EA Exec: On-Disc DLC Complaints Are "Nonsense"

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EA Exec: On-Disc DLC Complaints Are "Nonsense"

Peter Moore

Electronic Arts' Peter Moore thinks gamers who criticize on-disc DLC have an "erroneous belief" on how such content is usually developed.

Of all forms of DLC out there, on-disc DLC might be the most controversial. After all, why should customers have to pay for something already included on the very disc they purchased? Few companies are criticized more than Electronic Arts for the practice, but according to Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore, the fear is completely unfounded and misinterprets how DLC is created.

"A lot of that resistance comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back," Moore said in a recent interview with Gamespot. "Nonsense. You come and stand where I am, next to Visceral's studio, and you see the work that is being done right now. And it's not just DLC, this is free updates and ongoing balance changes."

Moore elaborated further by explaining that on-disc DLC isn't technically "content" - it's more of the support code which helps the actual DLC launch run smoothly. "Think of them as APIs," Moore said. "Knowing down the road that something needs to sit on what you've already made, means you have to put some foundations down. What people are confused about is they think DLC is secretly on the disc, and that it's somehow unlocked when we say."

We've seen lots of examples which Moore is talking about, such as when Destiny included map listings for expansions in the core game. And it's certainly true that on-disc and launch-day DLC don't always have much to do with a core game's development cycle. Not that the internet isn't frustrated with the content on principle after other developers arguably mishandled on-disc DLC in the past.

Regardless, Moore seems to view DLC and season passes as a way to keep fans engaged (and spending money) on a smaller number of games. "Eight years ago when I joined EA, we were publishing 70 games a year. 70. And this year we might do twelve," he said. "The big games drive so much engagement nowadays, because they are not games you play for a while and then walk away from. Triple-A games today have live elements to them, and things like season passes are a way of keeping people engaged. Today we've got what used to be the size of a whole game development team, of about 40 or 50 people, working solely on the extra content."

What do you think of Moore's explanation for on-disc DLC? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Source: Gamespot, via Ars Technica

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I'm sure this will be met with a calm and well thought out response by everyone on the internet. Except me.

Oh and here i was under the impression that Moore didnt want EA voted Worst Company in America for a third time?

And here he is dismissing legitimate concerns and then promptly justifying them by saying that DLC is in fact developed in tandem to the core game.

Thats a years work of biulding up good PR gone in an instant.

Oh really? The content isn't already there? It's not just blocked off by an arbitrary paywall? I think I found a piece of DLC that disagrees...

image

Considering how integral Javik was to the core story of ME3, I'm quite certain he was always meant to be in the game.

Ah there we go. They were acting halfway respectable for a second.

Season passes are a way to "keep people engaged"? How about when their coverage runs out, and more DLC's released after the pass expires? Is that keeping me engaged? Pretty sure I've not bought a Forza game since Turn10/MS pulled that bullshit, so I feel fairly dis-engaged thanks to such tactics.

My view of DLC's also coloured by how shite a lot of it is, which has nothing to do with whether there was code - or content - on the disc or not; it comes down to companies flogging more content to keep money being generating before interest dies.

Wasn't EA's 'support' for the Sim City franchise rather anti-consumer, btw? Don't they have a record for BS approaches to 'supporting' IP? Methinks his whining is unjustified compared to the legit complaints of players being exploited and coerced.

Heeyyyy, I remember that guy! He actually looks like the devil in human form. That is really the only reason I remember. I am pretty simple sometimes.

OT: Everyone knows that CEOs do not fare particularly well in these interviews. Why don't we at least give them two days notice to think up a clever response for once? These humans are shit at quick responses. (excuse my non-french).

Moore elaborated further by explaining that on-disc DLC isn't technically "content"

Yeah, well it's not 'downloadable' either, so there's that.

RJ 17:
Oh really? The content isn't already there? It's not just blocked off by an arbitrary paywall? I think I found a piece of DLC that disagrees...

image

Considering how integral Javik was to the core story of ME3, I'm quite certain he was always meant to be in the game.

'From Ashes' was a launch-day DLC, not an on-disc DLC.

Similar, but not exactly the same.

RJ 17:
Oh really? The content isn't already there? It's not just blocked off by an arbitrary paywall? I think I found a piece of DLC that disagrees...

image

Considering how integral Javik was to the core story of ME3, I'm quite certain he was always meant to be in the game.

Back in 2012 when I argued that, people said it was OK for Javik to be DLC\Pre-Order Bonus. Good thing that people views toward DLC is getting more cynical...

Oh, and Peter Moore is full of shit.

IceForce:
'From Ashes' was a launch-day DLC, not an on-disc DLC.

Similar, but not exactly the same.

You say that as though Launch Day DLC and On Disc DLC are mutually exclusive concepts.

Peter Moore:
"A lot of that resistance comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back..."

