Weekend Confirmed 104 - Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, GDC remainders

By Garnett Lee, Mar 16, 2012 11:00am PDT

Mass Effect 3 tops everyone's list. There's no way the Weekend Confirmed crew couldn't talk about it, but there are no spoilers... hell, Cannata's not even finished with it yet and we wouldn't want to do that to him. It's no secret, though, that the game's ending has rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. What we want from game endings and the difficulties faced in putting a conclusion on a story we've invested so many hours offers a lot to consider. We also take a first look at some of our impressions from the game being careful to not give anything story-related away. Other things are happening as well. There's the Diablo 3 release date announcement, finally, and we've got a bunch of stuff left over from GDC last week as well. It's a non-stop ride to Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 104: 03/16/2012

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Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:30 – 00:27:07

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:27:42 – 00:57:22

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:58:15 – 01:26:09

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:27:08 – 02:00:11

Jeff Cannata can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Follow the Weekend Confirmed crew on Twitter, too!

Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

For our listeners in or near Los Angeles - Double Jump (The show Christian Spicer and Jeff Cannata are putting on) is at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Saturday, March 24th. Check our show notes for more info and the link where you can purchase tickets. People can get tickets online at:

http://losangeles.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3042

The first 10 people that say "Weekend Confirmed" at the door get their money back! The show is all ages and should be awesome!

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.

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Comments

  • I want to explore the concept that there is a one definitive version of a game that we bought with our $60. Aren’t some of us complaining that the developers/publishers are breaking up this definitive version into DLC? First of all, how many entities that we purchase have this well defined version? I cannot think of many examples. And with the specific cases that do, I think it is more likely a default of the limitation defined by the medium. We don’t have such a thing when we buy a car. Each make of car have different trims and accessories that we can add. Buying a house was brought up one time in one of the thread. Anybody ever buy a new home? Those builders can nickel and dime you with tons of feature. You want the cheap countertop or granite? Do you want the house to come included with plain refrigerator or the bigger one with stainless steel exterior? It is only when we buy used cars or used house that we have fewer choices. Most physical objects that we buy have wide gradation of pricing based on quality, features, and perceived demand.

    How about artistic entities such as literature or movies? We don’t expect Pride and Prejudice to have a DLC to further expand on one of her sisters’ exploits do we? Literature and movies are normally limited by the fact that they are linear. Without making the consumer experience the story from the beginning to the end over again, it is hard to add or remove elements. With games, however, it is possible since gamers have the freedom to get off the linear path and explore sidequests. Whether the sidequest is “integral” to the main story can be rather grey like case with the infamous DLC in ME3.

    Videogames used to be available in one version because we did not have the ability to get the DLC. The NES and PS1 games were stuck with that one version burned into the disc or cartridge. The consoles did not connect to the Internet at its infancy. The publishers did not have the ability to add stuff to the game. So that concept of adding stuff afterwards did not even exist. Why do we cry foul when a game element created before the game is published get held back for DLC? This was never done before mainly because this concept did not exist. I know all of this sound elementary or obvious. It was not because the publishers were "moral" or that the concept were somehow sacrosanct that these "violations" did not exist before. It simply was not practical. What other things we buy in the world follow these “rules” which we are placing on videogames?

    Now back to the comparison to literature and movies. The concept of definitive version is probably going to change for these mediums too. How many versions of Star Wars do we have? Do we want the theatrical release version or the director’s cut? Even before the digital age, some literature can exist with no illustration, color illustrations, deluxe binding, special appendix, or comments by the author. Now books are going into ebooks which connects to the Internet. Contents of a book can be updated frequently. When these mediums can be changed afterwards, there will be more ways to “break” the convention and new ways to tier the pricing. Is this a paradigm shift or violation of some immutable principal?

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 4 replies.

    • I think the whole reason why DLC exists in the first place is because the pricing model for games is fundamentally flawed, and instead of addressing that they just split up the product into multiple slices and sell them individually, despite the fact that this is incredibly harmful to both the consumers and the artistic integrity of the product.

      Think about it this way. When you go to the department store of your choice and take a brand-new game off the rack and pay for it at the register, NONE of your hard-earned money is going to the developers who actually made the game, and for that matter, NONE of it is even going to the publishers.

      The publishers already made their money by selling their game to the department stores. The department stores only buy as many copies of the games as they think they are going to sell. This is why there are so many "preorder" bonuses, because the more preorders there are, the more copies the stores will purchase before release day. Marketing hype is also a big deal, as the more hype is surrounding a new release, the more copies stores will buy to sell to consumers.

      So the publishers make money on selling games to the middle-man, not you, but what about the developers? More often than not, the developers make NOTHING on sales, not even to the middle-men. Some more "progressive" game companies actually give developers extra money for selling big, but most developers have already made their money well before the game is even released. This is because the publishers fund the projects, which include the paychecks of the employees actually making the game, in the hopes that the game will sell big and they will make their money back and then some.

      In other words, your money that you hand to the cashier when buying the newest release of your beloved franchise is several steps removed from the people who actually make the game you love so much!

      But wait, that's why there's DLC right! You get to remove the middle-man and actually give your money directly to the people that make the game! Not so much. For starters, there are middle-men (MS and Sony take a cut), but in addition to that, the publishers are the ones that make the bank on DLC, not the developers. Many developers have gone on record to say they are against DLC for the most part, and yet DLC continues to become more and more invasive and more and more commonplace. Why? Publishers. Since publishers have already invested so much money into development costs, why not offer "extra content" for a price to make more money?

      Notice how I haven't even touched your discussion on "art" because this is how far removed we are from the artistic integrity of the product. This is what happens when your money is so far removed from the people who actually create the "art."

      This is why Tim Schafer's kickstarter success is so exciting. It removes the middle-men for the most part, and completely gets rid of the publishers. If more and more projects become funded via kickstarter, we will truly get to see if publishers help ENABLE artistic integrity by providing enough funding to realize large-scale projects, or if they are truly detrimental to artistic integrity by forcing developers down paths they don't want to take (either for marketing purposes or DLC purposes, etc).