By Madison Martinez
Any gamer, or person who is friends with a gamer who likes to rant, has probably heard of the controversial acronym that is DLC, short for Downloadable Content.
DLC is additional content for a video game that can be accessed by players who have paid money for it. These additions can come in many forms, from full new episodes in the game’s storyline to aesthetic horse armor, but the premise is always the same. Pay more money and get more content for your game.
However, how much money one pays and what one gets for it is the usual source of controversy.
DLC can be used as a way to expand a video game’s world and characters while also giving players a new experience. It’s a great incentive for creativity for game developers.
An example of this would be “The Last of Us: Left Behind.”
Released Feb. 2014, this stand-alone game tells the story of one of the main characters in the first game, Ellie. It acts as a prequel, but also gives players a unique gaming experience by switching out combat-based gameplay with more puzzle and stealth mechanics, all for the price of $14.99.
The Last of Us was a game well beloved by the gaming community for its touching story and realistic characters, and the DLC was met with similar praise.
So, when money goes to a product that is worth the price tag, gamers don’t have a problem with DLC.
The problem occurs when game developers create an incomplete game and expect people to pay extra money for the rest of the game.
This is usually referred to as a paywall.
An example of this would be in “Resident Evil: Revelations 2,” a horror game released in 2015. Capcom made the decision to release this game episodically, so every week the next addition of the game would be released with a new price tag.
This rubbed some gamers the wrong way because they could only get so far in the game before they had to buy new content.
Another example of DLC not being received well would be the DLC for Sims 4.
Sims 4 is a free life- simulation game where you can make people and control how they live their lives. However, compared to its predecessors, Sims 4 was a barren base game that was only fun once the DLC was introduced to spice things up. DLC gave the player the options of having pets or making vampires exist in their world.
Gamers found this insulting because the game should be fun to play on its own and not require paywalls to fully enjoy.
When all of the DLC together costs about $300, they may have a point.
The content they’re getting just might not be worth the large price tag.
There are cases where gamers will be upset no matter content is packaged as DLC.
Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is a fighting game for the Nintendo Switch that features over 70 characters.
Every character reveal brought about mixed reactions.
Overall, DLC can be a great opportunity to add more content to a game that gamers can’t get enough of, but everything comes with a price.
If gamers don’t want to pay the price because they feel like they are being cheated or the content just isn’t worth it, then one day they won’t.
The goal first and foremost for any game company should be to make good games, complete without tacking on extra things for 5 bucks each.
However, after they have finished making a product that people enjoy, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little more icing to the cake.
“Resident Evil: Revelations 2” uses DLC as a paywall, which upsets many gamers.