The Problems with DLC Evident in Forza Horizon 2; Nintendo does it Right
Author Edit: Car packs are priced at 4.99 for 5 cars; Cars CAN be purchased individually for 2.99, although a few cars are apparently locked to the pack. As well, it appears as if these car packs are also sponsored. The first available pack – which can be purchased now – is sponsored by Mobil.
DLC is definitely a hot topic since it began being a thing. Nntendo was always on record saying DLC was not something they would be interested in doing. Their philosophy was that they were giving consumers what they paid for: the game, the COMPLETE game, that was developed. That philosophy has gone straight into the garbage can, however, as Nintendo realizes the benefits of having DLC: Mario Golf: World Tour, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart, Hyrule Warriors, and more are going to nickle and dime you for months after release.
For the most part, Nintendo is doing DLC right. They are priced right, and that’s always the biggest issue. As well, when Nintendo sells a season pass, all the content included is provided up front. For now, Nintendo is wading into DLC very carefully, providing good content for the price attached. This could, and most likely will, change; however, its a nice step away from whats become the ‘norm’ in video games.
Forza Horizon 2 is the latest to completely botch downloadable content. Forza launched at three separate tiers: Day One Edition (59.99), Day One Deluxe Edition (79.99), and Day One Ultimate Edition (99.99). Whats included in each package really isn’t of significance here. Its what you are told up front (via a blog from Xbox Live’s Major Nelson – Larry Hyrb):
Forza Horizon 2 Day One Ultimate Edition – This edition includes the full version of Forza Horizon 2, the Day One Car Pack, VIP membership, and the Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass. The Day One car Pack features three cars: the 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T, 2014 Ford Fiesta ST, and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG. VIP membership gets you access to exclusive benefits in Forza Horizon 2, including the five-car VIP Car pack(2012 Lamborghini Urus, 2014 Tesla Model S, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1949 Mercury Coupe, and the 2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO), 2x player reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition. The Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass gets you access to six monthly pack add-ons (5 cars each). Plus, Car Pass owners will receive an exclusive bonus car for free, the 2010 Noble M600. That’s 31 cars to collect, race, and customize in Forza Horizon 2!
A significant portion of the 99.99 Ultimate Edition bundles is the six monthly pack add-ons of 5 cars each. In reality, this sounds great! You are getting 30 extra cars for 20.oo more than the Deluxe Edition. Here’s the issue I personally have with this DLC: What if I only care about less than 50% of the cars offered in this package?
With Forza particualrily, a bunch of different thoughts come into my mind. How many of these extra cars are just lifted from Forza 5 and re-gifted for Horizon 2? How much does it actually cost Microsoft to give players an extra thirty cars? Will these cars only be offered in packs, or can I buy them individually?
I understand that this is business, and the aim is to make money. But there is also something else called customer loyalty and appreciation. I’m more likely to buy the DLC if I knew what cars would be offered before making my purchase; this is perhaps an oversight by Microsoft. I worry, however, that Microsoft may know that 10-15 of the 30 cars may appeal to almost no one. If this is the case, being vague may net them more sales than being completely honest. Regardless, it is moves like this that have made me increasingly more skeptical towards companies, DLC, and season passes.
Not providing details of DLC is only one of many problems that plague extra content. I haven’t even touched on Day One DLC, and DLC that is offered in a game where you feel like the original content doesn’t justify the launch day price tag. Regardless, publishers are taking gamers for granted, pushing a little bit more with each release. I wonder how long it will be before people fight back.
The answer to that question is simple: never! Like any popular failing sports franchise, if the brand is recognizable, fans aren’t going to boycott the team. While a select few might, their seats will just be filled by others. The same situation is happening with DLC. While many will (and have) scoffed at Forza’s outrageously priced and detail-less add-ons, the same number of people have readily plopped down the extra dough, despite not knowing exactly what they will be getting in the end.
It is a vicious cycle for monetary gain, and it’s a cycle that the publishers and developers control almost completely.