Pay As You Churn: Dead Space 3′s Microtransactions

By Adam Smith on January 22nd, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Remember how in the previous Dead Space games, the only way to buy new weapons, armour, ammo and medkits was to stomp on the gooey remains of malformed mutants and catch the credits that they had stashed in their internal organs? Those were the good old days. Eurogamer spotted a “downloadable content” pop-up during Dead Space 3′s all-new crafting sections and the game’s associate producer, Yara Khoury, has now confirmed to our EG chums that it will be possible to pay real money to improve weaponry:

“You can buy resources with real money, but scavenger bots can also give you the currency that you can use on the marketplace. So you don’t have to spend [real world] dollars.”

The answer to the question, “Please, sir, can I have some Ishi-more-a?”, is “Yes, but keep your credit card handy.”

When I played a preview build of the game, crafting items did drop from enemies but the actual system wasn’t ready for use, so it wasn’t clear whether it would involve interesting modifications or simple stat boosts. It’s probably going to be a mix of the two, with one screenshot showing an engineered safety guard that prevents splash damage. Whatever the final cost of these crafting kits (they may be macrotransactions, we don’t know!) and however powerful the buffs they provide, I can’t see a positive reason for their inclusion, except for their role as a way for EA to catch the money that people hurl at their screens.

If it’s necessary to have modified gear to succeed then scavenging for parts could become a grindy, horrible mess – and not the good sort of grindy horrible mess which involves Isaac’s boot grinding a necromorph into jam. The transaction then becomes a payment to avoid tedium. Or it may be that the crafted upgrades are more of a leveller, easing progress through the game’s more tricky sections for those who want a helping hand. That’s fine but it’s also often dealt with through a choice of difficulty levels and those (at least the easier ones) shouldn’t cost money or time to unlock.

Somebody gifted me a deluxe/limited/pre-order edition of Dead Space 2 before it was released and I was genuinely dismayed to find that their good intentions had provided me with a version of the game that handed me free late-level equipment from the start. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want that, in a game where desperation and inventory progression are so well linked, and so much a part of the experience. I ignored the free stuff and refused to use it, and I’ll do the same in Dead Space 3, but ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. The entire crafting system is new and I’m suspicious of any system that I can pay to skip past, particularly in a game where pacing should be at the forefront of design.

It won’t be possible to buy all of the high-end equipment on the first level – “There are a lot of weapon parts that are only available to buy later in the game. Unless you’re playing through it again [on New Game Plus]” – but the rationing out of purchases doesn’t particularly ease the discomfort. I’ve already seen people defending the decision by referring to people who don’t have as much time to play and might want to see all of the upgraded equipment. It’s alarming that asking those same people to pay more than the retail price for the privilege is seen as a kindness. Give them a cheat code!

I enjoyed the time I spent with the game, though not without reservations, but this news has made me grumpy. As much as anything, it’s a huge leap from the first game’s unusual and admirable approach to equipment, which allowed no possibility for the player to upgrade everything on a single playthrough. In the Ishimura’s flickering corridors, players had to pick their poison and adjust to what was at hand rather than carrying the best weaponry available into every fight.

, , .

157 Comments »

  1. captainparty says:

    In a “freemium” game, where microtransactions avoid tedium, thats fine, you’re getting to pay for free and if you want to have a more enjoyable game, you can throw them some money, but in a retail game that you’re paying for, i would be concered that they’re going to add in grindy mechanics to encourage people to pay to avoid, which is just a pretty shitty game design

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Pay to buy the game.
      Then pay to buy a way to not play the game you paid to buy.
      GENIUS!

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        It is difficult to design a game where either paying results in the game being too easy or not paying results in the game becoming impossible. I guess the trick is to make the game more “interesting” through paid additions, rather than harder or easier (such as with TF2′s weapons, which are carefully balanced to offset any improvements in certain aspects with setbacks in others), but in any case I imagine you’re effectively writing different games for different people, which must make balancing a right pain.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          It is difficult to design a game where either paying results in the game being too easy or not paying results in the game becoming impossible.

          No, it’s not. Plenty of games have done just fine balancing difficulty without hammering in “pay to make the game easier” micro-transactions. The traditional way to deal with the game being too hard is to play it on an easier difficulty level. Several games even allow you to adjust difficult in the middle of gameplay.

          It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game with a set steep difficulty like Alpha Mission or Bionic Commando. Dark Souls is probably the only one that I can think of within the past decade, and even with that it’s more tedium than frustration.

          Then there’s the counter: games that are ridiculously easy. I found Assassin’s Creed to be that way. AC2 had some tough spots, but was pretty easy overall. In fact, I think AC1 & 2 (haven’t played the others) would have greatly benefited having a Easy, Normal, Difficult, and Insane difficulties, and I’ve heard many others mention this as well.

          IMO, the best route to go is to adjust these factors via difficulty sliders. Lower difficulty gets you more loot and lowers enemy health. The higher the difficulty, the less loot and higher enemy health, but maybe increase the chance of getting the highest tier weapons in New Game + or something. Make it so that higher difficulty rewards you, but you can still get a very rewarding experience from playing on lower difficulties.

          Difficulty balancing isn’t really that hard. Throwing in a cash shop on a game like Dead Space is just lazy, poor design, and reeks of cash grab. I can understand cash shops in MMOs, because the balancing act for MMOs is very difficult, but for a singleplayer/co-op game? WTF? Is this NeoPets: Space Monster Edition?

