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The Incurable DLC Plague

March 4, 2012

DLC is here to stay. It is a successful business model, that franchise after franchise is milking the hell out of. 

I’m somewhat dismayed about the whole DLC frenzy. I wish there was a “standard”, meaning, expansions cost so much, useless cosmetic garbage costs another specific cost, etc. As it stands, devs charge whatever they want, regardless of how good or bad the content is. What kills me about DLC though, is player-base segregation in multplayer games.Some games, like Dungeons and Dragons Online, and ANY THQ Warhammer game, there is a lot of pay-to-play DLC content, that players who don’t buy the DLC can’t play. So, those with the DLC can only play with others that have the DLC. This means that if there was a player pool of 1000 players, it’s now cut down to 500. If they release another DLC, it’s cut down even further. That’s what I enjoy about standardized, “full expansion” content is almost every player has it – so there’s no segregation of the player population. 

Developers understand that players always want to pay less – that’s why they break the content down into individual DLCs, so players can choose what content they want to buy (and save a few bucks). But therein lies the problem: players rarely sit down and do the math as to how much they are spending for the sum of all of the features they want, and in the end the full product now costs a lot more. This is especially true in games where DLC content is “must buy” to fully enjoy the product (such as the Mass Effect 3 D0 DLC). 

I just wish that DLC was planned out better before it is unleashed on the unsuspecting player-base. I wish that DLC wouldn’t automatically segregate the player base, and I wish that if it’s “required” content that it was just packaged with the game. 

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