Cosmetic DLC Isn’t Evil, And It’s Probably Keeping Game Prices Down

This week, there has been much hand-wringing over Evolve. It’s not because the game is multiplayer-focused. It’s not even the confusing pre-order/pre-purchase options. No, this week we’re revisiting one of gaming’s most contentious sometimes-issues: day one DLC.

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SaveFerris3152d ago

Was this article paid for by Turtle Rock and 2K Games? /s

Griever3151d ago (Edited 3151d ago )

I cant believe people defend dlc milking in the name of keeping prices down. Games used to offer a lot more unlockable content before dlc came. If profitability is the issue then why cant developers keep the costs of production down for games instead of spending upward of $50 million on each AAA title; most of which is spent on marketing instead of making a better game. The customer is not obligated to ensure the profitability of the seller by buying at hefty prices. It is the seller's responsibility to ensure profitability by keeping the costs down so he can sell to the customer at a reasonable and acceptable price.

GreetingsfromCanada3151d ago

Bigger and better graphics cost money, new engines cost money,most people who buy games are casuals so marketing, the price of games has fallen year since the 1990s adjusted for inflation. So add that up and releasing a new ip becomes a risk and moves that don't pan out bleed money. Case in point, EA the largest company in the business made a profit of 98 million in 2013 which is enough for a third of gta v.

breakpad3151d ago

are they serious ??? cosmetic accessories colors MUST be unlockable to a game not DLC content...dont click this sit site ...and BOYCOTT the game

Griever3151d ago (Edited 3151d ago )


You forget that the market size was a lot smaller back then too. Gaming was a niche and consisted of only children and geeks. During the 90s, selling 20 million units of a game was unimaginable for a gaming company. Today several franchises achieve that figure regularly. Companies like Activision became billion dollar companies. Even if the prices have come down when adjusted for inflation, the sales numbers have increased massively. As a result, gaming companies are raking in much more money than they ever did. Prices do come down for any product as time goes by especially for technology. Falling prices do not give companies any justification for engaging in unsavory business practices to maximize revenue. They have to reduce their costs and trim down extra fat to improve profitability. There is a limit to what customers are willing to pay and companies cannot hike the prices beyond that if they want to retain their customers.

freshslicepizza3151d ago

"The customer is not obligated to ensure the profitability of the seller by buying at hefty prices. It is the seller's responsibility to ensure profitability by keeping the costs down so he can sell to the customer at a reasonable and acceptable price."

that's why we have smaller games and indie titles. if you want those aaa games with huge budgets then they will try other ways to recoup the costs. games like destiny are designed to sell dlc packs. don't like it then stick to smaller budgeted games. the world does not revolve about your entitlement at the expense of studios taking a huge risk where it needs to sell 5 million copies or they go under.

rockstar manages with 100 million dollar budgets because they can sell over 10 million copies. not every game has that kind of following where that risk is low. we have already seen studios close down and highly talented people move onto the indie scene because they can't stand the pressure to deliver at the expense of creativity. well known ip's pffer less risk, that's why we keep seeing games like call of duty and familiar ip's year after year.

u4one3151d ago (Edited 3151d ago )

Games also didn't cost as much to make as they do now. Games take way longer to make now. They require more people to make them. Competition is high so talent (both in game, designers, devs, animators etc) cost more to book etc. AAA game production is closer to movie production now. Back in the day you could have a team of 10-20 people making a game that consisted of a few graphics people and coders etc. now you need texture painters, HDR systems, actors, modelers, concept designers, motion capture+motion capture equipment, middleware licensing, music licensing etc. the teams are now like hundreds of people. On top of that, when you account for inflation, game prices have actually maintained an average price and sometimes even cheaper (super Nintendo games were $70 way back - that's would be like a $90-120 game now).

