The DLC Craze

Why does every game throw DLC at us these days? Is it our fault?

Oh, how the times have changed in the gaming realm. There once was a time where you bought a game for $60 and you were satisfied. You beat it to completion and were left feeling at peace, knowing that you achieved all you possibly could. Then somewhere along the line, the idea of DLC (downloadable content) slowly crept its way into the gaming world, and it has not only changed how we play games, but how developers make them as well.

More often than not, if you want to play a game in full in today’s day and age, you have to fork over some extra dough. In addition to the $60 you already pay, you then have to pay $20 – $25 for that season pass to get all of the DLC that will be coming out in waves in the months ahead. And you aren’t going to not buy that DLC, because let’s face it, you want to beat the game in its entirety and discover everything that particular game has to offer. You can’t bear the thought of not experiencing what so many others will, you need to have it. Like a fish on a hook, we all bite at the bait. This is what developers want, they know they’ve got us.

I feel like developers use DLC to their advantage and leverage it over gamers. I honestly believe that they intentionally leave out some stuff in the primary story mode or whatever so they can “add to it” later on. If the story is shorter than anticipated, it leaves the player craving more, which is precisely what they want; marketing 101. These developers probably have the full game developed before the initial release, and that includes the DLC. It’s just an easy way for these corporations to earn easy extra money from gamers because they know the ones dedicated to the game will not refuse that extra money. They will hand it over without thinking of it. The cost for these games might as well be marked $85 because that’s what you must pay in full to experience the game in its entirety for what it indeed is.

Now part of this problem lies on us, the consumer. We need to say “NO” to the big man, that we demand the best from them and their product. If I am paying an extra $25 for a game, I want it to be worth it. Too many times I have played DLC, whether it be extra story-mode or new online maps, and I felt like I was playing it just to play it. It wasn’t fun or interesting. There was nothing extraordinary added that made me feel like “yeah, this is different, this made the experience way better.” Another thing too is the fact that by the time DLC starts rolling out, you’ve already beaten the game and put it in your rearview window for another. It gets tough to go back to an older game, where you have to take some time to relearn the controls and figure out where the story left you off again. We need to come together and speak with our wallets, but that’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

Maybe us gamers should unionize. We have the power to change the gaming world and better it for those who shall game long after we are gone. Something needs to be done because we are being taken advantage of in some way, shape, or form. These game developers know that they can get away with selling unexciting, borderline compelling DLC to consumers. It is an offer that too many can’t refuse. So the ultimate question is – can YOU refuse? I know I am too weak to.

Grant Pfost, your gamer bro, enjoys long binges on the couch when he's not binge drinking like he's still in college. A connoisseur of tv and film, Grant hopes his articles will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the little things in life.

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