While everyone is busy talking about micro-transactions in $60 games, and, more recently, Payday 2. I want to focus on something else that Overkill Software seems to get away with when it comes to extracting cash from everyone’s Wallet. I’ll get to the micro-transactions in a bit, but That “something else” i just mentioned is referring to the abundance of DLC for the game. It’s just absurd.
Before I get too critical, I must point out that it’s a fairly good system, if a bit unorthodox which is entirely optional for you, with the only popups being on the main menu, the load-out slots, and the trailer for the latest heist put up on Youtube. Simple marketing. That’s it.
What’s even more consumer friendly is that if you play online with others With the DLC, ALL PLAYERS, regardless of rank, get the DLC so you’re on equal ground with each other. It’s not without it’s flaws because, as I mentioned in a blog post about On-Disk DLC a while ago, The DLC isn’t downloaded when you click “Buy”. It’s packaged with the game, which is why your friends can enjoy the same equipment you have, without them downloading anything on their end. If you thought that was the problem, well… it isn’t. Not in this case anyway.
Now here is the problem with this: With notable exceptions of the oldest DLC packs Overkill has released, a staggering 27 other packs are monetised. Twenty Seven. That’s a big number. In a recent AMA, Almir Listo, Producer of Payday 2 among other things, was quoted as saying “we do free updates when we can, and paid DLC when we have to”. Let me say this, Almir: You have 27 packs out already, and there has been a New DLC pack/ update almost every 1-2 months. Are they not aware that, and I can’t say this number enough, Twenty Seven is a big number?. Something tells me this not Almir talking, rather someone from Overkills PR department trying to clear up their own mess…and failing.
Because Overkill went Overkill on the DLC, ha ha, and because recent events such as the Team Fortress 2-esque crates and Keys..sorry…Safes and drills, which gives you skins with attributes for weapons you may not even own. And not because you haven’t earned them either. Because you may have to buy DLC to use the skin. Hmmmm.
I’ve seen comparisons on forums that shout out both the aforementioned Team Fortress 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive because they use the same system. Firstly, TF2 is a Free-to-play game. It’s how valve and, more recently, community map makers who are lucky to get their creations into the game, make their money. The argument towards CS:GO is a bit more understandable, but the crucial difference is that the skins you get in CS:GO and TF2 were applied to the weapons already, and you got them by going to the market or via a drop from the drop system, doing a trade up contract, or unboxing a crate with, yes a Key. But something that’s optional for you to get. Skins in CS:GO don’t affect gameplay. Which is fine. Payday 2 skins do.
It’s a truly bizarre system, I grant you. To some extent, I was fine with Payday 2’s over-abundance of DLC, as it wasn’t exactly necessary. And even then, Overkill had regular sales on the game and it’s additional content anyway, so not many people gave it second-thought. I totally understand DLC characters and Heists, but weapons? I’m not sure about that.
But doing micro-transactions and DLC is just greedy, and you know it Overkill. The strange part is, is that Payday 2 is a genuinely fun game to play, despite the amount of bugs, glitches, and now Micro-transactions, in the game. That’s why the Payday community is so unhappy about this situation. This is the problem when you release too much of a good thing.