Is DLC Ruining the Gaming Industry?

DLC, season passes, microtransactions, these are all things we have become very accustomed to hearing over these past few years, but are they...
  1. Crooks

    Most of us here are probably familiar with what DLC is. For anyone who isn't, DLC or Downloadable Content is additional content which is added to a game post launch, often for an additional cost. Free DLC also exists, but it is a very rare sight to behold compared to the amount of paid DLC being offered over free DLC. So over the years, we have seen DLC become more mainstream in AAA games. These days, most releases will feature a season pass available for purchase so that you are entitled to receive all future DLC releases. The problem is, some developers like to use DLC as a way of "completing" a previously unfinished game, which gamers are not happy about at all.

    Let's talk about Star Wars Battlefront as a more recent example. The game definitely had a ton of hype behind it for many months now, but since the initial beta, players knew that the game would not turn out as imagined. Once the full game was released, a ton of reviews began to surface on the internet, with the majority of them ripping on the game for being boring, which most people blamed on the lack of content. Star Wars Battlefront also has a $50 season pass available for purchase which would grant you the following.

    • Over 20 new pieces of galactic tech including weapons, vehicles, and Star Cards for both Rebels and Imperials
    • Four more heroes and villains
    • 16 additional multiplayer maps featuring new locations
    • Four new game modes
    • Two-week early access to each expansion pack
    • “Shoot First” emote
    Many players were quick to say that paying $60 for the base game was a huge rip-off, but what does that mean? Well they have about 3 options. They could keep the game and just ignore it, they could sell the game or alternatively, they could buy the $50 season pass in hopes of actually playing the game that they had imagined to play for so long. It's very concerning to see that the season pass costs almost as much as the base game, yet it seems to promise a lot more content than what we were given from the base game alone.

    DLC also exists beyond season passes and regular content packs. It seems as if microtransactions have grown in popularity in the past few years. With microtransactions, the same few arguments arise every time. Players usually generally agree that if the micro DLC doesn't become pay-to-win oriented, then it should all be fine. This rule has been broken many times in the past, with the most notable one being Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. One of the biggest problems in AW, was in my opinion, the gun variants that they had. You could receive a better version of a gun by opening Supply Drops that you earned by playing the game or by purchasing them. The problem was that earning Supply Drops and then opening them just to be greeted with disappointment became all to normal, so players had to opt in to buy Advanced Supply Drops which promised more premium weapons and variants, but you had to actually buy them. There were other ways of getting these weapons, like hitting a certain prestige but not everybody had the time or effort to make it to X prestige just to unlock a gun, when players who had just purchased the game had a better variant of a gun due to luck combined with them purchasing Advanced Supply Drops.

    In my opinion, the act of developers using DLC as a way to get players to spend more money on something that they should have gotten anyways is not acceptable. Sure you'll get a few good games that provides DLC simply as an expansion, and not so much of a filler experience. Games such as Grand Theft Auto IV with its story expansions or even a game like Fallout 3 did great jobs of providing an amazing base experience, and then offering additional DLC on the side. What do you think? How do you feel about DLC and season passes? What are your thoughts on microtransactions? Leave your opinions below!

