading the way in the battle for your cash by charging for the use of CHEAT CODES. These are cheats that can be accessed freely using button combinations in the PS2 version of the game in question. Or how about the amazing downloadable content in The Godfather: The Game? Here's the rundown:

Quote
Name: The Don Collection
Available in: All regions
Price: 800 Points
Dash Details: Become a "made man" with the ultimate collection of weapons, money and in-game items. You will receive all 5 Level-4 weapons upgrades, $50K, $100K and $250K in-game money downloads. Additionally, you'll receive the MobFace apparel bundle, Favor Pack with 3 new missions and the Buddy Crew upgrade. All items sold individually on Xbox Live Marketplace!

Name: Level 4 Revolver - Black Widow
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Get the ability to buy the most powerful revolver in the game. One bite from this beauty stings worse than any venom. Look for the special arms dealer at the Continental Club in Little Italy. At $300,000 it provides great bang for your buck.

Name: Level 4 Pistol - Herzstopper
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Your chance to get the most powerful pistol in the game is just one stop away. For $400,000 you can be a real Romeo, stopping hearts all over town. Rendezvous with the arms dealer at the Full Moon Nightclub in Brooklyn. Good luck, killer

Name: Level 4 Magnum - Annihilator
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: You want the most powerful Magnum in the game? You have to get the right to buy it first. You won’t regret it, though. For $500,000 and a trip to Hell’s Kitchen you can pack some serious heat. Look for the arms dealer at Poppy’s Westside Nightclub

Name: Level 4 Tommy Gun – Spectre Minigun
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Get the ability to buy the most powerful Tommy gun in the game. It’s one of the best weapons you can own, but top-of-the-line firepower comes at a price - $750,000 to be precise. Only one arms dealer in the city sells this baby. You can find him at Jay Sizzle’s Steakhouse in Midtown.

Name: Level 4 Shotgun – Lupara Semi-automatic
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Be the proud owner of the most powerful shotgun in the game. The arms dealer who specializes in the Lupara hangs out at Joe Foley’s Bar in New Jersey, but it’s worth the trip out of the city. Bring $600,000 along with you to pick up this gun

Name: Hired Assassin
Available in: All regions
Price: 250 Points
Dash Details: Give yourself some extra muscle by getting the ability to buy the most powerful crew member in the game, regardless of your current rank in the Corleone family. It’ll cost you $10,000 to add him to your team, payable to special crew dealers

Name: In-Game Money - $50K
Available in: All regions
Price: 40 Points
Dash Details: Add $50,000 to your game portfolio. It’s not a fortune, but it’s nothing to shake a stick at either. The money will be added directly to your in-game bankroll once you return to gameplay. This is a one-time offer; it cannot be purchased multiple times.

Name: In-Game Money - $100K
Available in: All regions
Price: 75 Points
Dash Details: Fatten your wallet with $100K. Maybe that’ll help you on your way to buying that new Tommy gun you’ve had your eye on. The money will be added directly to your in-game bankroll once you return to gameplay. This is a one-time offer; it cannot be purchased multiple times.

Name: In-Game Money - $250K
Available in: All regions
Price: 150 Points
Dash Details: Add $250,000 to your game portfolio. Now we’re talking some serious cash. The money will be added directly to your in-game bankroll once you return to gameplay. This is a one-time offer; it cannot be purchased multiple times

Name: Level 4 Weapon Bundle
Available in: All regions
Price: 400 Points
Dash Details: Get the ability to buy five of the most powerful weapons in the game. You still have to buy the weapons separately in-game from arms dealers, but if you do, you’ll have one of the most feared arsenals in the mob world. Check the individual weapon descriptions for arms dealer locations.

Name: Favor Pack – 3 Favor Missions
Available in: All regions
Price: 250 Points
Dash Details: Favors are the currency of the mob world. You do something for somebody, they owe you big. Get three additional favor missions that are available exclusively on Xbox Live Marketplace. Get over 100% game completion! (Note: All three missions have in-game prerequisites which you can view at http://godfather.ea.com.)