    • Teovald says:

      In a freemium game, it is more easily accepted, however it is turning the whole mobile gaming market into a mess. Implementing repetitive grindy mechanics that are only here in order to provoke in app payments is becoming the norm.
      Even mobile pay-to-play games are using IAP.

      • Underwhelmed says:

        While the crap ratio on the AAA market isn’t exactly amazing, the mobile market is almost entirely garbage, and even the “best of the best” iOS games tend to be grindy IAP based affairs. The devs that don’t embrace this model, often go hungry even when they do create a popular game. Sadly, this seems to be the future of mainstream gaming.

    • dontnormally says:

      captainparty says:
      “you’re getting to pay for free”

      I think you accidentally the whole thing, right there.

    • kkkwwwkkk says:

      Thank you everybody,
      Please drink tea(place order from http://www.heyheytea.com ) when you play game or watch the computer.The Tea can helpful your health.Dont trust?let’s try it.Just come on.

    • chuckles73 says:

      What’s the point of playing a free-to-play game where you have to pay to avoid tedium? Why would you want to play a game that’s designed to be tedious?

      • hungrytales says:

        you, sir, obviously missed out great on the whole MMORPG affair

  2. D3xter says:

    Why would anyone pay the Retail price for the game if it expects you to partake in Microtransactions, especially on the decidedly SinglePlayer side of the game?
    You can either release a game at full price people are willing to pay for or make it “Free2Play” and feel free to have these types of systems (Tribes: Ascend, Planetside 2 etc.), but not both.

    Or rather in short form: Fuck off EA.

    • f1x says:

      Exactly, its sad

      and yet the model will probably suceed, and become a standard for future releases, which is even more sad

      • Premium User Badge jmexio says:

        This is the next evolution. There used to be just retail, then came along free-to-play, and now we’re being offered free-to-pay, as in, you’re free to pay as many times as you want, through different, non-exclusive channels!!! Really exciting times… Only problem is the acronym, will have to go with F2Pl and F2Pa for Free2Play and Free2Pay respectively. Other than that….

        • DerNebel says:

          Personally, I’m more a fan of pay-2-pay, but P2P is already taken so…

        • Shuck says:

          “Free-to-play” has primed people to accept this kind of dynamic, but development costs on AAA games are going to make this sort of approach more common. AAA costs are already big enough that game sales alone can’t turn a profit in most cases, even with top-selling games. With the expected doubling of dev costs for the next generation of console games (and their PC ports), you’ll be seeing ever-increasing DLC and shenanigans like this in the same game.

          • Brun says:

            AAA costs are already big enough that game sales alone can’t turn a profit in most cases, even with top-selling games.

            And yet no one seems to be asking why this might be. Does that strike anyone else as kind of odd?

            The company that figures out the answer to that question, and applies that answer to their day-to-day operations, will be able to crush the rest of the industry under its boot-heel. But everyone’s just content to keep trying to monetize everything because they’re too afraid to just raise the AAA price point like they should have a long time ago.

          • Shooop says:

            Or maybe they should spend less money on all those slow-motion explosions to the beat of electronic bass noise some people think qualifies as music because that’s not what people are buying and playing games for?

          • Shuck says:

            It’s partially an issue with the way the industry has been set up – all going for those spots at the top of the sales charts, and a tradition of doing things a certain way. That’s being addressed, more and more, e.g.: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-01-11-redesigning-game-design
            But it’s also an issue of the market. You can make cheaper games, but those mid-sized games are a lot harder to sell. It’s also impossible to sell AAA games for more. People constantly complain about the prices for AAA games, even though they haven’t changed in decades. The flood of incredibly cheap Steam sales hasn’t helped.

          • b1847389 says:

            So you’re saying it’s OK to charge money for cheats.
            How far have the PC players fallen.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxNSOz4h7O4

      • goatmonkey says:

        I can’t help thinking this is due the the surprising success they had with the ME3 MP micro transactions and EA trying to apply it in a situation it is even less suited for. This is a game I would have strongly considered getting around launch but there is no way I’m touching it until it costs pennies now.

        Can’t wait till you are paying for conversation option in Dragon Age 3.

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          DLC in Dragon Age Origins already worked like that as I recall.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Because some people have too much money and a need to find new ways to show off about it.

    • Premium User Badge slerbal says:

      Exactly my thoughts too. Dead Space 3 is a game I won’t ever be buying.

    • Ovno says:

      /Signed

      Damn shame I love the DeadSpace games but there is no way in hell I’m paying money to buy a single player game I have to pay extra money to play properly.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      This is what they do with games for children because they know children don’t have a good grasp of economy and spending habits. My guess is that some marketing douche at EA is banking the same will play out among the adult populace, as well.

      The sad thing is, they’re probably right.

  3. hormonella says:

    To bad, i was on the fence when it came to Dead Space 3. but pay for stuff in a SP/COOP game? i just don’t see the meaning of it :s so Dead Space 3 = No go.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Indeed. Thanks EA, for making you game this easy for me to avoid.

    • RobinOttens says:

      Yep, this has convinced me to further ignore this game even exists.

    • Dudeist says:

      I think same. I liked DS 1,2, but I can live without it and Dead Space 2 is enough for me. Still some other games, where you not need pay for win.

