There was a time, believe it or not, when games were shipped with full fledged manuals, a cartridge or disc and enough time to finish the game before a sequel was conceived. It wasn’t until the Xbox 360 and PS3 that consumers were introduced to a double edge sword known as downloadable content. The idea of DLC is to help bring a game’s life back from the grave by squeezing more replay value out of it. However, the release of Gears of War 3 shows just how ridiculous DLC can be and why it can turn a good idea into a bad one.
I think we can all agree that with great care and responsiblity, DLC can be carried out correctly. Let’s take a look at the latest Fallout franchise. Between January and August of ’09, Bethesda released 5 add-on packs to the smash-hit Fallout 3. Some were meh (Operation: Anchorage), but the majority of people who purchased them were pleased — not only with the content but the cost. Those add-ons never went over 800 MS points, or $9.99. That is a price everyone can live with. Now let’s take a look at Gears of War 3 which was released yesterday.
Wow, 3600 MS points? What a steal! No, seriously, they’re stealing money from me.
Is this what DLC has come down to? A bunch of character skins and weapon skin collections that change no aspect to gameplay whatsoever saddens me. If they’re going to pull this kind of bullshit, why not do what Steam has done with Team Fortress 2? Purchasing a collection of weapons that do different things and can actually help you perform better sounds a lot better than switching the skins of a gun. As you can see on the picture above, they aren’t very popular.
Should I feel sorry for those 227 people who decided fork out $45 of their hard earned money for something so incredibly superficial that it’d make Shallow Hal blush? Aside from my lame and old movie reference, no. Microsoft or the hundreds of publishers aren’t the problem — it’s YOU. What can you do to end the constant hording of awezome gaem skinz? Stop buying this shit. If sheeple keep it up, these companies will look at their statistics and actually think you want more skins. Only you can prevent lame downloadable content. Game responsibly.