Players don't want their games to smell of money
I almost didn't write a post today, but I found something interesting at the last minute before going to bed. So random post today. About what ?
So, I've been discussing this with someone earlier and ended up summing up the situation in a way that we found was pretty neat and clear:
Players just don't want their games to smell of money.
Think about it in the following way: let's ask players for practical and rational arguments about why the principle of "cash-grabbing" methods would be wrong (day-one-DLC for instance).
Why are we talking about rational stuff here ? It actually doesn't make sense.
Players play for entertainment. Games are supposed to make them feel good. Rationality and common sense have got nothing to do here.
This reminds me of another article.
The point of this article is simple: you can do shady stuff to get customers to buy more stuff (targeted advertising here), if they don't know about it they don't complain.
Does that sound immoral ? You decide, but I think there's got to be a way to avoid the question entirely.
This basically means two things.
For developers: if your players interpret what you do as some lowly cash-grabbing, you might be doing something wrong. Making sure your players feel good about buying your stuff is important. As far as I know Steam is usually recognized for doing just that: buying a game doesn't feel like getting ripped-off because it's overpriced and hard to unpack. It feels like the sales are nice for you because the games are just so affordable and convenient to acquire and play.
For players: nobody is going to get out of this, you either take the the red pill, forget you're being marketed at and stop complaining, or you take the blue pill, keep complaining, and the marketing will get sneakier. I don't mean to offense the marketing departments anywhere, marketing is also about getting the right stuff in the right customers hands, don't mind me, making money is a job and everybody needs to eat n_n
To conclude, there doesn't seem to be any simple solution. I guess the best we can do is listen to players, note what they don't like and take it into account.