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Apr 12 2012
By: PapaWarlock PlayStation MVP 11160 posts
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A Look At Day 1 DLC

0 replies 321 views Edited Apr 12, 2012

Down Loadable Content. Whether you love it, hate it or just don’t care, it has definitely redefined gaming today. Down Loadable Content (DLC for short) has taken many forms. From game patches to alternate costumes and from horse armor to full blown expansions, there are many types and sizes of DLC. The bulk of the DLC game content usually comes some time after a game’s release. After a game is finished, all the tools for the game such as coding for characters and areas remain the. It’s easy for a small group to continue working on extra content for a game to increase the game’s life span.

Lately EA and BioWare in particular have come under a lot of heat from gamers for Day 1 DLC. Personally I have nothing against day 1 DLC and I feel that often that day 1 DLC is confused with disc locked DLC. Oddly enough though, I tend to see more people condemning Day 1 DLC than Disc Locked DLC. Why that is, I haven’t quite figured out yet. Perhaps it’s because disc locked content isn’t very common and Day 1 DLC is. Or maybe more people just feel that Day 1 DLC is a bigger offense.

Day 1 DLC. EA in particular is well known for pushing Day 1 DLC with its many games and developers. With Day 1 DLC many gamers complain that this content could have been or should have been included on the disc to start with. Perhaps I’m a bit more positive when it comes to gaming and companies than others are, but I really think that gamers don’t want to look at the bigger picture when it comes to how much time passes between a game being finished, sent off for production and finally retail.


I guess I can somewhat understand the hostility that many gamers show when it comes to Day 1 DLC content. Many feel that developers are ripping them off by creating DLC to be sold from the start. They feel that this content was cut from the disc deliberately to scam them out of their hard earned money. Or they say that they are getting an incomplete game, such as the current controversy over Mass Effect 3. Many claim that the “From The Ashes” DLC should have been a part of the main game due to what race the extra party member is.

Yet what many gamers fail to realize is that there is a period of time from when the game goes “gold” and when the game is actually shipped to retailers and available for purchase. The term “going gold” means that the Beta testing is complete and the game is ready to be mass produced on disc and distributed. The amount of time from “gold” to retail varies from publisher to publisher. While the game is still being beta tested, a small group of programmers and writers can begin work on expansions or extra content. I don’t know for sure how common that practice might be or how honest they’re being, but I know that many developers claim that DLC work begins prior to a game’s retail release. Sometimes that DLC is ready before the game is shipped but after the game has gone into production. Hence Day 1 DLC.

Many publishers are trying to entice gamers into purchasing the games brand new rather than buying them used. When gamers buy used, the developers and publishers get nothing from the sale of that disc. So this DLC is offered as a perk. Role Playing Games in particular are known for offering Day 1 DLC for buying the game new. Games like Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms of Amalur, Dragon Age Origins, and Dragon Age II for example.

There is another type of Day 1 DLC called Pre-order bonuses. Many companies utilize this tactic. Sometimes those pre-order bonuses are initiated by retailers like Best Buy, Amazon.com and Game Stop. These companies want you to buy the game through them and so mini bidding wars commence. The upcoming Dragon’s Dogma from Capcom will contain a code for early access to the Resident Evil 6 demo. If you pre-order the 360 version you’ll get access about a month or so before those who pre-ordered the PS3 version. If you pre-order from Amazon.com you’ll receive a code for a weapons bonus pack. Pre-order from GameStop and you’ll get 2000 rift crystals to upgrade your pawns.

Sometimes publishers offer limited edition upgrades for pre-ordered games. Darksiders II is an example of this type. Not only does it offer the pre-order bonus Death Rides Pack which features multiple exclusive side-quests and additional area to explore, but the limited edition upgrade will allow you access to the Argul’s Tomb expansion for free when it becomes available for down load. Most of the limited edition upgrades are similar to this. You’ll either have free access to the DLC from the start (after downloading) or you’ll get it when it becomes available.

It’s rare in my experience that anyone complains about pre-order bonus DLC weapons or the limited edition upgrades that come with bonus DLC content. Despite these being examples of Day 1 DLC as well. But when Day 1 DLC of any other type is announced just a few months prior to a game’s release, there is often a lot of backlash associated with it.

If you’re against Day 1 DLC the best thing you can do is not buy it. If enough gamers do that, eventually companies will get the hint and either make all day 1 DLC free for gamers or stop the practice all together. Verbally abusing the developers on the other hand, doesn’t work.

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