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Thread: Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

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    Default Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    This thread is for people to share their thoughts on this article I just posted.

    Changing With the Times – How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    DLC is perhaps the most defining aspect of this console generation; prior to the launch of the Xbox 360 you’d be hard-pressed to find any console gamer that even knew what the abbreviation stood for (Downloadable Content, for those of you living under a rock). Nowadays, however, it is implemented in one way or another into almost every major game that gets released - it has become so prevalent that the implementation of DLC is often one of the game’s most discussed features. Due to the obvious financial benefits, every major publisher wants DLC in their games in some form or another, and yes, that includes Square-Enix. In this article I shall be discussing the effects of DLC on the Final Fantasy series thus far as well as the potential impact it could have on the series going forward.

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    Last year (or 2011 in Japan) Square-Enix released Final Fantasy XIII-2. Aside from being the next game in the main Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XIII-2 also marked the introduction of DLC. Downloadable content included costumes for the game’s protagonists, additional weapons, coliseum battles and even additional story scenarios. Reaction from fans was mixed; on one hand there were those that praised Square's decision to expand the game through downloadable content post-release – expanding the game’s longevity and providing an enhanced experience for players. On the other hand, there were those that felt betrayed by Square-Enix for withholding and charging money for content that they felt could have already been implemented into the game at launch or provided for free.

    It’s an interesting dilemma for Square, after all the Final Fantasy series prior to Final Fantasy XIII-2 had been known for providing a complete game experience straight from the disc – Square even resisted the temptation to add DLC to the original Final Fantasy XIII for this very reason. But in today’s industry, in which no company is safe from financial troubles (just ask THQ, who filed for bankruptcy last month), is it a necessity for Square to adapt the Final Fantasy series to fit with the times? After all, despite Final Fantasy XIII-2’s sales being much lower than that of XIII’s, the game still gave Square a nice financial boost in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.


    Image taken from FFDream.

    To their credit, however, Square has acknowledged fan’s concerns on the implementation of DLC in Final Fantasy XIII-2 to an extent. As Jesus previously reported, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s producer, Yoshinori Kitase, has stated that the game’s main scenario will be concluded on the disc – this is opposed to Final Fantasy XIII-2’s main scenario which only concluded after players purchased additional scenario DLC. Still, it’s hard to imagine that Lightning Returns will be a game devoid of DLC, especially after the financial success of Final Fantasy XIII-2. There are already murmurs of Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud’s costume being considered for DLC (as shown in the image above); the nature of the game’s focus on costume-changes seems like a perfect way for Square to make an extra buck or two by charging for this sort of content, but at least the company seems to be aware of fans’ concerns on the subject.

    The same cannot be said for non-main series Final Fantasy games. Square Enix just released a new iOS title called Final Fantasy: All the Bravest which seems to have been designed solely for the purpose of milking as much money from consumers via DLC as possible while providing an almost non-existent gameplay experience. Want proof? Just watch the video Jesus posted.

    All of this leaves us, the fans, in an awkward situation: we know that Square wants to take advantage of the financial benefits of DLC, but how far are they willing to go? How much will it affect the quality of the series that we have come to know and love? It seems that only time will tell, but until then feel free to share your thoughts on the subject in the forum discussion.
    Feel free to leave your thoughts on Square's usage of DLC in the Final Fantasy series below.
    Last edited by Phoenix; 01-20-2013 at 07:53 PM.
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    ✿♥‿♥✿ Jesus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing With the Times How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    Nice article.

    It's all about the money.

    I have to say though that Lightning DLC for XIII-2 was not what I'd expected because it's short. In comparison to, say, DmC's Vergil's DLC, you get a whole new side of the story and world and character.
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    Naga plz Site Staff Crazy Knives's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing With the Times How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    As much as I'm tired of Cloud and DLC and shit, the idea of said costumes possibly becoming available for her is kind of a cool idea methinks. Now if it were free? I can see a lot of people/fans getting behind this but we all know that wont happen.
    Now that 'All The Bravest'? That's just straight up bullshit.
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    SOLDIER 1st Class Site Staff Fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    DLC for an FF game is not something I object to in principle. But there are certain DLC practices I can't stand. Take something like Mass Effect; a series that - by and large - does DLC pretty well. What happens is Bioware give you the full game - all the story, everything you need. They will then release additional content, things like Lair of the Shadow Broker in ME2 where you get to fight with Liara again. Or Leviathan in ME3 where you get to see where the Reapers came from. This is all interesting, meaningful story stuff.

    It is not, however, crucial. And it certainly does not add important content to the conlusion of the game (what once may have been a secret ending reserved for accomplishing something in-game is now included with DLC? Bad).

