Popular gaming channel Yogscast are currently featured in a Humble Bundle of their own, which serves up its proceeds to charity. Among some fan favorite indie titles like Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and Torchlight, supporters can snag a copy of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, if they choose to fund this charitable event.
To assist them, Sega has launched additional downloadable content (DLC) for their racing title, which will transmit all its proceeds to the Special Effect organization featured in aforementioned package. It sounds like a perfect combination: Great games, great generosity and more content for games you love.
There’s just one problem.
This announced DLC, in the franchise crossover that is Sega & All-Stars, the stars of Sega, features the Yogscast people instead. This does not sit well with fans. Both their Twitter announcement and Steam forums quickly filled with criticism and rightfully so.
Now, first off, charity is awesome; that’s not the issue. Mixing special content with goodwill is the perfect way to urge people to dig deeper than they would. In that aspect, the logic lines up.
Also, Yogscast is not at fault here. It’s understandable from their point of view that they’d want to be a part of video games. We all love games, we’d all like to be in them. More power to them that they can achieve a way to make it happen.
Rather, it’s Sega’s own blunder here for picking perhaps the worst possible option to include. Probably, the logic here is to favor them, because the racing roster is easily adjusted to that thought. They’ve done it before with Football Manager and Company of Heroes. These titles don’t have a ton of crossover with party games, but there’s a slight difference. They’re still part of the Sega stable, while Yogscast, admirable as they may be, are not.
Sega’s core interest here, whether it’s feeding from their fanbase or reaching a new one, stands on pleasing both ends, not just the one. That can, for better or worse, only be achieved with drawing from its own strength and therefore adding a character from their franchises. By side-stepping this for their own purposes, this move reeks of crossover marketing interests and that doesn’t sit well with the hand that feeds, certainly not by manipulating it with charity. That’s just; well, it’s not nice.
It’s not even the first signal of this effect, so there’s absolutely no reason for Sega to look surprised. Its prior forceful inclusion of Danica Patrick was equally criticized, not because people hate Nascar, but because there’s no room for the athlete in this roster of Sega characters. It’s like the “Sonic and All-Stars” somehow isn’t clear enough that it should be complemented with others from that stable. Even Wreck-It Ralph is barely a pass, since the movie has a strong affiliation to video games, but that’s it.
At €4, this DLC is also pricier and that for less content. Developers in the Steam forum for the game admitted that it’s even a surprise to them that this would be done. There is no single party outside of the corporate interest that stands fully behind this decision.
Now, again, it’s best to stipulate that all other parties here aren’t at fault and shouldn’t be punished by it, so as it stands, the DLC is still welcome. To not make this article merely about finger pointing at goodwill events, let’s suggest a compromise: Coincide the Yogscast inclusion with downloadable content for a character from the Sega line-up, at the same price, also fully donated to charity. Simply let the people choose to support either their favorite gaming channel or stick to the purist idea. As stated, this serves both parties and not just one.
It’s hard to suggest any character people will be pleased with, but here are a few choices, just in case.
This series of rhythm titles with the same name have been picking up speed, ever since its conception. Once homebound to Japanese release, some of its iterations have recently found a home worldwide as well. What better way to promote it, than to include it in a star-studded line-up.
There hasn’t been enough push behind the Madworld franchise. Since its arrival, the series has sort of dwindled all over the place, not finding a spot on the Nintendo Wii and being released in silence on consoles for its sequel. Burly brawler Jack Cayman needs to dish out some pain to the big boys to gain respect.
This game has flying in it; you do the math.
Valkyria Chronicles is another one of those highly loved games that sees little to no credit come its way, when paired up with its peers. Alicia is trained for combat and also a skilled baker. She may even have seen a tank or two during her day, which can put her side to side with the likes of the Shogun vehicle.
Admittedly, the time constraints on this could be a little short, but it makes perfect sense now. With the acquisition of Atlus, there is a ton of potential to add anyone from the Shin Megami Tensei series or the newly released Dragon’s Crown. Any of them would’ve been great; literal dozens of alternatives.
Should you come up with another character you like, feel free to put it in the comments. You can donate to Special Effect by supporting the Humble Bundle’s Dwarven Dairy Drive.