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Downloadable content is becoming customary in the industry.  Developers continuously back increased content, and it has proven to be an effective business decision.  But, what about the consumer?

The Limitcast will tackle this question, and more, relating to DLC’s STD-like spread.  It’s no sur…*please insert 800 Microsoft points, 600 Nintendo points, or $5.99 to continue reading*

…prise that developers have latched onto DLC.  It promotes gameplay longevitiy, player loyalty, and financial growth.  However, there have been some awful DLC that warrant skepticism in it’s practice.  We have been duped by horse armor, swindled by rehashed maps, and overcharged for rubbish costumes.  There is legitimate content out there, but some of it is already available on the disc, and it generates the question, Where do we draw the line?

Should developers lock already created content?

Should they lower their price point if the game requires the DLC for the full experience?

One thing is for certain, the Limitcast will be available for download…for free!  Leave us some comments on DLC’s place in the gaming industry.

Have a topic? Email it to me at Chase@gamerlimit.com.  I will personally sift through them and see if we can use them on an upcoming cast! Also, check us out on iTunes by searching “Gamer Limit.”  Make sure you leave us some positive love after subscribing!

  1. DLC seemed to start as a way of giving gamers more game for their money and now feels like a way of making more money for a game. I made a comment on a previous newspost that DLC is starting to feel to big game releases what the movie tie in game used to feel to big cinema releases.

    It no longer feels like the idea behind DLC is ‘people like our game so much lets give them more’ especially with DLC getting anounced 6 r 7 months before a game is even released.

    If the game turns out to be great then gamers have more they can do but when a game ends up being mediocre with slightly less mediocre DLC it leaves you feeling that if instead of diluting the content down to stretch it to DLC they just focussed on the initial game I might have had a great game to play.

    The trend now that games are franchises rather than individual properties and DLC or sequels are expected rather than deserved also seems to of killed of game endings having any resolution or impact.

  2. The only DLC model I’ve been happy with so far is when a game provides a substantial amount of content for a moderate price.

    The strongest examples I can think of would be GTAIV’s Lost & Damned / Ballad of Gay Tony episodes for $20 each. Oblivion also offered a meaty download with Shivering Isles. Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (Borderlands), while not perfect, gave a solid 6 hours of gameplay for $10.

    But when you get these little one-off 60-90 minute missions broken off into $5 chunks is when DLC starts to get dicey.

    A. These smaller chunks are the ones that smack of being withheld from the release specifically for milking the fanbase.

    B. Neither the quality nor the length really has to be that strong, because “hey, it’s only $5!”

    Despite not being a huge PC gamer, I feel that the PC model for keeping games alive is the best means of ensuring quality DLC for console games. We as consumers need to demand more from the DLC, and be prepared to pay a little bit more for it.

    When developers dial the needle a little closer to the old PC expansion pack mentality is when the best DLC is produced. Consumers won’t put up with a shoddy DLC if it is priced at $10 and up, so devs. will focus on creating a substantial and quality product. Look at the examples above, and they have three things in common — they provide large chunks of gameplay, they have high production values, and they all cost at least $10.

  3. It’s a shame that Microsoft and Sony are such money grubbers that they force the developer to charge for some otherwise free DLC. Case and point: Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty.

    I’m glad that I bought World at War for PC, given that I received $30 worth of map packs absolutely free.

  4. I personally haven’t spent a whole lot of time with DLC, but I see how it has started to turn into a problem. Back with Halo 2 and the first introductions of map packs I excited about the new addition because things get really old when your playing every night. I believe they had a few that were free, but then decided to put a fee on some..I remember one specifically where it would be like 5$ until a certain date and then it would become free so I opted to wait. Games like Gears of War also really needed some map additions, but charging 5-7$ for just a couple of maps really didn’t seem to be worth it to me. Its also a bummer when there is such a huge group of people playing the game and most sticking to just a few select maps, but once those map packs came out if you didn’t spend the money on them it started to get annoying to find a game on one of the older maps.

    As far as developers releasing games with content locked down I think is complete horse shit. I could understand if they had only a portion of it finished and if it was going to be a huge addition later on and they figured it’d be easier to have a smaller download for when that DLC would be released, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. For some of the games with a shorter play time of like 8-10 hours I can see how DLC will really keep people playing it longer than a week after its released..However if they try and force it on us like so many companies have been then they are really just hurting their reputation. DLC really hasn’t been defined which i think is another problem. For some games its new player models, or maps and others it is new missions that can sometimes really give the customer some more play time. It would be nice to seem someone really define it or classify the different sorts of DLC with appropriate and reasonable prices for others to follow by. They already have 60$ of our money and by the time the DLC is available i’m most likely done playing that game..so come on developers make it worth our while. I’m good for another 7-10$ if you make it worth it otherwise i’m going to take that money and go rent a new release where I know i’ll get my money’s worth.