CHARGING FOR IN-GAME MONEY. You're paying real dollars to change an in-game variable. Add to that the fact that EA will break 360 games into downloads that come out in complete form on other consoles and you begin to feel bitter about it. EA are charging for everything they can think of and get away with it because people pay - the market decides.

It's not just EA though. What about Lumines Live? Buy the 'full' game for 1200 points (in the UK that works out to about 18 or 19 US$), but wait! You're not done yet! You still don't have the full game! There's an extra pack for 600 points. Great, I have the lot now right? BUT WAIT!

This is rather unfair for anyone who bought Lumines expecting more than a trial version.

What of Lost Planet? On the day it ships - the very day - you will be able to purchase additional content from the marketplace in the form of new multiplayer maps. Is there any reason why these maps aren't already on the disc? Yes! It's because they want to make more money from people. It's that simple. Does the price of the game reflect that there is less content available? No. No it doesn't.

Now I'm all for DLC that is developed after the game is released that prolongs the life of the game, such as the GRAW Chapter 2 content. I appreciate that people worked hard getting that stuff together for release - that it took time to get together. But when there is content that they left out of the retail version at launch, despite the fact that it was all done and ready on time, well that is just a horribly transparent bid for your money.

Seeing as how they love to market this activity as 'promoting consumer choice' - I choose to not give money to these amoral profiteers. When content comes along that is reasonable I'll support it, but EA, Q entertainment and others can go jump if they expect me to pay for their nonsense.

I think that, if the situation gets any worse, it will cause goodwill towards Microsoft and the 360 to diminish. At this stage in their console strategy they can't afford to put a foot wrong like that. They need everyone to be enthusiastic about the 360, and not be hesitant about recommending one to a friend. Word of mouth is hugely important. Having said that, I doubt the PS3's equivalent will be any more bargainous.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 07:41:20 am by El Stevo »


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Offline Piloteer

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2006, 07:07:00 am »
Well written. I have become disgusted in the Xbox Live Marketplace recently, perticularly after buying Lumines Live for $15 and expecting a "full" game, and also after EA putting up cheat codes and strategy videos and charging for them. What is really sick is, like you said, all of this content is in the other versions of the game, but purposely omitted from the 360 version.

That information about Lost Planet is new, and it is dissapointing. I was really looking forward to that game, but between Capcom claiming to issue out a patch for Dead Rising, onlly to cancel it, and now this, I really cannot support treatment to customers like that.

It is sad when you buy a game without knowing whether you are getting a full game with it. It isn't happening overly often now, but if this becomes the standard for Xbox 360 games, you can bet that I will no longer be supporting the Xbox 360 in any form.

Offline ilikesanta

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2006, 04:25:46 pm »
EA seems to be going crazy with DLC. Paying for money in a MMO is one thing, but a console game that's just retarded. We should all heed the advise of 1up when they same gamers shouldn't take part in this kind of crap. Boy-Cot (phonics rule!) stupid DLC!!!
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Offline Fink

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 06:33:57 am »
I just read about EA charging for stuff we got in older version of madden. Like new uniforms, stadiums, extra

I don't like companies making us pay for stuff we used to get for free, or when we can get the same thing for free on another console.

Offline jedi55555

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 12:22:06 pm »
I have a feeling that Microsoft and EA might butt some heads a bit if they keep going like they are.  I think that one thing that worries me is that the Horse Armor in Oblivion was something that was made a much more big deal about than it should have but it seems that even though there has be people upset about the Godfather and Lumines content it does not seem to be as loud. 

