Do you even deliver a completed video game, bro? Downloadable content or DLC is the tool of the new generation to make more money and expand on a game. I’m pretty sure all of you can agree when I say DLC can both suck and be the best thing that ever happened to the video game industry (right after Electronic EULAs, which is what you get when you purchase a game through platforms such as Steam or Origin).
Wikipedia, a reference to be consulted on a daily basis, says:
“Downloadable content (DLC) is additional content created for a released video game. It is distributed through the Internet by the game’s official publisher. Downloadable content can be of several types, ranging from aesthetic outfit changes to a new, extensive storyline, similar to an expansion pack. As such, DLC may add new game modes, objects, levels, challenges or other features to a (sic) complete an already released game.”
Let’s make something clear: I don’t want you guys to have the impression that I’m going to waste your time claiming that DLC is evil and all companies give you incomplete titles in hopes of gaining more money with additional content required in the first place. They are evil only when they release Pre-Alphas and charge you for them (i.e. H1Z1; it’s been years and the game is simply just not ready to be published as a finished title, and yet they already sold more than one million licenses, and according to the developers the game is still an Alpha version).
I cannot say I’m against expansions for a game title, especially right after you finished the story line and you are eager for more. You can also play the game all over again with that suit or piece of armor that awakens dark inner desires in you. What I can say is that I’m against, as you should all be, games that require additional investments of money to have the full picture, the whole experience, to beat the freaking game and move on with your life.
Nintendo had a rough 2014 year. Do you know how they managed to survive the apocalypse? Well, here’s a hint: DLC and EULA. DLC earned one billion USD in revenue for all consoles combined. If you play Super Smash Bros for the Wii U, all the DLC characters, which in the previous games you could just unlock without spending a single dollar, cost overall almost 100 bucks.
Think back to the time when The Super Nintendo, The PlayStation, The Nintendo 64 and Age of Empires II represented our entertainment on weekends, you did not need to worry about being disappointed because the game you were playing would be a complete product. You were more excited to unlock stuff simply through playing and finishing the game as it was presented to you when you acquired it. And by acquired by ‘you’ I mean by your parents.
When did that change?
Downloadable content has been present since the early steps of the industry. The Atari 2600 would let you download content through telephone lined Internet access. Some of you didn’t even experience the stress of hearing your land line buzz when trying to connect to the net. DLC became notorious when video game consoles started making use of the Internet to provide content of many sorts. Some say buying a game electronically and acquiring it through download means it is the same as DLC because, well, you downloaded the content, so it’s downloadable content, but stepping aside from the technicalities, let’s just say those two are not the same for the purpose of this article.
DLC is a great way to easily and cheaply provide your market with new opportunities. If the content is morally developed, it will not affect the experience of the user, but will throw a twist on things or provide a new look. If the content is necessary to complete the experience or if not acquiring it diminishes the game, the producer and the developer need to start thinking about the players and not just about the income expectations and budget. A good game sells millions of dollars, no need to dissect it and expect people will not complain.
The only people capable of ending those unfair business actions that force gamers to get incomplete projects are you, me, and your cousin Larry who smells like wet cat. DLC should always be variables, not conditions. Games that are paid to win, pre-alphas, carbon copies of other titles need to be eradicated and the only way to do that is to stop buying them.
Publishers, producers, and developers discovered new and interesting revenues with additional content since the dawn of video games. Sequels and prequels are the fathers of additional content, you see? Our part in the whole story is to get the games, review them and warn others of their charms and lies. There’s hope out there and big exceptions like CD PROJEKT RED, creators of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. These friends release all their DLC for free.
Please do feel free to boycott those companies who take advantage of gamers. Sorry, there aren’t many options when it comes to fighting the system.
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