Why On-Disc DLC Is As Bad A Crime As Gamers Make It Out To Be
When you get into the disc-locked content debate, it usually boils down to why the content has to be locked in the first place. Heck, even developers admit that some games purposefully have content cut away for monetary purposes, as exposed by Paradox Interactive's senior producer Gordon Van Dyke in his interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun...
“Sometimes day-one DLC is [content that was cut from the final game],” ... “To be honest, sometimes it really is. It does happen for pre-order stuff, because sometimes you don’t have the time to make that extra content. But other times, a studio might have a completely separate team, and they’re off on their own. But the end consumer doesn’t understand that – nor should they have to.”
In reality, the debate about disc-locked content or on-disc DLC is a battle between those who don't understand gaming culture and don't see it as a bad thing and those who do understand gaming culture and don't like the idea that games are being cut up piecemeal for bottom lines and profit margins.
When someone like Ars' Orland writes as if on-disc DLC is not that bad a thing or has some sort of reasonable paradigm behind it other than greed, we can easily see that this isn't someone who plays games often enough to be considered a hardcore gamer. It's the very reason why the FGC had a furor when they found out about the locked characters on the Street Fighter X Tekken disc, meaning that they would have to pay extra to play as their favorites.
It's also the same reason why BioWare fans threw a fit when they found out part of Javik's files were already complete and playable on the Mass Effect 3 disc save for his mission and sound files meaning that they would have to fork over cash to find out the rest of the game's lore, and it's the same reason why gamers were pissed when Deep Silver patched in a block on already accessible content in Risen 2 for content they already paid for and had access to.
As mentioned, if you're not a core gamer then you won't mind that you would have to pay to reload a clip in a first-person shooter. And if you're not a real core gamer you wouldn't mind that part of a game's story is already on the disc but locked away behind a pay-wall or that specific characters in a tournament fighting game have a $20 price tag while a competing game lets you unlock fighters simply by playing the game and unlocking stuff the old fashioned way.
Diluting a game with on-disc DLC just to nickel and dime doesn't grow or evolve or enhance the gaming industry, it just lines the pockets of publishers and makes gamers feel as if they've been tricked into a shady deal where they're getting less than what they thought they were paying for.
It should also be noted that attackers of on-disc DLC are long-time gamers and defenders of on-disc DLC have only really gotten into gaming this gen. We're looking at content that was common in the generations before but is now being removed and re-added with a price-tag this gen. That's not to mention that technology makes it easier than ever to design content, heck even Gearbox admitted that they can pump out DLC for Borderlands 2 in a matter of hours thanks to the Unreal Engine's design hooks.
Many may claim that those who haven't embraced on-disc DLC are a “vocal minority” but we're the core gamers who live, eat and breathe games. We've been playing games since they've been on tape drives and growing with our favorite titles, brands, characters and franchises as they made the transition from text to 2D and 2D to 3D, and we're vocal because we're trying to preserve what little integrity the video game industry has left.
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