EA: Stop Complaining About On-Disc DLC

One of the most irksome problems in the gaming industry at the moment is the concept of on-disc DLC, oftentimes referred to as disc-locked content. The idea of paying extra for content already on the disc or stripped from the main game drives a lot of gamers up the wall. Well, according to EA's Peter Moore that's not really the case at all.

The interview EA's chief operating officer conducted with Gamespot recently had more golden nuggets to mine than an open-pit depository in Nevada. The Escapist did a brief write-up on Moore's comments about the hot topic of on-disc DLC, where he was asked about how the company feels about gamers being aggrieved with season passes, microtransactions and on-disc DLC. According to Moore...

Well a lot of that resistance comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back. Nonsense. You come and stand where I am, next to Visceral's studio, and you see the work that is being done right now. And it's not just DLC, this is free updates and ongoing balance changes.[…] What people are confused about is they think DLC is secretly on the disc, and that it's somehow unlocked when we say.

Moore mentions that some DLC framework is laid down for games in order to hook into future DLC packs, these frameworks – according to Moore – are not hidden DLC stripped from the game only to sell back to customers later. This is sometimes true.

Except... in some irrefutably egregious cases, the DLC actually is hidden on disc and stripped from the main game in order to sell back to gamers later.

As far back as December 12th, 2009, Destructoid's Jim Sterling wrote about disc-locked content being in Assassin's Creed II. Ubisoft Montreal's Patrice Desilets openly admitted in an interview to Kotaku...

I felt that, 'Okay, there were too many things to do and to finish.' So we said, 'Okay, let's take a portion of the game that was planned and we'll give it in DLC.' We'll remove some stress to the team while giving more to fans and people who like Assassin's Creed,I think we gave them so much content that they cannot say that we owe them, that we didn't give them a lot for their sixty bucks.

On March 7th, 2012 hackers unlocked and posted up videos of disc-locked content hidden in Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken. This consisted of costumes, colors and 12 fully playable characters. Capcom even attempted to get gamers to rat out the hackers in order to get them off of Xbox Live and YouTube since they were making a mockery of the company by proving that the DLC was hidden on the disc; stripped from the main game and made to sell back to customers later.

On March 11th, 2012 it was also discovered that BioWare and EA had fitted Javik, a rare Promethean character in Mass Effect 3 from the DLC From Ashes, onto the disc. Some of his sound and mission files required downloading, but you could fully access and play the character using some simple text editors. This is after gamers were told that the DLC could not be included in the base game because it wasn't finished.

On May 7th, 2012 Deep Silver's Risen 2 was also discovered to have contained disc-locked content for a mission that was also stored on the game's disc. Gamers scouring through the files were able to unlock the contents without paying for the DLC.

Moore may state that it's “erroneous” “nonsense” to assume that DLC is being stripped out of the game and withheld only to be sold back to gamers, but sites like Disc Locked Content keeps track of games that literally have on-disc DLC stored away, ripe and ready to be sold back to gamers.

This doesn't mean every game with DLC or season passes has disc-locked content, but attempting to shuffle away the concerns and grievances of consumers as conspiracy theory or “nonsense” is the best way to make them more angry.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.