OK, so you're going to disprove the fact that you're selling incomplete games?
Lets hear your defense...

"Nonsense. You come and stand where I am, next to Visceral's studio, and you see the work that is being done right now. And it's not just DLC, this is free updates and ongoing balance changes."

...Well that's dandy except we can't see what your studios are doing behind closed doors. Nor do balance updates have anything to do with the sale of content. So at best, that's dodging the issue ("trust me, because").

What's really going on is simple: EA is is selling game content. This is nothing new. By selling DLC on day 1, they are OBJECTIVELY selling the core game as "incomplete" (because it doesn't include everything developed for the game at that time; and if it isn't developed how is it on the disc? Magic?)

The bloody obvious explanation, Mr. Moore: You are, in fact, holding back content and selling it at a premium.
To be clear: That isn't a moral indictment or complaint, it's just stating how the process works.

Though it is one reason (among many) why I stopped buying games from your company, and others like it.

Is he actually telling the truth? I haven't followed much when it comes to on-disc DLC but all of the replies here are simply ignoring his statement that there is actually no content but just a framework that allows DLC to be added. Can anyone here either prove/disprove this?

God DAMMIT, EA. You're EVIL, remember? Therefore, you have to keep quiet and stop trying to explain and give potential reasons for your decisions and just let people who would run a business into the ground in a day run over your face. It's part of the contract! Right here in section 8, paragraph 10, line 23: "Be a punching bag for the eternally screaming and furious public who have earwax instead of ear canals." >:(

(In short: Yes, I do believe that the on-disk stuff is more API than not.)

RJ 17:

IceForce:
'From Ashes' was a launch-day DLC, not an on-disc DLC.

Similar, but not exactly the same.

You say that as though Launch Day DLC and On Disc DLC are mutually exclusive concepts.

I'm fairly certain that, if you have the PC version, you can unlock Javik by using a save editor...alongside pretty much every pre-order bonus. That means that the content was completely finished and included on the base disc, but inaccessible without buying it, preordering, or using a special tool.

Now, laying groundwork for future content in a game is one thing, but consumers had every right to be pissed over ME3's launch-day DLC.

SlumlordThanatos:

RJ 17:

IceForce:
'From Ashes' was a launch-day DLC, not an on-disc DLC.

Similar, but not exactly the same.

You say that as though Launch Day DLC and On Disc DLC are mutually exclusive concepts.

I'm fairly certain that, if you have the PC version, you can unlock Javik by using a save editor...alongside pretty much every pre-order bonus. That means that the content was completely finished and included on the base disc, but inaccessible without buying it, preordering, or using a special tool.

Now, laying groundwork for future content in a game is one thing, but consumers had every right to be pissed over ME3's launch-day DLC.

^My point exactly, thanks for backing me up with that info. :D

And EA wonders why gamers hate them so much...

Phew, don't scare me like that, Peter Moore. I was about to think that you were starting to think rationally.

If it's skins and stuff that is obviously worked on after the game itself is finished and in the bug catching phase, fine. That kind of on disc DLC is perfectly okay in my books since the people working on it weren't going to be doing anything important for the main game at that stage.

When it's an entire character who sheds new light on the game's universe and provides new gameplay, that's just shitty. Yes, the company can do it if they want, but I won't be buying their game.

Really, it varies on a case by case basis for me. As it should for anyone. What's okay for some, may not be for others. That's fine.

It pisses me off that when he says Free Updates he actually means 'Patches so the games actually fucking work' rather than CD Projekt Red where it's 'a butt load of new missions, character skins, equipment, gwent, new game plus? fuck it why not, we like our customers'.

Because I really don't think he sees the difference.

Oh EA how we have missed you. Your sabbatical clearly did you some good. Now get back on that controversy train.

Does this ever work?

Seriously, has there ever been a case in our civilization where someone from a hated and maligned regime comes and says "Oh, you peasants just don't understand. We're right. Pay more and understand how benevolent we are" and people actually buy it?

Fanghawk:
"A lot of that resistance comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back," Moore said in a recent interview with Gamespot. "Nonsense. You come and stand where I am, next to Visceral's studio, and you see the work that is being done right now. And it's not just DLC, this is free updates and ongoing balance changes."

Fine. I will. I'd love to come stand where you are. I would love to be apart of board meetings. And I'd love to realize that you, yes, you Mr. Moore and people like are you making these game designers bastardize their own visions. Because you decided it had to be out by such and such a time which forces them to take their story and DLC good parts of it out because they need to work on the core in time, and have it shipped by your schedule.

Also? Those free updates? Are we talking about the numbers of AAA games shipped broken?

Well, isn't it just good manners to clean up your own messes? But better manners, Moore? Not to make said messes in the first place.

