Before I get started, I also made this into an audio blog here
. They both basically say the same thing, although one is read by a 17-year old's weird voice.
What is DLC? According to wikipedia, DLC is content made downloadable to work as addons for games. So that map pack you bought? DLC. That extra character? DLC. But if you take DLC apart and look at the words behind it, you get "Downloadable Content". No shit, right? Problem is, the words and the meaning are two different things. Downloadable Content is used today meaning extra addons, but the words themselves when put together basically refer to just about anything. You can't download nothing; it's really not possible (Unless we want to get into theoretical computing).
So then in the word form, it can mean anything from a document, to a downloadable game, like Bastion or Super Meat Boy. But for the sake of this blog, I'm going to refer to the DLC commonly associated with being addons of a video game.
Why is everyone against DLC?
It seems like everyone's against it, but they're not. They're for it. Everyone living and breathing should be for DLC. It takes a good game and adds more content. What they're actually against is when you order an entire pizza (game) and you only get two slices (1/2 of a Totino's Party Pizza). The problem is that people feel like they deserve more...and quite frankly...they should at least be somewhat retrospective about the game industry.
People who complain about DLC act like up until now the game industry has always been on your side with video games. Everyone thinks back to the Atari days and thinks, "Gee, video games sure were good then." but they really weren't. The vast majority of people are wearing nostalgia goggles so thick that a bullet couldn't penetrate it. Remember old RPGs on the NES? I'm not saying they're all bad (as they did lay the blue print for future RPGs), but...a look at storylines real quick. The storylines were usually something along the lines of a wizard attacking your hometown and you want revenge, you're the chosen one and have to save something or someone, or you're off on an adventure and get caught up in some strange situation. The graphics were good for the time, but easily outdated. The music was just beeps and boops, and they can still be catchy, but the music design overall has been outdated for way too long.
And before you go off on a long rant about how I'm wrong about saying what i just did, if you have a 360 or PS3 in your room, then you have no place to talk against this. If you do want to talk against this and say I'm wrong, sure, go ahead, but realize that the vast majority of the people who'll say I'm wrong do have either a wii/ps3/360/GamingPC in their homes.
Remember E.T. the video game? They knew it was going to be a huge seller, and yet, they didn't give half a crap about how good it came out. They were in it for the money, and that led to their own downfall.
Oh, and a classic: "All your Base Are Belong to Us"
DLC done right
DLC, in it's prime form, only adds to the pizza. Along with the pizza, you should get a side of breadsticks. My absolutely favorite piece of DLC of all time thus far has been Beat Hazard Ultra. Beat Hazard functioned fine on its own, and worked wonderfully. Ultra just added more features such as co-op, more bosses, perks, powerups, new weapons, and other functionality for just $5.
DLC can also be done right in other ways. The two best genres for DLC are Music based games and Sports games. I used to be a huge fan of Madden, and it really pissed me off how new rookies were always ranked lower no matter how well they did in college. So, why not make DLC for a game like madden, where for $5-$10, you can get updates on their stats as the season progresses? Make it feel more realistic. If Peyton Manning gets injured on the colts, then he does on your game too. Music games like GH should focus more on DLC rather than making sequels every few seconds. Then maybe, just maybe, the franchise would last longer.
When DLC doesn't matter
DLC, no matter how much is packed onto a disc, isn't really a bad thing (to me) in a few different cases. Locking off character costumes, extra maps, and things of the sort doesn't really bug me unless it impedes my actual gameplay. A lot of hate went towards Gotham City Imposters for having so much DLC, but all the dlc really did was unlock costumers, something purely a cosmetic effect which is similar to TF2's store system.
TF2's store system, while not really being DLC, is a good way to go about handling a game's extra financial gains. You basically allow customers to support the game in a non-harmful way in which functions perfectly. The workshop was a fantastic addition, and I hope to see Valve implementing more of its ideas across their future games. read