The Breaking Point of DLC

With the release of the newest Star Wars: Battlefront, a lot of gamers (myself included) are upset about the state of DLC in the video game industry.  Most video game publishers expect the player base to be willing to purchase an incomplete game; in the following weeks, they ask players to spend more money on content that makes the game feel whole (that was developed before the game came out but was not released…shh!). I’ve been putting up with this for way too long, and that is why that I will not be picking up my copy of Star Wars: Battlefront. It’s not that the game doesn’t look great – it plays, looks, and sounds spectacular – but the fact that there’s $50 worth of downloadable content already pretty much developed makes me shiver. EA, the company behind Battlefront, knows that players are going to purchase this because of the fact that it’s Star Wars, and the hype around it is at an all-time high with  the upcoming release of The Force Awakens. What happened to the days of old when publishers released a game that was full of content and did not expect players to spend more money on DLC? Games like the original Star Wars: Battlefront series, the Jak and Daxter series, the Halo trilogy, Star Wars Bounty Hunter, etc are all excellent examples of titles that were released that felt whole and did not rely on DLC to do that. I believe this is the breaking point of DLC, and it’s time to take a stand against it.

Battlefront features
Can you notice the difference between Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005) vs. Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) ?

I don’t mean to rant, but something needs to be done to show publishers that this is not what gamers want. It also pains me that kids growing up in this video game society think it’s normal that video games are released with “season passes” that are equally as expensive as the game itself and almost require you to purchase them if you want the full experience. DLC used to be something that you could buy if you wanted, and it was cheap and not entirely essential to the game. Now, if you purchase a $60 game and don’t buy its DLC, you’re left with an incomplete game, a barrier between yourself and the players who purchase the content, and a longing desire to return the game and get your money back. The important thing to remember is that if you purchase the game and then complain about its incompleteness after, the publisher typically does not care because you already purchased their video game, so they have your money and they’re almost guaranteed your money again when they release the DLC. This method of approaching the content of video games is unethical, and although I know these publishers need to make money, if they released complete games and then made DLC that added onto the game significantly somehow for somewhere between $5-$30, I think they would find a happy player base and a successful method of approaching DLC.

For people who know me, I may sound a little hypocritical talking about this since Destiny is my favorite game, and the notoriety surrounding Destiny and DLC is widely known. So why am I complaining about the state of downloadable content if I’m a devotee of a game that relies on it? Although I love the game, I am not quick to deny the fact that Destiny required players to purchase extra content to receive a complete game, and I will admit that this was upsetting. I love Destiny because I find it fun to play, and I always have. I’m willing to purchase DLC for it because I want to see Destiny continue its success, which means I will get to keep having fun with it for as long as Bungie develops it. And, if you’re against Destiny’s method of DLC and do not play it, I understand that.

Game IncompleteWith Star Wars: Battlefront, I will not be funding it because, for a Battlefront game (and yes, we can compare it to the previous Battlefronts since it bears the same name), it does not release with very much to do at all, and although I wrote about how much I loved the beta when it was first released, the nostalgia factor wore off after awhile. The bottom line is, playing video games is supposed to be fun, so if you find a game that you think is fun, and it releases incomplete with DLC on the way, at least you’re having fun. But, for players who don’t enjoy the game or don’t have enough money to fund the game and its DLC, we need to take a stand and not purchase the game so that publishers know that we have reached a breaking point. This is the best way to contact publishers, and I really don’t think any other form of petition will get the point across. It’s like they say, “you can’t spell ‘steal’ without EA!”

So what do you guys think? Do you agree with me about the state of video games? Have you reached your breaking point? Let me know in the comments below?

Written by Joey Mannino

Joey is studying Creative Writing with the hopes to one day write games for Bungie or Naughty Dog. He absolutely loves his PS4 and has been a loyal Sony fan ever since he first played Jak and Daxter. His passion for video games shines through all of his work, especially when he's proving Microsoft fanboys wrong.

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