I genuinely dislike DLC. The principle of providing additional content for a title post-launch is sound on paper, but more often than not developers abuse this method to milk money out of the player. I often find myself pining for the Super Nintendo era, where the only two options were to ship a game completed or to not ship it at all.
TotalBiscuit, overseas game commentator extraordinaire, has called attention to the most recent example of DLC-gone-wrong in his latest video. Bioware announced this week that it’s planning to release a DLC pack for Mass Effect 3 the day the game launches. This additional content will be complimentary for those who bought the pricey collector’s edition of the game, but everyone else will have to pay 10 dollars.
Why is this unacceptable? TotalBiscuit points out that if the DLC pack is ready on launch day, it was developed simultaneously with the rest of the game. That means Bioware is charging extra for a piece of content they’ve carved out of the vanilla release. Adding insult to injury, the DLC pack will contain a playable Prothean character. I’m not a Mass Effect lore buff, but apparently having a Prothean in your party is a huge deal.
TotalBiscuit has called for a boycott of the game, and I’ll be joining him. This is more an act of solidarity than anything else; I’ve been lukewarm on Bioware’s fare of late and was never planning on buying Mass Effect 3 in the first place. Still, I encourage any one of you who were planning on purchasing the title to watch the attached video and reconsider. If we don’t take a stand on this sort of thing, it’s only going to get worse.
Once upon a time, extra characters, weaponry and game modes were unlockables and secrets you could find in-game if you knew what to do. Nowadays, they’re $2.99 a piece. That really is quite bothersome.
In general, I dislike the increasingly severe trend of corporations telling us that we don’t REALLY own something, we just own a license to use it which can be revoked at any time for little or no reason, which grants us limited usuage of the item in question under terms they explicitly lay out. This leads to some really amazing bull, like $50 to buy the game, $10/annually to have an account, $2 per character, $4.99 per piece of DLC, and… oops, did you just name your character S3ph1r0th? PERMABANKTHX. Now you have a shiny $50 coaster to rest drinks on! Oh, you’re still getting charged $14 a year for your account and two characters, even though you can’t play them anymore? LOL OH WELL
I miss the days when we actually OWNED the games for which we paid money. DLC can be done well, when it’s additions to the original full-length game (especially ones which were developed later on), but Mass Effect 3 is demonstrating why this is really quite ridiculous. And expensive! If you wanted every piece of DLC for Mass Effect 3, you’d have to shell out $870!
The only worse game is linked in that article – Railworks Train Simulator has 97 pieces of DLC, so for the game and all the DLC, you’d have to pay a grand total of $1779.07.
It particularly hurts because it’s coming from Bioware. Baldur’s Gate 2 was probably the most content rich game I’ve ever played. The number of characters, spells, items, and dungeons was staggering, and they all came in one package. If that game were made today, we’d probably have to pay 10 dollars at launch to unlock Minsc.