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Guitar Hero II DLC Pricing, Selection, etc.

jclastjclast Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Games and Technology
It's been requested that this get its own thread. I'm fairly active in the discussion, so I'm starting a new one. Here's the deal. GH2 DLC is expensive.
Tycho wrote:
Guitar Hero II DLC Is Insulting And Ridiculous

The ability to extend Guitar Hero with downloadable songs was main reason I made the investment in the next-gen version. Investment is the right word, too: I choked down that ninety dollars with a lot of twisting and full-body spasms. It was like an anaconda swallowing a sheep. But the idea that I'd be able to snag expansions and classic tracks straight over the wire was some comfort.

The pricing on these new songs is simply a bad call - and knowing that Guitar Hero III is going to hit in a few short months makes me wonder how valuable this stopgap content actually is. Five hundred points (or $6.25, in human money) for a three song pack is the work of a diseased mind. These things should be priced like gumballs, obvious to any person who passes by. Bundle them together. Something. Something that would make me feel like less of an idiot for buying your product again.

I understand that the songs are now 5.1, and that they include the second track for co-operative play - it isn't just the old shit hurled up on the auction block. The pricing is still extortionary, and I've bought my last track.

(CW)TB

Here's the pricing breakdowns I can think of (prices come from Amazon or Microsoft)
Guitar Hero (PS2) with guitar. $80.00. $80.00 divided by 47 songs = $1.70 per song. Keep in mind we're also paying for a guitar, art assets, dev time, etc. with this package, not just the songs.

Guitar Hero II (PS2) with guitar. $80.00. $80.00 divided by 66 songs = $1.21 per song. Again, we're paying for a guitar, art assets, dev time, etc. in addition to the songs.

Guitar Hero II (360) with guitar. $90.00. $90.00 divided by 76 songs = $1.18 per song. Again, we're paying for a guitar, art assets, dev time, etc. in addition to the songs.

DLC packs. Songs only. $6.25 each. $6.25 divided by 3 songs = $2.08 per song. This time we are genuinely paying for songs and song-related expenses (like dev time) only. No guitar, no physical packaging.

Additionally, GameSpy ran an article in which they talked to a Red Octance staff member. In that article, it was stated that DLC costs would be on par with digital music services. To me (and most other people) that means that songs should cost roughly a dollar each (link).

Also, look at the PS2 version as compared to the 360 version of GH2. 10 more songs, 10 more dollars.

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    StormyWatersStormyWaters Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    First, I always understood the 360 cost to be part of the whole 'nextgen games are $60 new, not $50' idea, and thus the 10 extra songs for 10 more dollars doesn't really hold, as the ten extra songs are just gifts.

    Second, licensing tracks for putting them on physical media and for putting them on DLC are different.

    Third, iTunes is significantly different than DLC.

    Fourth, there are a huge amount of unknown details about the agreements.

    Fifth, 3song packs suck. individual songs or all songs at once!

    StormyWaters on
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    mugginnsmugginns Jawsome Fresh CoastRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvAtvtcjqkI

    Pretty damning video if you ask me.

    mugginns on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    First, I always understood the 360 cost to be part of the whole 'nextgen games are $60 new, not $50' idea, and thus the 10 extra songs for 10 more dollars doesn't really hold, as the ten extra songs are just gifts.

    Good point, but if you think that 10 extra songs, 10 extra dollars will only occur to me then I think you're mistaken. It's all about perceived value. The guy with a PS2 and a 360 sees 2 versions of differing prices. He doesn't think "Oh, next-gen is more expensive," he thinks "Oh, more songs is more expensive."
    Second, licensing tracks for putting them on physical media and for putting them on DLC are different.

    This makes sense, but it's not like you can buy buy the DLC and throw it on your iPod or burn it to a CD. These songs are more like game levels than CD tracks.
    Third, iTunes is significantly different than DLC.

