With Blood Dragon coming out soon for FarCry 3, I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about DLC. It’s hard to imagine several things about the scenario that resulted in one of the year’s top sellers creating an 80s-themed sci-fi story: 1) that someone would have this idea and feel strongly enough about it to 2) pitch it to suits who would then 3) agree to make the damn thing.
Taking beloved mechanics and applying them to a wild shift in setting is fascinating, and it made me start thinking about the types of DLC we have available to us. From simple add-ons like weapons and maps to full-blown sequel-bridging epilogues, DLC has really come a long way in the last few years. While there are some bad apples, it seems that developers for the most part are starting to be more creative about what they offer, and when.
So that being said, let me hit you up with a poll. Vote and tell us about your favorite DLCs in the comments!
Welcome, Sushians, to the first Would You Rather of 2013! Actually, this is the first Would You Rather since Spring of 2012, which is a little insane to think about. How were you guys getting your fix of Sophie’s Choice style questions about video games without us? How?!
While you’re reeling over the awesomeness of finally getting a new Would You Rather, you should peruse some of these questions and write your own answers. These questions are inspired by some of the issues we’ve seen in games recently, from Sim City’s DRM to Tomb Raider’s updates and Gears of War Judgment’s lack of a horde mode. Feel free to make your answers as lengthy as you want. You’ll get extra points if you insult one of the other GS writers, too.
With the release of Dead Space 3′s new DLC Awakened, DLC has been on my mind these days. Publishers use it as a way to increase profits due to lower sales and higher budgets. But there here are more than a few gamers who think all DLC is evil and should have been in the game in the first place. Such a view is ignorant of the realities of game development, as there is a period where a game is finished, but before it has been shipped that allows developers to come up with ideas for DLC. Yes, even Day 1 DLC.
One of the main purposes of DLC is to keep gamers from trading in their games the moment they are done with them. Which doesn’t make sense to me because it’s not like you can get another sale out of that person. But you can get them to buy DLC, which leads me to an idea I had: why not make DLC standalone? By that, I mean don’t force the players to actually own the disc to play DLC. Infamous did this with the Festival of Blood DLC and it was a blast to play. I know I would love to play the upcoming Dishonored DLC, but I already traded that game in. I don’t know if it is cost-prohibitive to do such a thing, but you could even charge more if the disc is not detected. Say $9.99 if you have the game and $12.99 if you don’t. That seems fair and not entirely evil, right?
So that’s my question to you, Sushians: would you prefer if DLC were standalone? Would that make you more likely to buy it? Would you try games that you normally wouldn’t if you could have a taste for a lower cost? Let’s hear it!
Peter Molyneux has gathered a reputation as a bit of a whacky guy in the industry. As much as the guy makes grandiose promises and far-reaching claims, it’s hard to deny the charm behind a man that dares to dream the impossible for every new game he tries to make. People make fun of him a lot, but I have always admired that Molyneux is trying to explore and innovate, even if it does kind of blow up in his face every now and then.
On the subject of making games in the aftermath of leaving both Lionhead and Microsoft, Molyneux spoke with Gamespot about the state of the industry and what he sees as the future. In an interesting conversation that covered everything from social gaming to future tech and smaller developers, one bit in particular stood out to me: the idea that development never ends anymore, and that this can be problematic for the industry.
“I think that we as authors of stories and entertainment, we have to stand by our decisions and justify them and take the rough with the smooth. If people don’t like it you can’t just go and change it because if you have any sense of authorship, you’re playing through a plan. That being said, nowadays there is no end of development anymore. You used to release a game and that was it, you were done. It was in the box. Now, you release a game, and there is this possibility and technology that allows you to change it.”
In an age of endless DLC, it’s easy to see what he’s talking about. While I do agree that sometimes things just need a good ol’ fixing, it would be nice to let developers make a game and then move on. I know that publishers invest so much in games these days that they want to keep making more money from their products, but it also seems like they would benefit from turning around and working on new projects once one gets out the door. That would certainly keep developers from having to lay people off once the huge project is done, if they’re a one-game studio.
What do you guys think about this? Is Molyneux off his rocker again? Or does he have a point about the endless development cycle? Go!
