OXM recently sat down with Bethesda Vice President, Peter Hines in a podcast centered around DLC and their application to recent games. One subject that is a particularly sore subject with certain gamers is “Day One DLC.” If you aren’t familiar with this concept it’s pretty simple. It’s when a developer releases their game alongside additional downloadable content that has to be purchased at an additional price. For instance, recent Call of Duty titles often release with the option of purchasing additional maps at an extra cost.
Some gamers abhor this tactic and believe any content released with the game, or released for the game at all, should be included with the base game’s cost. Hines tries to explain that this extra content is not always being released with the game as an excuse to charge more money, but because of the development process.
“I don’t think they quite understand the development process and the point at which you have to stop making the game and you have to finish the game. So, the content people stop making new content a fair amount of time before it ships; it’s not like in the old days when it was like the day before or a week before.”
Starting any statement directed at consumers with “I don’t think they quite understand…” is usually never a good way to start off from a customer service viewpoint, but Hines does make excellent points and explains himself quite well. Hines also mentions his belief that DLC should be handled in much the same way the base game is handled, using a few main points that I’ve turned into questions any gamer should ask when judging a DLC:
- Is it complete content that delivers a good experience?
- Is the price appropriate for the content delivered?
In my own opinion, I feel that you have to look at it in a case-by-case basis. I would certainly be voicing a complaint against Day One DLC for a game that on it’s own felt unfinished. If, on the other hand, I play a game that I thoroughly enjoy then I would only welcome more content, whether or not I had pay for it.