Tag Archive dlc

The Business Exploitation of DLC

As a gamer who grew up in the age of the PlayStation 2, the concept of DLC (Downloadable content) exited me. The concept game that my experience with a game could be expanded upon and improved, without needing to purchase an entire new game, was what a lot of people wished for. However it appears that as the years go by, that DLC is actually a curse to gamers everywhere rather than the blessing.

Unfortunately for me, the PlayStation 2 did not have an in built network adapter, and so DLC was not available on the console. It was only after I bought the 8th generation of console, the PS3, was I able to purchase DLC for the games I owned. The bonus material was fun, however never seemed like a necessity for the games, or for a game to be good. I felt like the best kind of DLC was for a game that was already complete without it.

This is bonus material that can be purchased to add extra content to your game. A good example of how DLC content can vary is the DLC for the Video Game “Red dead Redemption”. “Red Dead Redemption has had two types of DLC. The first was called “Undead Nightmare”, an addition of an entire new story, with new enemy types, weapons, character skins and game modes for multiplayer. The game offered a new experience for the player in terms of story and gameplay. This type of DLC is often regarded as the best type of DLC, as it continues the game with the implementation of new features and gameplay experience. However, another DLC pack for Red Dead Redemption is the Liars and Cheats DLC. This DLC adds multiplayer improvements, adding poker and liars dice to multiplayer as well as new gang hideouts and hunting grounds. What is wrong with this DLC is that it feels like something that was left out of the main game. Players were already able to play poker and liars dice in single player. What would have been so difficult to add these mini-games to multiplayer originally? The addition of new gang hideouts sounds promising, however, if playing online, only one person needs to have bought the DLC for the hideout to start. This does not seem fair to me to the person who bought this extra content that everyone is now allowed to access it. What was the point in buying this extra content if some people can access it for free?

The game “Destiny’s” DLC, most notably “The Taken King, was designed to be unfair to those who had not purchased the new DLC. The taken King ended costing twice the amount of the two previous DLC, at $40 upon release. The Taken king was not included in the Season Pass or the Expansion Pass. It also made some original material in the game locked for those who failed to buy the new game. When first published the DLC was included as part of a new copy of the game, forcing some gamers to have to buy the game twice

Some DLC is just there to unlock material that is already available on the disk like “Street Fighter X Tekken”. When something is available on the disk there is no reason why it should have to be paid for again. The whole point of DLC, is that the content is newly downloaded from the internet. DLC is not supposed to unlock items which are already owned and already paid for on the disk.
The latest and most prolific game to do face condemnation for their DLC exploitation, is EA latest video game title, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront. Like most people my age, I am used to a game being complete when buying it. However EA has offered a season pass costing €50, for game that costs €60. Basically in order to get the whole Battlefront experience, you have to buy the game twice. There is also a strong likelihood, the material offered in the season pass is not worth the price of another game.

How can we value DLC though? What makes one game worth more than another? One view is that the more expensive something is, the more quality and quantity it should, however quality is interpreted by differently people differently. This scenario is similar to what occurred in the music industry when iTunes was introduced. All music was made to coast 99 cent. However how is that fair when some music costs more to make than others? Well its not very fair to the industry, however it was the only way for people to stop pirating music. Even though they have scince raise the price to €1.29, I feel that the idea is still there and that it can be reapplied to the video game industry. In this respect, one way to stop business from exploiting people is to have DLC priced maximum at a low price, maybe around €5. Main games are already accepted to only be 1t most €60-€70 euro, why not cap the cost of DLC? This way if business wish to make more money from DLC, they will have to produce more content in order to justify a separate DLC pack, or they will have to break up their DLC into smaller bits, this way consumers can more effectively purchase the type of DLC they want, without having to pay €50 in order to discover that they do not enjoy the DLC. Hopefully this will help highlight how exploitive some DLC packs are, as often the quality does not match up with the price.

Sources:
Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar Games, Take 2 2010
http://www.rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption/
Jeremy Jahns, “Why I Refuse To Buy Star Wars Battlefront!”:

Cinema Blend:
http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Why-Disc-DLC-Bad-Crime-Gamers-Make-It-Out-48109.html
Machinima – Inside Gaming:

Prices for Star Wars Battlefront, EA 2015:
http://starwars.ea.com/en_GB/starwars/battlefront/buy
Angry Joe, “Star Wars Battlefront Angry Review”:

iTunes Pricing Article:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/making-sense-of-apples-itunes-new-prices/?_r=0

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