So I posted this in Smash Bros. DLC thread but I figured this might be a neat thing to give more visibility by starting its own thread. I edited it a little bit too but nothing particularly different just some typos and things I originally missed. @MaddCow to see if this thread should be closed.
I feel like there’s no question that the content for Evolve is more expensive than other games when comes to characters and skins. However, I think that the actual discussion people are having isn’t about whether this is expensive. The real question is whether the content is priced fairly for it’s value. Right? Let’s also clarify another point, this post is not whether or not a person feels if the base game content was over priced. Merely if the pricing for the DLC is overpriced based on similar pricing models within the industry. I feel like the discussion on whether the base game is worth $60 is a whole different can of worms.
I did a quick perusal on Steam and I don’t think I can think of any other game in Evolve’s situation. Namely a company that is a small studio by AAA standards, releasing a AAA game, with a smaller player base that is releasing similar content. Not to mention one that has a business plan for DLC based around an asymmetrical game. So I don’t have anything to base a competitive analysis on in a 1:1 context.
I think that the price of the content is fair, but only if I factor in that this content subsidizes the creation of new maps and game modes. For the sake of an example, let’s take COD: AW’s Havoc Map pack with an MSRP ($15) as our base. In it you get 6 or 7 things depending on how you count: 4 maps, 1 weapon pack (2 weapons I suppose), and 1 new mode. For $15 that really just means each item is $2.50 and if you count that the weapon pack contains 2 weapons then it’s $2.15. For reference I’m going to use $2.50 as a reference for 6 items because it counts the weapons as a pack and not individually when listed.
After that the closest thing we got is characters which I’ll use LoL for since it’s characters with specific roles in a game with expandable skins and some amount of Voice Over work. Highest price point I see is 975 RP or $7.50 USD for newest champions, which is the same as evolve but they are free to play so I’m not going to count that. So I’ll take one of the middling champions since they’ve been out for a while but aren’t as old as the original set of champions for 585 RP or $4.50 and use that as my base since that’s about 1/2 the price of the newest champions.
So right now we have 2 new maps to factor in and let’s assume a game mode on the way or we can count observer mode. Let’s also let that price fluctuate to fill in the gaps for all of these. If we take that logic and simply add it together it means that and Evolve Character at $7.50 can be attributed to:
(base char price - $4.50) + (map price - $2.00) + (game mode - $1.50) = $7.50
I didn’t even add 2 maps. If we try to distribute the maps evenly and the game mode we get something more like this:
(base char price - $4.50) + ((map price - $.50)x2) + (game mode - $.50) = $6.00
However, if we factor in the Hunting Season Pass which is $25.00 then we get something like this:
((base char price - $4.50)x4) + ((map price $2.00)x2) + (game mode - $2.00) + (skins - $1.00) = $25.00
Note that the skins are then pretty discounted Also, if we took it that the characters were just $5.00 flat then the skins would be free. For a monster, it’s a little more simple if we count each stage of a monster counting as a slightly discounted character.
((base char price - $3.00)x3) + ((map price $2.00)x2) + (game mode - $2.00) = $15.00
When all is said and done it feels like the pricing scheme with individual characters and the monster takes into account that you might not buy them all. So they subsidize it a little bit just in case. However, if you buy the pack of hunters then it evens out completely. Same with the monster actually . . . which is surprising but a nice thing to find out I also think the people at 2k thought that people would either like playing Hunters or like playing the Monster but never thought people would want a SKU for both. If they did that then you’d get a “season” pass of around $33.00 or if Hunters cost $5.00 exactly then we get $35.00. So I think that’s an oversight on their part but it’s understandable, after all there isn’t a model for an asymmetrical game like this on the market. People were already complaining that it was confusing without that SKU. It also stands to reason that they didn’t think anybody wanted to feel cheated by offering only one season pass but they were forced to buy the side they didn’t want.
We can do something similar with the skins. If you use LoL to compare a single skin for a monster or hunter then the lowest skin I can find for myself that isn’t on sale is 520 RP or $4.00. Again we can do this for a single hunter ($2.00) or a monster ($3.00) we’ll probably get the same result as above but I don’t want to show the math. Basically it’s their hedged bet to get people to subsidize the maps and modes.
COD:AW sells their skin packs for $4.00 USD and if we do the same math with Evolve’s skin packs it works out similarly between hunter ($5.00) and monster ($7.00). Again, if we do the math which I don’t feel like typing out it comes out pretty even and is 2K/TRS’s safe bet for paying for the content.
Now, please keep in mind that I didn’t try to put in any subsidy for the ranked single player mode coming down the way or the fact that they keep working to patch the game and fix bugs. Which, I will note that I believe Sakurai says they won’t be running any more balancing patches for Smash Bros. Of course, this is if we wanted to go with the earlier Smash Bros. discussion.
In conclusion, it seems to me that they are actually pretty fairly priced based on a approximate competitive analysis on the current market. It’s just that the subsidy for all the maps and modes doesn’t seem as though it’d be that much. Taking all of this into account, I can say I feel the price is pretty fair from this viewpoint.
This was an essay so if you took the time to read it, thanks