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  1. n0rdicz
    In my opinion only Bethesda games showed how dlc should be...
    I will pay for content that really deserve the name 'content'
      stefan1111 likes this.
    1. Sallos
      In my opinion, Skyrim needed more DLC. The game was great, but DLC would have greatly extended it's lifetime.
  2. Sallos
    I think the problem is that developers plan and create addons before the game's initial release. That's the problem.
    1. smelly02
  3. smelly02
    Hate DLC, can't afford to spend another $50! Just can't do it. I have trouble just trying to afford to buy games! The gaming industry has changed into a money scam. Not saying all DLC is bad, like for GTA and stuff you get what you pay for with lots of extra and new things. Once it becomes pay-to-win, you will be deleting the game off your hardrive. :/
  4. LookBroZombies_XBL
    Great article! I like paid DLC when it's worth it and not required to complete the single player game or be competitive in multiplayer. It stinks when more maps/guns/etc are available via a season pass because not everyone can afford or wants to get it but that's just how it is nowadays.
  5. K _
    This sounds like Advanced Warfare, every single thing in that game you could buy, I'm surprised you couldn't buy Royalty.
      Green Goblin likes this.
  6. Green Goblin
    Not for people with RGH :hilarious:. Also, DLC is awesome in a ton of games... BUT, when big companies add like 5 tiny things to a game and charge $15-$20 for "dlc" it sucks.
    1. Mr_NextGen
      gta is the best game out, all u gatta do is pay $30, and all dlc is free. i own an rgh, i modded my character on rgh and transfered it, gta is undoubtly best game out there.
  7. Tfsfan
    To answer the question yes and no, yes because of companies like EA who just try to bleed us dry with almost "forced" DLC that costs as much as a full game, no because of companies like 343i, they decided to make Halo 5 in sections BUT they decided to make all the DLC for the game free of charge so the players don't feel like they're paying for 2 or more seperate gmes. The overall answer is: It depends on the company/game and how the DLC is implemented.
  8. DaEpicZingerDude
    GTA V by Rockstar is the only game I own where I get everything included in the price of the game. These days most games have extra content that can be bought.
  9. Senex
    I don't think all DLC nowadays is ruining the gaming industry. An example of this is the Witcher 3's Hearts of Stone DLC. In this DLC pack, actual addition gameplay is featured. More quests, items, places to explore and stuff to do is added by this DLC, actually contributing to the game's length by ~15 hrs. When you compare that to a popular model where a couple of maps and guns are added (CoD, BF and now SW:BF), doesn't provide the user with additional gameplay, it just puts the existing gameplay in other places. By that I mean that the gameplay itself would be the exact same as when played on a different map. When you think about it, additional maps are just themes to play in.

    Additionally, CoD and others like to overprice their content (IMO). To think that they make you pay $15 (usually) for a total of 5 new maps, and 1 new zombies location is ridiculous. In comparison, the Witcher 3's Hearts of Stone DLC pack costs $10 while it adds more content, which is also more substantial. When pricing is concerned, I think a lot of companies are headed for the wrong direction. More so, a lot of companies already went to the point where the "DLC" they offer is ridiculous. Think of the worst example: Microtransactions. While this is great for people who wish to customize their character (fan of that), it is inexcusable to use it to block progress behind a paywall, constantly nagging the consumer to pay the fee to get "Tokens" or similar currencies in-game.

    Basically what I'm trying to say here that some companies do it the right way, others the wrong way. I will never pay for these unsubstantial packs of "content". Nor have I ever paid for them. Remember the whole deal with "DRM-free" Xbox 360 DLC packs? That's the only reason I ever played CoD DLC packs, and I will continue to do so until they (Activision and others) make the content worth my money. On the other hand, from experience, I will always buy DLC from CD Projekt Red as they make the additional content worth it.
      Vino likes this.
  10. NumberedSalmon
    Allow me to explain a mind blowing realisation.

    Ok. The first game is played multiplayer on was probably Halo 1 on the original blood gulch. I played against my sibling, and it was awesome. There was no need for anything but connection with the other person and competing.

    When online games were first introduced I remember the first game I played online was Halo 2 and it was insane to see so many online shooting at one another and it being extremely competitive.

    Over the years we've adapted to new forms of communication and gameplay. We now have the expectation of one upmanship, but one upping isn't good enough.

    The first DLC I ever bought was rainbow six Vegas' red map pack. It offered maps and that was all. No guns, nothing, just maps. And it was great because it mixed the game up even more, extending the lifetime of the fun.

    Now we hit the goldmine, extending a game's lifetime is now the sought after reason to buy. Companies will advertise the raw game, the material you will purchase and will enjoy for a few hours. Then comes the clothing. The game's n***d mannequin is stale, it needs a fresh perspective.

    Games are doing this almost justifiably. As game extensions. Gta does it for free and I respect that (although they do sell things already on your disc back to you via shark cards let's not forget that)

    Games will continue to do it because we pay for it, we let them. The only game I never felt bad about spending money on was guitar hero, and even that has become a micro transaction nightmare with GHTV music.