Siliconera Speaks Up: DLC — yay or nay?

By Louise Yang . August 9, 2009 . 9:00am


Are you willing to pay a premium price for DLC if you truly enjoy a game? Or should there be standard pricing?


Jenni: I’d like to be strong and say that I’d only pay standard pricing for DLC, but since I’ve already caved and purchased Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King DLC (and possibly even My Life as a Darklord DLC in the future), I’ll cave and admit I’m willing.


I won’t do it all the time, but if there’s a game that I genuinely enjoy, I know I’m going to be playing for a substantial amount of time and I have some spare change or Wii Points lying around, I’ll cave.


Louise: I don’t mind DLC as long as pricing is fair and it doesn’t limit or gimp the original game if I don’t buy it. If I’m paying full price for a 360 game, there’s a certain amount of gameplay and content that I expect to be on the disk. Extra song packs in games like Rockband are acceptable in terms of DLC for me. If a game feels incomplete or the publisher is pushing DLC such as super powerful weapons or armor in an RPG then I would get pretty ticked off.


For example, with Street Fighter IV, I’m actually pretty happy with the DLC. I didn’t buy any of it because I don’t care much about costumes, but I can understand why other players would want to buy it. At the same time, I’m not at a disadvantage because I didn’t buy the costume. If Capcom had released other characters as DLC, I would probably feel differently.


Laura: I’m not all too familiar with DLC, since I generally stick with good ol’ games that aren’t connected to the internet, or at least, games that can be played without an internet. If the game has an internet multiplayer option or something, I generally don’t use it.


So anyways, theoretically, if it was something I really, really wanted but couldn’t get elsewhere, then I would probably pay the premium pricing. I mean, I’d love to pay only standard, but the companies have their situations and reasons as to why something’s priced higher.


Spencer: I usually don’t buy cosmetic enhancements like costumes or anything like that. Like Louise I understand why people want to buy them though. The only kind of DLC I’ve felt satisfied with are side stories or extra levels.


Nippon Ichi went overboard with extra characters for Disgaea 3, but The Raspberyl Chapters is an example of “good DLC”. It’s a full blown expansion pack for $20. Selvaria’s mission pack for Valkyria Chronicles was excellent too since it turned the tables on the story and put players in control of the enemy.


What I hope publishers do in the future is sell International version extras as DLC in North America. For example, we might not get Final Fantasy XIII International Lightning Strikes Twice Edition or Kingdom Hearts III Truly Final Mix, but we’ll get the extra dungeons and the inevitable bonus movie that hints at the next Kingdom Hearts spin-off.


Ishaan: It really depends on the content that’s being offered. On the one hand, you have Dragon Quest IX with new downloadable quests each week for free simply to help decrease the amount of trade-in on the game in Japan. It’s great value for money overall, but it’s there because it needs to be.


On the other end of the spectrum, you have the the DLC in My Life as a Darklord, which is something I’ve — much to the dismay of many — bitched about on multiple occasions. Would I want extra stuff in my Crystal Chronicles game? Of course I would. My Life as a King had great DLC and everyone loved it. Darklord, however, is a tower defense game, and if it’s not suited to downloadable content that offers genuine value for money, well…they shouldn’t have made it tower defense in the first place?


Needless to say, I’d much rather pay for weekly quests than for costumes and tower defense units and spells. Premium pricing even, depending on the rewards offered by the quest.


Street Fighter IV is another point of contention. Having to pay for costumes is really pretty lame, but you wouldn’t hear anyone say that about paying for a “Separate Ways” scenario in RE5. It comes down to reward and the value and the satisfaction that the extra content offers.

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  • Hello Hello

    I have no problem with DLC as long as it’s a post-development add-on to a game, and not something that’s locked on a disc, or something that was finished pre-release but is being sold separately anyway.

    I’m re-playing through Mass Effect right now, and I really wish Bioware would release that second DLC quest already. >:(

    • I was about to type this almost exactly. I always thought DLC could be a fun concept that added to my games, not take away from them. We are finding ourselves paying more than we did for games in previous gens and getting less for it, just so they can makes us pay for a bonus dungeon or new attack that should have been there in the first place.

  • John Deriso

    If I am paying 70$ for a game, then that had better be the complete and total game.

    DLC is just a way to get you to pay more for the same thing. That 20$ DLC just made your 70$ game a 90$ game that you can’t really sell or trade in the future, or even lend to a friend because the added content is locked down. That sucks. That really, really sucks.

    • thaKingRocka

      just fyi,
      $70 vs 70¢

    • John Deriso

      Thanks for the correction. I can see how people would have no idea what I was talking about if you didn’t point that out.

  • No thank you.

  • The biggest issue I have with the DLC fleecing is the new trend of DLC pre order bonuses or limited edition exclusive DLC. Horrible practice. Look at what they are doing for games like Uncharted 2 now, a different pre order DLC bonus at each participating retailer? What the hell is that?

    • I get annoyed by the pre-order DLC bonuses too. Especially since GameStop seems to have a lot of them, but I *never* shop there anymore.

  • lostinblue

    paid DLC? No thank you.

    I’ll even boycott it.

  • QBasic

    For me it’s simple.

    If it’s append-material, then yay. But if it’s just lines of codes that unlock material already there on the disc (ala SCIV), then FUCK NAY.

  • Volcynika

    If it’s substantial DLC, I’ll probably pay for (Raspberyl DLC for Disgaea 3). Otherwise, I’ll probably pass. The trend I hate lately is stuff like getting DLC for ONLY preordering games at something like GameStop. That’s just stupid. (Yes, I realize it’s to incentivize buyers into purchasing the product there, but still).

  • Guest

    DLC is really a double-edged sword.