I love micro transactions, I think that this is actually something the industry needed and that for the most part gamers love and enjoy, but I also think that there is content that will be and is already being handled all wrong.  I knew that EA would probably get a lot of grief over their items on the Marketplace because they are a target with some gamers but I did not know that they deserve all the grief that can be thrown at them over these Godfather extras.  They have set up themselves to where gamers will question if they are getting a complete game compared to other systems or that they would have have had more of a game if the micro transactions didn't exist.

As far as Lumines is concerned, I bought it and the Advance pack.  But, I also knew what I was getting before hand.  I would say that most gamers out there, especially the ones that Microsoft is aiming for with the Arcade games, did not know that the game was split apart.  I do not think that there is anything wrong with splitting apart a game like that, what I do think is wrong is how that information was never clearly given to the consumer.  I know that Microsoft knows that people are upset about this and Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) over at Xbox said that there were internal emails flying all over the place that weekend after Lumines was released because of the response to it.

I think the best thing to do is to let Microsoft know that we do not like these things (and do it in a rational way).  Let them know that marketplace does not need to go down this road.  Remember, no matter what there will always be a bad apple in the bunch, just toss em aside I say.



Offline Piloteer

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 07:50:00 pm »
I lost a lot of respect for Major Nelson after seeing him on that bit on G4 about Microsoft's microtransactions, specifically on Lumines and The Godfather.

Major was arguing that the microtransactions are giving gamers a choice. This is true in instances such as the horse armor pack. However, when I am buying Lumines Live, and I pay $15 expecting a full game (there was no mention of needing to pay to unlock the rest) than it isn't a choice; it is misinformation and failure to disclose additional costs. I wanted the full game; I didn't "choose" to buy only part of it, because it said that I was getting a full game!

The Godfather is similar. My problem with this game's microtransactions (as well as with Tiger Woods') is that you are paying extra money for content that is in the other versions of the game on the current-gen consoles. I am paying money for something that should already be in the game.

Hopefully, like Jedi said, these are just the "bad apples" of the Marketplace, and hopefully we won't be seeing this trend in future games.

Offline El Stevo

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 08:03:40 pm »
The 'consumer choice' angle is such a politician's answer. What choice is the consumer getting here? It seems to me that the choice is to buy $45 worth of game for $60 or $60 worth of game for $75. That isn't a great choice for the consumer at all and defending it as such completely misses the point of peoples concerns.

Yep the bad apples analogy is perfect. Hopefully enough people vote with their wallets to get things back on track.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 08:06:29 pm by El Stevo »
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Offline Piloteer

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 08:18:18 pm »
The 'consumer choice' angle is such a politician's answer.

 :D

That is so true!

I don't mind downloadable content, so long as it is priced right, is clear in what you are getting with the purchase, and is something that couldn't have been included in the retail version of the game.

The Ghost Recon Chapter 2 pack comes to mind as something that got this right. It is a bit overpriced ($15). However, Ubisoft made a full game with G.R.A.W., and they didn't start developing this additional pack until after the final game was finished and released. It also, from what I have read, added quite a bit of additional content to the game. This wasn't something that Ubisoft whipped up together quickly that could have been included in the retail disk.

I have retired from Xbox Live Arcade...at least for a good while. I don't like getting ripped off with this crap, and I am not taking another chance of losing my money on this service again. Had I known what Lumines Live really included, I would not have spent the $15 on it.

Besides, I am personally going to be spending much more time and money on Nintendo's Virtual Console. That service is much more appealing to me than Xbox Live Marketplace.

Offline ilikesanta

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2006, 09:28:08 pm »
well if you don't like the dowloadable content don't buy the games that offer it. The lummies thing shouldn't have been that big of a surprice to any one because it was repoted that you wouldn't get the whole game at once a long time ago. I think they did it to also get it under the 50mb limit. I have no idea what's in the advance pack but I don't plan on buying it or any other packs. I got single player, multi-player and time attack and I still think it was money well spent.
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Offline Piloteer

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2006, 10:07:25 pm »
well if you don't like the dowloadable content don't buy the games that offer it. The lummies thing shouldn't have been that big of a surprice to any one because it was repoted that you wouldn't get the whole game at once a long time ago. I think they did it to also get it under the 50mb limit. I have no idea what's in the advance pack but I don't plan on buying it or any other packs. I got single player, multi-player and time attack and I still think it was money well spent.

