During a recent investors meeting, following an earnings call regarding Take-Two Interactive, CEO Strauss Zelnick addressed some of the concerns surrounding the controversial DLC roll-out for the upcoming Turtle Rock Studios game, Evolve. According to Zelnick, the controversy is a good thing.
VG 24/7 has some quotes from the CEO as he addressed the extensive (and expensive) pre-order and post-release DLC roadmap for the asymmetric first-person shooter. Fans weren't too happy seeing how much they would have to pay to gain access to the full game.
However, according to Zelnick...
“Yeah. You’re right, Mike. There was some controversy start-up by an online post,” … “And I guess, controversy, generally speaking, is a good thing. People can argue about the business model. I think we’re delivering a fantastic title that’s well versed with consumers who will pay for it. And all signs are extraordinarily positive.”
Always the diplomat.
The arguing over the “business model” comes from the announcement back on January 13th, where Turtle Rock Studios and 2K Games announced the pre-order and post-release DLC plan for Evolve.
As previously outlined, the PC Monster Race Edition of the game goes for $99, a discount on the $131 that the game was originally priced at with all the DLC involved. The Xbox and PlayStation Digital Deluxe edition contained $89.95 worth of DLC “discounted” down to $79.99.
The season pass for the DLC contains $29.96 worth of DLC that's marked down to $24.99. Of course, if you want to purchase the DLC individually, you can get it piecemeal – the hunters, skins and the new monsters – for $7.49 each.
All of the DLC just sent a really sour taste spreading through the community like some kind of viral disease. The general consensus from most gamers was that it was all just too overpriced. Of course, gamers also have a tendency of complaining about the DLC but still ponying up the cash due to terrible impulse control when launch day rolls around. It was almost similar with Borderlands 2, which also caught some ire when it was revealed that the season pass didn't actually cover paying for all the game's DLC.
One user, in the comment section of the VG 24/7 article, named Undead2K, actually brings out an excellent point, saying...
“As said many times in the past for the gaming community; "Vote with your wallet, not your mouth." If people complain about DLC or micro transactions but then still buy it, that sends the developer mixed signals which leads them to take what people say less seriously and do what sells (which makes sense). So yeah, sad but not very surprised.”
This is very true.
Investors and publishers don't quantify the success or failure of a game based on the rage in the comment sections, social media outlets and forum boards scattered across the interwebs. Investors and publishers quantify the success or failure of a game based on the sales figures.
If the rage from gamers in the comment threads translate into actual lost sales – people interested in the game but mentioning they won't buy the DLC for Evolve because they don't like the business model – you better believe that the publishers will start to listen.
Evolve is due for release on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC on February 10th. We'll see how well it sells and whether or not gamers will hold to their word about the game's DLC when next Tuesday rolls around. For more info you can pay a visit to the game's official website.