Paradox’s DLC Policy: Don’t Piss Off The Community

By Nathan Grayson on July 25th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

It’s easy to feel cynical about DLC. John took a stroll through that particular minefield a couple days ago, and while he found plenty of good buried beneath all the righteous fury, worrisome practices still abound. Day-one DLC, season passes, and the like litter the current landscape, and – despite what some might claim – business models do influence game design. It’s unavoidable. With some fervent passion, Paradox senior producer (and former Battlefield maestro) Gordon Van Dyke, however, argues that this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and lets rip at others who make it one. It’s only when companies lose sight of what’s best for their communities, he told me during a recent interview, that we have a serious problem.

“We actually have a very unique way that we’re going to do additional content with War of the Roses,” he began. “We’re not disclosing it [right now] because we want to make sure it works before we get too intimate with that. But we push the boundaries. I like to try different things. I like to figure out the best things for consumers and how we can be most fair to them. I want them to go ‘It’s worth doing this. I want to give them an extra five bucks because they’re giving me a lot. They’re not trying to screw me over.’”

“If, for whatever reason, someone could only buy the base game – maybe they didn’t have a lot of money – why should I punish them? Or maybe they want to buy another game and have a different experience. Why should I be upset at them for that? So we will always keep our players together. We won’t have premium game modes or all this other crap.”

It is, then, a fine line to walk – especially where multiplayer games like War of the Roses are concerned. After all, conventional wisdom says that players won’t stick around unless the carrot you dangle in front of their noses is absolutely essential. And yet, it’s entirely possible for something to be both essential and detrimental. Van Dyke explained (in his own words, not ours – Ed):

“So Call of Duty’s a perfect example of a group that does very lazy DLC. They give you a map pack, and now they’ve segmented you away from a massive amount of people who have the game. So, at best, I heard they sold to 30 percent of their playerbase. That means you can’t play with 70 percent of people who also have that game. And if you look at that in a corporate situation, they’re gonna be like ‘Yeah, we sold to 30 percent of our install base! That’s fantastic!’ They don’t give a shit about the player.”

“I know some of my friends at DICE are gonna be pissed at me, but you know what? I think most of them agree with me. A lot of these decisions don’t come from the core developers – the guys who are really putting in all the hard work. It’s coming from people who are completely disconnected. So hopefully gamers understand that the core devs aren’t the ones who want to push stuff like that.”

Really, though, why should it matter to those business types? So long as the money makes it into the right bank accounts, everything’s fine and dandy, right? Well, that attitude, Van Dyke believes, is poisonous to the health of both the community and the business. The recent anti-DLC sentiment, after all, has arisen because savvy players are wising up. They can tell when something’s amiss, and – though it may not reflect on publishers’ bottom lines right this very second - it will matter in the long run.

“Does this penalize anyone who just bought the base game?” Van Dyke asked. “By penalizing that player who just has the base game, he’s not gonna want to play. It’s like, you guys have just totally punked me. Fuck you, I don’t want to play your game.”

“That’s why I like working at Paradox. We’re more like ‘OK, how does this affect our entire player base?’ [CEO] Fred Wester’s been really nice to me and pretty much lets me go off and do anything I want, because my objective’s always about how I’m affecting the entire group.”

For Paradox, then, the bottom line is responsibility. And though DLC’s a thorny subject, Van Dyke thinks it’s actually simpler than we – both players and developers/publishers – are making it. Savvy players, for example, dig up details about how day-one DLC came to be with near-paranoid fervor, but ultimately you could argue, they only do it because gaming companies have given them a reason to feel mistrust. Recent times, meanwhile, have seen many developers and publishers respond by getting on their soapboxes about certification times and business necessities. For Paradox, however, it all comes back to treating the community well – not explaining why they can’t.

“Sometimes day-one DLC is [content that was cut from the final game],” Van Dyke admitted. “To be honest, sometimes it really is. It does happen for pre-order stuff, because sometimes you don’t have the time to make that extra content. But other times, a studio might have a completely separate team, and they’re off on their own. But the end consumer doesn’t understand that – nor should they have to.”

“I think it’s more of a perception issue. I think it’s actually very rare that day-one DLC’s like ‘Well, let’s just cut this content off [from the final game] and sell it.’ But it doesn’t matter to the end user. They’re not part of your production team, so why the hell should they know that? So you have to be conscious of that, and you have to deliver it in a smart way. If you still have DLC, maybe hold it off for a little bit. Because there is a negative perception, and perception is reality.”

