Saturday, November 12, 2011

On Disk DLC

(My apologies if this is random/not very well thought out today. I'm in a tad of a rush because I'm helping around the house)

This is kinda a problem now a days (I'll talk about DRM later)

On Disk DLC.

DLC (or Downloadable Content) is either a bane or boon of the modern digital based gaming culture. It can be generally anything. New Skins for characters to change how they look, a new map for the latest shooter, or a game add on for post game content. Sometimes glitch fixes and character balances come along for the ride too.

Three companies, for me, that do DLC right are

1) Media Molecule with "Little Big Planet". Alot of the material is available for free so DLC covers new costumes (such as Solid Snake, Ezio, Cloud, etc) or new levels that have a new mechanic added in (Such as Metal Gear Solid's levels with the Paintinator and Pirates of the Caribbean's levels with water focus) They sincerely listen to the community and try to get costumes and levels that the fans want.

2) Harmonix/EA with "Rockband" (series). The DLC just keeps on coming so it's become absolutely apparent by now there just wasn't enough room on the disk to have all of this music. Add in licensing issues and some music not being released when the game came out... it leads to respect on my end that they keep this coming.

3)Criterion/EA WITH "Burnout: Paradise City" There was a lot of DLC provided for free and when you paid it was for the higher end items like the "Famous Cars" pack or the ENTIRE ISLAND that they added to the game.

(Special Notice goes to Square Enix who up until now generally refused to put DLC into their game so that was nice since what was on the disk is the entire game. No shelling out of extra money required)

So, what about the other games? Well, let's look at something like Fighting Games.
Before, Alternate costumes would be something to be unlocked on the disk and they would look different from their main costumes aside from recoloring. (As this was sprite based it would, admittedly, be a bit easier) Now most costumes are added in as DLC. Most people want to know why they can't just unlock these costumes. It gets worse.

Sometimes the material is already on the disk and you're just buying (or preordering) a key to do this. (this can be noticed if the downloaded item is incredibly small) These Keys used to be in game flags, like "Beat the boss in 3 minutes" for example. However turning them into something to buy for a few dollars turns the costumes from a badge of honor for gamers into a grab for money by producers.

Then there is problems like with "Marvel Vs Capcom 3" where if you preordered at Gamestop you would get the Jill and Shuma Gorath DLC. "Great!" you may say, except these two are almost completely on disk.

No, really, apparently it's only slightly buggy.

This was done only to influence preorders, which makes it a money grab.

If the DLC is sincerely off disk, I don't mind. Things get cut during production and sometimes they have time later to remedy this. Other times they just couldn't get it to work license wise. Sometimes the disk is just packed full of data and the only way it can be in game is when it's downloaded. I understand these. Not to mention that gaming is expensive to produce and it's always a gamble. So, now that people will buy DLC, it makes sense to put some into the games.

But why pay $2 for these costumes, when they are already on the disk?

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