By Swick 35 Comments
There’s a lot of hate on DLC whether it be more content or a day one patch, and I get that. In a lot of ways it feels like we’re being sold parts of the game that should have been in the original product, and this is true in some cases. But, I would like to present the other side of this. People like to paint the DLC picture as publishers having to make a predetermined marketing date under any circumstances. There’s a good deal more to it than that. I would actually argue that the DLC out there has greatly improved the quality of our experiences.
First, the concept of shipping a broken or incomplete game existed long before the inception of DLC. All console video games must go through certification on their respective platforms, mostly because the manufacturers don’t want to look bad with a potentially broken game. Any time a game gets rejected it goes back to the publisher for more coding and testing, this means delays. Not only delays for the publisher but for the platform as well. Microsoft and Sony both had a big incentive to get titles on the shelves, it meant a greater revenue stream for them as hardware providers and licensers. So with an especially popular release, like say San Andreas was, it was much more likely that Sony would look the other way when a bug pops up because it would mean a delay in their own money. This is especially true if one platform gets certified rather than the other, it’s a huge sales loss for the console version that gets delayed. A conflict of interest for sure, but one that makes a good deal of sense for all business parties. The end result would be the user ending up with quasi-broken game with plenty of content that development had thought of that couldn’t make it by the submission date.
Today gamers find themselves in a similar situation, just with greater visibility. But this difference is that developers actually have the capability of fixing issues and adding content. Most people seem to view this as a potential excuse for releasing buggy games or not putting in content. While that may be true, in my mind, that problem is vastly outweighed by the idea that problems get fixed and great games get more content (neither of which were even possible before).