Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) had its fan gathering recently and used it (as they typically do) to announce new content and features to those in attendance. DC Universe Online got its own announcement – the Green Lantern-based “Fight for the Light” expansion, with new powers, new areas, new missions, new costumes and probably some other stuff.
Did I say ‘expansion’? I meant to say ‘DLC’ because this particular content costs US$10 to unlock.
Personally, I have no issue with DLC, microtrans or hybrid payment methods. To me, these things offer a simple choice. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it; if you buying it is required to play, either pay up or quit. That said, like the completely ordinary DCUO shop launch, charging US$10 for content DCUO desperately needs to keep players interested is a bad idea.
A Quick Trip Through Recent History
Remember when Cryptic tried to sell its mission content through microtrans? Champions Online players didn’t like it and the decision was reversed. SOE appears to have missed that particular event because they are practically duplicating it. Players can (broadly) accept the idea of paying for costume packs or cosmetic items, but having to play for content on top of a subscription fee is a bridge too far.
Especially in a game like DCUO with a shallow levelling curve and not a huge amount of content to start with.
… of the special DCUO comic, that is. (Hello, Googlebait!)
With DC Comic’s relaunch of all its titles in September 2011, it seems like the DC Universe Online: Legends title is gone from the DC portfolio. It had orignally been scheduled to run a full 12 months, but looks like it will be gone 4 months earlier than planned.
Again, not a good look for DCUO that its comic-producing IP partner doesn’t have the interest to continue the series.
When DCUO launched, a lot of players were expecting the “we cut these powers before launch because they weren’t ready yet and because the GL lore is too massive to just drop in as powers” Hard Light powers to appear in an expansion around the time of the Green Lantern movie.
SOE have missed that window too, unless they were aiming for the DVD launch (and even then…). The expansion / DLC is due out in late Summer (DCUO translation: early Spring) and the current eye-rolling around the price isn’t a good thing for DCUO as it attempts to re-sign players who have left it since launch.
“Fight for the Light” might actually be an awesome expansion, but SOE again appears to have misjudged player reaction to their actions. And again I believe DCUO’s future is either as a free-to-play / freemium title or, like its comic, cancellation.