DLC..

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Tau
RMN sex symbol
3278

Remember back in the Atari, NES, Sega, and PSOne days? When games had to pack in as much in one punch as possible to keep you as interested as can be? Well gone are those days and now are the days of downloadable content. Downloadable content, the ability to buy more content for the games you like. Whether it be multiplayer maps, new game modes, more story, more weapons, anything. Sounds like a good thing up front, but when this is abused by developers, it becomes a burden on your wallet.

It seems that since the online distribution of games began, DLC has become an exploited, underhanded way of increasing profit. The purpose of DLC was to give gamers extra content that wasn't planned upon the game's release. That was fine. It gave games a better lasting appeal.

Recently, however, publishers are abusing DLC to make a quick buck. In Test Drive Unlimited 2, for instance, two days after the game's launch, there are 5 cars and the casino available on Xbox Live. I paid $90 for this average game(Test Drive Unlimited was actually quite a good game, sequel wasn't), and for them to say "fork over more money for a couple extra cars" is fucken insulting. Would it really have killed them (and other publishers) to include all prepared materials on the disc? Is the money that I would pay for an extra car really going to kill their profit?

And it gets worse.. Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a mild example of DLC abuse. I recently got Mafia II and beat the storyline.. pnly to find out that the game ends on a cliffhanger. And to play through the rest of the story, you guessed it, I'd have to pay for DLC. I'm sorry, but that is fucked up. Needless to say, I traded in my copy of Mafia II. And then there's the case in Assassin's Creed 2(Which I think is an amazing game still) where an entire memory block was only available as DLC. That is a bullshit business tactic. Sure, it works, but it's messed up.

That is not to say that I am against all DLC, though. Something that wasn't initially planned or wasn't essential to playing through the campaign, I'd have no problem paying for. I only have a problem when publishers deliberately exclude planned, or vital, content from a game to make a few extra bucks.

I wish that this trend would end and that the $80-120 I spend on a game will be all I'm expected to pay.
I for one think that the days of the most pointless DLC is sort of past by now. It has reached more or less a good balance. You have cosmetic items, skins and other stuff that is generally very cheap so if it's a game you like it's easy to think "why the hell would I not spend one euro on a new outfit for the character I play all the time?"

And developers benefit from it.

Another thing is that DLC keeps a game alive. It used to be that you bought a game and then a year later you might have bought the expansion pack. Well nowadays you get the expansion pack in smaller increments throughout the year. Hopefully keeping you invested in said game.

Sure there is some horrible DLC out there and a lot of cosmetic stuff. And when playing there's often the nagging feeling that I'm missing out on something because I don't have all the DLC (for example me playing the Mass Effects DLC-less). More than that I am annoyed by the pre-order bonus items and whatnot some games come with. I heard that they tend to completely imbalance the games from the very beginning, which I would generally consider a bad thing.

Indie developers also benefit a bit from DLC. In that they can keep updating a game they're making and make it financially viable. (see for example the multitude of stuff for Gratuitous Space Battles)

Basically the downloadable miniexpansions are a byproduct of the age of the digital download, and most of the time it's actually pretty good.


Though actually the worst part about DLC (other than pre-order bonuses) is probably that the fact that developers want to sell DLC usually means that they cut back on mod support. Empire: Total War had some pretty mean protection around its stuff so they could sell custom units and there's many FPSes that no longer support various mods or even custom maps just because they want to sell them instead. And that's probably the worst thing.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
I would be okay with vital or planned content being immediately available via DLC if it made the initial purchase of the game cheaper. I could basically play 75% of the game for 75% of the price, and then decide if I was having enough fun to continue and pay for the rest.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way. They still charge full price. In fact, I think prices on console and PC games have actually gone up by about ten bucks since DLC got popular. Blegh.

(Reading your chart, I would probably pay an extra $3 to get an ending to FF13 that made sense. Lord knows the one they shipped in the game doesn't.)
One of the biggest players on the DLC market are Ca$hcom. Marvel vs Capcom 3 had extra fighters locked on the disc (only available through download). Several months later, they decide to release an updated game which have characters that fans wanted so badly.

