This current generation of gaming will be remembered for a lot of things. The popularity of the 360. The rise of Uncharted. The time when indie games became respected. It will also be remembered for a blessing/curse known as downloadable content. Now, DLC was around before current gen; Halo 2 had 4 sets of downloadable map packs no less, but the 360 and Ps3 were the consoles that really saw the perfection (and in a whole lot of cases, the bastardisation) of the idea.
DLC is a great way for a developer to maintain a playership months after retail release. After all, with the social aspects of gaming nowadays, developers want game names next to your profile for as long as possible. Not every example adheres to that method though, such as pimping out a horse in Skyrim (see above). DLC can be paid or free, and if a piece of content is worth it, then I personally have no problem buying it.
Where the whole DLC system breaks down, though, is when companies are not as transparent as they seem. Prepare to journey into a world of locked content, day 1 debacles and shattered dreams as we look at 5 examples…
5. Dead Space 3
Dead Space 3 was a big release back in February 2013, and regardless of what I thought of the game (if you’re wondering, I thought it was terrible), I can’t ignore the fact that it had eleven pieces of day one DLC. That’s right, eleven; everything from costumes to things that actually make the game easier. Why would you buy something to make the game easier? You just bought the damn game.
This one is probably the most harmless on the list, because it’s quite simple to ignore. I very easily beat Dead Space 3, without new costumes and extra supply drones. In fact, I beat Dead Space 3 without ever looking at the screen where you buy them, but this constant barrage of micro-transactions is hurtful to the industry in general.
Say we buy a new game at launch. We probably buy it for a fairly substantial price. $60. £40. Is that not enough?
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This article was first posted on September 27, 2013