Check back soon for the rest of my chat with Van Dyke. We also discussed his experiences trying out real-life armor and weapons for War of the Roses, his time working on Battlefield at DICE, and – as fellow Americans working for non-American companies – commiserated over our deep-seated fear of British cars.

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73 Comments »

  1. Gnoupi says:

    Meanwhile…

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Magicka and Paradox in general, but the timing is amusing.

    • Gusj says:

      Magicka DLC like that doesn’t exactly split the community or anything like that. It’s completely optional (unless I’m terribly mistaken).

      • Shinan says:

        Yeah I think the thing with (more recent) Paradox DLC is that people with DLC can always play with people without it. For example I believe in Crusader Kings 2 with the Sword of Islam DLC it “only” allows you to play as them. However without buying the DLC you still get the AI using the mechanics from the DLC and of course it allows you to play multiplayer with people who are playing as muslim lords.

        (compare to the “old model” with the expansions where users of the different versions couldn’t play with each other)

        • MommaB says:

          And DLC always ENHANCES the game – even for non buyers. I don’t know anyone can be more right than this man.

      • Gnoupi says:

        True. All maps and campaigns are available for everyone to join (you only can’t host a map if you don’t own the DLC).

        But in this case, it’s mostly about the wave of 2 euros cosmetic DLC, compared to “It’s worth doing this. I want to give them an extra five bucks because they’re giving me a lot. They’re not trying to screw me over.”

        My problem with Magicka, in fact, is that the base game offer such amount of fun and content for the price, that all their DLC feel kinda “not much for the price”. Vietnam, for example, was one longer “campaign” map.

        The fact is, it’s not that much, it’s 5 euros. But surprisingly, when you put that next to the 10 euros of the base game, it becomes “half of the price of the original game for only one map”. Somehow having a cheap entry price for the game seems to change the expectations of value. (And the fact that the whole collection goes on sale for -75% more than once per season doesn’t really help)

        • rapchee says:

          the base game and/or the collection edition is on sale like every other week, so if you don’t feel like spending that much, wait a bit (and follow savygamer)
          btw the continuous dlc stream also means that they keep supporting the game, years after its release, which -to me at least- inspires financial supporting

  2. max pain says:

    Swap the heads of the soldiers on the second image, and it still looks legit!

    • Lev Astov says:

      Lol, agreed. I thought something looked a bit off there.

      That whole knifing thing really irritates me. If you slice my throat, I’m still going to turn around and shoot you to death. With my gun.

      • DrunkenScoper says:

        It looks more like he’s stabbing that guy in the heart, though.

  3. DiamondDog says:

    The only Van Dyke to never appear on Diagnosis: Murder.

  4. Sian says:

    Yeah, I wanted to say Paradox should probably inform Arrowhead about their DLC policy, because those guys are making robe pack after robe pack, adding single maps (that fracture the community) and not fixing the glaring bugs that still remain in the game, mostly in multiplayer, which is THE most fun way to play the game where I’m concerned.

    • JB says:

      Doesn’t only the host need to have the map though?

      • Gnoupi says:

        Indeed, they don’t fracture the community, anyone can join your game on the DLC maps.

      • Sian says:

        True, I forgot about the map. My other point still stands, though: Bugfixes should really have priority over new content. The robes aren’t just cosmetic but add new skills and weapons, after all, thus don’t tie down only the art team – are Arrowhead even big enough for a seperate art team? Can’t remember. Anyway, I’ve bought every DLC they had up to now because I love the game, but my patience is wearing thin.

        • Sian says:

          Curse the old browser version here at work that doesn’t show me the edit button. I meant to say:
          “True, I forgot about that.”

        • pakoito says:

          Reminder: not all the team is working in one single task all the time. Arrowhead can be poppin’ robes while fixing bugs. Just the paces are different.

        • MasterDex says:

          Cosmetic DLC has never been a problem for me unless it actually gives an advantage (better camouflage for example). In Magicka, it’s just a pretty look. Also, while you could argue that certain DLC takes time away from things like bugfixing, I don’t think you can do that for things like new skins. The programmers aren’t the ones making those skins and the work involved in adding those skins, if the game was coded right, is absolutely minimal.

        • shams_J says:

          The people making robe packs aren’t the same that fix the bugs. There’s a difference between content and code. Cosmetic = content , code = fixes. A majority of the major bugs are stuff that take lots of time to fix. Time that needs to be taken from other magicka features or Arrowheads next project The Showdown Effect.

