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Jamal Wright

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DLC - Yay or Nay?

Posted: 08/11/2012 13:03

Anyone who enjoys a game is sad when it comes to an end and there's nothing left for them to do - or in the case of multiplayer gamers if they have to stick with the same weapons or fighters for over a year.

So in some respects downloadable content aka DLC is the best thing to happen to gamers since consoles went online. This can be extra tracks on music games, additional characters in fighting games or in some cases adding up to three hours more play time in a single-player experience.

DLC is an evolution from the expansion packs PC gamers are now used to. However, much like PC expansion packs there are the good, the bad and in some cases the just plain ugly. We can all agree that free DLC is awesome, because you haven't shelled out any money for it. Yet some companies have received a lot negative attention due to their DLC practices - I'm looking at you Capcom.

If you're going to charge for DLC it has to be new, locking out some content on a game and then charging me £5-£10 to unlock it is just plain wrong. You wouldn't accept a cinema experience where 75mins in the film stops and someone comes around asking for an extra £3 or you to see the ending so why do some game companies try this?

The other type of DLC that has received a backlash is 'Day One DLC' for content that's out on the day of the games release.

What annoys gamers most about Day One DLC is that if it could be released in time for the launch why wasn't it in the full game to begin with?

Batman Arkham City and Mass Effect 3, both had DLC at launch and both their DLCs really help shape the story not so much that I can't imagine playing without them but still feel vital.

Both games unlocked a new playable character that added that extra layer to the games story but Arkham City described it as 'unlocking' Catwoman, a character who features quite heavily on the box art let alone for advertisements for the game, of course the only stipulation was that you only unlock her if you buy the game new, I don't mind that so much as I understand developers need to combat reowned games but that's an article for another time.

Mass Effect however, made it only for those who got the collector's edition which received even more negative attention. Since anyone else had to pay around £10 for content that can really change your experience with the story - I still wonder if Thessia plays out differently with out it.

If the content can be put on the original launch of the disc it should be, taking it off to charge later shouldn't be allowed. However, it is different if the developers have been working on the DLC since they finished the game and sent it to retailers.

I understand that not all DLC should be free as anyone putting time and effort in to something deserves to make some money, but how much a company charge should reflect on the quality of the DLC. A costume change shouldn't cost £2 if you can get 1+ hour extra game play for £3. Not getting DLC right could leave many gamers waiting for 'Game of the Year' editions which seem to include all-released DLC which in the long run could hurt gamers and developers alike.

What are your thoughts on how DLC is being handled? Have your say in the comments bellow.

 

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