    Games like Burnout Paradise have done it very well. A game with plenty of content on it’s own was then given free DLC. Then the choice of more paid content. On the other side of the spectrum you have DLC as cheat codes, exclusive pre-order DLC and $3 costumes.

    Games need to feel like full experiences before DLC is considered. I don’t mind having the option of $1 costumes when there are already several to choose from. I don’t mind paying $10 for a meaningful expansion that adds hours of gameplay. But when they are obviously of the mind-set that they’ll scrape by with the bare minimum then nickel and dime us for what was held back, it becomes a very frustrating experience.

  • I rather they give me the minor stuff in the final product. If it’s full-blown stuff I’ll bite.

  • I won´t buy downloadable content for every game. Only those that I want. Best yet is Cross Edge, gives away downloadable content for free :)

    Having extra characters added like in Disgaea 3 with their own personal reason for joining, thus making it an extra story bit is just awesome. And it comes as a 3 pack most often as well. That I can pay a small amount of money for.

    But extra costumes for Street Figher IV characters? It doesn´t enhance my gameplay just changing the visual of the characters.

    Unlocking already existing content in the game though is not something I want to do.

    Paying for a game that comes as download only I think should be a bit less in price than a ordinary game as I don´t get any case for the disc, not a instructions manual or any kind of bonus. Thus I don´t think it´s worth the full price.

  • thaKingRocka

    When I first bought new maps for Project Gotham Racing 2 back in the day, I thought DLC was a pretty cool idea. Things have gotten out of hand now, and some companies are really taking all the goodness right out of it. EA and Activision are major offenders. EA had the whole cheat code and unlockable nonsense. Activision is worse though. Because of Call of Duty: WaW, I’ve really come to hate DLC. There are now 3 map packs at 10 bucks a piece. That adds 30 dollars to the original purchase price of 60. Now, when I try to join MP matches, I get booted again and again for not having the maps to join in. I paid my money, and I want to play my game. I don’t see why they don’t separate the DLC owners from the disc-only consumers. I can’t stand it when a group vetoes a map because it is DLC that most players in the room don’t have, and then that map is replaced with another DLC map that not a one of us has either. I really would love to kick Activision, Treyarch, and whoever else was involved with this DLC plan squarely in the nuts.

    DLC should be something like the expansions we’re used to seeing in PC games (I paid for Shivering Isles as DLC and I loved it) or it should be something like the extra costumes in SF4, where they don’t have any impact on the game. I agree with Louise there. Those costumes are priced ridiculously, so I let my wallet’s silence do the talking for me there. ;)

  • Advent_Andaryu

    I don’t understand why so many people dislike DLC. If you like it, buy it. If you don’t, then forget about it. No one is making you buy it…

    It’s like, if you really like a game, and you conquer it completely, DLC is a way to add a little bit back to it, so it keeps things fresh and extends replayability. For those that don’t finish games and move from game to game on a daily basis, DLC is pointless for them.

  • Jaxel

    Its very simple for me… If the game is DONE when its released, then I don’t mind DLC. So often I see parts of a game purposely held back, so that a company can charge extra for it later. Fallout 3 is great, because its genuinely new content, but stuff like Prince of Persia or Street Fighter is just insulting.

  • JeremyR

    Most the DLC I’ve bought is cars for racing games. The stuff for Forza (which later came free in the greatest hits version, d’oh) and Test Drive Unlimited.

    That I don’t mind, because usually it’s one car I really really love and getting to drive it is a lot of fun.

    Forza’s downside was its additional tracks, they could only be used online, which was a big let down.

    I did get the DLC for Mass Effect, but never actually got around to playing it. (Came out after I finished, and I just couldn’t stand another run through to access it).

    I think that was a bad way to handle DLC (and perhaps why they gave up doing it on ME), it should be stuff after the game, not in the middle.

    • I think the Mass Effect DLC has been some of the BEST available as an example of what companies SHOULD be doing. I do see where you’re coming from that you can’t access it instantly IF you’ve beaten the game already and have absolutely NO saves anywhere except the one after you’ve beaten it.

      Honestly, that game is always going to be played more than once anyway. Also, in the broad scheme of things it takes maybe 30 minutes after a New Game + to actually access that mission… Maybe I’m just a ME nut, though.

  • I’ll say for me it really comes down to value of the content and the game itself.
    Think about this; would you pay and d/l the cheats for multilayer mode in Goldeneye 64? I don’t know. I’d have to see how they slice and dice that. I won’t say it wouldn’t be worth it, but I’d be hardpressed being a completest in this situation. That’s how I see it.

    [email protected] has an excellent DLC set-up; costumes and music. Completely optional but really adds to the experience for the fans to enjoy again and again. A game like [email protected] was made for this – or the other way around, really.
    Some games can really improve with some DLC while others should pull back a bit and really look at what they’re doing. I guess it really depends on what players want.

  • Jirin

    I hate DLC. If you’re charging full price for a game, I want the full game. It’s fine if the DLC is free. I also wouldn’t mind if they worked hard to create an entirely new spinoff that happened to use the same game engine and sprites and then paid for it.

    But when you manage it like FFIV: The After Years or Disgaea 3, it’s just plain stupid. You’re paying extra just to get the full game, or you’re paying just to gain access to some extra sprite which probably took them a few minutes to add in.

    The way things are going, video games are going to be run like collectible card games. Like Magic: The Gathering where they keep declaring old sets illegal and forcing you to buy tons of new cards. We’ll have, say, MMORPGs where you have to pay extra to get new ability sets which trump all the old ones. Or games where you pay for the first chapter and get charged for every extra chapter. It’s ridiculous. I will not pay full price without getting the full game, and I will not pay extra unless I’m getting entirely new content, separate from the original game.

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