But people who yell and scream at the very concept in an attempt to deprive others of the OPTION to buy this content are the ones I really can't stand for.
I think you're misunderstanding Desmond's problem.
His problem isn't with you charging for something per-se. It's a matter of trust.
When GalCiv 2 game out, there was an expectation that it was a "finished" product. Yes, there would be updated and gameplay fixes. But the expectation was that if you bought GC2, you were getting a finished, functional game worth the money being paid for it.
The common expectation with PC games is that you're getting a finished but buggy product. That you can't really expect the product to be fully functional on day 1, so you should wait a month or so for a patch to work the kinks out. But in terms of features
, the game would be complete.
When GC2 came out, it was known, or at least somewhat expected, that there would be an expansion. However, there was never the sense that the expansion itself would complete the game, that it would be a necessary purchase in order to call the game a full and complete experience. The expansion would be exactly that: an expansion. More and different. But GC2 was not being sacrificed in any way to make DA something that more people buy.
Desmond's concern, as I see it, is this. Let's say GC3 comes out for $35. And you're writing it with the explicit intent of dropping "micro content" packets out. $10 mini-expansions that add bits of functionality.
Well, there is every reason to expect that the mini expansions will be a better bargain for you, the developer. Most of the cost of development was paid in the initial release. And the mini-expansions would only cost maybe a few days of artist time, a month or so of programmer time, and some tester/debugging time. So you the developer will be making more money off of mini-expansions than the core game simply because the mini-expansions don't cost as much to make.
Which means that you will want to sell as many mini-expansions as possible; that makes you the most money. The most effective way to sell mini-expansions is to make us buy as many of them as possible. And one effective way to do that is to not put as many features in the core game. So when GC3 comes out, it will have maybe 2/3rds of the features of GC2, but the other 1/3rd will be available in mini-expansions.
This model doesn't help us. GC2 had more features than GC3 in its base game, and thus the game that is equal to GC2 in features costs much more than GC2 did. We aren't getting more game for our more money.
The problem is this: how do we, the consumer, trust you the developer to not
use this system to your own advantage? That is, how do we trust that you aren't getting more money from us for less gameplay? Until we have the game in our hands, we can't know for certain.
It isn't a question of not wanting to pay for something. It's a question of why you want to change the rules. Are you doing it to make more money at our expense, to find a way to get paid more for equal content? Or are you doing it to find a way to better and more effectively provide us with content, using effectively equivalent fair value computations for game features?
And here's the biggest concern. Some people would pay $10 to get, for example, a revamped UP system. Others won't. All it takes for this to be financially practical is for enough
people to consider it fair value. All it takes is for enough people to trade the current feature-for-money value ($30 for complete game) for one that says that a single
GC2 feature is worth 1/3rd the cost of GC2 the game.
Basically, it becomes a price hike. That's
the concern. How do we know that you the developer don't intend this as a way to effectively jack up the price of the game without inducing actual sticker shock by changing the game's price?