Downloadable content, or if you will: DLC; words that are anticipated, words to be feared, words to be loved. The gradual trickle that used to be has now become a tide and it seems that its proverbial ocean is washing away our hard earned cash little by precious little. In all seriousness, we are drowning in the stuff. Take the Sims for example. It’s an EA game and maybe that’s all I need to say but if you didn’t know, it thrives on little content packs and additions. On the steam store right now, I count 19 separate bits of the stuff for it. Payday 2: one of the most played games on steam is swathed in DLC. Civilization V (another of the most played) has less so, but I still count 15. Borderlands 2, I don’t even want to say but it’s far from the worst offender.
Don’t get me wrong. I love DLC. I’m a sucker for it. Who can resist new content for the games you love? It’s excellent. Maybe you’ve gotten a little bored of them but whatever; here comes this tiny little digital package to revive it for you. Too often though, a game has been released with the absolute minimum in content and it’s expected of consumers, to make the game passable, to buy every last scrap of “content” companies chuck at us, right down to the £5 gun pack that has 4 guns total and exactly 0 you’ll actually use after finding the free ones were better anyway. In cases like that, the tiny digital package of game reviving sweetness becomes a tiny digital slap to the face and wallet to boot.
There are those of course with the mind-set that if you don’t want to get ripped off then don’t buy the DLC. Well, they certainly have a point there. But if I’m frank, the prospect of being ripped off should never have to enter into the equation. The DLC is supposed to be an addition to improve the game and if it’s not worth what it costs then it can’t be much of an improvement. So why do companies waste their time on crap that, at best, just barely improves their games when they could be doing something more worthwhile?
…Because some companies are thieving money grabbing bastards. Oh whoops, I mean they over-value, over-hype and under-develop content that’s pushed out of their doors. Like I said earlier, a lot of “developers” it seems are developing nothing more than an increasing habit to release games in unfinished states and just drip drab the full thing onto us slowly behind multiple £5 pay walls. That is of course if the whole thing arrives at all… But that’s another issue. (Bloody early access shit.)
…Anyway. DLC. Dee-el-see. It seems kind of like companies feel an obligation to provide some added content of some sort these days. They’re even planned out ahead of the games release. Hell, they’re often planned before they even finish making the game and the ever growing number of season passes can attest to that. It’s just one of those trends that started with good intentions but has slowly devolved. Someone took fully fledged expansion packs and miniaturised them. The idea must have got slightly lost in the translation that is society and then taken maybe a bit too far. Definitely too far in fact… Now this is just my humble opinion, but personally, I think it is absolute bullshit that a handful of different looking skins for weapons or characters can be called DLC. I mean yes technically a weapon skin can be downloadable but to call it content is like calling potato peel a meal. Yes okay, if we have to be serious, yes potato peel is food but no I don’t want to eat it and I will choose not to. However if the person offering me that meal could have spent their time cooking some lovely chips then yes, even though they didn’t force the stupid potato peel on me, I think I’d be justified in being annoyed that they didn’t cook the chips. I feel much the same with games. If developers could just not waste their time making pathetic money runs maybe they’d make superior games and accidentally make something worth actually buying.