DLC: The Good, the Bad, and the Huh?

Written by Barry Villatoro

Now usually I could care less about DLC. I rarely buy it,  I find nothing exciting about map packs although I could see why someone would buy them. If there’s a game you spend hundreds to thousands of hours on, of course you’re going to want more content. I have purchased content before for games like Mass Effect 2, Super Stardust HD, etc. I’m writing this because while viewing a recent trailer about a “true” ending for a game being added at DLC, for the first time I found myself being up set about DLC. I’ll break up my thoughts on DLC into three parts: positives, negatives and views and opinions I just don’t understand.

Positives: I’ve mostly viewed DLC as a positive addition to the current gaming culture. It offers a player that loves a particular game another way to extend their honeymoon period with that game. I can see why CoD players love map packs, I can see why players want more missions in Mass Effect and I can even see why players would want cosmetic items for characters in games. Why not? If a player wants a particular item and is willing to pay for it and enjoy it, great. If they’re happy making their purchase, then more power to them. If you love a particular game the more content the better.

DLC also let’s you tailor your experience with a game in a particular way. A friend of mine may experience Mass Effect in a different way depending on what DLC he did or didn’t have. I’d even like to see DLC broken up into smaller pieces for less money. For instance, instead of having to purchase a “weapon pack” or “map pack” let me purchase a particular gun or one map for less money. Map pack for $10, let me get one map for $2.50 because maybe I’m not interested in the other maps. For the most part I view DLC as more options for a player, as long as you’re never “forced” to purchase DLC and it’s just an option, it’s mostly great. You want a piece of DLC, buy it. Don’t want it? Don’t buy it.

Negatives: For the most part I think a lot of publishers and developers are doing DLC right. Adding more content to games people love. DLC starts to become slippery when it’s content that players view as being something that should have already been a part of the experience they’ve purchased, like Asura’s Wrath new DLC.

The new DLC for Asura’s Wrath is what got me thinking that DLC could get ugly. So for those of you that don’t know, Capcom is releasing DLC for Asura’s Wrath that shows the “true ending.” The players that purchased their game brand new for $60 and love it now have to spend more just to see the ending. Extra characters in a fighting game, I don’t care because there are still fighters to use, but a real ending? That’s like going to see a movie and they don’t tell you there’s no end until 20 minutes before, then they ask you for more money or you don’t get to see it. To me it’s not so much about the money as it is about the fact you gave me only part of a product. Don’t make me pay 50 cents for a song, stop half way through and ask for more money. Tell me how much the full song is and let me pay it, then go away and let me enjoy.

Huh?: I’ve personally never been upset by day one DLC or DLC that’s already on the disc, but I can understand how someone could feel slighted. Midnight launch, they purchase their game, head home throw the game in and bam, “Buy this DLC.” I can understand them going “WTF, I just bought this on day one? Why the hell do I have to buy something else already?” I give credit to the publishers that do this as an added bonus to those players that purchase a game new. You want to have day one DLC and not piss players off? Put a code in there for them to redeem. You reward those that purchase your game new and offer an incentive to buy new. Then at least the DLC is there for players that save $5 buying it used in 3 days.

Something I don’t understand it how someone can be upset over on disc DLC, but then say if it was off the disc it would be ok. So you would rather a developer leave it off the disc so not only could you give them your money but your time downloading a much bigger file as well, huh?

Also with something like what Gotham City Impostors did, someone may be upset that you could buy the in game items as well as level up and earn them. You’re mad because they gave you the option to buy? You don’t have to buy them, it’s just an option. Nothing is locked out from you earning it. But if you’d rather spend the money to buy a piece instead of earning it that’s you choice. Why not? You’d rather a developer give you less options on how you use your money or unlock content and not more?

Obviously the discussion of DLC could go on for much longer and these aren’t all my views and opinions on it, just some. Mainly, I think DLC is good as a whole. You want more content, buy it. If you don’t want it or don’t want to spend the money, then don’t.

Let me know some of your views and opinions on DLC in the comments. 

About the author

Barry Villatoro

Twitter : @IamWeapon | Former citizen of Azeroth and Atreia | Favorite fighting game - DefJam: Fight for New York | Favorite RPG - FF6 | MMA | Sushi | ATV's |


  • I don’t like the idea of DLC at all. When you grow up at a time where you could pay an extra $20 half a year after release to get basically a whole new game (Doom 3 and Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil for example), DLC leaves very little to be desired. Instead of paying $20 for an extra 10-20 hours of gameplay we are now spending $15 for an extra 1-4 hours of gameplay or $3-5 for a new costume.

    I have bought DLC 2 times. Once because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to play with my friends and family who did buy that content and once because it was for a game (Borderlands) that I already spent 500 hours on and knew I could get a few hundred more out of the DLC.

    I don’t like DLC and I never will, but I have come to grips with the fact that it will always be around and that we will never get our proper game expansion packs back.

  • I feel like I /want/ to agree with everything here, but quite frankly, I don’t. Day One DLC is some cases is what throws me off. When I first purchase a game, I’m already, in most cases, overwhelmed with the amount of information I have to take in with this game, and for them to offer me new missions before I’ve even finished the originals is too overwhelming. If I’m in love with the series like I am with a series like Halo or Gears of War, of course I’d buy it, but I’d want to know what the original game was like /before/ the DLC. For a game like Mass Effect 3, with it’s controversial DLC, this plucks a nerve. Not because I feel it should have been in the game, but because I feel it shouldn’t have been released day one. If anything, release it one week after the game comes out. That way, no one feels slighted, the game gets beaten before the DLC, and the experience is enriched. DLC is also an amazing way to draw players back into a game. I got Fallout: New Vegas for Christmas two years ago, and, not having a job like I do, I nearly never keep a game after I beat it. New Vegas though I have kept for almost two whole years because of the near-constant stream of DLC that was put out for it. A few months after, there was Dead Money, then in a few months, we got another, then another, and another every few months, sometimes before I even finished the last DLC! This continued to bring a game I loved back into my disc tray, while still having me pay for the DLC.

    Just my two cents, though.

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