Disclaimer: I haven’t lost my mind. This is an attack on game add-ons, not my beloved arcade games. I thought the title was self-explanatory but apparently not. Arcade games are and always will be one of my favourite things in the gaming world. So, without further ado, let’s get to the blog!

Once upon a time, it feels like such a long time ago, games came in complete packages. There wasn’t any option to add stuff in later. If you didn’t get it in the game you had to hope you could use it in the sequel. Then came Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. First we had a smattering of increased difficulties with no added achievements. A great example of this is Kameo: Elements of Power. It was a launch title and therefore got given a few fun downloads for people who had maxed it. Just little items for those who really wanted to master the game, in a time when retail releases had a bit more breathing room. They didn’t cost much and they were fun, but that was unfortunately only the beginning.

Then came the wonders of the “omg! you actually bought that?!” era. A time where every games developer was rubbing their hands with glee after it was discovered that we would buy anything. With a huge amount of (obviously overly wealthy) gamers snatching up Oblivion‘s horse armour (a pointless reskin DLC that over five years later, we are STILL buying!), it appeared that there was nothing we wouldn’t buy.  Cue piles of character skins, “legendary” weapons and other pointless items that us gamers would shell out for. Still, that wasn’t essentially a problem, just a laughable piece of social commentary.

Really?! We're STILL buying it?!

Then came EA‘s domination and lust for, not only wonderful games, but also the maximum profit that could be squeezed from them. Just think of the Mass Effect franchise as a lemon juiced till it’s dry. Just a waxen skin, with a few hanging pips left. Not a drop of juice to spare. Next to it, the equally pitiful sight of the Assassin’s Creed orange. But it wasn’t just EA who made this mangled fruit bowl – they just utilised it on such a scale that those living in Alaska couldn’t help but notice. The point however, was clear. Why make a game complete, when you can sell two thirds of a game at full price and then portion out the rest for more money? It’s obvious business sense, but ludicrously enraging for the common gamer. Suddenly, the marketplace is filled with additional levels, modes and characters… all conveniently ready to go within a week of the game’s release. Are we to honestly believe these items were whipped up that quickly? Not a chance. They just wanted to see if we’d pay for it… and we did.

I loved you Kasumi. Shame you lost the power of speech outside of your 1st mission.

Downloadable content should give you something new and special. Undead Nightmare, the main DLC for Rockstar‘s Red Dead Redemption is a perfect example of this. The game takes place on the same terrain but everything is reskinned. The zombie hordes require completely new strategies compared to the old gunslinger and it feels like something new. Gone are the days when I thought I should buy all the DLC to complete the story (yes, I’m talking to you, Alan Wake). The story should be complete on its own. Don’t we deserve the maximum bang for our buck?! Anything else added to the game should be different – not just a way to buy more achievements or sell us the level they took out. DLC has stopped adding to games and become a blight on the gaming world. I, for one, am tired of forking over my money because a game is incomplete without it. As far as I’m concerned, DLC is dead. RIP DLC; I can only hope you rise like the phoenix, more wonderful than ever.






7 responses to “RIP DLC”

  1. Arkayla avatar

    I’ve not got too much of a problem with DLC but it has gone too far now. What bothers me is the packs you mention that were clearly just removed and added a very short while later, L.A. Noire had a few cases taken out for DLC purposes and Deus Ex already has an announced pack and it’s not even 2 weeks old yet!

  2. Zoey avatar

    Fruit Ninja has just released the second dlc already. LA Noire and Deus Ex shouldn’t have been tampered with. Either it works as the story so leave it in, or it doesn’t so bin it! I don’t begrudge spending my money on games but this has to stop…

  3. Mark P avatar

    That recent Castlevania game was a bastard for this too, when you finished the game you’re given an epilogue that makes literally zero sense unless you buy and play the two DLC packs released. Did I mention that the first DLC pack was terrible and the second was nightmarishly difficult, even by the rest of the game’s standards? It was the biggest “thanks for buying our game, now fuck you” ever.

  4. […] seemingly endless milking of money from games via DLC. Is it worth the extra money? Read more in RIP DLC Downloadable content should give you something new and special. Undead Nightmare, the main DLC for […]

  5. WanEye avatar

    I think we gamers need to be very wary of the future of DLC. If we’re not careful a retail game will consist of a single menu screen with options to buy the actual gameplay. I do think that Rockstar got it right with both GTA IV and RDR. Both retail games are more than substantial on their own and the DLC are also quite substantial and provide an extension to the games if you still require more. Never understood why anyone would buy skins etc. But each to their own I suppose.

  6. […] up we have Ready Up’s Zoey Maynard looks at the nasty side of game ad-ons RIP DLC Once upon a time, it feels like such a long time ago, games came in complete packages. There […]

  7. Jason Potter avatar
    Jason Potter

    100% agree with this very well written Zoey

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