    That may be, but it didn't stop the Red Octane employee from saying the pricing would be similar between GH2 DLC and music download services. I've only ever used iTunes, and they charge a buck. Who else is out there, and what do they charge? If they all charge $2, then you're right, and so was the Red Octane guy, gut iTunes is the most well-known digital music store out there. If you say "music download service" people are going to think iTunes.
    Fourth, there are a huge amount of unknown details about the agreements.

    Agreed.
    Fifth, 3song packs suck. individual songs or all songs at once!


    Agreed. I don't mind that there are packs out there, but if all I want is Infected then I should be allowed to buy just infected. It's not like I'm buying a whole new set for the main game. I'm buying bonus tracks. I buy them one at a time in the unlock shop, why should the Marketplace be any different?

    jclast on
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    ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    There are differences, but the point is that the difference in cost is so huge that it's hard to imagine it's actually justified. Ignoring the guitar, Guitar Hero II costs $60 for a disc containing both the game and the songs. Each of these songs involved all the same expenses as the DLC songs, other than distribution. 76 songs means 79 cents each, if we ignore all other costs associated with the development of the game itself. Now, here come the DLC songs, at a whopping $2.08 each. Are we to believe that the simple act of offering them on Live Marketplace has nearly tripled the price? How can that possibly be the case?

    Zek on
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    StormyWatersStormyWaters Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    mugginns wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvAtvtcjqkI

    Pretty damning video if you ask me.

    transcript please ;)

    StormyWaters on
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    The_DcipleThe_Dciple Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I wouldn't mind so much about the packages if I could customize my own.

    So frustrating to see them spread out the good songs in packs filled with the crappier ones.

    The_Dciple on
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    Captain KCaptain K Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    jclast wrote: »
    Agreed. I don't mind that there are packs out there, but if all I want is Infected then I should be allowed to buy just infected. It's not like I'm buying a whole new set for the main game. I'm buying bonus tracks. I buy them one at a time in the unlock shop, why should the Marketplace be any different?

    It's the same "why" as every other answer in this stupid fiasco--because they want to make as much money as possible from the consumer. Why are they charging such a retarded amount for the song packs? Because if people will pay that price, they don't have to charge any less. Why are they selling the songs in three-song packs rather than singly? Because, even if you only want one song out of three, if your only choice is to buy three at a time, and you do, then they've got your money for all three.


    Basically, it doesn't even matter if people are upset now and they change the price three weeks from now. In that hypothetical situation, they get money from everyone who's willing to pay this retarded price now, and then three weeks from now they get slightly less money (per person) from everyone who's willing to pay the reduced price. They're just maximizing their profit without regard for customer goodwill.



    Don't get me wrong--I think it's fucking asinine to do business this way. But it's pretty transparent business logic.

    Captain K on
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    SpikedFreakSpikedFreak Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    mugginns wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvAtvtcjqkI

    Pretty damning video if you ask me.

    Is this the video everyone quotes the music store single purchase from? B/c he says the pricing will be like "going to the store and buying aCD single." which is totally different.

    SpikedFreak on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    mugginns wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvAtvtcjqkI

    Pretty damning video if you ask me.

    Is this the video everyone quotes the music store single purchase from? B/c he says the pricing will be like "going to the store and buying aCD single." which is totally different.

    The music download store quote that I referenced comes from the article that I linked.

    Here it is again. Second page. After the picture of Judy Nails.

    jclast on
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    FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I purchased all of them.

    Wish I had gotten a better deal? Yep

    I paid too much for an 8 pack of Mt Dew today at a gas station too

    I have issues with money... I don't like it enough to hold onto it

    FaceballMcDougal on
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    MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    This is one of the reasons I just bought Guitar Hero I and II on the PS2 instead of the 360 version, which I've been waiting for since it was announced. I was on the fence about it until the pricing came out, now there's absolutely no reason for me to buy it on 360.

    It's expensive enough to buy the game and two guitars. At this pricing, if they came out with all of the Guitar Hero tracks (47 songs), it'd cost almost a hundred dollars. For just the songs. Fuck you, Activision/RedOctane/Microsoft, you're not getting anywhere near that much out of me.

