What makes a good or bad DLC?
Things that are important: Value, a good price, don’t slice something off from the regular game to sell it seperately, Day-One DLC is annoying and please stop these stupid retail-DLCs.
Editor's Note: Whether you agree with him or not, Elrood definitely provides some very good food for thought when it comes to the nature of DLC.
Of course, we do not all share the same view on DLC. Some people just want to see a continuation of a story, others are fine with having a few new skins for their favorite Beat ‘Em Up. But there are undoubtedly a few things we all want from DLC.
- Value: Simple yeah, but if the provided content isn’t really worth the money, there is no reason to buy it. Who cares about new maps that essentially are just slight variations of already existing ones? New quests for my RPG? Cool! But don’t sell me uninspired fetch-quests!
Some DLC that had good value:
- The Binding of Isaac: “Wrath of the Lamb”. New Items, Bosses and Rooms make for hours of new gameplay!
- Dragon Age Origins: “Awakening”. Unfortunately a lot of bugs, but the content was quite interesting.
- Mass Effect 2: “Shadow Broker " and, “The Arrival”. Tells interesting stories and lessens the wait for Mass Effect 3
Some DLC that had bad value:
- Oblivion: The notorious “Horse armour” (subjectively)
- Assassin‘s Creed Revelations: “Vlad the Impaler Prison”. Extremely short, not even a decent cut-scene – simply a waste of time (and money!). All you can get is a good weapon (which you don’t really need anway).
- Dragon Age Origins: “Return to Ostegar”. This dull, uninspired quest is not worth taking.
- A reasonable Price: Overpriced DLC is something we see quite a lot. Be it map-packs or new characters, whatever. You can’t charge 10 Dollars for 30 Minutes of new gameplay! (“From the Ashes”)The sad truth is that people keep on buying these ridiculously priced DLCs.
Some DLC that had good prices
- Oblivion: "Shivering Isles"costs 30 dollars, quite pricy one might think but considering what you get for that money, it’s fair.
- The Binding of Isaac: "Wrath of the Lamb". Again? Yup, sorry, but you just get so much more for no more than 3 dollars!
Usually, if it’s an addon rather than a DLC (both mean essentially the same but DLC can be small and big) the cost effectiveness is fairly good.
Some DLC that had bad prices
- Modern Warfare 2. “Map-Packs”. 4 Maps = 15 Dollars? Yeah right. The worst part is that it worked…
- Street Fighter 3 Third Strike Online Edition: “Alternative Colours”. Each character gets 7 different kinds of colour swaps for 2 dollars. Swapping colours, eh? Isn’t that normally, uh I dunno a standard feature!?!
- Content that should have been in the game anyway: Day-One-DLC doesn’t exactly have a good reputation. It looks like the developers willingly sliced out a part from the finished game, in order to sell it seperately. Whether that’s actually true or not is debatable. If a developer team has finished the game, but there is still one month to go until the game releases, what will you do with these people? Sure, why not work on DLC. Though is it really so hard to offer DLC, 2 weeks after a games release? What ticks me off about Day-One-DLC is its tendency to be something quite important. A really interesting character for example.
Some DLC that felt like it got “cut-off” from the main game.
- Mass Effect 3. “From the Ashes”
- Honestly? Every “Day-One-DLC”. As I said, there might be legit reasons for why “Day-One-DLC” isn’t as bad as we all make it to be. But from a consumer perspective you feel ripped off.
- DLC that is not already on the Disk: I can’t think of a reasonable excuse for this. I bought the damn disk, doesn’t that mean I should be able to access its full content? It’s called Downlodable Content, not Downlodable Code!
Some Games that fall into the on-disk category
- Bioshock 2: “Multiplayer”
- Risen 2: “Missions and Items”
- Don’t do retail-DLC: This is a lost cause, but I‘d still like to address it. “Oh look GameStop sells their game with this extra mission, but Walmart offers me cool skins and Amazo-“ Stop! Am I supposed to buy four different versions of my games now? I know that retailers do this kind of stuff to be more competetive, but for me, it’s just an annoyance and I feel like I bought an incomplete game. (The same goes for Collectors Editions, obviously. Action-Figures? Sure, but don’t advertise your collectors edition with “new missions”).
DLC is a great tool to lengthen the lifetime of a game, but for every good DLC there are ten new overpriced map-packs on the way. Whether that will change is completely up to our decision to buy said DLC.
Note to reader: When I thought about important aspects of what makes good DLC, I tried to mention things that most of us can agree on. If you find yourself disagreeing with my examples, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.”
That's great but its still a sale people shouldn't have to wait for as if they knew when it was going to be anyways and the thing i would love to see if they're going to sell the maps for 15$ is at least try and include new weapons skins and things like that and the quality of the maps i guess just depends on their talent.