It looks like DLC and micro-transactions is the future as too many people are more than happy to pay for it not realising that this is producing half-assed games which are lacking in content from the go.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
6399
It's kind of a double edged sword. For Playstation 3, DLC makes some sense. There's no online connection fee. Money has to come from somewhere. With LittleBigPlanet, they tossed out costumes, sticker and the odd level pack. During the reign of LBP1, this was gold. You're basically paying a monthly fee, and it kept the game thriving for over a year!
Whereas this element was thoroughly removed from LBP2, and the game floundered after a month.

On Xbox 360, with the online fee already, expansion packs should be near free... Depending how Microsoft does business!

Either way, there's quality as a DLC issue. Regardless of console or price. (though sometimes they are really pricy for nothing). Batman Arkham Asylam did this; though the preorder people got this along with other swag. The two DLCs for Batman were terrible. Not really worth it--until I look at fighting games. A couple extra characters, once... Twice... Thrice? Couldn't they have waited to release a sequel?
It's another double edged sword! Part of me says, "wait 4 sequel!" another says, "but I can pick who to DL!"
Eh. The whole issue is really how well the developers do with their respective DLCs. Bang for buck, quality>quantity, etc... My meal is here so I'm done rambling.
DLC- "Hmm, we are swimming in money, lets find a way to make even moar money... lets make a game and take some stuff from the game and sell it separately, wait lets make them "cheap" so people will say that its darn cheap and they must have it, then another one comes out and again its cheap, so why not buy it and again and again and again and AGAIN. Then if the customer is smart enough,he will see that he just threw away 3x of games worth, others are steady income. They will fall for it,again. "

Its like I would buy a hamburger, I would get the hamburger but it would be missing the bun or the meat and they would tell you " You can buy other parts of it for even MOAR MONEY, ISN'T THAT AWESOME!!!"
Its the epitome of greediness, and sadly suckers are falling for it...if people wouldn't be so stupid, then there wouldn't be DLC or any kind of cheap marketing bullcrap. Its like with everything that becomes profitable, when money is involved,shit gets real.
Starscream
Conquest is made from the ashes of one's enemies.
6110
You guys must not remember when buying Street Fighter II for the SNES cost $79.99 to start and if you ever wanted any kind of content update at all, you would have to buy the incremental updates on an entirely new cartridge at full price. DLC has its pros and cons but some of you are viewing the past of gaming with rose tinted glasses.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
Final Fantasy III for the SNES was $119.00 at wal-mart.


I ended up buying it used from the video rental store for $40 after the N64 came out.



...kids these days, I'm tellin ya...
author=rcholbert
You guys must not remember when buying Street Fighter II for the SNES cost $79.99 to start and if you ever wanted any kind of content update at all, you would have to buy the incremental updates on an entirely new cartridge at full price. DLC has its pros and cons but some of you are viewing the past of gaming with rose tinted glasses.


ding ding ding topic over
FF3(6) is still roughly that price unless you find it in a garage sale or something.

But yeah I like DLC slightly better than expansion packs in the last PC era of gaming. Use the same engine, the same gameplay mechanics, one new short campaign and a sorry excuse to rebuy the game for 10 dollars less than the original (your friends are going to play it instead)

At least you can just pick and choose what you want for 5 bucks each. I mean I do miss the pure idea of a single "game" being whole and limited to one package. But companies will always do shrewd business tactics and always have.
I think that DLC is not something totally new, but just the same thing we've always had in a different package. Think about how many games had *insert title here* +Blank+ edition before DLC. Now all DLC is pretty much doing is breaking up +Blank+ edition into installments that, when it all comes down to it, are just as much as the Game itself. Now the only difference is that people can be even more lazy with games, "Now I don't have to get up to get the game, I can just sit here and download it!"
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
Regardless of money-grubbing companies (aren't they all?) releasing small additions for a fair fraction of the main game's cost, I've always been cautious of console DLCs, and any other form of game you don't buy from the store that you actually hold in your hands, as I fear greatly those unfortunate moments in time where your console (or even just a memory card) goes belly-up and you end up losing even more than you would originally.
Tau
RMN sex symbol
3278
author=Feldschlacht IV
ding ding ding topic over

Why? Because we've established DLC is old. Of course it is, hell Scott Miller was doing it back in the mid 80s. It's companies that justify some of there DLC choices that's starting to annoy me.