    Monoxide on
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    EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I purchased all of them.

    Wish I had gotten a better deal? Yep

    I paid too much for an 8 pack of Mt Dew today at a gas station too

    I have issues with money... I don't like it enough to hold onto it

    Thank you for providing the example of a consumer with disposable income burning a hole in his wallet.

    EvilBadman on
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    NorayNoray Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Personally, I don't give two shits about any licensing issues or whatever involved. All I know is they are charging an extortionate amount for these songs that were actually less than half this price on the fucking game disc which came with a guitar controller. That's the bottom line. Whoever made the conclusion that this was a good price point can go die in a fire, I'm not even kidding. I hope they will be forced to drop the price because people recognize they're being ripped off and won't buy it.

    Noray on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    I'd like to point out too, these are all covers of songs as well, which should reduce the licensing costs.

    Bionic Monkey on
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    ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ...

    ...

    ...

    And people complain about the price of the PS3!

    A thank ya! Exit... stage left!

    Edit: A public apology: Apparently I irritated someone and got a warning for this. It wasn't meant as a trolling post - it was meant in jest. Lord, I apologize for my sins in this case, please bless all those on G&T and help the starvin' pygmies down in New Guinea.

    Threepio on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Monoxide wrote: »
    This is one of the reasons I just bought Guitar Hero I and II on the PS2 instead of the 360 version, which I've been waiting for since it was announced. I was on the fence about it until the pricing came out, now there's absolutely no reason for me to buy it on 360.

    I'm in the same boat. I was going to go out and buy the GH2 package for the 360, but shit, I might as well just get a better controller (at least one I know won't be a POS and hurt) and both GH1+2.

    Narian on
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    Phoenix SmasherPhoenix Smasher Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Anyone have a list of the songs? I'd like to know what they are.

    Phoenix Smasher on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
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    MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    Narian wrote: »

    You might think that two mods posting in this thread could possibly indicate that you don't need to do this. The other thread doesn't need to be shit up with pricing discussion while people are trying to discuss the game itself.

    Monoxide on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Monoxide wrote: »
    Narian wrote: »

    You might think that two mods posting in this thread could possibly indicate that you don't need to do this. The other thread doesn't need to be shit up with pricing discussion while people are trying to discuss the game itself.
    Anyone have a list of the songs? I'd like to know what they are.

    ?

    Narian on
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    MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    Oh, I thought you were doing the uh...yeah. Sorry, nevermind. gf-downs.gif

    Monoxide on
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    Phoenix SmasherPhoenix Smasher Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Thanks. Wow so they're pretty much reselling Guitar Hero 1 songs? Fuck that noise.

    Phoenix Smasher on
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    MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    Thanks. Wow so they're pretty much reselling Guitar Hero 1 songs? Fuck that noise.

    There's supposed to be new stuff coming out too, just not yet.

    Monoxide on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Threepio wrote: »
    ...

    ...

    ...

    And people complain about the price of the PS3!

    Er, yes, because that's also too high.

    So anyway, basically Red Octane is putting the emphasis on profit over consumer good-will - good (edit:for them) for the short term, but what does this mean for the long term? Will the consumer anger over these pricing schemes even matter when their next game comes out?

    Marty81 on
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    Phoenix SmasherPhoenix Smasher Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Monoxide wrote: »
    Thanks. Wow so they're pretty much reselling Guitar Hero 1 songs? Fuck that noise.

    There's supposed to be new stuff coming out too, just not yet.

    Eh, I don't think I would have purchased them regardles of the price.

    Phoenix Smasher on
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    This is my opinion on people complaining about the cost of things:

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    They price items based upon what the market will support. If no one buys the content they will lower the price. If people buy the content then the price is fine. If people buy the content and complain it is too high...the price is fine, because they paid the price, you see.

    _J_ on
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    TinMan1997TinMan1997 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    jclast wrote: »
    mugginns wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvAtvtcjqkI

    Pretty damning video if you ask me.