I used to think like you until I started working in the industry. Now I see why things are the way are and understand reality. Employees constantly worried about jobs and consistent work, wondering if their studio will fold or be successful. Easy to armchair criticize but it's a different story when you see it from the inside. Lots of stress, long hours, budgets etc. not every price or dlc is justified but most of the time I think it is. If you want fantastic gems with lots of content, you have to realize and pay for the colossal amount of work that now goes into it.

Griever3151d ago


This not called entitlement; it is called not-bending-over-gladly. Entitlement basically means stepping out of your bounds and demanding something that you do not have the right to. In the business world the customer is always right and the customer has full right to demand what he wants from a seller. Stop being such an apologist and bending over for corporations. Who is telling them to spend $100 million on developing a game? AAA games do not need that kind of money to produce. Besides the major portion of that budget is just marketing. Nintendo games are made for a fraction of usual AAA budget with little to no marketing but their games are some of highest quality in the industry. Developers and publishers need to control their out of control budgets and focus on making good games instead of marketing the hell out of them to generate hype and sales and then resorting to dlcs to recover costs. That is unethical business.

freshslicepizza3150d ago


you still refuse to break it down, the costs are higher than they used to be to make games. you can't just generalize and say have a smaller budget. do you honestly think the people that made nintendo games back in the 80's have the same salaries as today? there's also more manpower and more man hours that go into making games than they used to.

the price of going to see a movie back in 1980 was less than $3, it is now over $8. did that same inflation happen for game prices?

do you see nintendo making as much money as they used to in the 80's? the industry has changed but consumers are unwilling to pay higher than $60 for a game which again is why we see so few new ip's and so much marketing. they need to sell more copies to stay afloat. lots of studios have closed down.

so keep telling yourself there is no problem with giving customers what they want because they are always right.

we are seeing single player campaigns get smaller, more focus on online multiplayer (because it's cheaper to make maps than it is to make single player campaign), dlc and season passes. it's all a reflection of budgets and costs growing over the years.

this isn't about being an apologist, it's called being a realist.

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-Foxtrot3152d ago (Edited 3152d ago )

Before DLC

"You have completed HARD MODE, you have unlocked

- Ultra Hard Mode


- Skin A for character A
- Skin B for character A
- Skin A for character B
- Skin B for character B
- Unlimited Pistol

After DLC

"You have completed HARD MODE, you have unlocked

- Ultra Hard Mode

Check out the store to see the range of custom skins and weapons

- Skin A for character A is $1.99
- Skin B for character A is $1.99
- Skin A for character B is $1.99
- Skin B for character B is $1.99
- Unlimited Pistol - $5.99
- The OVER THE TOP SUPER DUPER RIDUCLOUS rocket launcher $8.99"

Companies survived better before DLC, I'm sure they would be fine now without all this crap. All this bullshit about them keeping prices down or being able to fund sequels is just typical PR rubbish.

uth113152d ago

it's not rubbish. Development costs of AAA games is rising fast, Some games now cost more than movies to develop. Prices are stable.
Only way they can achieve that is 1) sell more 2) find other revenue streams.

DLC isn't inherently evil. It depends how it's implemented

dreamed3151d ago

Maybe devs like ubisoft should spend the time n money on the game,instead if 3 day events with assassins creed assualt courses and t-shirt/cap give aways,like they did with unity.

Thq did things like put ppl up in hotels for days to play saints row,and have hugh themed parties/events.......look where they ended up.

Just make a good game instead of all this pr shite that just takes time but especialy money away from the game.

DemonChicken3151d ago (Edited 3151d ago )

I disagree

Please explain the Witcher series and CD Red Project developers

uth113151d ago

What are their development costs? What is the size of their team, what are the salaries like in their country? (Poland is it?)

Plus they aren't a public company like some of other publishers, with all the financial pressures to produce results that entails.

ChronoJoe3151d ago

Let's put this into perspective though, yes development costs are rising, but do you genuinely believe Evolve is a game with an especially high development cost?