As the video game industry moves more and more towards complete digital distribution, I thought it would be a good idea to see where things stand right now in terms of how we buy our games and DLC. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony all have platforms for digital distribution and each has strengths and weaknesses, but today I plan on talking about what I personally like and dislike with each of them, specifically, the manner in which we fork over our hard-earned cash monies.
First, the best: Sony’s PSN network is just the smoothest interface, in my opinion. No silly point systems, just straight up money. You can add a few different games to your cart and buy them all together or one at a time and they will download in the background. The only problem I have with this is that you always have to add at least $5.00 to your “wallet”, which sucks when you buy something that is only $1.99 because then you have money that you have spent in real life and is now just waiting to be spent digitally. A minor quibble, but one that can be annoying.
Microsoft comes in a close second. Xbox Live Marketplace has many of the same features that makes PSN so strong and in fact, there is only one thing that really holds it back: that mystical point system. See, whenever you go to purchase something, you need points. So you have to add points, but thankfully, your credit card is saved, so you don’t have to enter it in every time.
I bring good news for my fellow Assassin’s Creed II fans as it appears that the second bit of downloadable content is going to be dropping tomorrow. Sure, it is on short notice, but I can’t complain about the prospect of playing some more Assassin’s Creed. This is the last of the announced digital extras for AC2, and, while I haven’t tried out the first bit of DLC (Battle for Forli), I’m looking forward to picking both of them up tomorrow and giving them a go. Check out the trailer for the Bonfire of the Vanities DLC:
It’s available on both X-Box LIVE and the PlayStation Network and will be included in the PC release of Assassin’s Creed II in March. Who else is downloading this, and did you play the first DLC? If so, what did you think?
Yikes. We haven’t done one of our fabled “Would You Rather” features since before the Fall, back around when Halo ODST came out. Now it is 2010, and we are wiser, stronger, faster and more future. What new insights have we gleamed?
In Would You Rather, I simply ask a series of questions, and you follow up with your answers. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.
Don’t let your answers suck, though. Your soul will be ousted and revealed for the excrement that lives inside of it. Poo!
Even though many people live in a fantasy world where video game companies only exist to make fun things for cool people, the reality is that they also exist to take away our money. This is a fundamental truth that you can’t escape, and I won’t believe otherwise until someone starts giving me free video games.
That being said, sometimes gamers really get the raw end of the deal. Wired has put together a list of the top 10 ripoffs in the video game realm. They hit the nail on the head pretty well, especially the idea that the same game should be cheaper to download than it is for the physical disc, as well as the high cost of repackaged old school games with little to no new features. I also wholeheartedly agree with their numero uno, but you’ll have to read it to see it.
I think if they missed anything at all, it would be the handling of DLC right now. Sure, it’s not bad just yet, but it seems headed down some shady pathways. Anywho, what do you guys think the biggest ripoffs are in gaming, and what do you think of the list?
USA Today scooped us all and has an article detailing GTA IV’s DLC, due out on Feb. 17th, 2009. It’s called “The Lost and the Damned” and will star Johnny Klebitz, a member of Liberty City biker gang The Lost.
Dan Houser of Rockstar is quoted saying:
Johnny is a very different character than Niko, with a very different background. I can’t go into too much detail on the story, because we try not to give away too much plot before the game is released. But I can say that the story will show you a different side of Liberty City
No pricing details have been released yet.
So I don’t have a 360, but I am sure this will make its way to PS3…anyone set for another visit to Liberty City?
I just started digging into User Created levels last night and after about 5 minutes, I was frantically calling Eddy to tell him how awesome it all was. Well, the good news doesn’t end there as Gamepro.com is reporting that Sony has confirmed that Media Molecule will be adding new levels and more as DLC.
Eric Fong says,
Yes, Media Molecule is continuing to add to the player experience with new levels, costumes, materials, and a host of other content.
I love what I have played so far and I look forward to more goodness from the MM crew. Have you guys played this yet?
Kotaku is reporting that the best-selling The Force Unleashed will be getting some pretty cool DLC in the fall. The content, which has no specific release date as of yet, will be released for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 before the end of the year.