On this specific point, I couldn't agree more. When the Gamestop employee asked me about paying $10 for Day 1 DLC for a Prothean character, I was insulted. I guess we're going to have to expect this from now on.
Well the point is that it was an important character. It seemed as if it was something that was cut from the main game then added as DLC but that is just how I felt about it. It annoyed me.
I feel that it is unethical for the supplementary material for a game to cost more than the game itself. Though this only applies to DLC and not Expansion Packs.
CD Projekt is quickly becoming one of my favorite developers for their stance on game design. If you dont know who they are or what they did for Witcher 2, this video will explain everything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnI9shQWk7k&feature=plcp
Thanks for your informative response. Yeah, Capcom does a lot of stupid stuff and I know about that, but some (as stupid as it may sound) do not. So my suggestion to add examples was merely a suggestion in order to make your article much more easier to understand for all the not-so-informed-gamers. Bottom line is: One has to decide how much information is too much or not enough. Everyone has to decide that for himself. As for me, well I think I tend to write a bit too much probably ;)
The DLC that frustrated me the most was for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I pre-ordered the game from Amazon and as such got the limited edition, which came with the explosive mission pack (bonus mission, automatic unlocking devices, remote explosives, and a grenade launcher (the latter 2 saving me a ton of headache on the bosses)). Eidos Montreal later released all the preorder DLC on Xbox Live. You could either buy the Explosive Mission Pack or buy a bundle that both the EMP and the Tactical Enhancement Pack (a double-barreled shotgun, a silenced sniper rifle and some extra credits). There is no option to buy only the Tactical Enhancement Pack, so I'd have to pay for content I've already bought. It feels like I'm being punished for pre-ordering the game.
Konami-only recently started using unethical means that I know of, by announcing DLC for MGR: Revengeance, and the game isn't even out yet. How can you announce DLC for a game that's not even out? By cutting out in-game content. http://www.screwattack.com/news/metal-gear-rising-revengeance-getting-dlc
BioWare-Dragon Age: Origins, one of my favorite games of this generation. If you bought the game at launch, you got access to a secret playable character(Shale). However, if you bought the game used, you would have to pay extra via DLC in order to unlock Shale.
EA-Mass Effect 3, day 1 DLC, which by the way, was locked away on disc. http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/03/12/bioware-and-ea-respond-t...
Capcom-I shouldn't have to explain Capcom's bullshit.
True, in my book "Shivering Isles" or "Awakening" doesn't really "count" as DLC either, but the term "addon" sorta lost its meaning, since DLC is I said a "broad" term. Meaning it can be small and big. (mostly small ;)
It was also pretty clear it was content that was SUPPOSED to be part of the main game with the poor cleanup from it not being ready in time. There's really no excuse to chrage the consumer extra for their lack of time management.
I look DLC. I haven't gotten enough of it to complain too much, but maybe because I'm the person that knows what I do and don't want to buy. Skins? Armor? Etc? No thanks. If I can get good enough stuff by playing the game normally, I don't really NEED extra stuff just to be slightly better.
I checked it out. It was interesting though when you blamed companies like EA, Capcom, Bioware and Konami, I'd have liked to see a few examples (games) of their "unethical" means. Not to say you weren't right, but it makes your article a bit more plausible.
Finally someone else, whose favorite FF is FFIX. *Bro-Fist*
Well, if the content is actually more than the original game, why not? Though then they could have just released a sequel or something like that.
Well, my copy of XIII was a red box greatest hits. No DLC that I could see, though. I just have to hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I'll keep an eye on that Lightning DLC, though. Thanks for the recommendation.
True, but the sales in that department are usually lackluster or disappointing. Even with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles, it only managed to sell 280,000 units in NA.Don't get me wrong, I advocate for a resurgence or renaissance of JRPGs. However, the gaming industry itself in Japan is and has been in decline for the past decade.
Well, Square-Enix never usually re-release a GOTY edition of something. At $15, I think its a good buy. You really didn't miss too much. The only episode worth looking up (after you've beaten it) is Lightings. The others, not so much
Well, damn it. I got XIII-2 at Best Buy for $15 new a while back. Haven't played it yet but now I'm just gonna not buy anything unless it's post-DLC GOTY/Greatest Hits edition. I don't care that $15 is cheap, I still feel like I bought an incomplete game.
seriosly, dlc has become standard... and I don't really see why, why can't the companies just make a full game? I can understand why dlc might start dropping in after half a year or so, that shows that the game was full length but the gamers enjoyed it so much they want more. then they can release a dlc or two while working on a sequal or such...