          Also – the Magicka DLC’s – Yes a lot of them are basically TF2 hats with abilities. Some say – “stop making them” to which we respond “stop buying them then.”

          Then- Just like Gordon says – you don’t need to buy the maps to play them – As long as the game host has the content. Thus we don’t split the player base and you don’t have to shell out 5 bucks if you want to try Vietnam.

          I don’t see how there’s a thing as too much DLC. Don’t want it? Don’t buy it. Who’s putting a gun/stave to your head?

          Finally – Do you also realize that every sold DLC helps pay for Magicka 2 or Crazy Arrowhead/Paradox Project X?

          Don’t be hater, move on to the next game if you don’t want the DLC.
          /shams

          • Sian says:

            To you and the two above you: Please read what I actually wrote, would you? The robes are not purely cosmetic. The come with new abilities and new weapons. They require programming time, however minuscule the amount may be. Arrowhead is a small studio. They are developing another game alongside releasing DLC for Magicka.

            While the pace patches came out in the first few weeks was commendable, and I wouldn’t expect Arrowhead to go on like that, they really need to stamp out those pesky multiplayer bugs. It’s been out nearly 18 months now, and since the big patch back in November, they haven’t fixed anything critical. Instead, they brought out The Other Side of the Coin.

            And no, I won’t be buying these robes. Did you guys really think I would? But does the fact that I dislike the way Magicka is handled and my growing disappointment with both Paradox and Arrowhead really disqualify me from voicing my concerns? I think not. I want to be able to play all that stuff I bought with my friends without someone dropping through the world or the game crashing on them, thank you very much, and would rather they didn’t add more and more ABILITIES and WEAPONS (not skins, mind you) to a game that is still as buggy as this.

            Heck, at this rate, SotS 2 is going to be done and stable before Magicka is, and that started out even worse.

  5. Tridae says:

    One thing all this DLC and rented servers stuff has killed which I miss terribly is wacky custom maps. I remember the days of CS with mates playing on a giant glass roof. Such awesome times were had watching an opponent fall through a hole you shot out.

    Yes there are still mods and custom maps for newer but they’re so damn hard to find in the wild. I’ve been playing Crysis 2 for a while and even with its fantastic editor I haven’t noticed more than a couple unique maps being played online. They’re just too hard to find and get working. Maybe a steam workshop type setup where if you join a game with a map you don’t have it’ll update automatically?

    Give us some weirdness back! I want low gravity CS or infinite rockets in Quake. DLC is fine for polished content but make it easy enough for me to create my own experience.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Oh man, the original Jedi Knight was the king of this for me

    • Bork Titflopsen says:

      Those were the bees knees, weren’t they?

      I remember spending hours upon hours trying to get to the top of xc_ jumping puzzle maps.

      Also, isn’t CS the game where the whole “zombie mod” thing kicked off? I’m still saddened today that nobody wants to play classic zm_lilapanic anymore. >:C

  6. abhishek says:

    So when Call of Duty does it, shame on them! When DICE does it, don’t blame us our hands were tied?

    • alexheretic says:

      since the whole message was ‘the means don’t justify the end’ this is a pretty pointless thing to comment. I’d have your outrage valves looked at by a professional.

  7. nimrod123 says:

    if i remeber correctly paradox just broke into 2 companies, one the dev team and the other the publisher. they also created a new DLC/Patch policy that only appiles to new games after that policy (like CK2) magikca came in before and is only published by them.

    CK2 is probally the prime ecample of how DLC should work, good cosmetic that may not sell to every one, and then feature DLC in combo with a patch for the base game that lets players play with the DLC users, just not using the DLC

  8. Njordsk says:

    Actually I’ve been pissed at CK2 DLC (apart from sword of islam indeed). You never hear the song unless you have a very specific person. I thought it added a whole lot of song to the whole game.

    • Dom_01 says:

      You can modify a single line in each DLC’s songs.txt file and make the DLC songs play at any point, it also doesn’t create a version mismatch/checksum error. It’s what I did.

  9. Jabberslops says:

    This reminds me of how before Activision started “fleecing” the COD players with community bifurcating map packs, EA did it first that with Battlefield 2 by releasing the dlc “Booster” packs that barely anyone bought and were kind of terrible and obviously created by a different DICE studio or development team. I am glad I never bought the booster packs.

    The battlefield 2 special forces expack was also kind of terrible, because almost everything about it didn’t feel anything like the base game. Everyone I played with went back to “vanilla” after only about 40-50 hours with special forces. The booster packs feel the same way as the SF expansion when playing them. Also, the annoying barrel position on the tanks in Euro Force made me avoid all Euro Force maps when the BF2 1.5 patch was released. It wasn’t even in the same position as nearly all the other tanks for it to be mirrored.