    I think Final fantasy could pull this off without too much controversy, but it will be more difficult because the stories are experienced with much less freedom than something like Mass Effect. Additional side quests would probably be a good DLC avenue for Final Fantasy. Image if the Monster Arena in FFX or the Hunts in XII were largely DLC based. I don't see anything wrong with this. That's what the Coliseum got right - it wasn't something I had any interest in myself, but it's a solid idea. Costumes and weapon skins (SKINS, not stat-boosted) are fine too. That's even the sort of thing I might have some interest in if I cared enough about the characters.
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    Its all G∑∑K to me Administrator Finalfantasykid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    DLC for an FF game is not something I object to in principle. But there are certain DLC practices I can't stand. Take something like Mass Effect; a series that - by and large - does DLC pretty well. What happens is Bioware give you the full game - all the story, everything you need. They will then release additional content, things like Lair of the Shadow Broker in ME2 where you get to fight with Liara again. Or Leviathan in ME3 where you get to see where the Reapers came from. This is all interesting, meaningful story stuff.

    It is not, however, crucial. And it certainly does not add important content to the conlusion of the game (what once may have been a secret ending reserved for accomplishing something in-game is now included with DLC? Bad).

    I think Final fantasy could pull this off without too much controversy, but it will be more difficult because the stories are experienced with much less freedom than something like Mass Effect. Additional side quests would probably be a good DLC avenue for Final Fantasy. Image if the Monster Arena in FFX or the Hunts in XII were largely DLC based. I don't see anything wrong with this. That's what the Coliseum got right - it wasn't something I had any interest in myself, but it's a solid idea. Costumes and weapon skins (SKINS, not stat-boosted) are fine too. That's even the sort of thing I might have some interest in if I cared enough about the characters.
    There certainly are excellent uses for DLC, but the way SE have been handling it has been very aggressive, and FF:ATB has been sort of the epitome of this. I'm glad they have at least addressed this for LR:FFXIII and said that it will be the complete game on disc, but then have DLC for the extra stuff.

    With the DLC craze this generation, I think DLC would actually be accepted more by everyone if the price of the game was reduced to $50 instead of the standard $60, since for many games you might end up spending $10-$20+ on DLC anyways. Back in the day before DLC existed, side quests unlockables and those sorts of things we got without having to pay extra, now we get less content, and are ending up paying more (even after compensating for inflation). I understand the reason's why developers do DLC, because the margins for games have decreased this generation due to increased development costs, but if the game were only $50, then possibly more people would get the game, and more people might be willing to spend another $10-$20 on some extra content since in their mind they have now saved $10 to be spent on DLC. This way the fans are happier, and the devs would probably end up getting about the same revenue/profits.

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    Default Re: Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but Square Enix is relatively new at doing this DLC business. Add the point that DLCs aren't big in Japan in general makes it a horrible place to get accurate tests and results from adapting a DLC model. The Japanese are probably lauding SE's effort in expanding the game world with extra content simply because well, there's more to play. The problem for us is, why would you make essential or canon content DLC? If we praised such DLCs, what's to stop SE making 1/4 of a game, and releasing the other 3/4 of it as DLC? And no, DLC is not an excuse for crappy story-telling, nor is (in my opinion) cramming everything in the Codex to fill the loopholes.

    @David: It's not even the price of the game and DLC that is problematic. It's the "Hah! You can't enjoy the full game and story without buying DLCs. And because you need that extra content to understand our poor storytelling, we're gonna make it expensive and make as much money off of you as we can."

    In my opinion, DLCs exist (for me) to simply give players an added experience, usually by fan demand. Some examples include extra costumes for the characters, a side-story involving a character we want to see more that has no impact on the main storyline, or even a extra character just for kicks. But you know, seeing that SE mostly looks at the Japanese fanbase for feedback, it is quite clear we won't have our way anytime soon.

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    Default Re: Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    In my opinion, DLCs exist (for me) to simply give players an added experience, usually by fan demand
    DLC exists for the $$$, in many cases planned and budgeted for during pre-production of the main game. It's very rare that 'fan demand' is taken into account. They know they want DLC, the only time they'll look at the metrics is to determine what type will net them the most.

    I make it sound cynical, but that is only partially the case. Game development costs are staying sky high while competition increases, the market saturates, retailers fail, the mobile market takes a lot of the money and things like Kickstarter take power away from traditional publishers. They need to do everything they can to make a maximum return on their investment, which can often mean a lower investment to start with plus additional content to purchase afterwards.

    Games are a tough business, and just when we think we have it sussed something big happens to change the game. Big businesses tend to be slow to adapt and there are few who really understand how to make decent money at this point. Expect to see lots of baffling monetisation strategies for a couple more years until the industry en masse starts to find its feet again.
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    Default Re: Changing With the Times - How DLC has Affected Final Fantasy

    This is how I see it.



    Reeve " How we going to rebulid the trust of the people after the ending of FF XIII-2 and the horrible beginning of FF XIV " ?

    SE " We do nothing, we keep on making more DLC and more cheap and money-making Final Fantasy games "

    Reeve " But... " ?

    SE " We'll blame Avalanche and then they'll trust Shrina Inc... I mean... Square- Enix even more bwaaa haaa haa " !!

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