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LONG BLOG

DLC: Take stuff out, so you buy it back in.

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Deducting Logical Content - is what I call downloadable content that only adds to a game what should have been there.

There is no finer example of content taken from a game to be remastered as a stand alone product than the DLC available for Magic The Gathering. With magic the gathering being a 20 year-old card game and well established as having 5 colours of magic, you would think that the five colours of magic would be included in every iteration of the game. As of the 2011 game, this is not so. The play area with which cards are placed have themes that follow the five colours. Black and gloom, red and fires, white light, blue water, and green forests, each type has a play area but only two are included with the initial game. Seeing that the other three were available for purchase and download I felt a sense of disgust and saw this exclusion of content as a warning of things to come, how little I knew.

Since digital markets have become a centre for monetizing component parts and superficial ambiance, content has been consciously been removed to latter be monetized. Is this good, is this bad? Well it's bad, it's really fucking bad actually.

See, the big picture about this is folks are going to push for shit to be taken out of a game and repackaged latter. If you can't make money on a demo, make money on stuff that should have gone in anyway. Making money on a demo was a big topic in 2010 and was brushed aside in 2011 as looming concerns over Origin raised hands. If any platform is every going to offer a demo and charge for it, it's going to be on Origin. Because it isn't feasible for every company to make money on releasing expanded or exclusive demo material, it's pretty much common place now for superficial and component parts to be essentially removed from a title and sold latter.

I believe the motive behind monetizing component parts goes beyond wanting to make a buck after a title's release. I find that with finished product a little set dressing and random polish free of charge is a nice little thanks, a tip of the hat to folks who picked up the game. Now, pre-order content is kind of like that 'thanks', but also it usually makes it onto the digital market sooner or latter.

There was a time in gaming when an expansion pack actually expanded on the game and didn't just add one or two things. The reason Download-able Content is called as such is just needs to be something - anything, to be considered content. Even if it's a 14kb unlock for something that was already on the disc, which is another great thing that's been done.

Debating the credibility of DLC isn't new. The debates round off on either DLC being optional extras, or band-aids for unfinished product. Really though with Day 1 patches, are band-aids. Anyway, like abortion people are getting their hands up their asses with the wording. It isn't whether you are pro life or pro choice, it's whether you are for or against abortion. Pretty much everyone enjoys life and making choices, so what's with the question? Or rather, DLC is optional regardless of how much or how little it could have affected the product if included.

With all of this said, it's bad taste for a title to launch and immediately have content ready for purchase on digital markets. With the full game in front of you, why would you want to pay even more for it - because that's really what you'd be doing. If the game is brand-spanking-new it probably has a fairly demanding price, then add to that price any or all of the content that could have been included.

Expansion packs used to build on core games by adding up to 1/3 the amount of content that was available in the core game. Take the board game Carcassonne for example, it's a building board game with several expansions - each with their own set of rules, new play pieces, etc. It actually builds on the game in a big way and most expansions have a very decent price. Then, look at something like Little Big Planet DLC. Some stickers, a new music track, and some things to make your character look different from other people online - all that for about $5.99, and it's really all set dressing. It isn't polish and it all basically has no impact on the finished product. If you look at other DLC though, some are on the fence of being an expansion and set dressing. The Metal Gear Pack and The Pirates of The Caribbean Pack, would both be considered expansions if the costumes were included. As it stands, without these two packs player miss out of two features that can't be found elsewhere. Paint guns, which add to gameplay and water, which can add a lot of new gameplay. Sure the product is expanded upon, but not enough so that it could really b considered an expansion - even with the levels pertaining to each DLC pack. LBP and LBP2 are about letting people create levels, so really why would paying for some levels be anything other than more set dressing? In LBP the levels in the packs are really demonstrations of the things that you could do creatively with what you had just purchased.

Topics like this, really are no relative. There is no middle ground and having your own opinion about what is and what isn't an expansion - isn't figurative. Break down the word, 'expanse' is the DLC expansive? How much or how little content is there and how much or how little will it affect the core game. Is it expansive or just expensive? Weigh the price and pretend all the DLC is part of the base price for a game. Hell, consider if you only pre-order a game because of 'bonus' codes, then ask yourself whether or not you think that bonus stuff couldn't have been in the base game for everyone.

TLDR: From Dust is a populous clone.
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About Bibblyone of us since 11:41 AM on 02.16.2011

Hi!, My name is Aaron but you can call me Bibbly if you like. I make stuff out of things. Here's a sample of a thing made with stuff:

I am from Canada.

It is important you know that I am from Canada because we spell colour and flavour with a U and sometimes use British vernacular, probably because of Coronation Street and East Enders.

I'm a student in something called 'pre professional journalism'. Whatever that is. I'm a major of Philosophy and a minor in Sociology, mostly because critical thinking and the analysis and understanding of social behaviors makes me horny.

My ambitions include creating a fully animated rotoscoped feature length animatronic musical and to build a 'fusion' reactor in my backyard out of little more than a high power laser and an industrial vacuum. Both of these things are possible believe it or not.

My hobbies include Canadian Moose Throwing which is easier than it sounds and Snow Mobile Diving which is a sport that takes place after a failed attempt at extended hydroplaning or bad jump.

You can hit me up on Skype @: Bibbly53
And Email me @: [email protected]


Stay classy.

PSN ID:Bibbly53
Steam ID:TheDeadLuciusCrain


 

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