A piece of DLC for the £54.99/$59.99 version of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum drew some ire this past weekend as it appears to lock Elven voice acting behind a paywall. The Precious Edition bundles in a "Sindarin VO" bonus with the base game along with three other DLC packs, and a press release says it adds "additional voice-acting in the Elvish tongue of Sindarin, done by professionals and made for Middle-earth die-hard fans".
Other outlets picked this description up, suggesting this is the only way to hear Elves speak their native language of Sindarin in the game. However, this isn't the case. A statement provided to Push Square from Daedalic Entertainment suggests the optional DLC isn't quite as egregious.
The developer told us that even if you own just the base game, Elves will still speak in Sindarin when necessary. This DLC is designed to add extra flavour and atmosphere to the more random NPCs you encounter as you work your way through the game. "Sindarin VO expansion adds additional Sindarin lines to some of the characters in the background," a representative explained. "While traversing through Mirkwood and other parts of middleearth Gollum will be able to listen to various dialogues between Elves. These dialogues add to the atmosphere and worldbuilding."
A statement continues: "Daedalic went the extra mile here and hired professional voice actors, who were trained in Sindarin by our lore experts. It is a DLC for the real Tolkien devotees who want to immerse themselves even more into the world of Middle-Earth."
For an extra £5/$10, the Precious Edition includes the Sindarin VO pack along with an additional lore compendium, an art exhibition, and the soundtrack. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum releases for PS5, PS4 on 25th May 2023.
Hmm seems strange to me
Same, it would be better if they just added an optional slider to the game if you wanted background NPCs to speak it too in a way to increase immersion.
The more and more I hear about this game the more I feel it's doa.
What is the elvish for get lost 🤔
Oh that's fine I won't be buying it. Gollum looks horrendous beyond belief anyway.
"My precious" says Gollum in a cockney accent.
For the true Andy Serkis experience cough up.
(I know it is background characters 😜)
"This DLC is designed to add extra flavour and atmosphere to the more random NPCs you encounter as you work your way through the game."
Extra flavour you say? This game is going to need a Gordon Ramsey amount of extra flavour to make it sell well. The only extra i can smell is extra BS.
Why pay money for it when it should simply be in the game as a option to turn the voice acting on or off?
Way to shoot your game on the knee right before the race starts. X...D
Is this studio high? This game already has enough going against it and is getting clowned on enough and they thought THIS was a good idea? 😂
Rewarding the biggest fans by asking them to pay more for the full experience is certainly a strategy.
From horse armour, to this!?!
The state of modern gaming; where you now need to pay extra to hear the background NPC's provide extra lines!
Wait until Ubisoft et al hear about this, they'll be billing you per line spoken in your games!
Paywalled VO...that's uh...that's a choice. I feel bad for the devs here. No doubt this was a decision from a higher-up that is cut off from societal norms.
Imagine if players had to pay for a VO dub in different countries for worldwide releases. 😵💫
There's a "Tolkien the piss" joke in there somewhere.
This game is doa🤷🏾♂️
The absolute state of today's game industry.
This is weird, even with the explanation.
Yikes.. and here I thought gaming companies couldn't get more scummier. Hiding voice acting behind DLC?
What's next, locking some button configurations behind DLC?! Sheesh.
LMAO this game can't catch a break
Maybe I'm just as unmoored to popular sentiment as these devs but this doesn't seem at all that egregious. Resources went into hiring and recording elvish for NPCs that didn't really have to because the casual fan probably isn't going to care. For those who do care, however, there's an edition for that. And yeah it costs more, because, uh, there's more included.
What am I missing?
@Rob_230 or other words to that effect 🙊
Sorry, it's still BS no matter how they dress it up. It being a part of the Precious Edition that already includes other stuff and for only $10 isn't that bad actually, but that doesn't change the fact that their explanation for not including it in all versions of the game is still crap.
The developer can clarify all they want, it will do nothing to change the fact that this is a poor decision. There may of course be financial reasons for this choice, but to ask players to pay more for what amounts to “added immersion” is bizarre, and perhaps a first. Hopefully it will not set a precedent.
"What we did was hired professional VAs for this."
That...wow..that's special. I can see why players need to pay up for this, then, I'm glad they explained it. That's a big difference from the base game where the voices were just recorded gratis by the local high school drama club.
I don't mind paid DLC extras but just to add additional Elvish ambiance? Seems weird.