  10. alundra says:

    It’s very simple really, when the DLC resembles an expansion pack, it’s a welcome addition, when it’s a mere reskin, it is not called expansion, it’s called milking gamers.

    As for the second, the problem lies not within publishers only, the second part of the equation is stupid people wasting money on that.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      “As for the second, the problem lies not within publishers only, the second part of the equation is stupid people wasting money on that.”

      True. If these companies weren’t making and selling the DLC content, nobody would be buying it. Blame has to be equalized here.

    • J.Munthe says:

      Well, here is the thing Alundra, I actually work a lot with the DLC for Paradox. I love expansion-type DLC but also think that the small add-ons can be great fun as well.
      Paradox is a small company, and when we green light project it based on a quite simple question:
      Does people want to play this?
      We can’t afford going: Well, if they didn’t like the previous robes, by Jingo, let us make more and force them to buy it *queue evil laughter*. Giant corporations can try to business like that I guess, but we can’t.

      Like Gordon say, our simple philosophy around DLC is that it never should make anyone worse off, it should only be something extra for those that wants it. And we only make more as long as people wants it.

      Also, most often DLC is made by different studios than the main game, OSOTC was made by Pieces Interactive together with Arrowhead.

      Plus, there is two things you need to keep in mind. One, DLC keeps down the cost for the main game, it is one of the main drivers for lower prices for PC Games. The second is that the money made from players wanting a bit more is the money paying for the next project. Paradox Interactive alas does not have 50 billions on the bank, we need to earn the money in order to invest it.

  11. LegendaryTeeth says:

    I almost never buy DLC, but I’ve picked up almost all of the Magika stuff. Why? Because they don’t treat us like jerks. The DLC is either super cheap for neat stuff, or a bit more some fairly expansive add-ons (like a new campaign). And only the host needs to have the campaign for other players to join. That’s how it should be.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Paradox still haven’t fixed the base game. There are still game-breaking issues in Magicka that players are still complaining about. How is selling overpriced DLC content in lieu of actually releasing stable, workable patches not jerkish behavior?

      I don’t understand why Paradox always seem to get a free ride from their fanbase. Any other game company exhibiting the same behavior would be getting grilled over an open flame.

      • Gasmask Hero says:

        Replace Paradox with Arrowhead Game Studios and the above comment makes a lot more sense.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Not really. Paradox provide the funding. And as far back as I can remember, virtually all of their games have contained serious bugs, bugs that sometimes never get fixed. Besides that, who do you think is in charge of deciding how much DLC content each of their games gets? I’ll bet it’s not the devs.

          No, I think blaming Paradox here is the proper thing to do.

      • Jake says:

        I think they get a lot of passes because they are known for producing very ambitious and far reaching titles that have many more variables than your general FPS or RTS. Not saying that Magicka was that but I think that their ambitious nature plays a large role in their fans’ giving them some leeway. Also, not spending $60 on a broken game probably helps too. :)

  12. Zeewolf says:

    Paradox is one of those companies that I used to respect a lot, but now all they care about is DLC and multiplayer. Oh, and they like bugs a lot too.

    • Sakkura says:

      They seem to have actually changed their minds about bugs. Just compare the releases of Hearts of Iron 3 and Crusader Kings 2.

      … or did my sarcasmeter just fail horribly?

  13. BlackestTea says:

    “reads the article” – “looks to the right” – “Black Ops 2: Pre-order now to get the Nuketown 2035 Bonus Map” – “Facepalm”.

    • Malk_Content says:

      I think if anything this proves that RPS will put out whatever damn articles they like, regardless of what advertising they are paid to put up. It proves integrity and is hardly worthy of “facepalm.” After all if you come for the articles rather than the ads, you know that RPS doesn’t endorse CoD games and that they will likely actually play it before passing final judgement.

      • BlackestTea says:

        Sorry, this got out the wrong way, I fear. I come here for independent articles and personal opinions of the people who contribute to RPS, who I value very much. I’m absolutely convinced of their integrity and I understand that they need ads to get revenue from the site (which is still a sad state of affairs, I wish a site like this could fund itself from other sources, but that’s unlikely). Anyway, I facepalmed at the sweet absurdity of that advertisement on this site. Part of me wonders why CODBLOPS2 would put ads on this site at all… but i guess it just shows that they don’t really consider the content of the site when choosing to advertise here.