    Is this the video everyone quotes the music store single purchase from? B/c he says the pricing will be like "going to the store and buying aCD single." which is totally different.

    The music download store quote that I referenced comes from the article that I linked.

    Here it is again. Second page. After the picture of Judy Nails.

    ...and here is that particular quote:
    The final piece of the online puzzle which has us excited is downloadable content, which should be available via the Xbox Live Marketplace soon after launch, if not on Day 1. Red Octane hasn't made any official announcements, but you should expect that the bulk of downloadables will be songs from the original Guitar Hero, available for purchase in singles or in song packs. Prices have not been set, but a Red Octane spokesperson told us that songs shouldn't cost much more than what you'd expect to pay for actual songs on downloadable music services (total speculation on our part: $1/per song, $5 for a pack of 6 songs).

    My completely unfounded suspicion here is that GameSpy was trying to paraphrase something and got it wrong, since we don't have an exact quote. In GameSpy's defense- I'd hope that Red Octane would have read the article and said something like "Oh my goodness, I do believe I was misunderstood" and corrected them.

    Perhaps the actual quote was a response to something like "So suppose I want Iron Man for my 360, or for my iPod, is it going to be a lot more?" and the Red Octane guy goes "A little more, but not much," thinking "maybe a dollar or so."

    100% price increase registers as a lot of money, $1 doesn't necessarily.

    TinMan1997 on
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    David_TDavid_T A fashion yes-man is no good to me. Copenhagen, DenmarkRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It might just be me, but anyone find it odd that over yonder, they're talking about "Rock Band" ( http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/puzzle/rockband/news.html?sid=6168398&mode=recent ) and how MTV is a huge help, record companies are crawling over each other to heap master recordings on them, they're talking about not only having individual songs on there but entire artist catalogs readily available on a worldwide multiplayer platform...

    And over there, they're charging not insignificant amounts for GH1 song packs because licensing is such a bitch?

    I dunno, just struck me as odd.

    David_T on
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    fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I'm not buying them.

    I want them bad, I love the game. I'm not even bothered about the cost of these packs individually, per se, just in the idea of the total money I would end up paying for songs at that (rediculously high) rate. I'm all or nothing on this issue, so I'm staying away.

    Your choice, fuckers - lower the cost, catch a sale, or I'll just live without, and I know there are plenty thinking the same way. And next time, I'll think twice about buying the next title if DLC price gouging like this is going to have to be a factor considered in the weigh-in, alongside already costly peripherals.

    And yes, I bought Horse Armour, no regrets.

    I'm a DLC whore. Just this game, at this price point for DLC, is a stretch too far for me to justify.

    A shame, too. Perfect in every other regard.

    fragglefart on
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    GimpyBoyGimpyBoy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Yeah, I bought horse armor too. And I like it...

    However I'm not so mad about the pricing as I am about the packs. If these were individual I might pick them up. But I have no interest in picking up a pack where I pay 6 bucks for 1 song I like.

    GimpyBoy on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    _J_ wrote: »
    This is my opinion on people complaining about the cost of things:

    They price items based upon what the market will support. If no one buys the content they will lower the price. If people buy the content then the price is fine. If people buy the content and complain it is too high...the price is fine, because they paid the price, you see.

    The majority of stuff on XBL for download never see a price decrease, so maybe the future packs will be priced differently, or they might lower the price, but I don't see that happening.

    Also note that the main draw of GH2 for the 360 is the DLC, and without that is it really worth buying over the PS2 version?

    Narian on
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    FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You mean, other than leaderboards, HD gameplay(might not be a big deal for some but if you have an HD tv why not use it), new exclusive content, 5.1 sound, and a different controller? Other than that, no probably not much of a reason.

    FanciestWalnut on
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    BacklashBacklash Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I bought one of the packs, because I really wanted the songs. Sucks that it was so much, but hey, I really wanted Stellar and Infected.

