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What DLC is Acceptable DLC?

Posted: 29th February 2012 18:46

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Inspired by the derailing of our recent newspost about Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC, let's open it up a bit: what downloadable content models are acceptable to you, as a gamer? Is it no DLC at all, where anything extra should be reserved for a later retail release? DLC only months after an initial launch? Do you not even mind day-one DLC?

I've already articulated it a bit in that thread linked above, but I really don't have a problem with, really, any kind of DLC at all, as long as it's not required to feel like I've fully completed the core storyline of the game. As an example, let's imagine that Final Fantasy VI were made today with DLC, and that DLC was making Mog and Umaro available. If I were playing that game right now, I would not have a problem with that - neither are vital to the plot, and if they were never made available I probably wouldn't feel like something was missing from my experience. Even if it were absolutely clear that they were meant to be included but were removed to be made into DLC, I wouldn't have a problem with that as such - the choice of whether they were important or not for my experience would fall to me, and I frankly wouldn't care how obvious a cash grab it was.

I've even bought DLC that falls into this category - I bought Knives Chau for Scott Pilgrim, despite her being not at all vital to the game play experience and something that could have been included with the game's first download. I did this not because I felt extorted by Ubisoft, or because I felt the game was incomplete, I did it because I had a blast with the core experience and thought a couple bucks to extend it a bit was well worth it.

Now, I know that's just me. I think my opinion is probably skewed by the fact that day-one DLC rarely impacts me - I almost never have a game on launch day these days. Maybe I'd feel different if I had some experience from that perspective.

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Posted: 29th February 2012 19:34

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Short answer I would say for me personally no DLC is acceptable because I grew up with an expectation that a game would be complete on purchase, and I still have that expectation. However I would say that with people becoming used to DLC and people growing up with it their expectation will be different so I can understand why a lot of people don't really care.

It doesn't bother me too much either I suppose. I have experiences where the DLC actually makes the game worse, memorably worse! (DX3) As a way of offering an incentive against piracy it's pretty weak because to use R51's example it's a choice between paying nothing and missing out on Mog and Umaru or paying 50+ for the game and the DLC, which is just Mog and Umaro. That's quite a price increase for not much content. Aside from DX3 I don't remember being inclined to buy anything. Even if I'm playing Nazi Zombies with friends we're perfectly happy to know one map inside out and not bother getting the others. So it's not just me, everyone I know doesn't really care for DLC.

One DLC I would probably insist on buying is the updated teams and players on the Fifa games. Thankfully EA gives that update midway through the season for free (although I imagine this is to have universal teams on their online game, so they don't really have a choice). I haven't played any other sports games so I don't know if this is similar with them. I'm pretty sure it would be.

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Posted: 29th February 2012 20:34

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I guess I don't actually have a problem with DLC, but I think that in many cases additional content can be made more memorable by including it in the original game.

To take Mog and Umaro, for example. As DLC, these characters would have been considered purely sideshow material. Some players would have them, most would not, and thus their significance as part of FFVI would seem to be considerably depreciated. On the other hand, they seem more canonical when included, rather than coming across as an afterthought.

Obviously, my argument is centered around stories with plot, but I think it's a valid consideration.

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Posted: 29th February 2012 21:43

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It's clear that these days, so much more goes into the making of just one video game than ever before. When I beat FF13-2, the ending credits alone were jarring to see how much effort was put into one single game. They're even redoing the lip movement of the characters for English translations and so forth. If DLC is how they can help maximize profits for efforts like these, I don't mind in the slightest. I'll hand my money over if the DLC is more content than appearance. Doesn't matter when they roll it out to me, either, although sooner rather than later if they want me to bother buying it.

However, if there was one thing I was a little bothered by for FF13-2's use of DLC, it was this (do NOT read if you haven't played it or FF13!):

Possible spoilers: highlight to view
The developers put Lightning at the forefront of their entire marketing program, in every trailer, and on the cover of the box. Yet she's far from a party character you can control throughout the game and after the first few minutes you can't even play as her *unless* you sock money into DLC. I felt that was a form of false advertising and really wrong. That's like showing Serah through all of the trailers of FF13 whom you can't play at all.


Point is, I believe it's quite alright for the existence of DLC, as games have still cost just as much as they have in the SNES era that I remember, and although I don't know much about the field, I would guess that doing all they want to do isn't so simple as a palette swap or a few pixel stances or animations like in the old days. Like I believe Josh said before in the other topic, who knows what games might cost if they do things otherwise? In fact, I'd have a stronger desire to download content if it were Day One or an early launch after release. I do try to get games at release time, and I like to check the DLC sections just to see if, after I finish the game, I would like to try anything else they have in store. If they released it 6+ months after the fact, and I've completed it 5 months ago, it stands almost no chance of being bought.

This post has been edited by TheEvilEye on 29th February 2012 21:43

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Posted: 29th February 2012 22:01

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If people will buy it, they will make it. The game industry is an industry and not a dream factory. Some DLC is more akin to low-effort cash grabs (I'm looking at you, Capcom costume packs and BioWare arsenal packs), but they have every right to do it so I won't begrudge the industry for doing it. I try not to be a gamer with a false sense of entitlement who thinks that they have a right to unlimited free content.