The explanation makes it sound even more petty, basically they carved out "ambiance" elements of the game and want to sell it back to "hardcore fans". So you get a tonne of additional bad press killing any interest a potential buyer may have and you pi$$ off the fan base sold on the product for for good measure. DOA
Much bigger issues in game to hear an authentic sounding made up language.
Errrrm.... Other than being outrageously stupid why would you do this?
I am not a fan of DLC and MTs in the main but there is a right way and a wrong way to do them.
Any developer should just ask themself 'does doing this make my game more sh*t?' if the answer is yes then that's the wrong way.
Did they really think that this would be accepted? Like in what meeting of the boards of idiots, did somebody suggest this, not only that but others agreed to it, the height of greed and stupidity here is actually unbelievable,
Say goodbye to any profit you want to earn, not only that this game is set for trashbin anyway
I think it's just the idea of VO in general being put behind a paywall that rubs people the wrong way. There's also the fact that this isn't the first time a game or any type of media had a made up language so the "it took more effort" explanation doesn't really hold water.
For example FFX had the Al Bhed people speaking a unique language built just for that game and the language was just in the game. No seperate purchase required. Sure that game came out before the rise of microtransactions but still. It gives off a bad look charging a little extra just because it took more effort to do.
Game development in general takes lots of effort. Are we expected to pay extra in order for the next Naughty Dog game to have the full set of animations for the characters because it just took more effort? I certainly hope not.
This has got to be the hands down nerdiest thing to argue about.
It's Elf language. AND it's only different towards background NPC's, as well as being but one minor piece of what the ten bucks is asked for.
Even if you removed the voiceover in the offer, the rest would cost about ten bucks still. They're just doing what businesses do and trying to entice you with an extra that isn't needed.
You can play the game fine without it. Just do without and buy the base game if you're so bothered.
This is such a silly, minor thing to get worked up over.
@Uromastryx I'm going to get it.
You have fun skipping it. We'll both be content.
@zupertramp Because you're paying full price for a game and voice acting isn't something you are supposed to pay extra money for.
I dont know about this decision. This game needs every selling point it can have to sell well. To lock a (admittedly dumb imo) feature behind DLC when it is clearly ready at launch is such a bad move. It would read so much better to say "Daedelic has gone the extra mile here and hired professional voice actors to give you the option of hearing elven language and we are including this in the base game from day one". Maybe they hired the VA and are giving them a pool of commissions from DLC sales, who knows... but the optics are bad. I don't think it will sell well anyways, not many people have been clamoring to play as Gollum lol
Sony charged $10 for the PS5 upgrade of Ghost of Tsushima so the characters could lip sync to the Japanese voice acting that was already in the game. Aren’t we supposed to be supporting voice actors getting paid for their work after the whole Bayonetta 3 debacle? Or are professional voice actors supposed to work for free now? 🤷🏻♂️
I get how bad this looks on an emotional gut reaction level, it’s plainly just stupid, but if you take a second to think about it then it makes sense. Well at least as much sense as $10 for lip syncing. @zupertramp gets it.
True story, Nintendo charged $20 to put a green travel line on the world map in Zelda BotW. The line is already in the game, it just wasn’t made a visible green color until you pay $20.🤑
Yeah I dont care what crap they want to dress it up in ,this is ridiculous.
What the...ok thats a dumb and weird choice for dlc. Clearly niche targeting the biggest Tolkein fans.
@burning_as_souls I disagree ,they've hired actors to voice characters,then locked their work behind paid content, pathetic
@Korgon isn't elvish already written in the lotr universe ,its not like they just made up a totally new language ,like the example you made or skyrim for the dragon language
That's insane. This is why small things like this, cosmetic or otherwise, are just cancer.
@zupertramp Considering the game is not looking amazing already, yes. And also, casuals will notice even if they think they don't. These things add up and make an experience. Small details affect how we feel about different media even when we don't articulate it.
True. It wasn't created just for this game and was created a while ago. However it's still a made up language regardless of when it was made up so I don't really see too much of a difference personally.
So it actually worse than suspected, we will miss out on additional story, lore and world building moments.
Basically it’s £5 extra for the full experience and additional immersion. Lol wtf!
@Jaz007 @NoFaceBigFoot @Korgon Hard to come up with any concrete examples on the spot but I'll make up an imaginary scenario of a sports game selling a champions edition that includes previous era championship players but it costs more. Is that wrong?