How can we not buy these games when the content is released after the game is?

Also, the whole thing about paying for additional content in Lumines Live started as a rumor, and apparently, a rumor that I missed. It is not my responsibility to go online and find out that I must pay additional money to unlock the full game, especially when the marketplace description tells me that I am getting a full game, when in reality, I am not.

Offline jedi55555

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2006, 01:54:28 pm »
It is a choice to buy these things or not, just like it is your choice to buy a certain game or not when you go into a store.  If you go into a game store and buy a game and it is utter crap do you blame the store?  The store didn't force you to buy that game and no one is forcing you to buy this stuff.  Don't kill the messenger people like Major Nelson are the ones that are taking these complaints back to the publishers and developers and letting them know that we are not happy about it.    This evolution in gaming  is gonna be bumpy and we probably have not seen the worst of it yet.

I hope we do not have any more mistakes like Lumines.  I believe that in future versions of the Xbox Live arcade there should be more information given about the game and what it includes almost like a back of a retail box.  I know that even if Microsoft includes this that it does not mean that the game makes will use it wisely but at least it will bw there for them to use because that short description they have now is hard to read and not long enough.

I personally hope that Q! Entertainment steps up to this backlash and makes at least one of their upcoming packs free.  I think it would be to their advantage PR wise to make both free and then only charge for the artist packs or any further skin packs.



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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2006, 04:10:35 pm »
Oh no, I am not complaining or blaming Major Nelson in any way for this. It is not his fault. I am just saying that I have lost quite a bit of respect for him recently for defending Microsoft's every move, whether it really is a good move or not.

This isn't about "choice". My problem, perticularily with Lumines Live, is that you get the impressions that you are buying a full game, when you are in fact not. The description tells you that you are getting a full game, but you must pay to unlock the rest of the content. I just wish that Microsoft would have gotten its message across more clearly that additional costs would be required to unlock the full game.


Offline jedi55555

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2006, 06:30:24 pm »
Remember this isn't a Microsoft game.  It is a Q! Entertainment game and from the beginning the creator had said that he wanted to split the game apart in to separate pieces. Hopefully because of the response to this other developers will do a better job if they want to split up content like this.  Personally I would rather have had a full blown version of Lumines Live on a disc.



Offline Piloteer

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2006, 06:39:01 pm »
True dat. Mizaguichi (however your spell it: The creator of Lumines Live) said that he believes that games should be split up like songs on a music album, saying that each additional level should cost just a bit more.

My problem is that games aren't songs; they are completely different. I don't want to pay a small amount for the game, and "just a bit extra" for each little additional piece of content I buy. I just want to buy/download the full game for a full price and be done with it.

And when will we ever see free additional content? PC games have it all the time, so I don't see how Marketplace should be any different. Having free additional content would be a huge plus in my book. It doesn't have to be anything big, just a little something to show that you are still supporting the game and the gamers.

PGR3 has done this: Two packs are avaliable for $5 that contain additional cars. However, you are allowed to download one car from each pack for free.

I hope we start to see smarter uses of Marketplace in the future.

Offline Hizzah

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Re: Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006, 02:38:49 pm »
This is one of the only things I'm worried about with the 360, and hopefully Microsoft will police abuses of the Marketplace such as this, or find some other solution so that this won't be a problem a year or so down the road. Yeah, I agree that the transition to a bigger online component in gaming will be a little bumpy, but what I'm most worried about is perfectly good games that I would buy at a store being ruined because the publishers released them incomplete...on purpose. I love videogames, but no enough to pay $60 up front and $20+ dollars online.