The End has Come for Legit Gaming

The End has Come for Legit Gaming

Bryce Fenenbock, sports writer

  It’s 2:30 a.m., and you’ve grinded for 14 straight hours to get past this final mission. Reminiscing of all the moments of agony and bliss from a tough fought year, you wipe the beads of sweat from your brows and watch as the credits roll up after the final cutscene. You have finally done it. The game is complete. Yes, it is alright to cry, for this is a beautiful moment.

  Moments like these stick with you forever, and is why video games have grown so prominent over the last two decades. Showing off your hard work to the community is what gaming has always been about; however, in recent events, the greed of industries has managed to deform this once pure hobby into an artificial joke. Although extremely overlooked, the recently introduced concept of DLC (downloadable content) is what has corrupted this once pure system. Making its first appearance in “The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion” in 2006, DLC first offered users the ability to purchase “Horse Armor” using real money to get a tiny silver saddle for the user’s horse. Harmless right? Not quite. Recognizing the huge margin of profit, gaming companies didn’t leave this hot idea cold in its tracks. The more these corporations learned how heavily the gaming community bought into DLC, the more essential and expensive it became. Flashing forward to real time, the power of DLC has grown out of hand. Franchise games such as Call of Duty, Madden, and FIFA now offer DLC costing up to thousands in order to advance forward in the game.

  The concept of DLC has potential. The problem with it isn’t with the increasing prices, but rather with the increasing significance it offers to completing the game. To look at this change, let’s take two of Skyrim’s DLCs over the years, “horse armor” and the newer “dragonborn”. We’ve already reviewed “horse armor”, as it’s only true purpose is to impress your friends as you ride through their villages with a horse that looks like a freaking god. Because it doesn’t give you any tactical advantages over other players who haven’t spent money (and looks absolutely sick), I see no problems with it. “Dragonborn”, on the other hand, offered completely exclusive (and overpowered) weapons only accessible to those who wish to throw in another $20 into an already $60 game. With these weapons’ dominance, completing the story no longer became a challenge. A magic crossbow that one-shots any creature in the game creates an imbalance in the system as others traditionally progress with nothing but a sword.

  This is where the line must be drawn. The moment when people can buy themselves through a game is the moment when we must open up our eyes and restore our old ways. I’ll admit it, I am guilty of using DLC to skip over the parts of a game that make me snap the disk in half. But in all honesty, getting past those moments is why I bought the game in the first place. Beating that “one mission” no longer makes me jump around. Watching the credits roll up no longer makes me tear up. It only reminds me of the fact that I cheated myself out of a true victory. However the madness of DLC doesn’t end there.

  In the last year or so, big name companies such as “Activision” and “Treyarch” have played with the concept of designing a full game, selling half of it on the disk and other half on DLC. This concept would turn a traditionally $50 game into a $100 game, doubling their profits. The worst part is, the thirst of the community for a new “Call of Duty” has no price tag, and there’s practically no way to prevent these gaming companies from taking advantage of us. This virus that has intertwined itself into the culture of gaming has also reached outside of the traditional systems such as the PS4 and PC and into a new host: apps. The deceptive “free app” system hooks users and lures them further and further into the game until they can’t turn back, forcing them into paying large sums of money to continue their quests.

  Generating over a million dollars a day, “Clash of Clans” is nothing more than a free app. So how is it capable of being the highest grossing app of all time? With no upfront costs, it deceives its customers into thinking “gems”, or in-game money, is worth pocketing 100 bucks for. Before you know it, you’ve lost 200 bucks and don’t even know what hit you. Genuine gaming was a blast while it lasted, and it shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone that the business side of things eventually took advantage of the situation. It’s truly telling of how the world functions. As Pras Michel so wisely put it, “There’s a harsh reality – nothing lasts forever. You have to be ready to grow, and grow fast.”