    Now if they weren't so expensive I can guarantee I'd have bought the other two packs as well. It also pretty much ensures I don't buy anything else from GH1, since those are really the only songs in the entire game I can justify that much dough for.

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    HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Am I reading the main complaint from the OP correctly? Are we up in arms because the songs cost about $1 more per song than we'd like?

    I mean, yeah, $6.00 for three songs is higher than I'd like but I'm not sure it's so much higher that it actually warrents bitching about. I never thought for a second that they were going to be releasing these for $1 a piece. I mean, it would have been nice but I never really thought that was going to be the case.

    HappylilElf on
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    No Great NameNo Great Name FRAUD DETECTED Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    That's terrible pricing.

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    EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Am I reading the main complaint from the OP correctly? Are we up in arms because the songs cost about $1 more per song than we'd like?

    I mean, yeah, $6.00 for three songs is higher than I'd like but I'm not sure it's so much higher that it actually warrents bitching about. I never thought for a second that they were going to be releasing these for $1 a piece. I mean, it would have been nice but I never really thought that was going to be the case.

    My major hang up is the wacky packs.

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    HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    But comapred to what? $1.00 per song?

    I mean, yes, it's double, but it's also only a dollar difference.

    I guess I just don't get this one so I should probably shut up now.
    EvilBadman wrote: »
    Am I reading the main complaint from the OP correctly? Are we up in arms because the songs cost about $1 more per song than we'd like?



    I mean, yeah, $6.00 for three songs is higher than I'd like but I'm not sure it's so much higher that it actually warrents bitching about. I never thought for a second that they were going to be releasing these for $1 a piece. I mean, it would have been nice but I never really thought that was going to be the case.



    My major hang up is the wacky packs.



    Ok, yeah, that one I can understand. I think they would have been better off allowing individual downloads.

    HappylilElf on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You mean, other than leaderboards, HD gameplay(might not be a big deal for some but if you have an HD tv why not use it), new exclusive content, 5.1 sound, and a different controller? Other than that, no probably not much of a reason.

    HD and 5.1 are for select people (very good, but for the average GH player this is not a big deal to them), new exclusive content (could be good or bad) at the current 'high' prices, and the controller has a lot of issues and problems with it at the moment. Though I will give leaderboards the props because that is a really good idea to help enhance the competition in GH.

    Narian on
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    EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    But comapred to what? $1.00 per song?

    I mean, yes, it's double, but it's also only a dollar difference.

    I guess I just don't get this one so I should probably shut up now.

    Dollars add up quick, to get the whole GH tracklist would be be more than buying the game on ps2.

    But who would pay money for Farewell Myth is beyond me.

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    TinMan1997TinMan1997 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Backlash wrote: »
    I bought one of the packs, because I really wanted the songs. Sucks that it was so much, but hey, I really wanted Stellar and Infected.

    Now if they weren't so expensive I can guarantee I'd have bought the other two packs as well. It also pretty much ensures I don't buy anything else from GH1, since those are really the only songs in the entire game I can justify that much dough for.

    That may be part of the reason they went the "pack" route. Off of the top of my head, I can probably think of a half-dozen songs that I'd be willing to pay for off of GH1, and for those songs, I'd go $2 a pop without a problem.

    However, I don't expect them to release the "Iron man/ I love rock n roll/ Take me out/ I wanna be sedated/ Sharp Dressed Man" five-pack anytime soon, and I don't know if there is enough interest in any individual song for making any one downloadable. On the other hand, they may be able to determine that a certain bundle of three songs will be desirable to enough people to bundle them together and make that a download pack.

    In the previous thread, we talked a little bit about the "only the songs I want" problem. The point I wanted to make there is that we already have this problem with the game itself (I don't really want all of the GHII songs, but I have to pay for all of them to play any of them). It was pointed out (sorry, don't remember the posters handle) that there is no reason we should have that with downloadable media, and I don't disagree with that. On the other hand, if this is the only profitable way they have to release them, I'm willing to pay for a few.

    TinMan1997 on
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