Friday, January 23, 2009

Downloadable content

There are several new "big things" in the game industry this generation. There's motion controls, full online multiplayer experiences, and DLC. Downloadable content offers game developers ways to extend gamer's playtimes and keep them (and their wallets) coming back for more. But is DLC necessarily a good thing?

In my opinion, it depends on how it's used. Take Harmonix's Rock Band, I think they're doing a great job. Rock Band has so many songs available for download, satisfying almost anyone's rock music needs. Every downloadable song combined would cost you more than the game itself. Plus Harmonix has done a great job in being able to use songs in both Rock Band and Rock Band 2 and seamless integration from and to both. It's moves like Harmonix's that show the true possibilities of downloadable content and how convenient it really is.

But then there's other publishers and developers that misuse DLC. I don't want to play through most of the game only to realize I have to play some money to buy the final chapters once they're available for download. I don't want to buy difficulties and other modes that should have already been in the game. And I definitely don't want to have to spend money on stupid hats and clothes for in game characters and avatars. What about in game currency and gold? Fine, just don't make me pay my real, hard earned money for stupid things like shirts and hairstyles.

So while some developers and publishers (like previously mentioned Harmonix) do downloadable content very well, the industry still has a long ways to go. DLC should be something gamers go to once the main game's over to keep them coming back. It shouldn't be crucial for entertainment and completely necessary to enjoy the most of your game.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

No comments:

Post a Comment