I mean, I figure you care that much about the extra content or you don't. And then you can purchase whatever product you want accordingly. There's 3 price tiers for the new Diablo. I'm definitely in the standard version tier because I look at the extra content provided in the others and kind of chuckle, as I'm just not that into Diablo. But other people are and those options are there for them, but yeah they are more because you get more.
And with this game specifically. I'd be fine without the elvish-speaking NPCs so I wouldn't care about not having it. Which would save me money. Seems like a good thing.
How to make sure your already subpar looking game won't sell many copies 101. Dead on arrival, nobody cares about this game and if they were, they sure aren't now.
Well this is certainly a strategy.
A really terrible strategy that has Sun Tzu, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Carl von Clausewitz rolling in agony in their graves.
But a strategy nonetheless.
Greed is a funny business.
Make your game good. Make your game immersive. Concentrate on selling the game before you start trying to cash in on silly dlc.
How about add a year pass for making the character aging in each monthly update (especially Gollum, for example hair starts to lose) as you play so that you get a more immerse experience? I will buy in day one!
OK PUSHSQUARE, regardless you forwarding the damage control statement from Daedelic, lets be real here.
We are now somehow sugarcoating the idea that it's OK to charge extra for a developer to include the aspects of their game that they "went the extra mile," on. To hear all of the lore and npc side conversations recorded for the title, you gotta shell out 10 additional dollars?
How in anyway would one justify this...
@Mauzuri "What's next, locking some button configurations behind DLC?!"
Shut up and don't give them any ideas.
That still just doesn't compute to me. For example I like fighting games. Can't wait for Street Fighter 6 in a couple months. That will obviously have DLC fighters that I don't need necessarily but I will likely get because I'm that into Street Fighter and a new character in a fighting game is substantial enough to be what I would consider worth it.
However if Capcom came out and said the voice acting, animation work, special moves, and/or sound effects for one or all characters are all behind pay walls I would have a big problem with that. Sure I could still technically play with a stick figure that could throw out a silent punch and kick but would that be really be worth it?
I get paying for what you see value in. Value is in the eye of the beholder as they say but I do feel like there is a bare minimum standard that needs to be upheld. It's the slippery slope of "where does it end?" that makes this situation in particular stand out a bit to myself at least.
@zupertramp a better example would be animations and and having more than a few announcer lines be I locked behind a paywall. Part of what makes RDR2 is small touched you won’t say make the game great, but you notice subconsciously.
This is a basic part of the world, and it’s not savings you money, it’s nickel-and-diming.
And those MTs are dumb too. I hate deluxe addition stuff like that.
An example of saving money would be this.
You have a visual novel releasing on Steam. The adult content is locked behind a paywall. Let’s the VN costs $10, the adult content $5. Some people get mad about that. The game would just be $15 if they made the adult content free.
Now me, I don’t want the adult content. I’m not willing to play with the porn in there so it irreparably hames me experience with the game. So that decision saves me $5. That’s an example of the saving money by locking something being a paywall, but I don’t think it compares.
Charging extra for an option that probably should've been in the game from the beginning?? The only thing that surprises me about this is that EA, Activision, or Ubisoft haven't thought about doing this first. 🤨
@zupertramp I agree, assuming they are correct and it doesn't actually take anything away from the game then I don't really see the issue. I think most of these people just like to complain. You pay extra for art books and things so if these additional VOs really are just there to add world story/info/history to the background then I don't think it's a big deal
"Alright, Keep Your Secrets Then.".
Normally I’d agree that this is a bad move, but not a single person leaving a negative comment above was going to buy the game anyway so if this community can be considered a good sample of its potential market (it can’t be considered that, by the way, but I’d be comfortable betting on this game underperforming) I don’t think this damages what must be fairly low sales prospects much at all, and in fact might lead to a higher return from those fans who see value in this.
It’s not for me as I just wouldn’t appreciate it, but I am interested in seeing how the base game reviews and will consider getting it in future for the right price as I am at least somewhat interested in any LOTR game that isn’t related to those WB atrocities.
I spent like £5-7 on the Transformer Devastation DLC which amounted to a few new skins and weapons just because I like the universe that game was set in so much, zero regrets!
@Korgon "Imagine if players had to pay for a VO dub in different countries for worldwide releases."
I... have done that, lol. Japanese voice pack for Drakengard 3.
Oh no! I'm sorry to have brought up bad memories! Did not know that was a thing that has happened!😄
This is the definition of greed. Charge what you think the game is worth.
