Tiger Woods DLC Practices Proving Costly

Posted April 5th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Often it takes more than consumer frustration for companies to take note that actions being taking are having an adverse effect on perception and ultimately sales. They may recognize declines but then not attribute it to the right factors. A recent example of that is NBA Live 10 which was a quality effort yet EA Sports attempted to completely reboot the series having completely misjudged the market which led to disastrous results. Sales weren’t poor with Live 10 because of the response to that game – the situation was the result of eroding the brand over a several year period and the rise in relevance of its competitor. 

The reason why Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 has seen a drop in review scores, and considering the almost immediate price drops its sales as well, is obvious. Read any of the reviews and follow fan feedback and by far the most discussed topic is the downloadable content. More courses are offered as DLC than come on the disc and Tiger 13’s interface is constantly pushing for money to be spent on courses along with other DLC options. The ability to essentially “rent” courses by using the in-game currency has done little to swell the tide of discontent. It may have actually helped to highlight just how absurd the whole situation is.

The question of course is whether the money made on DLC makes up for the lost sales. Even if it does now that won’t help in the future when more and more consumers turn away from the product. The number of people who will pay $50 for extra courses every year will continue to dwindle and being asked to do so will turn others away from purchasing in the first place. If you bought Tiger 12 and spent all that money to buy DLC is there really a compelling reason to shell out $110+ to get that same content with Tiger 13?

EA Sports will have to do something to address the issue as using “coins” to rent rounds isn’t going to cut it when the time investment in earning those “coins” is too great. Despite the number who ultimately will take advantage of that option surely being very limited they jacked the price up to account for it. The original idea floated with the Season Ticket subscription, where DLC purchases would roll over from one year to the next, would be ideal. The company however skipped that for an obvious reason – they don’t feel they would make more money with that scenario in place. They’ll have to consider something along those lines though and soon before the damage done is irreparable.