The folks at Ubisoft are rethinking the way they handle DLC moving forward and, assuming they stick to the new road map, it looks like a step in the right direction as far as gamers are concerned.
Speaking with GameIndustry.biz, Ubisoft VP of Live Operations, Anne Blondel-Jouin, said that the developer/publisher has learned a lot from giving away post-launch content for Rainbow Six: Siege. In short, it looks like they're reaping the benefits of a more mutually beneficial DLC plan and, as a result, they want to extend those practices to all other titles.
DLC practices have been a hot topic in recent years, especially since a large number of games seemed to be hitting the market at full price, with content then introduced that seems like it should have been on the disc in the first place, but with an extra price tag attached. The development process is tricky and sometimes things line up weird but, in cases where DLC modes are sold day one or "extra content" is later sold while only requiring a 1mb download, it's clear that some frustrating practices are being utilized to squeeze extra dollars out of the people who support the industry.
According to Ubisoft's Blonel-Jouin, that won't be the case for this particular studio moving forward. As pointed out in the original post, Rainbow Six: Siege maps have been made free of charge since that game launched earlier this year. The only for-pay items in that particular game are customization items and additional characters. Since it's an exclusively online game, it sure would have felt iffy were Ubisoft to charge for those additional maps. But they didn't and, as it turns out, gamers who feel they are appreciated by a publisher will return the favor.
According to Blondel-Jouin, there's a sort of balancing act to this process, figuring out what needs to be provided to the player and what would be fair to sell them. They used an amusement park as an analogy, explaining that everyone gets (and should get) the same experience. However, there are opportunities to buy extra goodies and food, for those who feel so inclined. That's the approach Ubisoft is trying to take with their in-game DLC moving forward.
As far as we're concerned, this is fantastic news. We're all for paying for additional content, but not when it feels like we're being asked to fork over more cash just to play the full game we were expecting in the first place.