I’m a fan of pies, so I went and bought a pie the other day. When I got it home I popped it in the oven and baked it for while – it was already cooked, I just wanted to heat it through. After 10 minutes under the heat I removed it and went to tuck in to my delicious treat. Imagine my surprise when I found that it didn’t actually have any filling in it!
I returned to the pie merchant to find out what was wrong, only to be told I had only bought the basic pie package. Filling would cost an extra pound, and DLC (DeLicious Crust) would be 50p. Needless to say, I was a little surprised.
To get over the pie incident, I decided on a trip to the cinema. I purchased a ticket at the listed rate, not attempting to get a student discount like I sometimes do. I bought myself some popcorn, entered the screening room and took my seat. Strangely, when the film started it had no sound – I approached a member of staff to inform them of the issue, only to be informed sound cost an extra £1.25 – a “nominal” fee, according to the cinema gibbon.
Obviously, I didn’t pay and instead took my popcorn for a walk around town. I should have noticed I wasn’t asked “sweet or salted”, as it was obviously neither. A quick check revealed it’s 35p extra for flavour.
My day wasn’t going too well, so I decided to go home. I happened to have a few grand on me, so bought a car to ferry me home. I sat in the newmobile, started her up and pressed my foot to the floor. Literally, I pressed my foot to the floor. “Oh, does sir require pedals? You should have said! We could have thrown them in at an attractive rate. Unfortunately now we’ll have to charge you full price.” I ended up pushing the car home.
When home, I decided to watch a DVD. It came with none of the extras mentioned on the box, as I hadn’t paid the “nominal” fees for those additional bits. So I listened to an album, which didn’t have any of the bonus tracks because they were 59p extra each.
Does this sound ridiculous? Well I can guarantee you it won’t if you’re a gamer. Why? Well, because publishers are increasingly attempting to sell us half a game and make us pay extra to unlock features that should fucking well be there from the start. The most recent example is the new MX title from THQ. Sure, motocross isn’t a genre I have any interest in, but it’s another thing I can see permeating through to other areas and it’s starting to piss me off. Basically they’re releasing it a bit cheaper than normal, then releasing tracks, racers and whatever else as extras later on. For a price, naturally.
I call bullshit on that. I guarantee you there will be more missing features from the game than would make sense for the price drop. “If a person wants to spend a $100 on a game then they can do that,” they say. “Fuck you,” I say, “I want to pay a normal price to get a full game. I am not a cow, I don’t have udders – stop trying to milk me dry,” I hilariously add. Full price, full game. Not ‘bit cheaper initially, but more expensive to actually get a full game’.
We’re not buying popcorn without any topping. We’re not buying picture and no sound at the cinema. We’re not buying empty pies. So why the hell are we expected to buy racing games without tracks, fighting games without characters or second-hand games without any online features whatsoever?
I want publishers to make money – money means they get to continue putting out games. But this is the wrong way to go about it. Just like it’s wrong to criminalise the people who buy your games second-hand, it’s wrong to short-change your public by selling them a pup. Except the pup has no legs, because they’re £30 extra. Each.
Fuck that shit.