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Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

by fauxtronic
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Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

★★★★ Novice

It's discounted for the 360 and the PS3, but never the PC.  Why is that?

Message 1 of 13 (13,688 Views)

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Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

@ThandalNLyman wrote:

When Sony or MS, (or any other retailer; think Gamestop, or Amazon) decide to have a sale they can cut the price and still give EA the full amount they've contracted for.



Er, no.  They aren't contracted at all.  These companies have massive buying power and buy and sell in units.  They set their own prices, and while inflated prices sometimes cover the costs of eventual sales, that's not always how it works.  Very often (particularly in gaming) the publisher and distributor enter an agreement when sales are flagging.  That's how it works on Amazon's digital store, and that's how it works with every single Daily Deal on Steam.

 


@ThandalNLyman wrote:

Those sale prices don't reduce EA's profit.  Reducing the price on Origin does...


This is incredibly naive.

 

Marketing 101.  When units are not selling in optimal quantities, they are not profitable.  The reason 90+% of PC games and DLC see a reduction in price every 4-5 months (on every platform other than Origin, anyway) is because it's more profitable to shift more units at a lower price than to sell few at a higher price.

 

I also know from discussions with Ross McGrath (formerly of Sony, now at 2K) that Sony don't do what you're suggesting.  The loss making giant known as Sony can't afford to sell games at a loss, and that's why commission is passed on per unit sold.  If the unit is reduced, the publishers commission takes a hit too.

 

That's the way it works with other Sony schemes too - like PS+ for example.  Many publishers and developers have stated that they get nothing when they give away games and DLC through PS+ but they do it anyway because the word-of-mouth advertising from late buyers is worth its weight in gold.  Ie. It's more profitable to give their games away for nothing than let them flag on the marketplace.

 

Sales themselves are a similar promotional tool.  The more people buy games in sales, the more they talk about them, the more other people will buy them at full price once the sale is over.  That's the principle behind the Humble Bundle too. 

 


"The idea for the Bundle was from Jeff Rosen of Wolfire Games. Rosen describes the inspiration coming to him through similar sales of bundle packages on the Steam platform.  Rosen had noted that such sales would have viral word-of-mouth spread across the Internet.Influence also came from a previous "pay-what-you-want" sale for World of Goo upon the title's first anniversary; over 57,000 copies of the game were purchased during this sale, generating over US$117,000 after considering PayPal handling fees."


What's more, it works.

Also, EA have given away games through PS+.  Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms of Amalur, etc.  EA didn't get a penny for them, but they did earn a whole lot due to PS+ users talking about those games and triggering more sales.  Likewise, they benefitted financially from the EA Humble Bundle too.

 

But wait.  Your argument is that if EA reduce prices on DLC for a dated, flagging game like Mass Effect 3, their profit margin will be reduced?

 

Hmm.

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Message 9 of 13 (15,589 Views)

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Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

★★★★★ Pro

You know you're just asking us, your fellow gamers, and not anybody at EA, right?

 

The basic reason is because PC players will pay the current prices to get the DLC they want. 

They seem to think it's worth it.  (I know I did.)

Message 2 of 13 (13,659 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

Hero

I believe Microsoft and PS3 have a hand in pricing on their respective consoles. EA publishes their own DLC on PC and decide to keep it high. I believe they make more money on DLC and micro-transactions than on the games themselves.

 

I paid full price for Leviathan and Citadel, which was worth it. I paid full price for Omega, which was definitely NOT worth it. Not that it's bad, it's just the worst monetized story DLC in the series, if you don't count Pinnacle Station, while also being the most expensive.



I don't work for EA.

Message 3 of 13 (13,651 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

★★★★★ Pro

Awwww now, Fred.  Aria T'Loak was one of my favourite NPCs, and having the chance to hear more of Carrie-Anne Moss playing the über-biotch was well worth it for me!

 

I don't compare DLC prices to that of the base games.  I compare them to the costs of other forms of entertainment.  By that measure, Omega was about the same as an evening out to see a first-run picture.  One I enjoyed and that had, (and continues to have) its great moments as I (re-)play it.

 

So we all make our choices on this very subjective topic.  Do I wish that EA would discount the DLC for PC games after a while?  Sure.  But if I were them... would I?  Probably not!  Confusedmileywink:

Message 4 of 13 (13,650 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

@ThandalNLyman wrote:

 

So we all make our choices on this very subjective topic.  Do I wish that EA would discount the DLC for PC games after a while?  Sure.  But if I were them... would I?  Probably not!  Confusedmileywink:


But unfortunately, it's not a very informed "probably not".  The DLC of the most popular games out there is discounted after a while for good reason.  Sales die down after the initial burst, but developers want to keep user levels high because this benefits old, loyal players as much as the new.  I've lost count of the number of discounted DLC I've picked up not just in Steam sales but from other retailers like Amazon.  Plenty of games newer than Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 as well.  I got the Bioshock Infinite Season Pass for £3.99 last month for example and one DLC it includes hasn't even been released yet.

 

When a base game or its DLC is discounted on Steam, it is obvious to other owners because there's a sudden explosion of new players in multiplayer.

 

It's pretty clear from numbers playing Mass Effect multiplayer on the PC that its market has died.  There is nowhere near the diversity of players there was for up to a year after its release.  Sometimes it's hard to get a coop game going at all.  How to resolve this?  Do what other developers do.  Rejuvenate the user base by discounting the base game and get old players back into it by discounting the DLC.