EA, just...stop trying to communicate with gamers until you can arrange for your PR department to word your points in a way that can't be misunderstood by the listener. Even when you make a decent point, you word it so badly that you are called out of touch or even the worst company in America. Until you steal or borrow some of Valve 's OR, do not let any executives speak.

Yeah, screw the customers. What do they know anyway?

Fanghawk:
EA Exec: On-Disc DLC Complaints Are "Nonsense"

"A lot of that resistance comes from the fact that our company will regularly ship a game in an incomplete state, filled with bugs and imbalances which take us over a year to fix (if we bother to do it at all), and then try to sell you stuff we have already made and held back behind a paywall," Moore said in a recent interview with Gamespot.

"You come and stand where I am, next to Visceral's corpse, and you see the decay of a once potentially great studio, ruined by us like so many before it."

Moore elaborated further by explaining that on-disc DLC isn't "content" - it's more like a scam, which helps the actual business run smoothly. "Think of them as hostages," Moore said, "and we will never let them go unless you pay up."

Well said, Mr. Moore. It's good to see America's worst game-company fight tooth and nails for it's top spot.

thebobmaster:
EA, just...stop trying to communicate with gamers until you can arrange for your PR department to word your points in a way that can't be misunderstood by the listener. Even when you make a decent point, you word it so badly that you are called out of touch or even the worst company in America. Until you steal or borrow some of Valve 's OR, do not let any executives speak.

How dare you try to deny us one of the most absolute joys of being a gamer?! This is like comedy gold. I want him to say more without having the slightest idea how he comes across.

You simply can't write this beautiful trainwreck into a side of a kindergarten! Honestly, if someone wrote a COO this far up his own butt in a movie, I'd throw my popcorn for thinking the writers would make anyone this cartoonishly out of touch. Now that I'm faced with the absurdity of this being factual, I have only two responses: Anger and complete amusement

[/fake anger towards you is fake, made for humorous effect]

Shut up, Satan!

PR pre school edition:
You don't tell the customer they are wrong about unpopular moves your company makes.
You should try and spin unpopular things your company does in a positive light relative to the customer, not relative to you.

This has been another edition of "PR you should learn before you so much as open your mouth in a public setting for a company you work for"

kennyloo69:
Is he actually telling the truth? I haven't followed much when it comes to on-disc DLC but all of the replies here are simply ignoring his statement that there is actually no content but just a framework that allows DLC to be added. Can anyone here either prove/disprove this?

It's true of most DLC
but it's something that people did not have a problem with to begin with.
He is arguing a non-issue, to all but the fringe crazy.

So if the stuff on the disc isn't content but just "support code", then why do so many DLC's take up mere kilobytes of data?

Answer: Peter Moore is pulling this out of his ass.

ObsidianJones:
Does this ever work?
Seriously, has there ever been a case in our civilization where someone from a hated and maligned regime comes and says "Oh, you peasants just don't understand. We're right. Pay more and understand how benevolent we are" and people actually buy it?

There's always a massive dose of confirmation bias.
So the people who still hope/think the regime looks after them will believe it when the tyrant comes and says he actually works for the people. The people who already mistrusts or hates him won't believe him. End-result is no one changed his opinion, at best he postponed the time where some true believers will abandon him.

Atmos Duality:

Peter Moore:
"A lot of that resistance comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back..."

OK, so you're going to disprove the fact that you're selling incomplete games?
Lets hear your defense..

When reading that, I was actually thinking "Wait, is there a single AAA studio that doesn't ship incomplete or broken games?" :D

So when you buy DLC, and get a 40Kb download from it, that isn't just a digital on-switch to allow you to access on-disc content (like Capcom loves to do)? Come the fuck on Moore.

Keep shoving that head further up that ass, EA. You just give everyone more comedic news pieces.

When Moore made the point that they went from 70 to 12 games a year, I have to admit he has a point.

Unfortunately it also means that EA is probably in some kind of financial bind.

When Games Workshop started losing players, they're solution was to provide less units per box and charge extra for the box to squeeze more money from existing players. Comic books brought down the number of issues (cutting Spider Man from 4 books a month to two) and charged more for the books.

Despite the fact that he does have a point, how many players will those 12 games interest? I can't think of a single EA game that's slated for release. There will probably be a Battlefield in there somewhere.

So yeah, good luck keeping your players engaged by paying more for fewer games, EA! It's worked really well in the past.

It's certainly possible that, in least some cases, the unused code on disk really is just "extra character will go here" kind of things, not fully-fleshed out content that's being yoiked out of consumers' hands so they can sell it to them later.

But I'd bet Moore doesn't really want anyone to go back with a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass through the code of every game with "on-disk" DLC to confirm that this has been the case across the board.

And whatever the reality, anyone working with EA should know better than to throw out these kind of defensive, self-serving, and seemingly dismissive comments where people can hear them by now.

I'm sorry but WHAT!? Okay EA, you are now back on my shit list! Congrats!

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