  4. MOKKA says:

    Isn’t it a shame that there probably were some really creative people working on this game and were used to build something like this?

    • Skabooga says:

      Yeah, I empathize with the artists who put in a lot of hard work and sincerely tried to make a good game, only to have this payment scheme tacked on by the powers that be.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I really think that’s the worst part about good games with terrible drm restrictions or monetized gameplay. I would love to experience the hard work that these people have put into it, but someone on top decides they want more ways to make money. I just wish you could support the artists and not the corporation.

  5. lizzardborn says:

    Gentlemen start your CheatEngines, editors and memory scanners.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Next week it will be announced that the game requires an always-on connection.

      • Archipelagos says:

        That’s what I expect at this stage. No joke.

        • AlienMind says:

          Dont’ worry, people will still buy in droves. Idiocy knows no bounds.

          • Armante says:

            Or they buy the game not knowing that it’s either a grind-fest, or they need to spend even more money to make it playable/enjoyable. Or are given the game (as in the case of Adam and DS2, above) by someone who doesn’t know about it.

            It’s a shitty piece of design or decision making either way

    • aepervius says:

      If tehre is a pay side , then it will be heavily protected (not a big problem) but also will have all sort of EULA “we will ban you forever from everything if you cheat AND from all your previously purchased game linked to the same account”. That will be the big problem.

      • lizzardborn says:

        Not so easy – if the stuff is blocked by a firewall and I have passed the activation they will have no idea what I do in my ram.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Server client checks. Server “he did not walk over any tokens” client “oooh, I found 500 tokens”, server “BANNED!”

  6. Lu-Tze says:

    This is just presumptious on the notion that because they are providing the option to pay to avoid collecting resources, that they will deliberately hamstring the design to drive people towards it.

    Dead Space always presented you with the challenge of finding Power Nodes (or destroying your immersion by sitting there with a Prima guide open on your lap, having paid your $10 fee to “finding” them all) and made you make choices about where you were going to use them. By providing you with a way of discovering the upgrade materials and making it something that leaves you vulnerable i’d argue that upgrade process sounds better integrated into the game than ever.

    Giving people an option to pay $$$ to just blast around with an upgraded-as-possible weapon at all times doesn’t devalue that, just means they are paying a premium price for a different (and, i’d argue, lesser) experience, and allows them to predict better revenues and so put more into the development.

    It’s as easy to be optimistic as it is cynical.

    • f1x says:

      You are comparing a game guide to paying to get resources, quite different things

      “People paying to get upgrades dosnt devaluate the experience for those who dont pay”, thats true => in the book, but the reality is the game is gonna be adjusted and designed so if you don’t pay you’ll feel like grinding or like being under-powered, plus I can anticipate that there will be probably some things that you cannot get unless you pay, because you have to notice that they are marketing this as DLC

      And in the end, just the fact that is possible to pay to be “more powerful” is already devaluating the experience for those who dont pay, just because of the possibility being avaliable into a full retail singleplayer game

      • Lu-Tze says:

        The “resources” in the previous titles were hidden, and you could pay to avoid having to explore every last corner to find them by getting a game guide. It’s the same time-saving immersion-breaking process. Of course there were also freely available guides, but the reason for hidden stuff is to make people buy guides. Otherwise they’d just hand out the Power Nodes in a strict fashion and have a tighter control of the user experience.

        You’re still on the assumption that “the reality” is that they will make it more grindy. There’s no evidence to support this other than being prejudiced that games companies are evil and want all your money and don’t care about the product they produce. Frankly, THAT’S the naive viewpoint because if they wouldn’t have got into games if they wanted to make money. People are in the games industry because they want to make great games, otherwise they’d use their talents somewhere more profitable.

        Does “IDDQD” devalue the regular experience in Doom because you can be more powerful? Of course not. If anything it increases it because you did it “without cheating”. Hardcore players will turn their noses up at those who resort to “buying” resources, claiming they didn’t have the “true” Dead Space experience of having to brick your pants whilst harvesting resources, not knowing if that shadow you just saw flicker across the screen is about to rumplestiltskin you as you chip away.

        • Melonfodder says:

          You’re wrong. First of alll, gameguides are often found for free on youtube and on gamefaqs/game wikis/Now on Steam! When was the last time you bought a game guide, seriously?

          And there has been plenty of examples of the original game being skewed towards profitability; mobile games are rife with this thing, even some of the ones you pay for. Every microtransaction in a game takes away from the system of interaction that a full game is meant to be. You effectively stop a game from having a perfect unison of tools for the player in favour of selling the game in bitesized chunks. A game with lots of microtransactions cannot be great, because of this. This is different when the customisations are completely cosmetical, and that I can accept.

          And you have seen what EA is like? I find your comment incredibly naive – In EA’s case it’s far more healthy to be cynical than it is to be optimistic.

          • DerNebel says:

            Melonfodder brings up a good point. If you choose to put in the option to buy power in your game, that means that you must sacrifice some part of your controlled design, especially if you let the players grind up the same credits on ingame monsters.

            In single player, this means that at least some amount of pacing goes out the window, in multi player it’s the balance. Do I really need to tell you how incredibly important pacing is in a survival horror game? You need to keep the story going, If you let the player catch his breath, set up a base, kill some monsters and get some upgrades, then you have lost both the survival and the horror in your game.

