I’d like to pay $100 for M&B: Warband

M&B:Warband continues to dominate my time, and I’m beginning to feel a little bit like a thief. I mean, I picked the game up on a Steam sale for $10, and yet at well over 200+ hours played, I feel like I should be paying a lot more here. If Steam told me today that I had to pay $100 or lose Warband access, I’d drop that $100 faster than a WoW character hits 85.

Furthermore, while I played Native Warband for a solid amount of time, I’ve played both the Floris mod pack and Prophecy of Pandor mod a whole lot more. Both of these mod packs are free. Again, feeling kinda dirty about that.

I’m not sure how to solve the initial problem, as I don’t think I’d even start playing a game with a “pay per hour” model, and TaleWorlds (the devs) would have to do something pretty special to warrant a monthly sub fee (though in all honesty, if the game cost $10 a month, it would still be a steal). Perhaps if they had a monthly update, with new art, sound, character, mod tools etc, that would make sense. If there is one single-player game that I could see charging a monthly sub, it’s Warband.

The second ‘issue’, the mods, has a simpler solution: let mod designers charge for what they produce. Of course, TaleWorlds would get a cut of anything sold, but when mods like PoP are outright better designed than many (most?) full-scale commercial games, it seems silly to give such high quality content out for free. In addition, by earning some money for the work that goes into the mod, the people behind PoP could, for example, justify hiring a temporary artist to really make some great stuff. I doubt anyone would become rich off a mod (at least not directly), but such great work should be rewarded. And TaleWorlds should also get some reward for originally creating a game that caters to modders so well.

We have seen the pricing model evolve in the MMO genre, and we are starting to see things like DLC in single-player games, yet games like Warband show that, in today’s market of digital distribution, there is a lot of money being left on the table. Not only is this bad for business, but ultimately it also hurts gamers, as more money for the devs should result in more and better content for the players.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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17 Responses to I’d like to pay $100 for M&B: Warband

  1. epic.ben says:

    Best part of M&B? Like Minecraft, it’s essentially an indie title (in M&B’s case, a husband and wife team out of Turkey. Two people.) How is that the two best games of the last year (Minecraft & M&B) have dev staffs of =<2 people?

    Makes you wonder what's wrong with the world when a couple of people can make games like this on a shoestring budget, and EA spends $100m on a title like SW:TOR that (I'm guessing) will be tired and boring.

    I would LOVE IT if someone could design an MMO framework model that other people could use to build indie MMO games. The more I think about it, the more I think we need MMOs that do LESS than we need MMOs that do MORE. Forget the graphics, forget the IP, forget the raiding – give me MMOs that are as imaginative as M&B and Minecraft, and I'd be set.

  2. Tobold says:

    It is nice to see that you are coming around to my point that people should be able to spend more on their favorite game if they want to.

    • SynCaine says:

      Notice the post did not include buying power or skipping ahead? Pretty sure I lost you there. No gold tanks here.

      But yea, you total were the first one on this, and I’ve never made statements like this before, especially not related to LoL. Nope.

      Someone hack your account today?

    • Sarzan says:

      You can. Its called a donation to the developer. Its like the ‘Millionaire Patriots” who believe all rich people should pay more in taxes. When they are asked why they don’t simply donate to the IRS directly they take offense and say its absurd.

      Find out who the developer is for the game, contact them indicating your desire to donate and see what comes back.

  3. Max says:

    I think if it was F2P model with DLC like content that might work. On the other hand I being and incredible cheap ass would just pirate everything in this case.

    For example I bought M&B – with expectations I could use the mods and they could compensate if vanilla was lacking, but at the same time I pirated Oblivion GOTY, cause I couldnt stand idea of buying 10 more dlcs (even though at the end of the day I never played vanilla game and never touched DLCs, its just the notion of “incomplete” was jarring)

  4. Paragus says:

    the three games that have given the most hours of gameplay released in the last year were all 10$ or less (free). League of Legends, Super Meat Boy, and now Terraria. Times are a changing.

