DOA5 NEW Project: Disc or DLC?

It’s no secret that I love DOA5. In retrospect, I’d even consider it Game of the Year for 2012. Yes, I love it that much. Easily my favorite fighter of the generation. It took Dead or Alive, a game I played just for fun in the past, and fixed nearly all my issues with it resulting in the first fighter I am seriously trying to play competitively.

However, things weren’t looking good for the game. After the release of DOA5+ on the Vita, Team Ninja was split in half and renamed. Some thought this was the end of Team Ninja and that DOA5 may not be supported anymore. There seemed to be some credence to this news as DOA5+’s cross-buy DLC feature was not functioning properly (still not sure if it is).

However, news just broke about “DOA5 NEW Project” in the form of a brief clip featuring Ninja Gaiden’s Momiji in a new stage based on the game.

Of course the immediate assumption is that this is going to be “Ultimate DOA5”, sold on a disc containing all the DLC. That is how these things work, right? Considering the high price of DOA5’s DLC, this is causing some significant outrage.

However, “NEW Project” and “New Version” don’t really mean anything. Remember, this already happened once before with DOA5: DOA5+ on Vita, which was an update but did not contain any of the DLC outfits. It instead allowed users to take outfits from the PS3 and put them on their Vita (even if the feature is kinda broken at the moment) and vice versa. What’s more, a massive patch for DOA5 was released to catch it up to the Vita version, adding a new stage, new moves, and boatloads of tweaks. This updated the game to a “new version”: 1.03.

So it is actually plausible that this could be a downloadable update. Whether it is a paid update or a free one, we aren’t sure though Team Ninja said they would never make people pay for a DLC character so a paid update would be somewhat weird. The solution, of course, is selling bikinis for Momiji.

If it is a disc-based release though, then there is still a chance it will be backwards compatible with the existing DLC. Not only did DOA5+ do this, but Koei did this with their Dynasty Warriors games. Dynasty Warriors 7 XL and Empires allow players to use DLC from the previous version.

Of course, people will say that I am being too optimistic. This is true, however, DOA5 has yet to make me feel completely screwed over like other fighters have. Koei seems to have a pretty good grasp on DLC these days too.

All I’m saying is not to jump to conclusions about greedy companies screwing you out of your money just yet. Oh yes, they want to make money, but there’s an art to it.

I mean, let’s be real here: DOA5’s profits come entirely from the rather pricey costume DLC. If they include those costumes in this new version, that would make the existing DOA users feel screwed and make them wary about purchasing any future costume. “I’ll just wait for the next version” they’ll say. It’s only logical. Remembering that DOA5 was not really successful with anyone but its own fans…it is important to keep them happy and buying expensive bikinis to fight in.

However, if this new version still requires players to purchase that existing DLC? Then it will cause some of the people who are “just waiting for the Complete Edition with all the DLC” to realize this isn’t happening, crack, and purchase the swimsuits.

Of course, there is an awful third route of requiring players to re-purchase all existing DLC, but I would like to think only The Idolm@ster is that scammy. Such an action will most likely turn even more people away from the game.

So, which one do you think would make the most money in the long run? Do you have any faith in Koei Tecmo as a company to think this far ahead? Can they truly become the masters of the art of selling overpriced swimsuit DLC?

 

EDIT:

Best solution: Give away Momiji and the stage, but she only gets two outfits (same one pallet swapped). Sell the rest of her costumes as DLC to cover the cost of making the character and stage and then some.

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3 Comments on “DOA5 NEW Project: Disc or DLC?”

  1. Billy Says:

    Thanks to pricing, DLC is pretty much going to screw someone, regardless.

    If you buy a game, and then buy DLC, then you feel like you’ve been screwed if the publisher puts out an “Ultimate” version with that DLC included for free.

    But while game prices go down over time, DLC tends to sit at the same price tag pretty much forever. Publishers don’t bother to reduce the price of DLC when they reduce the price of a game. Further, there is no used market for DLC to offer an alternative, or to force publishers’ hands. The closest thing to a DLC price reduction is a GOTY release.

    The PC version of Borderlands launched at I think $50. Borderlands saw $40 worth of DLC later released. Borderlands eventually saw its price drop to around $10-15, and some stores don’t even carry it anymore. A GOTY was at some point released, I believe at full price, and it has since seen its own price drop to $30, and is routinely sold for around $20. Over that period of time, the DLC has not seen its price tag change. It is still $40 ($10 a piece for four pieces). It is cheaper to buy the GOTY at full MSRP than to be given the base game for free and then have to buy the individual DLC packs.

    Saints Row the Third is in a similar case. The DLC doesn’t get marked down. I believe the combined DLC alone costs more than buying the GOTY version of the whole game (which includes all the DLC). Sites like Amazon and Steam do put the DLC on sale, but those sales also see the GOTY version price reduced by the same amount. You can look at many DLC heavy PC games and see the same trend. DLC almost never sees a permanent price reduction.

    And that gets into the other “screwed” group. One could argue that not releasing an Ultimate/GOTY version of a game is screwing both the game itself and kind of screwing the people who didn’t buy the game at launch, because while games do drop in value over time, DLC prices do not drop. The counter argument to the “early adopters” being “screwed” by an Ultimate release is that they are early adopters. They paid more to play the game first. That’s how games generally work, and how a lot of other things work as well. I’ll pay a premium if I watch Iron Man 3 the night of its release. I’ll pay much less if I watch it at a dollar showing months later. I’ll pay full price if I buy a DVD a week after release. I’ll pay less if I wait a year. That’s how stores continue to sell a product after initial interest has died down, and how product makers do the same.

    • GEL Says:

      *nods* Huh. Indeed. Very interesting analysis of the situation.

      Of course there are other factors to this case specifically. Namely DOA5+ literally JUST came out like last month and the Games on Demand version of DOA5 came out…yesterday. This wasn’t a particularly big announcement so the people that JUST bought DOA5 will feel pretty screwed if they release DOA5++ in a few months.

      Not to mention bikini DLC is DOA5’s BIG moneymaker. You can’t tell me they won’t release more bikinis after this thing releases. So it’s important to keep said bikini DLC relevant. Silly I know but true.

      …but in retrospect, as long as it’s expansion sized and expansion priced and they don’t expect me to RE-buy the DLC, I’m still totally in.

      $40 disc release with the only difference being some tweaks, the addition of a stage and character, and all the DLC? I’d be pretty miffed about that. $40 disc release that adds EVEN MORE characters and stages? THEN I’d be cool with it.

  2. Paul Shuster Says:

    As a completionist, I like it when “Ultimate Editions” with all the DLC come out. I understand it when people feel ripped off if they paid full price for DLC, though.

    Still, I tend to buy DLC if it’s something I like. It all depends on how costly it is whether I feel ripped off or not.

    DOA is still the most popular fighting game with my friends, but I don’t play as much since they all got jobs in other states.


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