            I won’t deny that the damage can be minimized, but I’m very sceptic of the degree of success they are going to have. And as previous posters have said, just put in cheat codes for crying out loud. You don’t alienate customers and you include the people who just want to feel powerful and shoot monsters.

        • aepervius says:

          @Lu-Tze You are wrong for a very simple reason. Game guide (paying or for free) are ad-hoc help non dependent on the game design. You can find them pretty much for free a few days or a week after the game is out, and msotly they are not provided by the game company itself so there is NO interraction between game design and game guide.

          On the other hand if you can pay for resource or whatever WITHIN the game, you have an imemdiate influence of the “bottom line” to the game design. You have to make the sellable resource (or whatnot) rare enough/hard enough/take time to get to push some people to BUY with credit card instead of gathering. Otehrwise the system would be useless if the resource would be plentyful.

          In other word you deliberately change your design to make certain in some case people give you more money for what in a normal case should have been ALREADY provided in a non “in game purchase” design.

          That is downright horrible in single player. Downright disgusting. Every game where I see that happen, I refuse to buy. And the publisher / dev should be publicly shamed for that.

          • Bhazor says:

            Also the reason designers put hidden things in games is because they used to give a damn about exploration. Now everything has to be connected with a glowing bread crumb trail for fear that it might disrupt the “cinematic” experience.

        • Premium User Badge Vesuvius says:

          Yeah but even if I were to buy your statement saying that finding collectibles or what have you with a game guide is the same….

          Those were found through exploration or puzzle solving, these are found through a grind of fighting the same things over and over again.

          Exploration and thinking can be fun, staying in the same corridor to fight 100x of the same enemy is probably a lot less fun.

        • Christo4 says:

          Again, as has been said, you are wrong. Honestly, whoever bought a game guide for dead space should just go play call of duty or any other shooter where you are spoon-fed everything. Finding the power nodes was a core mecanic of the survival mechanism of the game! You had to look around every corner to be sure you got any ammo or health so that you won’t die the next time you meet a necromorph.

          Reading a game guide is like having a personal robot behind you telling you everything you need to do:
          - be carefull, aroud the corner there is a necromorph!
          - there is a power node hidden over there!
          - you need to go there and do that!

    • D3xter says:

      “This is just presumptious on the notion that because they are providing the option to pay to avoid collecting resources, that they will deliberately hamstring the design to drive people towards it.”

      Oh boy, look it’s the same thing people said before D.iablo III (why is this word banned and flags you as spam, RPS?) released, obviously this “Real Money Auction House” couldn’t have had any influence whatsoever on the game, make it less likely to find worthwhile items, make it less fun in the long run?

      There’s two ways to design games, make them fun or as profitable as possible (see the two articles I linked to below). If they’re fun people won’t pay for shit and if they require payment for every other thing they can’t be much fun without. There’s not much of a balance between the two.
      But we knew this would be coming at one point or other, Johnny Riccitiello said so himself, although they’re not quite charging “for bullets” yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6-u8OIJTE

      Personally I think I’ll just ignore EA games entirely looking forward similar to how I already did Activision Blizzard, I haven’t bought some of their latest releases like Mass Effect 3 since they bound most of their games to Origin and introduced an increasing amount of “Day1 DLC”, but they seem to be taking this “anti consumerism” thing to a whole new level.
      They can get their money off some other sucker.

      Bonus question: Do you work in some marketing-related capacity or similar?

      • Christo4 says:

        Man that youtube link is only one reason to make anyone stop buying from EA ever again! Just listening to him talk makes me press his eyeballs in like in the end of Blade Runner.

      • Baines says:

        “D.iablo III (why is this word banned and flags you as spam, RPS?) ”

        Thanks for that news, that would explain why my post in the D.iablo III news thread was eaten on posting. I never get any kind of feedback when I trip whatever filters eat posts.

      • Giuseppe says:

        Is that what it was? “D-ablo” flags your comment as spam? I was trying to post a comment on the D-ablo 3 story yesterday and I couldn’t ; figured there might be something wrong with my RPS account. Strange.

        • Brun says:

          Happens to me too, but I think they’ve made it specific to certain users, as other people don’t seem to have problems posting with it in their post text. Perhaps we were a bit too vociferous in some D.iablo III threads back in the day, or posted the “wrong” (read: positive) opinions about it?

          • Giuseppe says:

            It might be the case for some users, I don’t know. It’s definitely not my case, because my RPS account is only a few months old and I don’t remember commenting, vociferously or not, on other D-ablo 3 stories.

    • Bhazor says:

      …. people still buy Prima guides?

      • The_B says:

        I know this comment isn’t entirely being serious, but let’s be fair – given they’re still going and making these guides, clearly enough people are buying them to keep them in business. Given how many other games companies are closing down, I would hazard it makes for a somewhat depressing thought.

      • Shooop says:

        I’m beginning to wonder if some people buy them to help them make GameFAQ guides.

    • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

      On a similar note, is this any different then a lot of current DLC practices? Right now, in a lot of games I can buy DLC that gives me a weapon right at the start of the game, which more often than not is significantly more powerful than the base equipment (though it usually doesn’t last past midgame for not-being-dumb reasons). Even in more proper DLC, there’s usually extra items that make the game easier, either by actually being rather powerful or just opening up new options. A lot of the time, this DLC is available at launch in one way or another (preorder bonus, for example).