Perhaps the best measure of development cost is the number of staff employed to build a game, and the amount of time they were employed for. Turtlerock employ 50 members of staff (see linked in/job listings), that's tiny! Sure the game was developed over 3-4 years that's pretty typical for a new IP.

Compared to titles like The Order (120 employees), Infamous (100 employees), Uncharted (250 ish), Evolves development costs would be vastly lower. So the 'it's keeping prices down' argument falls flat really! Plenty other developers have higher development costs, integrate plenty of out of the box unlockables, and don't feel the need to put $100 worth of superficial content onto the store, on day one of their games release.

With respect to the teams size, evolve should have a low enough development cost to make their title very profitable, without this additional content being sold. Perhaps if they focused on getting more, high quality content into the game, they would have gotten a better reception and sold more units.

uth113151d ago

It's not fair to compare third party studios to Sony-owned developers. I'm sure Sony eats some of of those development costs as the cost of building the Playstation Brand.

Third Party developers don't have the other revenue streams Sony has.

This article explains it better than I could. It estimates the cost of Evolve to be $80 million.


It also points out that established brands like GTA (and Witcher) that have lots of gamer goodwill, aren't risks like new IPs like Evolve.
It's harder to get funding for riskier projects, it also costs much more to Market new IPs than established IPs

Lord_Sloth3151d ago

The prices are only rising because the devs are afraid to take their time with each title now. They instead try to decrease that turn time by hiring more and more people.

DLC is a fantastic idea executed horribly wrong. It could have actually been for extras and features the devs hadn't considered until after they finished the game but is instead used for content they withheld from the game.

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gangsta_red3152d ago (Edited 3152d ago )

I understand what you are saying Fox and I long for those days also. But you have to consider what the article is trying to say...Companies before DLC weren't spending millions of dollars for one game.

Think about all the companies that have closed their doors after putting out one or two games that didn't sell well. Compare that to the days of yesteryear where companies like LGN, Ocean and other suspect developers that could release crap after crap and still make a profit off of little sales.

Those days are over, which is why you see a lot of devs focusing on mobile or a F2P type of game. It's just way too risky on consoles nowadays.

DLC is another way of re-cooping cost of development.

Now my concerns are the types of DLC that is given.

GreetingsfromCanada3151d ago

Adjusted for inflation games used to cost $90-$100 in the 1990s and seeing as no american can accept a raise in prices DLC's going to happen as games become bigger and prettier. I suggest you read up on the subject. http://ca.ign.com/articles/...

Omegasyde3151d ago (Edited 3151d ago )

Day 1 dlc is absolute bullshit especialy for a full priced game. The only day 1 dlc i accept is preorder as they are trying to reward early buyers or if the game is free to play.

freshslicepizza3151d ago

rising development costs is pr rubbish? ok. why don't you go and make a aaa game then and ask everyone to help finance that and let us know how you make out.

the first gran turismo cost how much to make? how many copies did it sell at $50 a pop? how about the second one? how about the third one? how much do you think it is costing to make the new gran turismo compared to todays market and games costing $60. do you see the same parallels in development costs and game prices?

BABY-JEDI3151d ago

Don't forget, that there is more console users now, hence a bigger market. We all know DLC is all about GREED. No excuses. Just plain old GREED. If people are willing to pay up for this crap. Then people will be willing to charge for it.

dcj05243151d ago

The warhawk DLC was greed? No

BABY-JEDI3151d ago

@ dcj0524 is this article about Warhawks DLC? I don't know. But with regards to Evolve, feel free to make-up excuses for their DLC by all means. But don't try to make saps out of everyone else.
: P

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3151d ago
viperman2403151d ago

Im not surprised gameinformer is saying this. This is coming from a site that gets pushed onto customers by Gamestop.

And we all know how consumer friendly Gamestop is.

rocketpanda3151d ago

Keep defending this shite, the justifications are amusing.