Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Expansion Content

A reprint of my response to York's latest blog: http://tatteredpage.net/archives/44

In regards to pay-for-play, I’m not a “customer is always right” sort of guy, so I don’t think gamers are owed anything. The developer decides for themselves what they think is the finished product, and you either accept that as being worth your money or you don’t. If you don’t, maybe the developer is missing out on potential revenue like yours (i.e., it was an adverse design decision), but you weren’t cheated of anything if you were never promised differently.

The ideal add-on content is content that adds replayability to the whole game…as opposed to one more quest, area, or similar expansion which is quickly breezed through. The player isn't owed that sort of content, and it’s not necessary for expansion content to be profitable, but it’s simply a much greater value for the consumer, more cost-efficient for the developer and a much easier sale.

Diablo 2’s expansion included a new Act (hours of new areas and story to explore) and two new classes (whole new avenues of gameplay to enjoy from the very beginning of the game through). That, by far, is the most valuable expansion offering I can think of for a non-MMO (which I would say is a somewhat different ballgame). The classes are the main attraction, because they represent hours upon hours of fresh gameplay. Not only the players, but the developers also, got a lot more bang for their buck that way than if Blizzard had only added the new Act.

I’d venture to say that relatively few games disallow expansions of that nature…expansions which refresh the entire game, rather than merely tack something onto the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.