    • SynCaine says:

      LoL has cost you a lot more than $10 Grim Reaper Lumber Jack man.

      I’m a solid $100+ in, and it’s worth every dollar.

      (And Super Meat Boy has cost you in years off your life due to rage)

  5. Saucelah says:

    I’ve decided that DLC is a bunch of bullshit to see how far they can push the nickle and diming of gamers — my New Year’s Resolution was to no longer buy new releases, especially console games, until they are repackaged and sold with all or most of the DLC for less than the new release price.

    The repackage of DA:O has most of the DLC, and I believe it’s 40 bucks. I bought it on release for 60 and probably spent another 20 on DLC. NEVER AGAIN.

    So yes, I wish that there was no one willing to buy DLC — especially when games like ME2 and Mafia 2 seem to have broken out elements that could have been released with the original game just to charge some more — and I can’t even comprehend feeling guilt over getting something at a discount and enjoying it anyway. I’ve gotten a lot more miles than I expected to out of my car, but there’s no way I’m going to go by the dealership and offer them an extra grand or two. In fact, I fought with the salesman to make sure I spent as little as possible, and I’m still glad I did, despite that its the most reliable and long-running car I’ve owned.

  6. Kyff says:

    I think you are generalizing your own tastes too much here. Both me and my brother bought a retail copy of warband on the same day last summer. He only played for one hour max. Should he get a refund?

    If you are starving and go to a restaurant, everything just tastes delicious. Should a steak cost more for hungry people?

    If a book you bought happens to be particularely interesting. Or you simply read a book several times. Do you go return to the bookstore and pay extra?

    I think for most people the answer to those questions is “no”.

    Taleworlds picked a price for that game and have to live with that. I’m pretty sure they would’ve sold less if the price had been higher. Furthermore they already are selling the same game several times. Mount & Blade, Warband and Fire& Sword are the same thing over and over again.

    • SynCaine says:

      Valid points. However, the above examples are from “old business” models. The interwebs allows for new things, and ultimately the goal here is to allow players more ways to ‘vote’ with their wallet to better influence future game development. I want more games like M&B, yet short of just buying more copies of what I already have, I can’t make that request known right now.

    • WallyWombat says:

      Perhaps your brother should have tried the demo before he bought it. As you and many others have said “mount & blade” games are now repeats of the previous. I agree with that, I really hope that in the next game many new changes are made to this series in order to keep It fresh and ever so inviting. But do remember it is (or at least WAS) a two man team.

  7. Stratagerm says:

    If you want more games like M&B, then the best way to indicate that is to purchase more copies, particularly in your case where you’re feeling like you’d like to support the developers.

    I guess you’re not a Team Fortress 2 player, otherwise you’d know about TF2’s monetization of user-created content. Valve is pushing Steamworks as a solution for enabling and monetizing what it calls Peer-to-Peer Content Creation. From Valve’s press release:

    “Today [the content creators] received checks for the first two weeks of sales, with royalties ranging from $39,000 to $47,000 per person.”

    It’s not an open marketplace, Valve solicits content and cherry-picks the best submissions. There’s no guarantee that your submission will be selected, and many selections are offered for free and thus don’t make money for their creators.

    See the press release here: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1526851

    And be sure to check TF2’s Contribute! page, http://www.teamfortress.com/contribute/

  8. wormsby says:

    I love Warband. The single-player alone has become one of my favorite all-time games. I’m also deep in a Warband phase right now and nearing the 200-hour mark myself.

    On the topic of mods, though slightly buggy, the total conversion The Eagle and the Radiant Cross is amazing. It takes place in a slightly future Calradia with musketry being phased in alongside your more traditional melee and cav units. Riding into battle in the name of the Kaiser with your foppish dragoons alongside you is, in a word, fun.

    It’s a little buggy (there’s a fix for the only near-gamebreaker I’ve encountered) but it’s a gem. Hard to believe people make that sort of giant thing for free.

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