Thoughts on DLC & Expansion Packs
We all have an opinion on it, the elephant in the room. Downloadable Content (DLC) and Expansion Packs to games. Some people on the internet (Haha, where else) are up in arms. Crazy people they are. But hey, let's get my opinion out of the way.
DLC? It's not a bad thing. I understand that recently it's had a bad image because games are coming out ("unfinished") with day one DLC available to buy. This? This I hate, and am in total agreement with the rest of the internet. I understand that you're pressured to get a game out by a specific date and that isn't always achievable. But don't charge us for that DLC that is "day one." Patch it in, day one.
That's another thing too... Day one patches. I honestly do not mind them. I understand that the game comes out with bugs and critical problems. Again, I understand that you're pressured to get the game out by a specific date. I know that there's a cut off where your game/software goes to production and gets stamped on a DVD. A day one patch allows the developer to continue working on the game after that stage. Fix those issues as soon as you can, day one is the soonest that patch can download! I will take it, if it legitimately fixes issues.
Back to Day one DLC. Unless it's free, I don't want it. Don't cut parts of your game off and sell it to get a few more dollars. Sadly, I know it works. Some people fall for it - in fact a lot of people must since you continue to do it! I guess if you think about it, it's a guaranteed win.
A game is $59.99 for example. You will sell 100,000 copies with or without day one DLC. People say they're going to boycott the game, but they don't. They want that game. So after those sales, if even ONE person buys that DLC for $5, bingo - exactly what you aimed to do succeeded.
The customer, at least this customer, hates it. This is why Indie games are taking off. They come out when they're DONE, and extra DLC comes out later. The game was developed with love and care with the consumer in mind (Most times). These AAA titles lack that same care, and are looking for the dollars. I get it, the next guy gets it, but it's still wrong. You might make more money, but you destroy your image.
I guess if everyone does it, then everyone's image is equally poor. Another reason why the Indie scene is taking off and being supported significantly.
Now, onto Expansion Packs. I'm talking about things like "Sims 3 Showtime" compared to "Sims 3." An actual 'expansion' as it is labelled. I know an expansion pack is practically the same as DLC, but the argument I want to make is different...
Essentially, thinking entirely digital here, if I buy The Sims 3 on Steam, I cannot buy its expansions from another retailer. This is a pain in the ass when it's on crazy sale somewhere else because I'm gridlocked into playing The Sims 3 from Steam. Yes, Steam has the ability to add a Non-Steam game with the key to add it to your account; this doesn't always work. Inputting a Sims 3 CD Key into Steam is no-go. I've tried.
But I cannot prefer CD over Digital in this case; it's not often the CD version of a game goes on sale! Yeah, I own near 400 Steam games. Steam IS my Digital Distributor of choice, that is for sure. But if Impulse has a sale on an expansion I want, I cannot take advantage of it because I'm stuck with Steam. Ugh, Expansion Packs. Maybe they just shouldn't be so expensive (I'm looking at you, EA!)