Back in the old days, when you bought a video game, that was it. You were stuck with any bugs or gameplay issues that were pressed onto the disc. These days, thanks to the internet, patches can be applied to games to fix any issues with them and make the whole gameplay experience better for everybody.
At some point, some genius had the idea that companies could actually add fresh and new content to their games via patches a few months after release to increase the lifespan of a game.
Whether is extra missions for your favorite shooter, or maybe a brand new story from a different characters perspective such as with Watch Dogs, Last of Us, and Infamous, that is good quality DLC.
It all sounds great on paper; you beat the game, you really liked it and want just a little more, so you’ll happily pay for this extra content to extend your game time. It’s a win-win with the customer happy to pay for it, and the developer obviously happy to get more money.
DLC for incomplete games
The problem is that these days many games companies take this idea and abuse it by releasing lazy-assed, incomplete games then charge players extra for the rest of what they should have been given in the first place, like they think we are idiots and won’t notice. Well guess what assholes, we do notice, and we don’t like it.
The latest trend is to ship incomplete games at full price and charge customers more for DLC on day one of release for what is essentially stuff to make the game complete. They market it as extra content when it is clear to anybody with half a brain that it’s nothing more than a cash grab.
This can be seen with a recent WWE wrestling game which shiped with an incomplete character roster then charged players extra to download the rest. Thats like paying to watch sport on TV then having half of the players with a black box over their body so you can’t see them unless you pay a premium on top of your subscription.
Remember when first person shooters used to have 20 or so multiplayer maps? Now you barely get 5 maps included when you purchase a full priced game and the developers expect their fanbase to happily pay for more maps that could and should have been part of the game initially.
Games companies have become money hungry bastards with no regard or respect for the consumer. These company’s are only concerned with profit, laughing in the face of gamers whilst they sit their fat greed asses on a pile of gold coins twirling their mustaches.
A while back Capcom released a game with their version of DLC. You literally bought everything on the disc, yet some characters were locked unless you bought a 100kb file to unlock them. Essentially they were saying “you just bought the whole game, finished, here on this disc, but we want some extra money so fuck you if you think you’re going to be able to play it without paying us more“.
Buying a disc with half of the content locked, is like buying a house only to find out that half the rooms are locked and you need to pay more money for another key to get access to the extra rooms. You wouldn’t stand for it there so why do we stand for it here?
Lets not forget about microtransactions and pay-to-win content. These are the biggest fuck you in gaming.
In a lot of games, if you want to play online you essentially have to pay full price again for a season pass subscription. Thats not all though, because if you want to be any good, you’ll need to pay-to-win through microtransactions such as $2.99 for a new gun or perk to give you an advantage. Remember when people actually paid $2.50 for horse armour DLC.
Whoever invented microtransactions is probably the most hated person in gaming. I would be more than happy to string him (I’m just gonna assume its a him) up by his testicles and throw dollar coins at his head for the rest of eternity. Here you go you prick, hows this for microtransactions.
If DLC happened in other businesses
DLC was good when you purchased a full game and then got a DLC to add extra content to an already finished product. Nowadays you often buy an unfinished product for full price, and the missing parts are marketed as extra content for an additional price.
Video games are similar to movies. They cost a shitload of money to make and they have a limited period of time to make that money back. But can you imagine going to a movie and being charged an extra fee to see the final 10 minutes? Or if you want to actually any sound effects in addition to the dialogue, you’ll need to pay an extra $10?
No you can’t, because that is a fucking stupid idea and people would stop going to the movies if they tried that.
Would you be happy if you bought your favourite TV series on DVD for full price, only to find the final 2 episodes of the season missing and if you want to see them you’ll have to pay an extra $15 to download them? Again, I can guarantee that you would be pretty pissed off.
Imagine if the motor industry took on this same business strategy. “Hey we’ll sell you a thirty thousand dollar car but the brakes, seat belts, and air bags come out next month in our ‘Safety Package‘ oh and that’ll be an extra twenty five hundred dollars please.”
Will it stop?
I understand that we live in a capitalist, free market economy. But how far can they take this cash grab?
- $5 for shinier helmets and realistic grass stains in Madden
- $2 per retro jersey for FIFA
- $5 to unlock your teams star player in a sports game
- $2.99 for the Luis Suarez shoulder bite special move in FIFA
- $2.50 if you want pants for your character to wear
- $5 to unlock Liverpool and Manchester United in FIFA
I will pay for good quality extra content in video games, but the only way to send publishers a message that we won’t stand for their DLC and microtransaction bullshit any more is to refuse to pay for blatant money-grabs.
Sure we can all bitch and complain about it, but companies have adopted this practice because it makes them money. That means as long as people continue to pay for it, its going to continue to happen.
The problem isn’t DLC. The problem is how easily it can be abused.