 

Incidentally, I also own Mass Effect 3 on the PS3 and the difference is like night and day.  Still plenty of people playing it.  Still plenty of new users.  Why?  Because Sony frequently discount both the game and its DLC.   Why don't I buy the DLC for the PS3 version?  Because all games in the Mass Effect franchise are crappy with a controller.  No quick access to biotics/powers without freezing the gameplay, slower aiming, inability to run for long periods in multiplayer, etc.

Message 5 of 13 (13,641 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

@fredvdp wrote:

I believe Microsoft and PS3 have a hand in pricing on their respective consoles.

 


This is true, but in the case of pretty much every game except Mass Effect 1/2/3, PS3 and 360 games always cost considerably more than PC games.  This is because the commissions of Sony and Microsoft are built into the price.  Brand new PC games tend to cost £30-£40 here in the UK for example, but PS3/360 games usually turn up at £50-£60.  This is despite the PC version almost always being a better quality product* (rig dependent).  

 

* 1080p / Highest quality / higher frame rates, etc.

Message 6 of 13 (13,640 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

★★★★★ Pro

When Sony or MS, (or any other retailer; think Gamestop, or Amazon) decide to have a sale they can cut the price and still give EA the full amount they've contracted for.  Those sale prices don't reduce EA's profit.  Reducing the price on Origin does...

Message 7 of 13 (13,627 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

[ Edited ]
Hero

@ThandalNLyman wrote:

 

I don't compare DLC prices to that of the base games. 


And I couldn't, because I mostly buy games for ridiculously low prices through Humble Bundles and Steam Sales. Each ME3 DLC pack is more expensive than what I usually pay for a full game, or sometimes even multiple games (for about five dollars, you could get Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Burnout Paradise, Crysis 2, The Sims 3, Battlefield 3, Mirror's Edge, Medal of Honor, Populous and Red Alert 3: Uprising from the Humble Bundle). Instead, I also applied the logic that €12 for a DLC is less than a basketball game, which is why I bought Omega. I don't regret it, I just don't think it's worth it when comparing it to other Mass Effect DLC.

And why do I pay a monthly subscription fee for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Because of the 'hide head slot' option. Standard smile



I don't work for EA.

Message 8 of 13 (13,621 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

@ThandalNLyman wrote:

When Sony or MS, (or any other retailer; think Gamestop, or Amazon) decide to have a sale they can cut the price and still give EA the full amount they've contracted for.



Er, no.  They aren't contracted at all.  These companies have massive buying power and buy and sell in units.  They set their own prices, and while inflated prices sometimes cover the costs of eventual sales, that's not always how it works.  Very often (particularly in gaming) the publisher and distributor enter an agreement when sales are flagging.  That's how it works on Amazon's digital store, and that's how it works with every single Daily Deal on Steam.

 


@ThandalNLyman wrote:

Those sale prices don't reduce EA's profit.  Reducing the price on Origin does...


This is incredibly naive.

 

Marketing 101.  When units are not selling in optimal quantities, they are not profitable.  The reason 90+% of PC games and DLC see a reduction in price every 4-5 months (on every platform other than Origin, anyway) is because it's more profitable to shift more units at a lower price than to sell few at a higher price.

 

I also know from discussions with Ross McGrath (formerly of Sony, now at 2K) that Sony don't do what you're suggesting.  The loss making giant known as Sony can't afford to sell games at a loss, and that's why commission is passed on per unit sold.  If the unit is reduced, the publishers commission takes a hit too.

 

That's the way it works with other Sony schemes too - like PS+ for example.  Many publishers and developers have stated that they get nothing when they give away games and DLC through PS+ but they do it anyway because the word-of-mouth advertising from late buyers is worth its weight in gold.  Ie. It's more profitable to give their games away for nothing than let them flag on the marketplace.

 

Sales themselves are a similar promotional tool.  The more people buy games in sales, the more they talk about them, the more other people will buy them at full price once the sale is over.  That's the principle behind the Humble Bundle too. 

 


"The idea for the Bundle was from Jeff Rosen of Wolfire Games. Rosen describes the inspiration coming to him through similar sales of bundle packages on the Steam platform.  Rosen had noted that such sales would have viral word-of-mouth spread across the Internet.Influence also came from a previous "pay-what-you-want" sale for World of Goo upon the title's first anniversary; over 57,000 copies of the game were purchased during this sale, generating over US$117,000 after considering PayPal handling fees."


What's more, it works.

Also, EA have given away games through PS+.  Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms of Amalur, etc.  EA didn't get a penny for them, but they did earn a whole lot due to PS+ users talking about those games and triggering more sales.  Likewise, they benefitted financially from the EA Humble Bundle too.

 

But wait.  Your argument is that if EA reduce prices on DLC for a dated, flagging game like Mass Effect 3, their profit margin will be reduced?

 

Hmm.

Message 9 of 13 (15,590 Views)

Re: Why is Mass Effect 3 DLC for the PC never discounted?

[ Edited ]
★★★★★ Pro

Your argument seems to boil down to "EA don't, or shouldn't, optimize their profits." 

My argument is that they do, and should.  So I guess we can agree to disagree.

 

If they would see increased profits from discounted DLC for the PC, they would do so.

They don't, and therefore they don't.  Unlike game players, the people running EA are business men and women.

Message 10 of 13 (13,608 Views)

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