I just find it hilarious that this is the action they're taking on a game about Gollum of all things....his entire character arc is about greed destroying him and turning him into a pitiful wretch. And that's the game they charge extra for the voice acting.....as though they don't even notice the irony at all.
@Jaz007 @Korgon yeah I was fairly certain even when posting those examples weren't great comparisons (but then neither is the Capcom example) and i'd also agree this decision is a bit nickel-and-dime-like. So I'll acknowledge some level of eye-rolling is a little warranted.
However, this is voiceover work that's just not that integral or necessary. It's only something a LOTR nerd would really appreciate. And it's bundled with other things that nerd was probably going to want anyway. And so it works more as value added to that bundle or DLC than taking away from main game. So I just cannot see getting worked up over this is all. It's such a minimal loss to the overall experience.
Honestly @burning_as_souls put it better in comment 33.
Another pull of the string... Any DLC is some kind of betrayal on paying player, but this is true hyenism...
I thought my capcom example was pretty good.😄
But fair enough. Agree to disagree and all that.
I think everyone has said the same thing.
This game looks awful and did anyone ask to play as gollum??
And now we have to pay for background noise hahahaha brilliant.
I get that recording voiceover work costs money because paying actors, but this is absolutely ridiculous. The DLC phenomenon has gotten WAY out of control IMO! LOL!
I can't wait for the future of the video games. It's always nighttime in the game, if you want to have daytime, add another $15, relighting costs money. Also, there's no nature sounds, it's not essential to the game, to add the background nature foley add $8. Also, all NPCs have the same skin, if you want varied NPCs add $20 (includes voices.) Animated water is an extra $7 (animation isn't free!)
@Rob_230 Thugarbent bad edh
Negative PR for a game that most people didn't want in the first place. Simply brilliant.
@Ear_wiG I recall several years ago playing a JRPG which had "free" Japanese VA with ps+ and I immediately thought, "wait, so others have to pay for it?"
This is gonna go down real well
@kyleforrester87 I left a negative comment and I was and am gonna buy it. With all that has gone on and with enough games “doing it better” I’ll get it in the sale but I am looking forward to seeing it. I criticise a great many games I want and go on to enjoy. You can disagree things they do and still find enjoyment. It’s especially when games come along in universes you want to enjoy but are riddled with greedy nonsense.
Loads of my fave games from last 4/5 years have had terrible greedy and grubby features in them with a horrific grind designed to make you part your money and some if learnt to accept I won’t have the grindy content and some I’ve found ways to accept the grind others I’ve found ways to dodge the grind. Others with horrible dlc like this I’ve either waited for a sale or skipped.
It’s not ideal and in many ways I am feeding the beast but to say negative posters wouldn’t buy a game anyway is completely untrue.
Historically a LOTR game for me would be day one. This has made enough missteps and other games have my full attention I’ll try and wait for a price drop.
@zupertramp If you’re fine with this, at what point will this not be ok? If COD made you pay extra for real gun sounds, would that also be ok? Only gun nuts would care right? What if all the characters were voiced by staff and they made you pay extra for real voice actors? Would that be ok? Should every game dev start charging extra for real voice actors, since only real people fans would care? We need to stop excusing this nonsense, look at where we are because of letting them get away with this.
@ShadowofSparta I'd respond by saying there's a real difference between NPCs not speaking Elvish (when they could be) and asking people to pay up for gun sounds in COD. Like, again, Elvish - not exactly necessary. In the same way that it isn't necessary for everyone to be speaking French in The Last Duel, or Comanche in Prey.
But to answer your question if I find the bundles of any game to be gallingly nickel and dime I either buy the cheapest bundle or I just don't buy it at all. It's fairly easy not to play their game, both literally and figuratively.
I'm not so much defending this as I am registering my surprise at how up in arms everyone has gotten over this. It's VO work for NPCs in a game no one in this thread was gonna buy anyway.
On a somewhat related note, while recently mining through Disney+ looking for something to watch, I stumbled across an old animated movie called 'The Black Cauldron' from 1985. Early on there is a character named Gurgi, who kind of looks like a small Yeti. And the way he talks is VERY similar to Gollum. Even found some comments on the internet about it.
Unfortunately, even though some of the background art is decent, IMO the BC movie is pretty mediocre. Turned it off about half way through, and not sure if I will finish it.
Just lost a sale, precious
Yet another reason why I'll be waiting until the game is on sale for $20 New or cheaper.
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