DLC the bane of modern gaming!

Back in the dizzle when Valve released the epic Half Life 2 (after what seemed an eternity after Half Life and it’s expansions, a new term was being banded around by Valve, that term was “Episodic gaming”.
The idea was that after you buy the main game, Valve was going to release further “episodes” of the game. Ideally this would mean the games “Story” would be continually moved forward. It seemed the end result was that Valve couldn’t make the episodes fast enough (pure speculation I hasten to add) and they went back to releasing expansions via CD and Valves digital service Steam.

I really did not like the idea of Episodic gaming as (at the time) I felt that what we would end up with is a bunch of very short and over priced and most likely broken/bugged levels. But this is the point that I claim the insidious idea of DLC was born in the minds of game developers!

Forward on a few years.

With the PS3 and 360 becoming a bigger gaming market than the PC, combined with the increase in broadband speeds, has lead to a vast increase in downloadedable games and extra content.
The main criticism levelled at games these days is that the solo campaign is to short, something that was has been said about nearly all of the recent Call of Duty games.

Many times this is a little unfair as the online part off the game normally offers lots of replay-ability, ok online play may not be to every ones taste, but it’s there if you chose to. On the opposite side of the fence you get games like Skyrim where the amount of content is excessive (just kidding) but there is no online play at all.

So why is DLC so evil!

I firmly believe that DLC is evil as it encourages game developers to become lazy (and calculating) and produce games that are deliberately short so that they can then offer you expanded content in the form of DLC. Many times the DLC fills like it has been lifted wholesale from the main game and with held so it can be offered back to us as DLC.
Ok I will admit that this is the cynic in me talking out loud but I have no doubt that this is true in some cases. Circling back around to Call of Duty and the enthusiasm Activision have for releasing map packs and in abundance.

So once you’ve paid full price (or less ofc) for a game that you complete in a few hours, don’t worry in a week or so they will release some “new” content for around a quarter of the full game price, release a few expansion DLC’s and you’ve bought the whole game again but you don’t really notice the money as it’s a trickle rather than an large layout! You see evil!

A final word on DLC.

I normally don’t purchase DLC, I have bought the Back to Karkand expansion for Battlefield 3 and the odd map pack for various Call of Duty titles, so I can’t completely call it evil. Not that long ago many of the extras that we had to buy on the console was just given away to PC owners, for free. With Valves online store, Steam and EA’s version, Origin now in full swing what was free for PC owners now is only available through these digital stores and for the same cost as console gamers.

Personally I think that game developers put more effort adding more content to the initial release (and not some over priced “limited edition”) and expend some extra effort in producing something new and not tweaking something that feels like it’s been removed from the game.


One Response to “DLC the bane of modern gaming!”

  1. Chombone Says:

    I have to agree with your point of view as its mostly the same as mine. I have never bought DLC because the pricing is high for the content and the content often feels as you said lifted from the main game eg the recent ME3 day 1 DLC. Perhaps we have been spoiled by free DLC of old? It isn’t unreasonable to expect something for the extra content but the way DLC is designed for the most part is not as extra content but as content they elected to hold back to be able to sell to you at a later date eg. DLC locked on the disk and in that respect I agree it is “evil” or shrewd business. Its simple really they will keep pushing to extract the most they can from consumers until it effects them negatively either with lower revenue/profits or with bad publicity which can effect revenue and profits. When you consider most DLC is made along with the main game and later restricted then there is no extra cost to them if they can at least cover the cost of releasing it separately which is probably negligible.

    I feel the only way to be heard is to speak with your wallet – the only language that makes it to the top, avoid buying DLC or support those which are worth the money. Unfortunately its seems many of our fellow gamers dont mind or notice the price hikes and are fuelling the DLC market.

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