I used to just ignore DLC… until now!
Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2013 by Matthew Reynolds
DLC or DownLoadable Content, is already a controversial issue amongst gamers. I have never been too interested with it and I have just ignored it and let it be… until now. DLC can suck it!
DLC has certainly exploded with almost every game offering something extra that can be downloaded at a later date. Characters, maps, weapons, songs, cars almost nothing is out of bounds for the developers to cash in on. That is my main problem with DLC, even though there are a few valid uses of it, most of the time it comes off as screwing your fans over.
An Extra Game
Arguably the best use of DLC is to add a large amount of content to a game to provide deeper back story, more missions or new areas to explore. These types of DLC are usually around £7-10 depending on the size of the addition. Some of the best DLC’s I have seen are the ones for Grand Theft Auto 4, The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Both of these introduce new characters, new missions and detailed stories and even new gameplay features. These came out at a fair price and were massively enjoyable and a great example of how DLC works when done well.
L.A Noire also had DLC in the form of extra cases to do, again another good use of DLC regardless of how well they may have been perceived.
Bethesda have also had a good track record of offering DLC in the form of big additions to their games. Fallout 3 had a massive 5 expansions all released at justifiable prices considering what they added. All of these are genuine extra content that has been specifically created for the purpose of providing extra for the fans.
Another very popular use is to add extra characters. This is especially effective in fighting genres but more recently I was browsing the PlayStation Store and saw extra characters available for LEGO the Lord of the Rings. From the store you can pay £1.60 to download Sauron! Now £1.60 seems like a low price but just think about what you getting for that. You have to really love LEGO the Lord of the Rings to think that it is worth paying £1.60 to walk around Middle-Earth as Sauron and use him in replaying some missions you have already done. It’s just pointless.
Even worse is a weapons pack (even though the game already has more weapons and tools than you could ever use) which adds a few well known items and it comes in at a whopping £2.40!
Now these don’t annoy me that much because I don’t feel they add anything to the game so I’m not missing anything, but it’s just such a rip-off.
In Batman Arkham City you can pay £5.49 to download Robin and another £5.49 to download Nightwing. If you really love Arkham City, and I can see some people REALLY loving it, then maybe, just maybe, you would be tempted. But as for the rest of us I sure would like to have a go with these characters but not for anywhere near £5.49! I can buy whole games for that price! Even if you argue that DLC is made for the die hard fans who can’t get enough of their franchise, then fine I am happy to accept that but you are betraying your fans by making them pay >£10 for 2 characters to use in an arcade mode!
Now here is where we get to the reason why I suddenly lost my cool with DLC. I recently bought Rocksmith (basically Guitar Hero but with a real guitar) and I very much like it. The game comes with some pretty decent starter songs but as it’s been out a while it has built up quite a backlog of really good songs to download from the store. What is the price of these simple little songs… £2.39. £2.39! That is just unacceptable. To make it even worse there is a massive selection of really, really great songs. It just depressed me knowing that I want all these great songs and they are expecting their fans pay through the nose just to get more enjoyment. A massive £2.39 for a song, I still can’t get over it! These songs should never ever be more than £1.
That sums up my whole DLC experience – completely ripping off fans for tiny additions at massive prices. Now I will admit that there are a few times when DLC is great as I have mentioned. But these times are few and far between. One thing I must say is that I feel PlayStation are potentially partly responsible for setting the prices in the store and perhaps it is out of the developer’s control, this could well be true given how expensive everything else in the store is.
DLC either needs to have a massive price cut across the board or we need to stop it, now!