  14. Lambchops says:

    I greatly miss comments from Fred Wester (CEO of Paradox). Right.

  15. Askeladd says:

    Wait, what? Pissing off the community for DLC’s is BAD and pissing off the community by releasing a game that isn’t what it is supposed to be after 10 months of constantly patching ‘criticals’ – it’s broken.
    The worst thing about that is that Kerbero’s programmers don’t know what they are doing.
    Yes, I’m still angry about Sword of the Stars 2.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Can’t really blame Paradox (the dev studio wot made Crusader Kings II) for the failings of Kerberos Productions though.

      • Askeladd says:

        Maybe a bit late but I’ll reply anyway:

        Paradox is not the Dev but the Publisher of WotR. Paradox is also the publisher of SotS II. Tell me, how are they innocent?

    • rambler says:

      Yeh, read a lot of negative press from hapless gamers who have been burnt from the SOTS2 experience. Against my better judgement I bought a copy of SOTS2 on my son’s insistence and all the horror stories reported online have been our lot: game want install, patches from STEAM are huge (>5 GBs and growing), days of effort trying to get it going all down the drain. Very sad really since SOTS 1 was a favourite of ours. My son’s SOTS2 dream is irrecoverably smashed.

  16. Xardas Kane says:

    Don’t piss off the community by releasing money-grubbing DLC! Piss them off by releasing unfinished games that barely work!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love PI games, but damn, do they release them completely broken way too often.

    • MasterDex says:

      Care to expand on that comment? What seems unfinished to you and barely works?

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Hearts of Iron 3, King Arthur 2 or Sword of the Stars 2 ring any bells? That last one was even missing features, it could barely be qualified as an alpha, menu and interface weren’t working for Christ’s sake!

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          Paradox Interactive publish King Arthur II & Sword of the Stars II. They’re developed by NEOCORE GAMES & Kerberos Productions respectively. Sure Hearts of Iron III was developed by Paradox dev studio but I haven’t played it so I can’t comment.

          Crusader Kings II more recently developed by Paradox dev studio is pretty spiffing though so they are making advances.

          • Sian says:

            Sorry, but you can’t seperate publishers and developers like that. If a release is particularly buggy, most likely both are to blame. And Paradox games really have a poor track record in that regard. If one specific publisher releases buggy titles this often, do you really think they are not to blame in the least?

            But yes, overall Paradox is one of the nicer publishers out there. I just don’t buy games from them anymore before I’ve had a chance to read up on possible bugs.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            What Sian said. And what’s more, the devs obviously knew what they were doing, they just weren’t given enough time to finish the games. Now guess who is usually responsible for that?

            SPOILER: It’s the publisher. I have every right to be mad at PI for those failures. Just as I have every right to love them for the games they developed or published like CK 2, Victoria 2 and Mount and Blade.

    • DogKiller says:

      I agree with you to some extent, but I think they have been getting a little better about it now. Crusader Kings 2 was probably the most polished game I’ve ever seen them release. I mean, I still haven’t quite forgiven them for the state of Hearts of Iron 3 when it first came out, but I think they’ve been doing a good job with Crusader Kings 2, and hopefully it’s a sign they’re changing their ways a little bit.

      Their games have generally been great when they reach a mature state, but in the past it sometimes took them a while to get there.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Oh yeah, they did a great job on CK 2, I completely agree. Like I said, I love their games, it’s just that i was burned relatively recently by Arthur 2 and SotC 2 and I’m still kind of bitter :)

        • Jake says:

          Xardas, I think you’re a bit misinformed on Swords of the Stars 2 about Paradox pushing the release. Kerebos did because they were about to run out of money so they pushed it through to publish it so they could continue to work on it. Sadly, that business model rarely works.

          Not that I disagree that publishers can push their developers around to “finish” a product but it didn’t happen with Sword of the Stars 2.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Yep, I actually didn’t know that. I don’t know if PI was any position to stop the devs from rushing the game the way they did either. Thanks for telling me though, that’s some food for thought.

            It still hurt PI’s good name though, but at least I know that it wasn’t really their fault to the extent I thought it was.

          • belgand says:

            I’m not fully aware of the particulars of the situation, but it appears that it might have made the most sense if Paradox floated the devs an advance to finish the game to a saleable state rather than agree to publish a broken game.

            Review scores are rarely updated significantly when/if a game gets patched up to a playable level, not to mention the people who just hear the bad word-of-mouth initially and then write the game off for the future. You’re also going to hurt the company long-term with a reputation for not respecting consumers.