  5. My biggest problem with DLC is when we know, for a fact, that the DLC was part of the game’s software life cycle. Release date DLC is the biggest example of this but is not the only case.

    When I spend 60 bucks on a game I am not paying for the game itself; I am paying for the publisher’s investment. The publisher’s investment was in the development of the game. And when DLC is part of that very same software life cycle, I know for a fact I am paying for that DLC twice. Which is absolute horse shit. This is the case where DLC becomes pure profit. And while I understand it is smart from a business perspective, it is ripping the consumer off without most even realizing.

    I also have a big problem with DLC and the lack of consistency. Most games (outside of Halo: ODST) realize that the game being offered doesn’t meet the “standards” of what is usually in a $60 game (i.e. WET). In turn, the game is offered for a reduced price. Therefore, I would like to see the same sort of standards be set for DLC (and even arcade games for that matter). This may eventually come to fruition but as it stands now, DLC is young and is being milked for every little bit until it is realized just how much they can get away with.

    I also am very much against things being removed from a game just because they know it can become DLC. This is seen in games like Resident Evil 5 and, most recently, Assassin’s Creed 2. Two memory segments were removed from AC2 and will be released as DLC. Not because they couldn’t be completed, but instead because these two memory segments were deemed unnecessary to completely understand the story and what was in the game without it was still enough to warrant a $60 game. This is absolute ludicrous in my opinion.

    However, DLC can be a very good thing. It allows the life of games to be extended in ways that were never possible before. It also allows developers to mold DLC into elements of future games (sort of like a formal beta without the beta tag).

    This is seen most recently in Madden 10. This, in my opinion, is DLC done right. At a time where football is most popular (playoffs) and just around the time people start putting Madden down, they release Madden Ultimate Team which is explained here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNMHLzl102o

    This piece of DLC, completely free, is an extremely innovative addition to Madden. Something that could have easily been a feature in Madden 11. But what EA did was released it this year to get an idea of how it was perceived. Microtransactions are then integrated into the feature if you wish to buy new cards. But these microtransactions are not at all a necessity to buy cards. It is just for those that are really into it and want to spend their money on it. I think microtransactions in DLC are the future. I used to be a bit concerned with them, but in cases where I can spend the time to get the same thing as someone that just spends the $ is extremely fair to me. I intend on writing an editorial on this piece of DLC because I am very intrigued by what EA has done.

    DLC isn’t going anywhere. It is young and will continue to evolve. But as it stands now, there are too many pieces of DLC that are absolute unfair for the consumer. I honestly hope that what EA has done with Madden, or what Ubisoft is doing with UPlay, needs to become a standard. There needs to be some sort of reward for investing in a game or a publisher/developer. Give more incentive for buying a game by using DLC as a selling point. A free DLC voucher in a new game, achievements in games that give you pieces of DLC (i.e. UPlay), free DLC with reasonable microtransactions, etc. DLC needs to become a compliment, not a necessity. Follow set standards, be fair, and above all, don’t fucking put out DLC that is there for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the consumer.

  6. +1 at Kevin’s last paragraph.

  7. I really liked the way Bethesda handled DLC for Fallout 3. While I admit there was a handful of technical issues and bugs with the downloadable content which felt signature of that game, and while not all of the packs were necessarily top notch, the way they rolled out a new experience each month to keep the game alive for players well into 2009 was really nice. Some of the decisions (like having to pay for Broken Steel to unlock the new level cap) were a bit off, but otherwise they handled it quite well.

    Not going to really bother with the other questions this week since I think their answers are fairly clear, but I’ll just say that amongst all the rotten money-grabbing schemes you see out there on the marketplace, there are still some companies who are handling this stuff the right way and it’s cool to see that.

  8. 5 words: Game of the Year Edition.

    I waited for these before I played Oblivion and FO3 on the 360. I was very pleased with my decision as each were only $60 compared to $100+ for the original game and the DLC. I have mixed feelings on the DLC thing. I don’t really mind it for games like Call of Duty for some reason, and really hate it for things like DA:0. I’m not exactly sure why.

    I agree with Kevin that it’s not going anywhere (whether we like it or not). I do believe that it is an FU to gamers, however, it does keep certain games alive for longer than 30-60 hours of original content. Games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band almost NEED the service just to be in existence. I feel like they that right.

    In an attempt to reduce redundancy, I’m going to just completely agree with Kevin on this one.

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