Remember when if you wanted extra content for a game you went and bought an expansion? I distinctly remember the excitement I felt when I finally managed to track down a bundle of the Total Annihilation expansions and installing them onto my computer for a few extra missions. I also have very fond memories of swapping out the disk on my treasured PlayStation so I could wreak havoc over the streets of London in GTA: London (yes, yes I was far too young to be playing it, my parents pretty much ignored age ratings).
Now things are much simpler of course. No spending hours tracking down expansion packs or swapping out disks to get your hands on a new city, you just jump onto the store of your choice and grab whatever new content you want in the form of DLC. Pft, young people these days, you don’t know how good you’ve got it.
Of course the biggest issue with DLC seems to be how much it’s worth. Is it worth less if it’s just an unlock code on the disk, even if producing that extra content was budgeted for as premium content? That’s what does seem to be forgotten about unlock codes for disk based content, it may have been produced at the same time as the rest of the content, but the development hours were paid for by expected sales of DLC.
I don’t think I’ve ever actually purchased a single item of DLC, so it’s hard for me to gauge how much we should be paying for things. What does seem a little weird is the amount of content you can get at a fixed price, say £7.99, varies so much game to game. Some games will give you just a few more characters for that, others will give you new maps or missions.
How much should we be paying though? Is a new character worth more or less than a new car or a new map? Is everything priced too high at the moment?