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Steam game charges $35 for DLC that only consists of a printable certificate

By midian182 ยท 18 replies
Jun 22, 2016
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  1. Video game history is littered with examples of DLC so unbelievably poor that it’s surprising charges weren’t brought against the creators. But if you thought Oblivion’s functionless $2.50 horse armor and the $3 it cost to see nipples in The Saboteur was bad, have a look at what is possibly the most jaw-dropping piece of downloadable content ever: a $35 certificate.

    The game in question is an old-school text adventure called Hadean Lands. Like so many of those classic titles from yesteryear, there are no graphics in the game; you simply type in commands and read the story of an apprentice alchemist stranded on an alien planet.

    As you can imagine, the game is pretty hard, and it’s this difficulty that led to developer Andrew Plotkin adding the unique piece of DLC to Steam. Your $35 gets you a file containing a printable PDF or JPEG certificate, which states that you pledge to complete the game without using walkthroughs or referring to any hints.

    In Plotkin’s defense, he has said that the DLC is to be taken lightheartedly. Speaking to Kotaku, he added that a higher price was a good way of keeping people invested, but he wanted to make paying more for Hadean Lands optional.

    Speaking from a player's point of view, he said: “If this was a $5 game I’d just close the game window, but after paying $30 I want to kick its butt.”

    I wanted a way for players to buy into Hadean Lands at that level of investment. Again, I didn’t think I could *require* it. But as an optional challenge, which a player could opt into? No reward except for a nice certificate and the knowledge that they’d made the choice? Sure. That makes sense. And: It’s funny. I mean, I think it’s funny. I don’t want to kick the joke to death, but people seem generally to take it in good humor.

    Whatever Plotkin’s reasons for the DLC, it certainly draws attention to his game. And it should come as little surprise to learn that he’s already sold at least one of the certificates so far.

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,231   +4,374

    This isn't jaw-dropping. The DLC and the purpose of its pricing are entirely clear and in no way misrepresentative of the value created. A person who drops $35 on this is going to do so either because (a) they want to support the dev or (b) the $35 will get them more enjoyment out of the game by providing a pseudo-hardcore mode.
    coolazeem and Reehahs like this.
  3. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,479   +437

    CS:GO skins do absolutely nothing at all other than look cool and people pay hundreds of dollars for them.
    robb213 and Reehahs like this.
  4. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,881   +677

    What a crock of ****, people with money to burn so blatantly should send it to a starving child in a third world country. I'm not one to play these story quest games, but I'll avoid this developer going forward this I can guarantee. Now if the proceeds from this DLC went to charity, that wouldn't be so bad, even a good idea, but we all know gaming and charity rarely go hand in hand.
    Tanstar likes this.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,115   +2,535

    I was thinking of using them earlier, as I was out of toilet paper...
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,002   +1,393

    Have you forgotten TF2? ;P
  7. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 115   +40

    I read something about a fool and his money.
    mojorisin23 likes this.
  8. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,613   +984

    Donations gratefully received..
  9. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 295   +162

    Hungry children need food not money. Can't eat money. Mmm a juicy fresh greenback.
    robb213 likes this.
  10. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    This is weak tea in our post-Star Citizen world.

    Or is it pre-Star Citizen because it's not done and the spaceship jpg sales never ended?
  11. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,881   +677

    Then explain how the homeless live off change and change alone? Got you there!
  12. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    Personally, DLC has ruined games. If I pay for a game, I have paid for the game period, and anything more to come to the game should be free. If a game is not finished, it should not be released, and if it is released the DLC that comes after the release should be free because I have already paid for a product I feel should be done.

    Its like, if you buy a house the contractor tells you is done and when you go in there are no doors. Then you find out, they are coming later, and will cost an extra $500 per door.

    However, I can also understand that game developers are in it for money, and have the need and right to make money. If people are willing to pay for it, then I cant blame them for putting it out there for a price.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  13. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    They do what everyone else does with money, they exchange it for goods. However, not to discriminate, but homeless tend to not make the best choices for their well being. Many of them are homeless due to a drug addiction, so the statement that starving people need food, not money is true. I have had an extra burger from a fast food joint before, and offered it to a pan-handler just to have it turned down. That person did not need money!! I have also handed a burger and drink to a homeless person before, and it brought tears to their eyes, they gave thanks and ate it.

    Besides money and food, they need people not to look down upon them. They need people to show them compassion and love. They need people to accept them and give them support or a job. They need their self-esteem built up.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  14. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 295   +162

    Cause the homeless you give change to exchange it for drug of choice or actual food. 3rd world starvers typically cant go around the corner to a convenient store to get food. Usually about $3.50 a day is good enough for the average homeless American.
  15. atcapistrano

    atcapistrano TS Member Posts: 30

    How about free TF2 steam game and ridiculously expensive hats to wear? ;)
  16. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,283

    One certifate sold so far? Damn! That's not a lot considering the billions of morons who inhabit this planet.
    namesrejected likes this.
  17. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    Who bought it? Hillary or Trump???
  18. I still can't get over the $3 to see nipples in a game
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,283

    Probably both. Obama talked them iinto it as a good investment.

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