Sunday, August 6, 2017

Time to Reconsider DLC?

Just like their competitors Microsoft and Sony, it has become apparent that Nintendo is following in their footsteps by presenting DLC packages and deals to gamers. It's no secret that nowadays in order to truly get the full experience of a game you will need to buy some sort of DLC exclusive. Sometimes it's absolutely needed to buy a DLC deal in order to 100% complete a game. Nintendo in recent years has picked up on this financial strategy and have put their own spin on it by way of using their Amiibo collectible toys.

The linked video above will tell more of the story, but the gist of it is basically Nintendo has been catching on to what Microsoft and Sony have been doing for many years, since at least the start of the 2010's. Make no mistake that this strategy of implementing DLC attached to main games has been working like Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, but this leads me to ask the following questions.

Is it time to reconsider DLC? Is it time to start re-evaluating the worth of Downloadable Content? What have we learned from this business model of throwing DLC into a game package? It's 2017 and we're getting closer to the end of the 2010's, so I would think that normally the Video Game Industry would step back and start thinking over what they have introduced in the past decade.

What has DLC ultimately replaced in this past decade? Cheat codes. Think about it. Very rarely do we ever hear about new games having any sort of cheat code system. You see, cheat codes were once a unique part of a gameplay experience back in the day. In the 1990's when computer technology wasn't as advanced as it is today, gamers had to rely on trial and error in order to obtain secret cheat codes in their favorite games, and once these codes were submitted in the cheat section of an option menu, the gamer would get a brand new experience because he or she would get to play the game in a different way. Plus, the kicker here is that the gamer was rewarded with a FREE new feature!

Not to say that every single DLC offer costs you an arm and a leg, because that's not entirely true, but the fact that every DLC offer is bound to cost you, the gamer, something out of your wallet means that you have to try harder to save money in order to get the thing about your favorite game that you really want. Doesn't it sometimes rub you the wrong way how you buy a game first and you assume that you have everything in that game, but then realize the game dev company is going to release DLC packages to make that game "more complete"?

Cue the picture of a rabbit chasing a carrot dangling on a stick.

Okay, that's close enough.

The Video Game Industry is a business, and sometimes gamers lose sight of that. It's a fun business to be a part of, but it's still a business nonetheless. These game dev companies are looking to expand their business, and if they think that DLC is the way to go for them, then guess what? They're gonna offer DLC deals.

I guess where I'm going with this is my concern over how much is too much when offering DLC. Costing an arm and a leg to buy DLC simply isn't ideal for many gamers. They just bought the original game for an already steep enough price, especially if they bought that game just a day or two after official release. To ask gamers to spend more money on DLC just so they can have a "more complete experience" with the original game sounds crazy and foreign to me. That's just how I feel as I've grown up as a gamer in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

Ultimately my stance on DLC is this. DLC probably has a place in today's Video Game Industry, but it should never be abused by game dev companies just for the sake of economic convenience. There's a fine line to draw here.

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