      While this is a bit more brazen, I’m not sure if it’s actually any different from an end result standpoint. It’s not like current games are designed around starting with a DLC shotgun or whatever, and this isn’t much different.

    • AlienMind says:

      So you’re saying it’s OK to charge money for cheats.
      How far have the PC players fallen.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Pay now to get 24 hours worth of access to our select cheats!

        On sale:
        $19.99 for GodMode!
        $14.99 for unlimited ammo!
        $24.99 for NoClip!
        $4.99 for an alternate rocket launcher skin!

        Warning: Trying to cheat or use your own skins instead of using the EA In The Game MicroTransaction Super Fun Time Express XxXtreme Shop purchases will result in a permanent ban from your EA Origin account, causing you to lose any and all access to your games. Furthermore, EA reserves the right to seek monetary damages. In the case that monetary damages cannot be collected from your broke ass, we reserve the right to come into your house at night and have one of our EA Organ Transplant Support Specialists remove either your liver and/or one, but not both, of your kidneys. By existing, you agree to these terms.

  7. bigjig says:

    Is monetization all game developers think about these days? It’s this kind of shit that makes me find games like Dark Souls so refreshing.

  8. MrMud says:

    With this escalation in anti consumer design from EA (In ME3, the pay2win stuff was at least relegated to the multiplayer) I am getting increasingly worried about where they are heading. I suppose this will make it even easier than before to just ignore DS3.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I am increasingly getting the idea that maybe video games are not for me any more.

      Just lets get this miserable process accelerated and get to the stage where we go out and work just to keep our virtual pets in a lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.

    • yurusei says:

      I’m taking all that money I’d otherwise throw at EA and dump it into indie.

      More bang for the buck, and they don’t generally screw you over while smelling like sulphur.

      • AlienMind says:

        Excellent choice. There still IS A CHOICE, people. Use it.

  9. djbriandamage says:

    The essence of horror is “disempowerment” of the protagonist. If you can buy empowerment, what’s left? What is EA trying to accomplish besides profit?

    • Archipelagos says:

      Is DS3 horror? Everything that I have seen suggests otherwise.

      • Premium User Badge Llewyn says:

        Oh, I don’t know about that. The little I’ve read about it has left me pretty horrified.

        Although, of course, on that basis SimCity is also horror.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      If you can buy empowerment, what’s left?
      Unlocking achievements.

      • Giuseppe says:

        Isn’t this a “wonderful” bit of realism to be brought into games? Buy your legendary achievement here. Only $999.99

        In the real world it doesn’t matter if you’re good enough to do something, if you have the money to buy it or have someone else make it for you so you can take the credit for it.

      • djbriandamage says:

        How long until games are nothing more than insert coin for achievement?

        But really, who pays for a scary game and then pays more to take away the scary?

  10. Dowr says:

    Oh EA; you really don’t care, do you?

  11. Drake Sigar says:

    Microtransactions have no place in a singleplayer game, period.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      I dunno, it depends. Granted, it’s mostly exploitative or broken, but I can think of examples where, say, if you get bored of the scenarios in a given game you could skim through a library of levels and buy them for $1 each, or so. It’s possible, though, that this kind of model is better done freely through communities such as Steam Workshop, or official expansion packs which are bigger but cost more.

      • NathanH says:

        I guess the question here is where the line between microtransactions and DLC is. Perhaps a better version of Drake Sigar’s statement would be “paying to unlock things you can unlock through play has no place in a singleplayer game, period.”

      • Bhazor says:

        That sounds horrible.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Absolutely agreed. This is what cheat codes are for. If you use cheats or trainers with Dead Space 3 will EA sue you for theft?

  12. captainparty says:

    Even if this game doesn’t adjust the experince to encourage you to buy the in game super currency or what ever, its not long until someone thinks this is a good idea, EA already did it with the multiplayer in ME3 after all, it won’t be long before someone says “hey, if you reduce the amount of resources you find naturally by half, twice as many people will buy more resources”, it isn’t like they’re offering to save you time by giving you the option to buy this, they’re responsible for how much time it takes in the first place

  13. derella says:

    Wow… EA takes it to the next level.

  14. Christo4 says:

    I just have to say that they ruined what could have been a very good franchise. The first Dead Space was the best IMO, second was pretty good but more survival than horror, but this… This is an abomination. I mean C’MON MICROTRANSACTIONS IN A SINGLE-PLAYER GAME?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! END-LEVEL WEAPONS FROM THE BEGINING? You can realise just by these things that the pacing is completely screwed and perhaps they even made the game harder just to make you pay.

    Also i really don’t understand why people would defend the microsilliwilly saying “ugh, you know, for people that don’t have time”. Ok i understand that in a multiplayer game since you don’t have enough time if you go to work 8 hours a day to grind till level 50, BUT THIS IS SINGLEPLAYER, THERE IS A SAVE BUTOON FCOL (for crying out loud)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don’t need to play 5 hours non-stop, you can play for 2 and then f****n save your game!

    • solidsquid says:

      The comment in the article about end-level weapons at the beginning was in reference to a pre-order/premium package for Dead Space 2, not 3, so even the second one had issues with this

      • Christo4 says:

        Hmm may be because i bought the game after some time because i was busy then that i haven’t gotten any weapons at the begining. This just supports my conclusion that the first was the best and that EA ruined steadily but surely what could have been a pretty good survival-horror francise.

