3 Rules for DLC

DLC shouldn’t come out within the first 6 months

Honestly there is only one reason for developers to add DLC within the first six months of a video game’s release: to make money. If the DLC is shipped only weeks after the games release its obvious that the developers had been working on it before the game was even finished. Either the company can wait to release their game for a couple more weeks, or they can send out that DLC for free. There’s no reason to charge upwards of $20 only a couple months after customers have shelled out $60 for the game.

For smaller, indie games I can totally see DLC coming out sooner, maybe at least three month’s after the game release. These games don’t cost as much money, but also don’t provide as much gameplay time for customers. Their DLC will also cost less, so in 3 months a large chunk of their fans could have already stopped playing. But for a game like Halo, there’s no reason to release map packs within a month of the game release.

No DLC should give players an advantage

Downloadable content can mean a variety of things, obviously this article is referencing paid for DLC. But if you’re paying for extra content, especially in a multiplayer game, you shouldn’t get an edge on other players for it. DLC can give you extra weapon or player skins, unlock new maps or content, add new quests or explorable areas, and give the player new abilities or powers. But DLC should never patch the original game, and make players pay for it. it’s not fair to buy a game, with the knowledge that it’s the best content that could be produced, and have to pay more money for a better copy.

For the multiplayer world this rule has even more kinds of meaning. An FPS game that doesn’t allow you to play online anymore, without buying the new maps, just isn’t fair. You bought the game with the understanding that you could play online whenever you wanted. In addition, it’s unfair to have competitors that are buying more powerful weapons or abilities, using their real life money as an in-game advantage.

DLC should be marketed at a reasonable price

There is no set price on DLC like there is on original titles. If you’re producing an AAA game then you sell it for $60. But there are more components that go into the pricing of DLC. First off, the type of DLC. Character and weapon skins shouldn’t be priced as much as downloadable content that adds a good amount of gameplay. But the amount of extra gameplay also should change the price of the DLC.

Good downloadable content should follow the same ratio of price to gameplay as the original game did. Skyrim, for instance, I probably played for about 75 hours the first time around before I got bored. So if a DLC comes out and yI can get about 15 hours of gameplay out of it a reasonable price would be around $10. As long as you’re getting your money’s worth a DLC is priced correctly.

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