More and more games are incorporating downloadable content that becomes available to the player at a date after the release. Are they incorporating DLC’s or are they excluding content from the actual game? The future of DLC’s are clear, they are here and they are happening. But! What do they mean for the average gamer?
The DLC is what drives gamers beyond the foundations, it’s what grabs a hold of the player and re-immerses them into the game. The DLC is an entity that prolongs the longevity of games and has players on the edge of their seats in excitement for their favorite game, it has developers scratching their heads over what could make their great game greater and toasting to themselves when they figure it out.
Downloadable content has been around for eons, adding multiple things to gameplay like menu skins, character skins, additional guns or other items beneficial to gameplay. Forever they’ve been around to add a little extra something to your third life, and they have been optional. You don’t have to download them if you want to but if you want to prolong the life of your game and the actual entertainment it give you, you’re more or less going to download them. Lately (spans back quite some time in reality) DLC’s have been adding a lot more to games like additional maps, missions, quests or playable characters, the latter having the feeling of an “expansion”.
In the past I don’t think I would hear much about DLC’s until a while after the actual games release, but now there is heaps of DLC’s announced and confirmed for release even before the title is released. And in no way was DLC as important to the gamer experience as it is now.
The future of DLC’s is a tricky thing, more and more games are becoming downloadable content themselves as you are able to purchase a variety of titles off the PSN store or the XBOX marketplace, the same place where you would find DLC content for on-disc games.
Even as we speak, downloadable content is working it’s way to becoming core parts of the game. For instance, if you look at Battlefield 3, with several DLC’s out already, the game itself would be maxed out, and played into the ground if it weren’t for these downloadable contents. So will we see games that are broken up into differently priced DLC’s for the misery of the average spender and the pleasure of the DLC junkie? I don’t really think so, although DLC’s may very well begin to play a much bigger role in games other than adding a few new maps or some skin textures.
Could we see future games skipping the title sequels and making them into downloadable content which just add onto the current game and alter it in the way that the developers want? I don’t know, downloadable content can do a lot and I wouldn’t put it past developers to implement graphic improving mechanisms through downloadable content.
It’s important to remember that the original game is what fuels the success of DLC’s, without it no one would be enticed by the content up for grabs after the game comes out.