There is a conundrum that is occurring where there is this question, that shouldn't exist, and an answer too painful for communities to hash out. When an expansion releases, should the base game be included in the expansion? Both ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2) and Bungie (Destiny) believe that these should be, for all intents and purposes, the way an expansion should launch. Communities on the other hand are full of backlash at the idea.
Here is how it plays out. If you own the game right now, you will pay at or near what a new player to the game will have to pay to access the expansion content. This price tag includes the base game, along with the new expansion, and if you're new then you get way more content for your money than if you're an existing player, which is great for the health of the game and makes it a rather affordable proposition (versus staring at expansion after expansion and paying nearly $100 for a game, like WoW was at specific points).
Yet, it's insulting to those who have already bought the base game, at or near retail price especially, to have that purchase discarded and told that they need to repurchase essentially a product that they already own to play this new additional content. On top of that, not only are they facing a situation where they have to buy something they already own, but if they want special dance emotes and skins, then they may need to buy the expansions collector's edition which also includes the base game (for Destiny it'll be around $80 for the collector's edition).
This was changed, in the midst of writing this article, where Bungie backpedaled and allowed existing users to just upgrade for the collector's in-game goodies, but the point remains here about this new wave of asking consumers to purchase the original base game along with the expansion. It's both amazing and humiliating at the same time, as I've expressed.
For Destiny, the expansion is $39.99 (only if you have both previous expansions and the base game) but for $59.99 you can have the Legendary set, which includes the base game, two previous expansions, and the Taken King as well. That's only $20 for the original game and two DLC, plus the $39.99 for the expansion. For many, such as myself, the original game alone was $59.99 but now it's as if I just sat on my hands and didn't play, it'd be much cheaper for me to hop in and play.
Of course, the base game right now for the PS4 retails for $39.99 with the expansion pass being $34.99. With the legendary edition, you're saving money off of the retail price of the game literally right now. Of course, you have to wait until September to pick up the disc. In the meantime though, for $79.99 you get the collector's perks and the game right now, which is what, just $5 and some pennies more than the current cost of the game and the first two expansions?
I don't have a strong opinion one way or another. I respect the fact that games will depreciate in price over time and that getting new players in is important and that no one who wants to play a game should more money when they don't have to. Yet, at the same time, I can understand the frustration of purchasing a game that literally includes a game you've already purchased. Being told that hey, this expansion is $39.99, $20 less than the base game plus the first two expansions, plus this expansion is a bit rough.
I think that, moving forward, companies should be transparent about their DLC cycles, structure, and pricing (not as if this shouldn't already be a thing). This should be something you just know you're getting into, versus a surprise after being a fan for so long. I think it'd be much easier to digest if you knew that on the third expansion, there would be a major price adjust.
It's sort of like how, if you want the collector's edition goodies and just the expansion, it'll be $59.99 for both, or the same price as the base game, the season pass, and The Taken King, or $20 less than all of the game in its complete assembly plus the collector's edition goodies.
Whatever, this is giving me a headache trying to piece together. Honestly, this is dumb, and for GW2 it's a lot more understandable (keeping an MMO playerbase healthy and attracting new blood is a good thing), but for Destiny I mean, come on. A simple $10 price drop in the raw expansion itself I think would have gone a long way to make this totally okay, since then the expansion would be just $29.99 and the original game, plus the season pass would be $30, instead of $20, which I think is a lot more acceptable.
As for me, I'm probably just going to go duck in the corner and wait until the Internet cools down a bit from this, since it's a really big sore subject right now and rightfully so - although I don't have a hard opinion in one way or another, I can honestly admit that this does not bring any positive emotions to the table for me, and I feel like something better could have definitely been done here, yet, at the same time it's a free market. Consumers can vote with their wallet and if consumers reject this, then it'll be a big fail for Bungie, because any player could rightfully say they're happy enough with the game where it's at now, and not buy into the expansion (or wait for a price drop).
That's my unrefined thoughts on the matter, anyway.
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