    • Eclipse says:

      I think that even the first game was awful, I got it and I really regretted buying it, it was very repetitive: “oh isaac, you need to open this scifi-thingy here but wait, the generator is off, and must be reactivated manually” *follow stupid light trail to the generator* “ruh roh seems like you need a whatever to open the S.H.I.T. section of this base” *go search whatever*.
      It was also very unoriginal, full of clichés and very slow and boring all around

      • Christo4 says:

        Hmm that is your opinion. IMO it was really nice, but you need to play it with your headphones on and your lights closed preferably. It’s not so much about what you had to do, but the overall atmosphere. I still remember the first time that i played it after 2 or 3 hours i was just minding my own bussiness looking for some ammo or health kits WHEN 2 NECROMORPHS SNUCK UP BEHIND ME AND ATE MY FACE!. And I’m not kidding. They were just going slow on me from behind and i didn’t even know they were there. I turned around and there were 2 of the f****ers crawnling behind me. Also when you hear the babies cry and you don’t see them, but you expect them to come from who knows where, that sheer moment of dread is what i really like about the game. And if you play it on a harder difficulty, trust me, you will feel it too. You just have to let the game immerse you in it’s world and claustrophobic nature.
        I played it 2 or 3 times (over 2 or 3 years to allow myself to forget parts of it) and i think I’ll play it again. Maybe it doesn’t appeal to some people, but to me it was really something.
        Also how can you say that it’s slow and boring? Just because you said that i can tell that you’r a COD fanboy with an itchy trigger finger who likes stuff to blow up every 10 seconds.

    • AlienMind says:

      “for people who don’t have time” ist just a dumb retarded silly insane idiotic anal pseudo-argument from content locusts who all should get the fuck off our games and watch a movie instead.

  15. Tamath says:

    Once again I’ll maintain a futile hope that people will vote with their wallets and boycott EA’s exploitative products. But as with Capcom, people will keep coughing up anyway. Don’t hate the player, hate the game, as they say. If consumers keep participating in the pay2win game, EA will keep playing it. I boycotted Mass Effect 3 as Origin is never coming onto my hard drive, but enough people are content to eat shit that they bought it anyway. (The fact a lot of people hated the ending struck me as a twisted sort of poetic justice.) Going off topic now so I’ll reiterate to STOP BUYING THIS SHIT.

    • yurusei says:

      I’m with you here. I vote with my wallet, a hook in my hand, a parrot on my shoulder and a slur to my ARRRR….

    • Sidewinder says:

      No, I think we’ve reached the point where it’s finally time to hate the player- or at least the purchaser. This stuff’ll only stop people stop buying. Or the brains of the corporate suits are taken over by a more benevolent race of pod people.

  16. Premium User Badge The Sombrero Kid says:

    EA just don’t give a fuck.

  17. apocraphyn says:

    It’s pretty terrible on EA’s part for incorporating the microtransactions, but, more than anything, I just feel sorry for the people who are essentially paying for cheat codes.

    …and of course, if they skew the game balance so that you pretty much have to use the ‘cheat codes’, well. That’s beyond deplorable.

    • Premium User Badge Morlock says:

      Yes, this is all about balancing. As I see it there are only two possible results if you include micropayments in singleplayer, or maybe any game:

      1) It’s not that much fun if you don’t pay because the game is either tedious or too hard.
      2) It’s not that much fun if you pay because the game is not challenging.

      I only accept micropayments if we are talking about new story content or levels.

    • Heliocentric says:

      This is my complaint about equipment packs or pay for advantages in any game… But inserting it into the single player? Bravo they just turned a certain purchase into a no buy. The “premium play experience” is what I buy games for when pirates are getting a better experience I just refuse to buy. I’m not calling it a boycott, its just the product lost any value,

    • Xzi says:

      Indeed. Someone remind me how they’re still in business, again?

      • meepmeep says:

        The ice cream may be topped with a turd, but it’s some tasty ice cream.

  18. Megakoresh says:

    “The transaction then becomes a payment to avoid tedium”

    “The transaction will become a payment to avoid tedium”*

    Fixed. This is EA we are talking about, mister Smith, no need to get all politically correct.

    • Giuseppe says:

      Obviously I reserve judgement on this game for when it actually comes out, but I think it’s fair to be suspicious of the fact a game plans to use real money transactions so that the player avoids “tedium”.

      There’s a real danger of having a game with built-in, planned tediousness that can only be adequately by-passed through real money transactions. I’m not necessarily talking about Dead Space 3 in particular, I’m thinking more about the future of gaming at least as far as major publishers are concerned.

      • Megakoresh says:

        To be honest most of scepticism comes from the fact that it is EA. The industry as a whole is getting better in that respect in my opinion.

        But any gamer who is more or less informed about the news in the industry know what a sack full of shitheads and dirty bastards EA is, there is nothing good that company has done in years and it has a history of ruining every franchise it chooses to continue without exception.

        All EA is known for is exploiting consumers in any way possible, ruining studios, uncompetitive business practices and so on and so forth. I mean can you name at least one positive thing in the last 2-3 years that has come from EA?

        • harmlos says:

          They’re not Activision.

