The Last of Us Factions’ DLC Approach Will Not Work For The Upcoming Multiplayer Game
When gamers think of the original entry in The Last of Us series, the emotional journey Joel & Ellie go on is almost always what comes to mind first. However, for a small but passionate group of gamers, Factions was the first game’s biggest draw. A unique multiplayer mode that forced players to approach fights as tactically as they did when playing as Joel, the PvP content became a cult classic – even if its approach to DLC left something to be desired.
The discussion around monetization in video games was not nearly as heated as it is today back in 2013, especially when The Last of Us Factions was already quite niche. While it absolutely had its fans who loved gathering supplies to provide for their camp, there was a far smaller audience to get outraged, stopping something like the Star Wars Battlefront 2 controversy from taking place. Though Factions is unfortunately missing from The Last of Us Part 1, as the mode would surely thrive now thanks to the series’ larger fan base, fans will be able to enjoy a new multiplayer experience set in this world next year. When it arrives, Naughty Dog needs to approach microtransactions far more carefully than it did with Factions.
The Issue With The Last of Us Factions’ DLC
While the core gameplay of The Last of Us Factions was a ton of fun, & some of the maps were a blast to fight through, the plentiful microtransactions managed to be both generous & problematic by today’s st&ards. The generosity comes in the form of the pricing for the individual DLC, as $.99 for a mask or piece of headgear is quite cheap by today’s st&ards. Similarly, getting 8 cosmetic items for $6.99 is a steal when compared to modern prices for a digital clothing bundle.
Unfortunately, the price point does not matter for the additional weapons, as asking players to spend extra money for new weaponry would simply not fly in the modern gaming industry. Most multiplayer games dem& balance, & to achieve that, all players must have access to the same content & gear. Letting players have an advantage by paying a few dollars for the Tactical Shotgun, Frontier Rifle, or Enforcer pistol is inherently problematic. While they came with a very cheap price tag attached, asking players to pay for meta The Last of Us weapons is something that would not be allowed in 2022.
It is also worth pointing out that, just as Huge games like Call of Duty had map packs, The Last of Us Factions allowed players to purchase a few batches of multiplayer maps. While this is far less of an issue than letting players buy strong weapons that others might not have access to, it was very much a sign of the times. Nowadays, games like Call of Duty get new maps for free in post-launch Seasons, with players only able to spend money on cosmetics. Though those cosmetics are far pricier than what was featured in Factions, cosmetic-only DLC for multiplayer is now the norm, which is for the best.
The Upcoming Last of Us Multiplayer Game Needs a Fair DLC Model
If The Last of Us multiplayer game really is free-to-play & has a live service model like the rumors suggest, Naughty Dog has to look carefully at how the rest of the industry is h&ling games of a similar style. Post-launch maps should be free so that the player pool is not split, while new weapons should be unlockable through a battle pass or via some in-game challenges as opposed to being a form of microtransaction.
As long as Naughty Dog provides good character customization in The Last of Us multiplayer game, it should have no issue building a profitable live service game that does not have predatory microtransactions. While Overwatch 2 has shown that overly expensive cosmetics can definitely still be a major issue with the player base, limiting paid DLC to cosmetics is almost always a good thing. Paying for extra weapons in 2022 would guarantee outrage, so Naughty Dog has to make sure history does not repeat itself.
A The Last of Us multiplayer game is in development.
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