Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Game Grind, the place where the vast and magical world of video games is examined and explained with little more than a seeing stone, ink and pen, and a trusty raven flock ready to deliver the message to you at home. Today’s topic is a relatively new one in gaming. It’s also a topic that has also pissed people off quite a bit during its small lifespan, but is generally improving. Today’s post is going to be all about downloadable content, or DLC.
Downloadable content is additional gameplay that can be added to a video game after the game was intentionally released. This can result in the continuation of a game’s story, an expansion of its world, the introduction of new gameplay modes, or just about anything else. DLC is generally meant to supplement the original purchase of a game and enhance the experience of playing it. It is a relatively new phenomenon in the video game industry, as it began appearing widely in the last generation of consoles. The reason DLC is so new is because the last generation of consoles was the first to make the practice practical, as it was the first generation to be able to easily wirelessly connect to the internet.
As expected with a new concept and business model in a relatively young industry, DLC took off unbelievably quickly. Which resulted in some awesome practices and some lackluster occurrences. As we at BaddaBing BaddaBlog strive for, yet often fail at holding, optimism, we will start with the positives of DLC. The most obvious benefit of DLC is that it extends the amount of time and fun you can get out of a game. The first example of this to come to mind for me is in Skyrim. That was already a massive game to begin with and the three DLC that were added to it consistently expanded the game in a fun way. The other, less obvious, benefit of DLC is that it provides the developers of a game with a new revenue source. It is insanely expensive to make a quality game today, and charging for DLC is an easy way for a development studio bring in some extra cash for their next project.
Okay, now for the crumby stuff that has happened with DLC. Game creators know that DLC is a very safe way to bring in extra profits. The majority of people who care enough about a game to buy it in the first place are going to be willing to pay fifteen or twenty extra dollars for more content. A good number of developers realized this and started selling games that were ultimately incomplete, and then sold the finished version of the game in the form of DLC. This essentially required people to buy two games for the benefit of only owning one complete game. Not only that, but the coast of DLC has varied widely. Obviously if a DLC contains more content it can get away with costing more, but there really is not any kind of industry standard or agreed upon average cost. The biggest offenders I can think of in regards to these poorer practices would be Destiny and Call of Duty.
All in all though, DLC is getting better. The practice today feels much less like extortion than what it did five years ago, and you hardly ever see DLC today that some people are not genuinely enthused about. I would have to say that my biggest gripe about DLC is how some companies are still not utilizing it. Looking at you EA Sports, you don’t need to release one game every year, just sell a roster update. In short, DLC is not perfect, but it’s still growing and getting better all the time. Much like a lot of the gaming industry. You could say I’m fairly…content…with it.
We’ve got puns for days here at 4B.
Alright, that just about does it for this week’s installment of Game Grind. If you enjoyed it, please leave a like or a comment down below. If you want to stay up to date with BaddaBing BaddaBlog, you can subscribe to it in the upper right tab by entering your email. Alternatively, you can stay up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, Lucas DeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all have a great rest of the weekend and be sure to check out the site again on Monday for the next installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday.