DLC. What have we created?
I have been gaming for a while now and seen everything evolves quite a bit. My first console was a Super Nintendo and I have never stopped since then, and I have to say it have been a pretty spectacular ride. Every time gaming took a step forward it seemed to always improve.
With every console or new piece of hardware came nicer looking games, more capabilities with new game engines and whole new ways of playing with your friends. I remember when I first played Duke Nukem: 3D and you could aim up and down, had a voice over for your character (an a damn entertaining one at that) and even a jet pack in a first person shooter it blew my mind! It was a huge success and map packs and merchandise was released to give the fans more! Or even before that with DooM! It was followed by an amazing sequel that made everything better, and even improved the story line.
Moving on further we had games in the RPG genera coming out like Diablo and Diablo II with not only the ability to choose a class, but skill trees to specialize our class. I remember playing as a Barbarian and taking out waves of creatures with nothing but my manlyness and weaponry. It was bad ass! Killing waves of hell spawn and finding unique and powerful gear! Also you could go online and play though the story with a friend and even fight other players! Again, it was a huge success and to build onto the players experience we were giving a huge expansion pack that was made to feed on the players desire and give them more! We were given to new classes and more new story and it almost felt like a mini sequel. It was huge and oh boy was it worth getting! The point of relevance is it was made after the game was made by a good amount of time and fans wanted it bad!
But skip to today, and this is the point I wanted to make. We have DLC. When it first started to be implemented it was fantastic! It was cheap or in many cases free! You could say it started way back on the Dreamcast, but it really came though on the big black XBox and I think the biggest example would be the first update for Oblivion giving you armoured horses to ride for $2.50c. Even then customers said this price was to high, for what is pretty much cosmetics. But now what do we have? Games on release date with DLC. I thought DLC and its arguable former form the expansion pack was to better the gamers experience after they had finished the game and wanted more? These days, in Australia at least we pay between $80 to $100 for a new game and about $120 onwards for special editions that come with cool merch, like with Fallout 3 coming with a lunch box and bobble head. But add on top of that games being released with DLC if you want a complete game you are forced to buy the special editions or else you only have most the game. Not only that, but many games come with different special editions with separate DLC. How is this fair? In many cases you end up paying double the amount for a complete game.
Now DLC can be done correctly and some game companies have done a great job of implementing it. Such as Rockstar with the ballad Of Gay Tony or Bethesda with Fallout: New Vegas and Honest Hearts and a bag of other DLC. But they were created after the game had been out and had time to live a little and both had little to do with the main game. If you really didn't want them you were not missing out on anything. Where as other games, such as Diablo III and Borderlands II as coming out with whole characters or character classes on released date as DLC. Something made before release and used solely as a cash grab and really should have been included in the game to begin with not an add on they you have to pay for after buying the game. It makes me question the future of the industry and worry where its headed. Could the future lead to games being released with the bare basics and you have to pay more money to advance though it in the way that Guild Wars is designed as an MMORPG? Will they let you play the whole story, but only have control of one character forcing you to purchase the rest of the roster? Or maybe in games such as the Mass Effect series forcing you to be either good or bad and to play the other play though having to purchase it?
All this may sound ridicules, and hey maybe it is. But if you watch the behavioural patterns of DLC since its origins it has in fact taken over more and more control over the games we play and increased in price considerably. Are you happy with how DLC is implemented? Or are you like me and prefer the old format of hugely improved sequels and huge expansion packs? Let the people speak