Hey folks, this is a new type of editorial I have wanted to try for some time now. One in which we try to spark lively debates by debating issues ourselves and then opening up the debate in our forums. This week my good friend Jeffprime and I are going to have a spirited debate over the pros and cons of DLC (downloadable content). We hope to offer differing viewpoints of the subject and start, what we both agree, should be a great discussion in our community.
Mattlow: Ill start us off on this one. I personally am opposed to DLC in all forms, period. I see no redeeming quality to the concept, and believe that it is simply used by developers and publishers as a way to fleece as much money from customers as possible. Its a dirty and underhanded way of grabbing every penny they can for regurgitated work.
Jeffprime: DLC is incredibly useful. For starters, it enhances the value of the game by adding additional content. It also extends the life of a game because with periodic DLC, the game is kept fresh and in the minds of gamers. Normally when a game is released, its a big flash, and then it disappears after a few months after everybody has played. Youre also forgetting that by providing new content using an existing game platform, the developers can create new content much more easily and quickly.
Mattlow: I hear what you are saying, but its still shit! We have gone from a time when DLC released months after the release of the game, to now many games have DLC on the first day the game is released. Thats not adding value, thats charging me for content that should be in the game already. Here is a novel idea, all the content you have ready at release day should be included in the game, for free.
Jeffprime: I do agree with you that a game should be released complete. However, that doesnt mean that there isnt room for additional content to be released a month later. We both know that there are always ideas that dont make it in the finished product, but can be used later on. Why do you hate adding content to a game? Besides, many companies do release DLC for free. Also, DLC is used to help against software piracy, which costs game companies millions. I dont know about you, but I prefer game companies to remain in business so they can continue to make games for me to play.
Mattlow: I will refrain from talking about piracy for now (thats a topic for another editorial) but I will say, you sound just like a corporate shill. There is simply no reason for DLC. Give us $5 for a new NPC quest. Or my favorite, Pay us $2.50 if you want armor for your horse. Here is a crazy notion, save up all that DLC, and put it all into the next expansion pack for the game instead of trying to milk every nickel out of me for craptastic half assed quests and overpowered items. How about spend that time making your next game better. Have you ever noticed that all the items available in DLC are far more powerful than the items in game? Ya, Im sure that has nothing at all to do with being a slimy underhanded way of grabbing money. No, Im sure they had wanted to put those items in the game at release, they just didnt have time. While we are at it, lets just say that movie studios care about the art of films, and game companies only care about making great games.
Jeffprime: My, arent we grumpy today? Did Mattlow fail yet again to get his shiny raid item again? I have no problems paying a few bucks for some extended gameplay. Now, paying $5 for a single quest is insane. Paying $5 for a chain of quests that takes me hours to do isnt. Besides, waiting for an official expansion takes a lot of time. Consumer interest fades after a bit. Why not release smaller content updates to keep the game fresh? Your favorite game company in all the universe, BioWare, does it. Defend that!
Mattlow: Can I ask you a question Prime? When did you sell out to the man? Did they pay you enough? Was it worth selling your soul and becoming the mouth piece of Satan? I hope you got a great new computer rig with all the trimmings for it. Yes, I love BioWare. They are one of the few game companies that I trust to put out one smash hit after another. Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Knights of The Old Republic, Baulders Gate, I loved them all, and of course I cant wait for The Old Republic. BioWare is making my great white whale there. With that said, they are like that rich uncle you have. You love them, they pay your way through college, but they also molest you. BioWare touches me in an inappropriate way when it comes to their use of DLC. One crappy piece of DLC after another spews forth from their gaping money sucking jaw. I keep swearing I will never buy any more, but then they release something else, they tell me how awesome it will be, and hey, they are BioWare, if you cant trust them, who can you trust. So I give them my $5 and they smile as they molest me again.
What they should do instead of small DLC
Jeffprime: The only thing Im selling out for is more gameplay. There is a lot of great DLC out there for you to enjoy. Shooters are an obvious example, where new maps and bad guys are introduced. I spent a lot of time killing zombies in Borderlands when they released that DLC, and it was money well spent! New zones, new enemies, new weapons, and new quests make the original game even better. Why do you hate progress? Should a game stay unsullied and pure after the initial release? You must hate patching too!
Mattlow: Well said Mouth Piece of Satan. I see your forked tongue, and know what you are trying to do. While I admit, that I have on a rare occasion found a piece of DLC that I liked. That is by far the minority, no more than 15% of the time. You cant piss on my leg and tell me its raining. DLC is the spawn of Satan, and you the mouthpiece.
Jeffprime: Well, pardon my forked tongue, whiny forum flamer, but I CAN SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT GAMES! Most games that are released suck, plain and simple. There are a small percentage of games that are awesome and provide me with a ton of gameplay and a great experience. Do you deny that the vast percentage of games released isnt worth spending money on? Dont lie! I know your feelings on this because Ive heard you bitch enough times about it. Why do you hate gaming? Why?
Mattlow: Well, since I am very close to bringing Hitler into this, and how you would support a video game made by the Nazis, it might be time for us to end this here. I will simply say that DLC embodies everything that is wrong with our industry today. Charging me money for what should be in the game at release is slimy. If you cant get the content into release, push back release, or wait and add the content in the next expansion. Or, here is a novel approach, give me the extra content that should have been in release for free.
Jeffprime: I agree with you that a game should be released complete. I would love to shoot the bastards who have DLC on the day a game is released. However, just because one company abuses DLC doesnt mean that DLC is bad. You abuse the English language, but I dont call for its boycott. In the end, DLC extends the life of a game and provides fresh content for a much lower price than a whole new expansion. Besides, if a game was pushed back, you would be the first to start shouting Vaporware!
Well, thats it for our first debate. We hope you will join in the discussion on our forums. However please refrain from calling anyone Hitler, or Satan I got a bit carried away.