            Publishers bear the full responsibility for releasing a broken game. They should either require that it be fixed if its the dev’s fault for trying to release buggy code or they pushed out an unfinished game against the dev’s wishes. There’s really no middle ground where they can just sit back and wash their hands of it.

          • Josh W says:

            I disagree, I love indie games, where the creator of the game has significant creative control over both the product and process of their design.

            On that basis, it seems to me that the less the publisher takes responsibility for the game, and the more they act as a distributor and advice clearing house, the better off we will be.

            This isn’t to say that games that are falling behind shouldn’t be given a little help, but the further the “brand” moves from the people actually creating the game, the more liable you are to have all the stupid publisher-developer interaction things that happen.

    • Om says:

      For some reason it doesn’t work that way. EUII* needed years of bug-fixing yet still developed a great community because the devs were honest about the problems and actually tried to fix them. The problems seem to occur with third-party releases where the quality is poor and the devs less visible/responsive. That tends to piss people off

      In fairness though, the combination of HOI3 and SOTS2 seems to have led to changes and, publicly at least, a new focus on quality

      *Note, not EUIII. That was actually stable as a rock out of the box

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Yes, some honestly can go a long way towards keeping players around even when the actual game is released unfinished. That’s how EVE Online caught on almost a decade ago and that’s why HOMM players are so mad at UbiSoft. It wasn’t that Heroes 6 wasn’t released in a sorry state (though it was), it was that they didn’t communicate with the community for months at all.

  17. Goodtwist says:

    “If, for whatever reason, someone could only buy the base game – maybe they didn’t have a lot of money – why should I punish them?”

    Oh, the dude is referring to Battlefield 3 Premium? Nice : ))

  18. Halbarad says:

    And this is why Paradox Interactive are the best company in the Video Games industry today.
    That and they make and/or publish excellent games.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Hardly. They may make some excellent games, but they oftentimes ignore game-breaking bugs in favor of updating content, they abandon their slightly less successful games to rot without bothering to patch them, they release loads of shovelware, and they charge customers for content that honestly should be included with the base content to begin with.

      Those are not the qualities of a top-tier publisher. Seriously, EA and Activision pull the same bullshit yet no one around here ever praises them for it.

      • Jake says:

        Got a little hate there doncha?

        I’ll say this, I don’t see EA or Activision’s CEOs answering questions and actually having the balls to talk to their customers like Fred Wester does on many occasions. The Paradox team are actually involved in discussions on this site, their own message boards, and other places about their practices as well their thoughts about other parts of the industry. Have you ever read a piece from an employee of EA or Activision apologizing or admitting they released a bad game/made mistakes in their approaches? No…but PI has. Are they perfect? Hell no…but do they admit that they aren’t? Yes.

        At my family’s company, we tell new customers that we guarantee two things. 1) We will fuck up. 2) We will do our best to fix it.

        I’d rather do business with a company like PI that has made mistakes, admitted to them, and tried to fix them than an shadow hiding corporation who just wants to suck every last nickel from their latest generic MP blow up the other guy.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          No hate, honestly.

          It’s great that Paradox is run by people who claim they are willing to admit their mistakes and improve on them, but does that really make up for the shoddy service they’ve been pushing for years? I’ll change my opinion of Paradox when they put their words into action — doing stuff like making Rome Gold as truly Vista compatible as their spec pages claim, or fixing Magicka’s numerous game-breaking bugs. Until then, it’s all corporatespeak to me.

  19. spleendamage says:

    If it wasn’t for cheap Steam bundles, or “Gold” editions, I would buy zero DLC.

    Back when Cavedog was doing a free unit for Total Annihilation every few weeks, I thought it was great. Lately, we have seen what effect free DLC with real meat can do for the sales of the base game… Arma II’s free Day Z mod is driving their business.

    Make your DLC compelling and get more people to buy your game. DLC marketed at the “haves” in your current audience will always look like exploitation to me.

  20. iridescence says:

    To be honest, Paradox is a bit guilty of nickle and diming DLC. I’d much prefer if they just waited a few months and put it all together into one expansion pack rather than charging $2 for every silly little sprite and map pack they can think of. With that being said, their base games are so reasonably priced, the abundant DLC doesn’t bother me nearly as much as similar behavior from AAA developers (looking at you Civ V). Usually I just wait and scoop up the DLC when it goes on sale. It’s rare that the small DLCs make a big difference to gameplay and the few that do (such as CK2′s Islam DLC) are generally worth the price they charge for them.