I've bought a great many downloadable full games on Steam and PSN, but I only get DLC add-ons if they're on a ridiculous sale (25 Street Fighter IV costumes for <$4? Sure.) or if's a content-rich game that I really want to keep playing (Mass Effect 2's Shadow Broker and Arrival DLCs). If a game you like has a lot of DLC, you can invest as much money as you want into it to get as much as you want out of it.

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Posted: 1st March 2012 01:02

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Well, remember the olden days of mission packs, expansion packs, and all that jazz?

That.

Stuff that adds some replay value to the game rather than actually completing it, basically. If it updates a half finished unit left in the game or whatever, fine. Unlocking something already on the disc is just a bit lazy and possibly evil. But making the DLC be what finishes the game off without advertising it as an episodic game is quite frankly a failure in marketing that rightly should piss people right off.

Of course, I'm of the view DLC should be embraced by some games, and treated as such. Still sell it on a disc to run stand-alone if need be but honestly, I think some things really have no excuse. Modern Warfare and the like, well, they do have a large number of changes even if not much seems to change, but for some other things there seems to be very little real point. What is the real difference between Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3? As far as I can tell, nothing that a DLC wouldn't have worked as well with and I can't really imagine what was added or altered was nearly even as big as Back to Karkand for BF3.

Oh, and if DLC adds new weapons unlocking them should not be a complete pain in the ass requiring you to do suicidal things (use a blowtorch to destroy an enemy vehicle IE one with someone in it possibly firing a gun or trying to run you over) or use a weapon you just nerfed (2 mortar kills to unlock an LMG right after the mortar shoots slower and has been made inaccurate and weaker) whilst making the one of the most powerful assault rifles in the game so easy to get a medic may unlock it by accident.

This post has been edited by Del S on 1st March 2012 01:03

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Posted: 1st March 2012 01:17
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I dont mind DLC but I do think that it should be down the road. Releasing DLC for anything within days after its released is basically saying they already had the stuff and could have added it to begin with but wanted to squeeze a few extra dollars out of people.
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Posted: 1st March 2012 02:52

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I have to say that I've grown to really like the idea of DLC, as long as it feels like the game is complete without it. Buying the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for ME2 was a lot like that. It added to the experience, but the game was complete if you didn't download it.

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Posted: 1st March 2012 07:06

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Simply put I don't mind DLC. If the game feels incomplete without the DLC then that's not cool. I do not want to buy a new game for 60$ and find out later that I bought half a game. Other than that, I don't care. To me DLC should be something that adds more to game, like extension of the story or extra characters and items. Not something that makes the game feel complete.

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Posted: 1st March 2012 21:01

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Exactly. Mostly it's a money thing for me. Most of the time, I have to wait for prices to drop anyways. To then spend extra money is hard to do.

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Posted: 1st March 2012 21:22

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"Point is, I believe it's quite alright for the existence of DLC, as games have still cost just as much as they have in the SNES era that I remember, and although I don't know much about the field, I would guess that doing all they want to do isn't so simple as a palette swap or a few pixel stances or animations like in the old days. Like I believe Josh said before in the other topic, who knows what games might cost if they do things otherwise? In fact, I'd have a stronger desire to download content if it were Day One or an early launch after release. I do try to get games at release time, and I like to check the DLC sections just to see if, after I finish the game, I would like to try anything else they have in store. If they released it 6+ months after the fact, and I've completed it 5 months ago, it stands almost no chance of being bought. "
Well, in comparision I got to say that I have got the feeling that the gaming spectrum - the players reached, inclusive "casual gamers" has grown very much since the last or the both last console generation, of course paired a lot with the spreading of the internet.

Another thing comes to my head, but this mostly afflicts the PC gaming sector.
When you sell anythings for a nickel (biggrin.gif) why should you allow players the option to modify ("mod") their games? You can charge them instead for it. Oh, and when you are already at it, don't forget about your mom...
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Posted: 2nd March 2012 01:56

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I agree with the folks that stated that DLC should expand the game and give some replay. It's kinda hard to settle a line here, but a DLC should be something that renews an already good game, so I guess DLCs right in the release are like paying for a full cake, but take home a cake missing a piece, that you buy next day...

The point is: you have the game, fully and complete. liked it and want more? so pay some more to keep playing new content. Feel satisfied with the retail game? That's what we (the game makers) tried to achieve, you dont lose anything not buying DLC.

Blitzsage hit the spot when remembering the Lair of Shadow Broker from Mass Effect 2. Not going to discuss if ME2 is or is not a good game, but the above DLC was released some months after the game and , for a few hours, it brought back the feeling of playing ME2. It added replay and depht to beloved chars (Liara) not that important to the game. A great and worth experience for a ME fan, but not a lss for a ME "passerby".

