DLC or Downloadable Content is extra content added to your Video Game in order to enhance your gaming experience. In this article, we are going to talk about DLC in detail. So, stay tuned!
A gamer can download additional content from either itself or from the website via the internet and install it to add a cherry on top. DLC is either provided within the game or through platforms such as stream and PlayStation portal.
It can either be free or paid depending on the will of the manufacturer. Usually, extra levels are free and extra storylines are paid. They even release bundle packages for their paid DLCs to make the entire package affordable.
DLCs are not just limited to new levels and story-lines, it also contains new skins, features, attacks, characters, etc. Its size depends on the changes that it is making to the game.
For example, if DLC has a new character or a new attack then the size will be small. On the other hand, if it is adding a map to it then the chances of its size being larger are very high.
Sometimes, DLC is released to fix some issues in games and add a new security patch.
Downloadable Content (DLC) vs Expansion Packs
Even though, these terms are used interchangeably. But they are not supposed to.
A DLC or Downloadable Content is a much bigger term than Expansion Packs. This term is usually reserved for official Content released by the official manufacturer of that particular game. A DLC content can not be downloaded from a different source and are capable of making drastic changes in the game.
On the other hand, the expansion package may or may not be downloadable. You might have to get a CD and install it on top of an already existing game. They are not capable to add a lot of things to the game they can just add few features.
Downloadable Content has already removed the Expansion Package from its throne and succeeded it. Many manufacturers have shifted their attention from the Expansion Package to Downloadable Content.
As it is the need of the hour. Because of the mammoth expansion of internet DVDs are now considered a thing of the past. Therefore, the craze of the Expansion Package has died as of lately.
There are tons of manufacturers who offer paid DLC. Their DLC can sometimes cost few cents and sometimes can cost up to hundreds and thousands of dollars. The price depends on a lot of factors, especially on the demand of the game.
The monolith of the monetization is divided into small pieces called microtransactions(we will talk about later in this article). Microtransactions are the best way to monetize a free game.
They are games like PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and Fortnite which provided the users with the Season Pass. They are always paid and can allow the players to download all the seasons and the levels of the game. They do not come with an upgrade or something.
The only way they can be legally bought is via the Game’s online store. The manufacturer often give discounts to the players on some specific day or some specific period.
One of the demerits of buying Season Passes is that it is very difficult to find its worth. If you are a professional gamer then you might have the knowledge to calculate its worth otherwise, for a normal being it is really difficult. So, it is advisable to wait for the sales and buy your DLC with a discount.
Ask any gamer to lay thrift opinion on MicroTransaction and be ready to hear lots and lots of swear words been thrown at you. According to its literal definition, MicroTransition is a small number of transactions happening online.
Which looks cool from a distance, but if you accumulate all the transactions you will see that these transactions are not macro anymore, they are MACRO!
Is MacroTransaction Ethical?
Well! The concept behind MicroTranaction was well and truly appreciated and accepted by the gamers. But nowadays MicroTrasanctions are used as squeeze out money from the pockets of the gamers.
And they are quite successful because of the growing passion for gaming. All of a sudden gaming has experienced a promotion by being upgraded as a hobby to a profession, this is one of the biggest reasons why Developers are so keen on introducing new paid upgrades.
Games like NBA, FIFA or GTA which already are paid games, now need you to constantly pay them in order to be up-to-date. So, in my opinion, they are un-ethical. You can tell your opinion down in the comment section.
User Generated DLC:-
How good it would be if you could add an extra feature to your favorite game? Well! Your prayers are now answered in the form of User-Generated DLC.
There are many publishers out there in the market who allows professional gamers to create in-game content which is then made available to all the consumer. They are usually referred to as MODs. They do these two to increase the gameplay and the popularity of the game.
One of the best examples of this would be the inclusion of User Generated Content in the PlayStation’s “Infamous 2”. As the game afterward this inclusion has rocked the market and its sales are touching the sky.
Advantages of DLC:-
As we discussed earlier DLC got a mixed reaction from the fans. The best thing about or the reason why DLC was introduced primarily is to expand the game and add new dimensions to it.
Like for example, you are playing FIFA and want to buy Ronaldo, Messi or any of your favorite player, because of the DLC you do not have to collect cards for years and years in order to include them in your squad. Which is pretty amazing if you think.
It has been argued by the supporters of DLC that buying it is a choice, not a necessity.
And one of the things that we should keep in mind while discussing DLC is that not all of them are paid there are many un-paid as well.
For example, in PlayerUnknown Battleground, there are paid and un-paid DLCs as well. They have paid skins that are a choice but the maps are un-paid because they are necessary for the gamer to move further in games.
One of the other advantages of DLC is that now you don’t have to walk down the lane and wait for your game store to open and then buy an Expandable Package from there.
Due to the user-generated DLC, the manufacturers are always on the edge of their seats. The moment the community feels that the content is over-priced they inform the manufacturer and then the developers make the required changes.
Disadvantages of DLC:-
The disadvantages of DLC are clearly visible to the audiences, apart from it being very expensive it also favors the riches.
Before the dawn of DLC, one needs to play the game for a long time and be really good at it to advance and reach higher levels or unlock key players. But now, you just need to spend a few dollars and you will get what you need.
For example, there are two players playing FIFA and one of them has bought all the marque players such as Ronaldo, Messi, Saurez, etc and then there is another gamer whose players do not have a higher rank, who do you think will win the game irrespective of the skills both of the gamers possess.
One of the complaints made by the parents of gamers(less than 10 years old) is that their children are very easily moved by the advertisement and end up buying something from their credit card stored on that phone.
Is DLC good or bad?
This question does not have a very straight forward answer. Some DLCs are good especially the unpaid one. The games like Fallout 3 or New Vegas are a good example of how DLC should be.
DLC allows the users to have extra 60-80 hours of gameplay which is worth it if it’s your favorite game we are talking about. But, they are some which are completely ripoff they are so expensive that you can buy another game on the same price as the DLC.
Is DLC here to stay?
Even though DLC got a mixed reaction from the consumer and most of them are bad it still is there to stay. There are many companies that have to build their whole business empire on the DLC bases.
They release free games and when the customer starts liking it, they release new paid upgrades. The only way DLC can die is if all the gamers start revolting against it.
Because of the multiplayer modes the gamers always have this peer pressure of upgrading their games in order to meet the current demand of the market.
The DLC business model is going nowhere in the near future as it all of a sudden became a new normal.