Sunday, November 16, 2008

Srsly?, is DLC the future?

In case you've been living under a rock, Digital distribution is the future of gaming. No, really. You see it everywhere in PC games, PSN, XBLA and Wiiware, and even in the new DSI's DSware. DLC is hot, it's big, and it's now, but is it really what people want?

If you look at most message boards on the internet, there are quite a few people who are against games going full-on digital. One could say that it comes down to whether you want a pysical copy of the game, or you want your games taking up virtual space on your HDD, but it's a lot more than just that. A few of the reasons range from not being able to try out new games in order to see if you really want to make that purchase, to the possibility that most if not all DL games can't be moved onto the next generation of consoles.

Last Week Mike Capps of Epic Games stated that some game developers were considering to make the final boss battles of games DLC which will be free for people who purchase the game, but available only after paying a nominal fee (possibly 20 dollars) for those who bought the game used.

I've talked to some developers who are saying "If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free".

We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used - way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it...

That could be good, but then again it could be incredibly bad.

Bad in the sense that it seems like penalizing gamers for trying to save money (especially now where saving your dollar is even more important), while trying to stick it to corporations like Gamestop who's resale policy is pretty much akin to highway robbery.

What was said about devs not making money from rentals or used sales is true, but It's not like the average gamer can pull together 60 bucks to buy every hot new game that comes out. especially now when AAA titles are coming out in rapid succession for holiday consumption. Not to mention the fact that the idea of playing a game and getting to the final dungeon, only to see a "to finish this game, pay 20 dollars" screen would totally ruin the immersion factor of any playthrough.

There are better alternitives to resolve the situation. Games like DeadSpace, and Little Big Planet have included various downloadable extras to spice up the gaming experience. These are things that MMORPGs have been doing for years, and it's only bringing in more revenue to create new experiences for the players.

Of course that's something for the developers to ultimately decide, but don't expect gamers to take any of that lightly. Look at the issues going on right now with DRM and Spore.

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