Gaming Law: DLC is for downloadable controversy

Greetings button-smashers! Today I want to talk to you a bit about the wonderful land of  downloadable content (DLC). This term is most often used for when a fully released game adds some outside content from the original game. This can be an expansion of characters, a new storyline, or simply new items. Now, DLC has not been without controversy for a long time. There has been a great deal of discussion on whether DLC is actually necessary, the best way to implement it, and whether it is just a tactic used by gaming companies to gain more money. So today I will be going over the good, the bad, and the ugly of DLC.

First, the good of DLC. There are many great examples of DLC in the gaming universe that are not only well executed, but adds something of value to the game. An excellent example of this is Borderlands 2. One of my favorite DLC of all time is “Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep.” This DLC was a full storyline surrounding the main characters of the game playing a rendition of “Dungeons and Dragons.”  Not only is the gameplay very entertaining, but the DLC also serves as a way for Tina to accept the death of one of the main protagonists. This also came with a great deal of new weapons, new enemies to fight, and my personal favorite nonplayer character “Butt Stallion the Diamond Horse.” This is what DLC can be, and is at the highest caliber. Games that add content after the main purpose is complete adds to the overall game play, and makes old games fun to play again for new things.

Then we have “EA Syndrome.” EA Syndrome is what I use to refer to companies that nickel and dime every piece of DLC that comes out. The reason for the name after the gaming company goes to the controversy surrounding the release of “Star Wars: Battlefront II.” When the game was released, it was almost impossible to get any playable characters such as Darth Vader without having to pay real money. As the game’s original price tag was $60, many players rightfully felt like they were misled. Shortly after, EA released all DLC for free, but at that point the damage had been done. The game was considered a flop, and this was in part largely due to EA’s attitude towards DLC. Sadly, many companies seem to be following suit. The Call of Duty franchise is plagued with this issue, especially the new games. Rare and valuable weapons can only be accessed either by preordering the game for the whopping $60 price tag or buying an additional game pass to access content that players should have access to.

This leads to the question: “Should there be DLC?” And the ugly truth is yes, there should be. It is impossible for any one game to live up to the expectations of the fans. This was the case in the most recent release of the new Pokemon games. This was the first game that not every pokemon was added into the game, and many people were so angry that a movement known as “Dexit” became an actual thing. But now Nintendo has released a statement that they plan on doing two more DLC that will add both new and old Pokemon to the games. I am personally all for this. As the needs for games become more demanding and the consumers become more hungry for content, gaming companies often find themselves on deadlines to release games or risk losing fan interest. DLC is a way for baseline games to be dropped, and more in depth content added at a later date. For this reason, I believe gaming companies should look at how Nintendo or the Borderlands series handled DLC. They were done in a way that allowed gamers to purchase the full game, and get later DLC to add to the game. 

That’s it for today gamers! Don’t forget to say “good game” in your matches, use mics in comp, and always thank your healer!

-The Law

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