Yes, I realize that we are now over a month past E3 and the Destiny wars, but today it struck me that there is a HUGE group of players that are being overlooked by Activision and the press alike.
Before I speak to this group, let me say quick impressions on two of the hot issues.
"Season 1 DLC Owners are Being Robbed"
This is a common thread whenever a game of the year or year 2 bundle comes out. You paid for the ability to play the DLC day and date. Even if you are like me (I bought a season pass about 4 days after House of Wolves), you aren't being ripped off. You paid for DLC (I'm assuming you liked what you got), some time later: there's a discount... This shouldn't surprise ANYONE!
"Collectors Edition... WAHHHHH!"
For the whole collector's edition debate, I have no feelings. The whole idea of a collector's edition is that YOU PAY MORE TO GET SPECIAL STUFF TO FEEL SPECIAL!
Is it cheaper for new players to upgrade to the collector's edition: yes.
Does that smell: a bit.
Do I care: no...
The Real Issue
The real issue with Destiny right now is that they have COMPLETELY disincentivized buying season 1 DLC right now!
Right now there's a summer loll in games. The people who played Witcher are wrapping things up, Batman players might have another week or two to really get everything done. So I have a question:
What better time to level up your character and play that Destiny DLC that you missed?
Really though, I have a few friends that heard I was having fun with some of the DLC for Destiny and have said something to the effect of: "I want to give it another go". And now is a great time to level up your character getting ready for Taken King or just killing off time in the summer.
The problem is that if anyone asks "should I get the DLC?" my answer has to be NO! The issue is the way things are priced for the retail Taken King.
If you were to buy the "Year 1" season pass, that'll be $35. Some say this price is high, but I got over 24 hours of gameplay from it and it does freshen up some aspects of the game. The digital price of JUST the Taken King expansion is $40. This means if you are all in for both you're down $75. None of this is disputed.
The problem that I have is that the retail copy comes in at $60. And this actually isn't a "well buying the retail shouldn't be cheaper" talk. Instead this is a rant about timing and a digital counterpart to the boxed $60 bundle.
What's So Wrong With a $60 Season 1 + Exapansion 3
In short for new gamers and people who want to play Taken King this is a HUGE win! But the people with nothing to play right now have a weird spot left in their heart. They can save the $$$ and plunk down $60 for the boxed copy, throw the disc away and only use the codes that come in the front to unlock the DLC they don't have yet. This is a great plan, but they have to wait until September 15 to play the DLC they bought.
Personally, I think this means you'll have fewer existing players coming in for Taken King since they can't really level up.
I understand that most preorders are only a $5 hold so you haven't REALLY bought the S1 DLC (I'll talk about this in my solution). So stop your comment before it starts.
Maybe a Solution?
What if you could preorder the Taken King bunduru and get your S1 DLC today? What if they even made this some crazy deal where only people that have the base game already could buy this level? What if they sold it only in the form of the Collector's Edition?
EVERYBODY WINS (or at least it's better)
Think about it:
- Sony, Microsoft, and Activision get your hard money now instead of a $5 layaway that you might not redeem or even worse could return.
- Sony, Microsoft, and Activision have more people buying Collector's editions rather than just lowly retail boxes (higher profit margins on digital)
- Activision has more people playing now and still will get a big bump when Taken King drops (and possibly this would make that bump bigger?)
- You get to play season 1 DLC now AND be hyped for Taken King day and date release.
- For $15 less than just the season one and the base game you get both plus Taken King
- For $5 more than just the DLC you haven't purchased yet, you will get those highly coveted emotes and guns that have been described as "spark to ignite" a "powder keg"
How Hard Would it Be?
The answer: not really that hard.
Both Xbox Store and the Sony Store have ways to email you codes when you buy something else. So, with some fairly common work in their store management system: set it so that whenever someone buys a Taken King Digital Collector's Edition, they get emailed codes to immediately unlock the base game and the "Year One Exapansion Pass". Then on Taken King's release date, you get the new expansion unlocked.
What About Returns
The good thing for stores and Activision is that there's a no return policy (for the most part). And they can't say that you aren't satisfied with Taken King if it turns out like a fish in the sun for too long.
Because you got enjoyment from the base game and Year One DLC (or at least they could argue that)! Basically at that point for this digital edition Taken King becomes a bonus. It's like a snack expansion: you're saving it for later.
So... Am I out of my mind? Does anyone agree? Does this make the pricing situation any better in your mind?
Leave a comment and let me know!