I just feel cheated when I buy a game that has DLC out the day it is released knowing very well THAT content has been purposely left out.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
author=Corfaisus
Regardless of money-grubbing companies (aren't they all?) releasing small additions for a fair fraction of the main game's cost, I've always been cautious of console DLCs, and any other form of game you don't buy from the store that you actually hold in your hands, as I fear greatly those unfortunate moments in time where your console (or even just a memory card) goes belly-up and you end up losing even more than you would originally.
To the cloud!

Anywho, I deal with the whole situation by not buying new games ever.
Games also need multiple patches to be playable, where games used to have to be good out of the box.

Also, FFIII is worth $120.
I think one consequence of the prevalence of DLC nowadays is that patient gamers will just be less willing to buy games on release day. I'm speaking for myself here- I have a limited amount of free time to play video games, so it makes sense to spend money on older/pre-owned games that cost less money and are also fun. I have the patience to wait 5-6 months or longer for a AAA title to drop 50% or more in price.

What's better, if I can wait 1-2 years, I can probably get a "Game of the Year" edition that comes with *all* the DLC and at a reduced price (I'm looking at you, Bethesda Studios & BioWare). I loved Fallout 3- got it for Christmas the year it came out as a gift, then got every sequential piece of DLC as it was released. I think TES5: Skyrim will be similar: high-quality game, with a long-tail release plan of DLC after its initial release. It just doesn't make sense to purchase the $60 game (or worse, some $70+ "special edition) near release day + each $5-8 piece of 4-6 DLC pieces, spending between $80-108 total, when I can (i) play other great games in the interim that I haven't played, (ii) REPLAY great games for less money (I got Oblivion w/ all the DLC ever released off Steam for $25), and (iii) wait for 2-3 years and get it super-cheap.

On the other hand, I pre-ordered Catherine and Persona 2 because (i) I won't feel buyer's regret when the same game's released later for cheaper with more stuff packed in, and (ii) I get cool stuff like music CDs! After all, when I'm buying all this stuff new, I just can't help feeling like a sucker...

Anyways, I'm only describing myself here, and this typical DLC strategy seems to be popular and effective for game developers. I wonder how many other people have the same attitude about *eventually* getting these DLC-heavy newer video games when the price of all of it lowers, while playing other excellent games in the interim.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
I almost got that... If you just waited after the release of a complete game, wouldn't that be the same ?(I'm really not in commercial video games which certainly explains...).
One problem with DLC I also see is multiplayer games with DLC. If you have to pay for map-packs for a multiplayer game then the audience is split. If one person has the downloadable fighters or stages or maps will he not be able to play with people who don't have them? And how many servers will there be for the maps that only a few of the game's audience can play?

I suppose though that the model that Call of Duty (I think) seems to have with paid map-packs at first then release them for free a few months down the line is an okay strategy. That way the hardcore fans can get their map on early while the casual players wait for them to be included in a patch.

Of course I love it when DLC is free. Like for Left 4 Dead 2 or Team Fortress 2 and if every company did that that would be pretty fucking awesome.


What do you think about purely cosmetic DLC by the way? Such as hats, sprite packs or alternate costumes? It seems a lot of people are gravely offended by them but I rather like them since... You know. I don't ever buy them. Although I'm not against buying them, since they're generally so cheap and a great way to personalize a character especially in online games.
There are three games I've played within the last 12 months or so that have a staggering amount of content considering they were created during the DLC Era: Castlevania Lords of Shadow is like a twenty hour action adventure romp. Witcher 2 is the best RPG I've played this year, and is the polar opposite to Dragon Age 2 n terms of robust content. Deus Ex 3 took me almost 30 hours to complete. Not every modern game lacks value.
author=Jude
Witcher 2 is the best RPG I've played this year, and is the polar opposite to Dragon Age 2 n terms of robust content.

And if Witcher 1 is anything to go by there's going to be a massive "enhanced edition" patch filled with improvements (and possibly new content). And that patch is obviously free for everyone.
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