One Year Games

Pay me!

Total War Warhammer 2 was just put up for pre-order on steam. Normally I would tell you all not to pre-order on principle, but this one is special. Total War Warhammer, along with Destiny, are 1 year release games. No longer is simply pre-ordering equivalent to paying for goods before they are delivered. Now buying them at launch is the same with an added beta test.

I feel these games are incomplete. By incomplete I mean that the publisher’s vision for a finished game includes portions not included on release. When they are no longer just charging for side dishes but portions of the meal. If a game strategy game is launched with 4 factions, and immediately launches a 5th, or after a year has 12. These publishers didn’t finish the game and then go “Hey, I just thought of extra content that could be a nice addition.” These publishers went “Hey, here is my full game idea, what can we lop off to charge for later?” If your DLC is past the planning stage and impacts the story when your game releases, then you just released a game before it was finished.

 2I sense you will pay

The normal price for a game nowadays is 80 CAD, for Total War Warhammer 1 that was 20 dollars a faction, for Destiny it was near 10 dollars an hour. That’s a bad deal, any game that is worse than going to a movie is a pretty bad deal. I recently wrote this on Destiny, and my experiences going back over a year after buying it the first time, its way better later. I regret buying both those games at launch and it taught me a valuable lesson. If a game tells you DLC (downloadable content) is on the way as it launches, don’t buy it until that DLC is out.

I don’t want to be crotchety, talking about the old days when games were cheaper and had more content. Those games still exist, there is a huge indie community and there are massive endeavours like the Witcher series and Zelda which definitely give bang for your buck. That is all the more reason for us to avoid supporting publishers like EA who routinely churn out half finished games. A finished game tells a complete story, if you are already telling me that more bits are on the way, then you didn’t sell me a finished game.

3This was literally sold as an unfinished game (EDIT: I apologize for the nightmares)

They want you to be Beta testers. Hell, some games aren’t even that well quality controlled. Assassins Creed Syndicate, Bethesda as a company, and countless others need massive patches on day 1, because they weren’t tested properly.

Total War Warhammer’s expansions are $20 each, what kind of crap is that? They want to charge me extra to get to what is still a lower level of content than their previous games. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game, I’ve put 140 hours into it thus far, I love most of it. I’ve played each original faction through 3 times. I wish I had played the currently available 12 or so factions each once…

4This is Rome Total War. 20 factions, Total War Warhammer 2 launches with 4.

As more games come out (and we just had E3) be wary of anything that comes with day one DLC, it just means they are selling you an unfinished game. Star Wars Battlefront, Assassins Creed, Battlefield, Call of Duty, all of these games are specifically designed to make you pay extra for new content almost immediately after you buy it.

The gaming industry is diverse and accessible enough to actually vote with your wallet. Don’t buy games at launch until you know they are full games.

5Buying an AAA game for full price (also XCOM 2 may be next)

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