Sunday, 20 May 2012

Paid DLC - and how it's damaging public relations

 It's amazing how quickly the gaming industry changes over the years, it has now been thirteen years since Quake 3 released, one of the first games to require a '3D Graphics Accelerator', and about as long since video games have been played competitively online. The advancement in these trends, however, is nothing that I'm against – in fact I'm glad.

What I am against in the recent gaming trends is the advancement of so-called 'DLC' which is, essentially, just another way of scrubbing the money from the people who have already paid copious amounts of money for your game, and it's damaging the public relations of the company. DLC may be good for business temporarily, but when people realise that the developers/publishers are essentially selling a game that is intrinsically unfinished, and you need to buy the remainder of the content, the players are going to want to play the game that they have already paid for in full – but they're going to be more careful when buying games from the company in the future.

DLC is slowly creeping up in price too – I could forgive the DLC if it were like Croteam's 'Legend of the Beast' DLC for 'Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter', which comes with three new versus maps, a new survival map and three additional missions for the cooperative campaign – all for £3.99 ($6), but they're not. They're all from publishers who leave out the additional content, then release it steadily, in packs of five for £15 ($25), which is more than half of what I paid for the game (that's right Call of Duty, I'm looking at you).

It says a lot when the additional content costs more than the game itself.