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Nitpick: Downloadable Predicament

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Posted by: Simon Chun

While I do nitpick about various gameplay elements in video games, I like to take a break and nitpick about things in the industry as well. This week, I want to share with you my gripe about downloadable content (DLC). This method of distributing content to lengthen a game’s lifespan and playability is something that has become extremely prominent in this generation. While there are various hotly debated issues regarding DLC, I want to primarily focus on only two types of issues regarding downloadable content: day-one DLC and on-disc DLC.

Before I begin, I want to give a brief background concerning my belief in DLC so you don’t misunderstand any of the problems I have regarding the previously stated issues. I believe that DLC is meant to primarily lengthen the game’s playability. If you enjoyed a game, surely you want more content so you can enjoy it even more, right? One great example is The Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I absolutely enjoyed exploring, talking to people and questing through the various storylines in Oblivion. However, I wanted more of Oblivion after going through everything. Lucky for me, there was a DLC called Shivering Isles that made my wish come true. This lengthy additional content was like a second helping a delicious meal that I absolutely needed more of. 

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Another focus of DLC should be to give players a reason to come back to the game after a break. Spending an exorbitant amount of time on a single game can wear someone out, and I’m no different. Sometimes I want to come back to the game, but there isn’t really anything new that makes me want to play it again. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is a perfect example for this situation! It’s been almost a year since Dark Souls came out, yet there’s new content. I’ve been craving more Dark Souls for a while, and Prepare to Die was the answer. 

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So what exactly about day-one DLC can I not stand? I believe that a game should be feature-filled and not missing pieces. Day-one DLC almost feels like it goes against those principles since it’s content that could’ve been in the game, yet it was released separate from its primary release. Why would you have additional content available at the game’s launch? If I was a consumer, I’d feel as if the content was removed from the main game and sold separately just so the developers can make more money. Whether the developers did remove parts from the main game and sold it separately or not, the fact remains that people will look at the game in a bad way. 

Tags: Dark Souls, Mass Effect 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, Oblivion

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