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Posted: 2nd March 2012 02:27

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Quote (Aeris-Logan @ 29th February 2012 21:17)
I dont mind DLC but I do think that it should be down the road. Releasing DLC for anything within days after its released is basically saying they already had the stuff and could have added it to begin with but wanted to squeeze a few extra dollars out of people.

Quote (Kirchewasser)
It's kinda hard to settle a line here, but a DLC should be something that renews an already good game, so I guess DLCs right in the release are like paying for a full cake, but take home a cake missing a piece, that you buy next day...

Gabe from Penny Arcade put it best when he said, in so many words, that complaining about release-day DLC is like complaining that you had to pay to see all three Lord of the Rings movies. They did, after all, shoot all three of them at the same time.

I'm fine with DLC, and not only when it adds to an already lengthy game. Enjoyment isn't measured in time spent.

This post has been edited by Malevolence on 2nd March 2012 02:29

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Posted: 2nd March 2012 02:39

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Quote (Kirchewasser @ 1st March 2012 21:56)
Blitzsage hit the spot when remembering the Lair of Shadow Broker from Mass Effect 2. Not going to discuss if ME2 is or is not a good game, but the above DLC was released some months after the game and , for a few hours, it brought back the feeling of playing ME2. It added replay and depht to beloved chars (Liara) not that important to the game. A great and worth experience for a ME fan, but not a lss for a ME "passerby".

You're right, and that's the very reason I chose that particular DLC. It isn't essential to a casual ME fan, but for me, because Liara was the relationship option I chose, it wasn't important to the main plot but it did add a lot to my experience. I liked Fallout 3's DLC for the same reason. It wasn't just meaningless stuff. It continued the story, but it wasn't crucial .

Now, one pet peeve I have (and I'm about to have with Skyrim). They are going to come out with a GotY edition. And here I'll be with my copy, and none of those DLC. They ought to have a trade-in deal for people that have already bought the game. Once again, most of it comes down to price.

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Posted: 2nd March 2012 03:05

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BioWare's gone on the record saying there will be no GOTY/Ultimate/Complete edition for Mass Effect 2. DLC sales have stayed strong enough that they saw no reason to, and the PS3 version had most of the DLC built into it anyhow. Dragon Age: Origins did have one of those, though, and Dragon Age II still might.

Look, I don't care about DLC, honestly. I get really, really annoyed when gamers lament it and insist that games should "come with everything already" and whatnot. If you don't like it, don't indulge in it. Vote with your wallet.

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Posted: 2nd March 2012 03:34

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Quote (laszlow @ 1st March 2012 23:05)
BioWare's gone on the record saying there will be no GOTY/Ultimate/Complete edition for Mass Effect 2. DLC sales have stayed strong enough that they saw no reason to, and the PS3 version had most of the DLC built into it anyhow. Dragon Age: Origins did have one of those, though, and Dragon Age II still might.

Look, I don't care about DLC, honestly. I get really, really annoyed when gamers lament it and insist that games should "come with everything already" and whatnot. If you don't like it, don't indulge in it. Vote with your wallet.

Most the time, I do that, but not voluntarily. Most DLC I just can't afford after a couple hundred bucks worth of games I've paid for.

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Posted: 8th March 2012 04:24

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DLC that we do not have to pay for sounds great really.
Also DLC that's already on the disc which requires you pay extra to unlock simply annoys me.
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Posted: 8th March 2012 10:17

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Quote
Now, one pet peeve I have (and I'm about to have with Skyrim). They are going to come out with a GotY edition. And here I'll be with my copy, and none of those DLC. They ought to have a trade-in deal for people that have already bought the game. Once again, most of it comes down to price.


They should do something like, if you paid at least a certain amount for the game, you get the DLC in the GotY edition for free.

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Posted: 9th March 2012 03:47

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Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey @ 8th March 2012 06:17)
Quote
Now, one pet peeve I have (and I'm about to have with Skyrim). They are going to come out with a GotY edition. And here I'll be with my copy, and none of those DLC. They ought to have a trade-in deal for people that have already bought the game. Once again, most of it comes down to price.


They should do something like, if you paid at least a certain amount for the game, you get the DLC in the GotY edition for free.

Or maybe some kind of upgrade system. I mean, when you think about it, the GotY edition is basically them giving you free DLC anyways. It's just the game with added features for about the same price as the original.

You could say the same for something like ME3's collector's edition. Why not allow for certain parts of that package to become available separately later for a discounted price for those that bought your game? Gamers sacrifice a lot of money for products that are not essential for survival. We don't "need" video games. I would be much more likely to buy more DLC if there were some type of deal like you described.

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Posted: 9th March 2012 11:59

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That's all pipe dreams. The reason those GOTY editions exist is to try and create a new sales spike, and they simply don't do deals like the one you guys're suggesting* because people will pay for DLC just fine and see no reason to discount it. The reward for buying early is playing early, the reward for buying late is lower price.

*shortly after typing that I remembered the deal that Burnout Paradise did, giving more than 50% of the DLC free if you had an internet connection and registered the game online. Very consumer-friendly DLC model.

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