          • Megakoresh says:

            Indeed. They are much worse. Activision lacks talent but has some resemblance of dignity, while EA lacks both talent AND dignity. In fact is has kinda the opposite of latter.

  19. Screamer says:

    I don’t play offline, so no micro transactions for me. I liked the previous two so will give this one a chance, but if they broke the game for this shit, I won’t buy the next one. Easy as that!

    • Heliocentric says:

      The next dead space game with micro-transactions? or the next EA game with micro-transactions? or Simply the next game with micro-transactions?

      Pay to progress is already a blight in MP games (I’m not talking about F2P) recently Assassin’s Creed 3 and Battlefield 3 both have methods to unlock things by paying real money,

      No for me i feel the need to draw a line in the sand, years ago codemasters tried this with Jericho, they fucked up the balance so that the cheats were core to enjoying the game, “pay for bullets” was a meme but on the harder difficulties the equipment you had was often insufficient to progress at the harder difficulties (you’d outright run out of ammo).

  20. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Challenge everything

  21. Giuseppe says:

    This real-world money in games is getting out of hand…

  22. Tei says:

    If you let programmers create games, you get crazy hilarious things with simple graphics.
    If you let artist create games you get art.
    If you let corporate executives create games, you get auction houses and transactions.

    I see a pattern here. The people that control design create games that are a image of themselves and how these people see the world.

    • Giuseppe says:

      Indeed!

    • Dr_Barnowl says:

      If you let CD Projekt Red design games, you get lots of killing things and liaisons with naked ladies.

      Where do I sign up for THAT team?

  23. Paul says:

    Yup, unless this gets 9/10 MUST HAVE review from RPS and other reputables, not buying. And even then, not paying more than 10 bucks for it.

    EA really seem intent on destroying the poor remnants of ther reputation.

  24. Ernesto25 says:

    I wasn’t too bothered about the franchise anyway but this is another depressing read into video games marketing .

  25. Mechorpheus says:

    Honestly, EA have been doing this shit for YEARS, even as far back as Need for Speed Carbon I recall having DLC packs which just unlocked in-game content to save you having to play the actual game. Not a long shot to see them implement it in a big ‘cash-cow’ series like Dead Space.

    I will be buying the game though, but I’m such a massive fan of the franchise I’d buy it even if it was so broken it made your eyes bleed.

  26. yhalothar says:

    About three years ago I’ve dediced not to bother anymore with any EA or Activition title – assume “not worth the time” and move on. I still have a metric crapload of titles to play, and every time a news item like this pops up, I’m glad I decided not to get emotionally invested in any of their games. The shit caravan rides on, but who cares.

  27. Minsc_N_Boo says:

    What the hell is happening to the gaming industry? Paying real money for in game items? Who the hell is stupid enough to do that?

    I can understand it a Free to Play game, but in a singleplayer game?

    I usually avoid pirating PC games, but I might try and make it a priority to illegally share this crap

  28. MaxMcG says:

    The more I read stories like this, the more I’m convinced that these big publishers are nothing more than a cancer on gaming, the cure for which is indie developers, Kickstarter and the like.

    In fact, aside from Arma 3 and DayZ SA, the only games I can think of that I’m excited about are all Kickstarter ones.

    As for Dead Space 3, I like the first two. This one, I don’t even think I’ll be buying in a sale.

  29. goatmonkey says:

    I suppose I should be glad the only IP EA have left I could get invested in is Mirrors Edge and I can’t see the “forthcoming” sequel focusing on the parts I liked of the first game. At the moment I can’t think of a publisher that fucks up potentially decent games more than EA.

  30. Robin_G says:

    Ugh the trajectory of this series’ direction could be graphed in a perfect exponential curve in terms of my disappointment. It’s really kinda depressing. I really liked the first one. A great atmosphere with some scares and grueling encounters. The second one got a little actiony for me. Too many times the camera control was taken away from me and I was locked in some button mashing sequence which always rubs me the wrong way if I am using a keyboard. Issac’s new shouty persona was a little jarring. Extraneous multiplayer. Over all not great, still entertaining, but ultimately nothing close to the first. The third looks to have all this stuff plus all the other modern gaming bullets points wheather-you-like-it-or-not, like co-op and a grindy, real world money linked metagame. I probably won’t even play this one. They really know how to kill any remaining enthusiasm I have for their franchises.

  31. JackDandy says:

    I’m so glad I don’t care about shitpile “AAA” franchises like the one EA puts out every year.

  32. lofaszjoska says:

    What if I use a cheat to get these stuff?
    Imagine Valve suing you for typing impulse_101.

  33. Lev Astov says:

    I usually am one of the people defending microtransactions as a way to let me level a F2P game faster. I cannot say that this time.

    The mere knowledge that microtransactions are available to make things easier will completely ruin this game for me. The thought that there is an easier way available to me, regardless of the difficulty level I set, will haunt me the whole time. Deadspace 3: ruined.

    • Giuseppe says:

      Well it’s one thing to have that in a F2P MMORPG (or perhaps any F2P MMO for that matter) and quite another to have it in a singleplayer game.

      • Lev Astov says:

        Exactly! I can’t imagine anyone defending this.

        Has this ever been done before in a full price AAA game release? I can’t think of an example. I hate to say it, but I really hope this experiment bombs for EA so they don’t try it again. I’m really afraid the unwashed masses will eat it up, though.

