Aah, downloadable content. Videogame publishers must have spunked with the fury of a thousand Suns after they realized what could be done with it. Like creating the stuff long before a game's release and stockpiling it for later. Paging Halo Wars.
Yes, the DLC for Halo Wars isn't just planned -- it's as good as finished.
"The main thing is that DLC was built into the game design from the very beginning so we've actually been working on DLC all along," explains lead designer Graeme Devine. "It was never the plan to finish the game THEN start work on the DLC.
Just in case you were wondering why Halo Wars won't just ship with more content rather that deliberately holding stuff back, don't worry. Devine has that argument all taken care of:
"I think the thing with DLC is that, if you release it all, how do you sustain interest in the game? One of the ways of sustaining interest in a game is with DLC. So I think it is there for that purpose and does a good job.
"I think if you get it all it's like a massive blitz of content in your face and you don't get all the value of everything we've put into the game. I think the game contains an awful lot in the box already so DLC is a good way to be able to add to that experience."
You can't really argue with the logic of "we want to keep people buying and playing our stuff," but the idea of holding back content rather than making it later still seems really tacky to me. I'd prefer that the game I buy at launch have 100% of the resources and attention behind it, but then, we've all learned by now that games are not made based upon what's best for the consumer.