How Much Content Do We Expect From Full Price Games?
With every game release comes a lot of discussion. Talk over review scores, marketing and the game itself are normally the hot topics. It’s one of the more admirable elements of the internet age, we all get to have our say. One of Battlefront’s biggest issues is the lack of content, this has generated furious debate. The discussion itself has created a key question the industry has seemingly been unable to answer.
It’s a tricky question, mostly due to how expectations and requirements change from genre to genre. Downloadable content has also changed the face of this question, reflecting the changing face of the industry and publisher attitudes. For the sake of the argument, at least in this case, the consumer’s expectations are my concern.
Consumers expectations are seemingly dependant on what franchise the game is from and who developed/ published it. The larger the company, the less people seem to expect, even accept. This trend is especially true with Battlefront. For a full retail release that contains very little content, a huge number of people seem to be happy with the product. A search across various boards, even in-game chats, reveal a huge number of people praising the game, even though they admit there’s a lack of actual content.
The powerful marketing tool of nostalgia, along with the Star Wars brand, are most likely the reasons people let the lack of content slide. Take away the association with Star Wars and the chances are a larger amount of consumers would be more critical of the game. EA seemed more than aware of this, launching Battlefront amidst the Star Wars hype, with expansion packs all releasing within a time-frame matching the latest Star Wars film.
Observing the split between Battlefront’s player base has shed light on changing attitudes towards content. For every player expressing concern/frustration at the lack of maps, there’s a reply of ‘more maps coming through DLC’. Adding maps to multiplayer games was once a free practice, this is rarely the case in modern times. With the rise of console online multiplayer, additional maps became additional purchases.
Season Passes have seemingly change how a number of people view content. The fact pre-orders for season passes exist should be enough to raise an eyebrow. A large number of consumers seem more than happy to see their purchases cut up and severed as pre-order extras or DLC. Paying more for less is a concept people would scoff at a decade ago, yet in 2015 we’re more than happy to do exactly that.
How do we define how much content is acceptable? Is it the Map count? the number of game modes? features? It’s hard to nail down a solid answer. From a personal perspective, especially in the case of Battlefront, if the gameplay is shallow then it must be compliment by a decent number of maps or mode. Battlefront’s main issue is the lack of maps and quality modes, exposing just how shallow and repetitive the gameplay is. Counter-arguments to my view mainly come from accessibility. Easy to pick up gameplay, small map count means players can learn layouts easier, resulting in a more enjoyable experience.
With EA promising 16 maps via DLC, some players have a slightly bitter taste in their month. After numerous delays, and the Season Pass being revealed sometime before the game’s release, is the lack of maps really justifiable? It’s the question that brings us back to the original thought, how much content do we expect from our full price games?