Downloadable Content, specifically timed/exclusive DLC, has become a trademark of video games the past years. We have seen it be extremely successful in games such as Call of Duty, where you are given a full game, and maps are simply added. Then you have games such as the ever popular Destiny. Allow me to add a disclaimer before I continue, I enjoyed Destiny for what it was worth. With Destiny, they essentially handed you a game with a level cap, only a handful of things to do, and then said, “Oh we did not finish the story, here you go, for another $X you can buy the rest but players on Xbox One will have to wait another year to play it.” Which is complete garbage.
What this exclusivity is really doing is hurting the game itself, not the players. You are actually punishing players for purchasing one system over another, and I fear that it is not going to stop any time soon, just simply get worse. Please note, I am not saying exclusive games are bad, It makes a HUGE difference for systems to have different games. That is exactly what the purpose of the different systems are…different games. Downloadable content is a different story.
How about a couple examples. Little Jonny’s parents bought him an Xbox One for Christmas, and he is a HUGE fan of the Marvel Universe (because who isn’t these days). But because little Johnny’s parents did not buy him an PlayStation 4, he does not have access to DLC containing access to content from quite possibly the most popular franchise ever. I am speaking about Lego Avengers, and the PS4 exclusive Ant-Man and Marvel Civil War content. Which gives you nine more characters from both movies. Little Johnny is heartbroken.
On the flip side, you have The Division, a highly anticipated game for some time. Except now we are seeing signs that it will have some sort of timed DLC. Now I do not know about you, but depending on what it is, that is a serious turn off for me. Destiny is a prime example. I hit max level in vanilla Destiny, and once they announced the timed DLC, I simply sold the game. There was no point in me playing any further. That left a serious sour taste in my mouth because I had been a supporter of Bungie and Microsoft for a very long time.
Many companies are using the concept of timed/exclusive DLC to draw more players to them that is why many of the phrases of “First on Xbox” or “First on PlayStation have become so common. Now as someone with a marketing degree I understand why they do this, but all it really does is alienate people, and deprive people of content. No one is going to go purchase a new system just so Little Johnny can play as Ant Man. Very few people will buy an Xbox One because the Division will have timed DLC.
Now this sort of thing is becoming more and more common, I wish it wasn’t the case. I fear that companies will soon be using it as a crutch for pumping out half-finished or unpolished games and simply promising it will get fixed with the next batch of DLC. What it really should be used for is simply adding to the game; more missions, more levels, more characters or to put it simply, more experience.