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Is DLC Ruining the Gaming Industry?


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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