DLC Should Be Free

I’ll admit I haven’t purchased Skyrim’s Dawnguard expansion yet. I bought Skyrim for my Xbox 360 for the full price on the first day. During Steam’s Summer Sale I also got it for the PC. I feel comfortable paying a full $60 on a game I know I’ll spend hundreds of hours enjoying.

But what I don’t feel comfortable buying is the DLC. The only reason that Bethesda decided to charge an extra $20 for more in-game content is to make more money. Bethedsa announced they will release at least 3 major expansions for Skyrim. At $20 a piece you’re already doubling the original price of the game if you want to have them all.

Personally, I don’t think this practice of selling expansion packs is just greedy. I think that it’s immoral. When I bought Skyrim, I bought it trusting that Bethesda had my entertainment as their number one concern. Obviously they had the DLC planned out upon the release of the game. All of the content that was left out could have been included. But just like any other major corporation, profit margins are driving Betheda’s decisions.

If they needed more time to produce the expansion packs then they could have released them later. But then they should have made all future DLC packages free. Instead they’ve decided to create numerous products out of a service that should be complementary. It’s a developer’s job to keep a good game updated, adding new content to keep players interested.

I feel the same way about all of the FPS that charge extra money for future map packs. As a player, a fan, and a customer of these titles I feel entitled to getting those maps for free. You don’t pay for updates in your favorite MMO. That would be crazy. It would make players have unequal products. You bought the game, so you should be rewarded with the free service of updated content.

Map packs and extended RPG quest lines aren’t worth $10-$20. 10 years ago I remember buying new Pokemon games for only $10 more than that. These expansion DLC packs aren’t making dramatic changes in the game. They’re not completely revamping and improving upon their core game. All they are doing is adding some small features and content to add a couple more hours of gameplay or variety. It’s our right as gamers to get this content for free.

It is saddening to see how many games that have content locked until paid for. It’s creating segregation within the gaming community. Before only those who had the money to spend on every new title were getting to experience all of the great games out there. Charging up to $20 to have an expansion pack is just widening the gap between the haves and the have nots.