        • Giuseppe says:

          I’m afraid you’re right. It seems that some things will always have financial success, as long as they’re part of the right franchise and have a large enough marketing budget.

  34. buzzmong says:

    Microtransactions in a single player game? Ahahahahaha.

    No.

  35. Moraven says:

    So I have to pay, to access an additional store to pay more? In a way you almost could be talking about Guild Wars, but at least they are putting out additional content, content that was not in the game at launch. And seems to be a bit more acceptable when it comes to online games.

    Now if this whole crafting is for Single Player…what is wrong with a cheat code anymore? Some JRPGs can get stuck in a grind mode time to time, but they do not have the gall to include an instant level up to 99 mircro transaction.

  36. Blackcompany says:

    Between Origin & things like this EA does a great job of saving me money. They & their games officially no longer exist to me.

  37. Suits says:

    What the actual f- . I can’t believe people would buy into this. This trend of micropayments in addition to full retail cost only keeps getting worse. It doesn’t just break the survival aspect, but rips you off at the same time.

  38. Eclipse says:

    wow, Dead Space 1 was a shitty unoriginal game, but this is really getting ridiculous…

    • Christo4 says:

      Just how was it unnoriginal? You insulting a pretty good game is getting frustrating. It wasn’t an epic game like the first Mass Effect was, but it had an atmosphere that none of the latest games other than Bishock and Amnesia had. It was also Horror in space with necromorphs. Where has that been done before? And don’t tell me some game from the 80′s…

      • dE says:

        You’re kidding, I presume? At least, I hope you are.
        Let me summarize Dead Space for you: Grunting Guy in Power Armor in SPACE battling Alien-Thingies. Ah, forgot the important part: Lots of pointless splatter. Sounds like an awful lot of games to me, to be honest.

        /edit:
        There’s one thing Dead Space did well and fresh: Zero Gravity/Low Atmosphere Sections. Those were nicely done.

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          Um, wow, that’s a pretty terrible summary of Dead Space. Certainly accurate, but hilariously oversimplified.

          DS is certainly a derivative game (it’s very basically Alien + Resident Evil), but I’m not really sure if you could call it unoriginal, at least with a reasonable definition of unoriginal. There’s not really anything quite like it on the market, at least as far as I know.

          Also, in terms of semi-original features, it did integrated UI very well, to the point where it’s one of the prominent examples that I can think of.

          • Megakoresh says:

            This is a very good description actually. I can also add that DS1 and especially DS2 had voiceacting of such quality that even occasionally overthrows big budget Story-based RPGs. Voice Acting is what made me replay both games a couple of times, it was that good.

  39. Eclipse says:

    in the near future people will pay to download an hd video of someone playing the game for them so they can just pretend using a fake joypad

  40. sybrid says:

    Pay to play to pay to not play has got to be the sort of thing that has someone in an accounting office somewhere going “BRILLIANT!”

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this, though. I bought Sleeping Dogs on Steam with a bunch of the DLC bundled in with it during one of the sales and was surprised when I did my first few missions and received absolutely huge amounts of points, unlocking basically everything that could be earned through the 3 or 4 XP bars in under an hour. There were still the “run around the city and find X” skill unlocks and stat boosts, but it did make the whole “cop points/criminal points/nacho ranch cheese points” bars all completely pointless right at the start.

  41. bleeters says:

    Sigh.

    I think, for me, the most downright depressing part of this kind of thing is how it’ll inevitably make EA money hand over fist, as people flock to squander money on something that has no right being a thing. “It’s optional, if you don’t like it don’t buy it and stop whining”, they’ll screech, and they rush to validate shitty business strategies.

  42. Ganj says:

    Popping down to the cinema to watch the latest blockbuster I pay £10 for a ticket. Thankfully, since I lead such a busy life, I can pay an extra £5 to start watching the film half-way through.

    Golf clap EA.

  43. Strangerator says:

    Wow, two stories about EA in one day that make me not want to buy any of their games again, ever.

    Pay to win in single player is just so incredibly stupid… and pathetic. The worst part of this is… many, many people will buy Dead Space 3 because they liked the first ones, and/or they have no idea there will be a pay to win element.

    Prediction: Dead Space 3 will actually be a difficult game, unless you spend extra cash to buy super upgrades. At least, that’s what I’d do if I lacked ethics.

  44. Cytrom says:

    This is just pathetic now EA. Not unexpected though.

  45. LintMan says:

    “It’s alarming that asking those same people to pay more than the retail price for the privilege is seen as a kindness. Give them a cheat code!”

    Yes. This. Giving developers PAID INCENTIVE to make their games more boring and grindy so that people will be willing to pay to skip it is something I will absolutely not support. This trend is a pox on gaming.

  46. rustybroomhandle says:

    I guess modding will also get you banned.

    • Shooop says:

      Nonsense! They will happily let you mod the hell out of your character’s skin and weapons for fees! They actively encourage it in fact!

  47. TechnicalBen says:

    I don’t know what is more dead. The developers being pushed to make these devices in game by publishers, the publishers pushing for these profit models or the gamers eating the death dealing products. :(

  48. Shooop says:

    It’s finally happened?

    I’m actually very pleased with this news. It means we’re another step closer to the next industry crash we’ve needed since 2010. The only way this could be better would be if EA bought Zynga.