Back in the day, expansion packs for video games such as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and StarCraft followed along shortly after their releases with an abundant amount of content and many other things that have positively contributed to gaming experiences in many ways.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind‘s expansion pack brought forth whole new lands to explore with new monsters and content that added many hours to the game. When “Brood War” came out for StarCraft, it added many missions to play just to introduce new multiplayer strategies alone. Players were able to get these new features from just one payment!
Within the last five years, when was the last release of an expansion pack stuffed with great content and gameplay? Expansion packs are slowly becoming a lost tradition because there has been a large push at the start of the current generation of games for downloadable content (DLC).
DLC has given game developers a chance to release smaller packs of content to owners of a game. It has caused them to spend less time to work on new features as well as an easier way to patch their games if a problem was ever to arise. On paper this sounds great, but what DLC actually brings to the table is a desire for more: greed.
Today’s developers are pinching pennies by offering unneeded features ranging from extra music to armor for things such as horses in their games. This greed has gone so far as to having content on the disc, but not letting the owner of a game use it until purchasing a DLC release, and fighting games are a notable example of this.
Today, DLC is rushed, unfinished, and buggy most of the time. Is it worth spending $10 just for one mission that will only last two hours long? What is the most popular gaming franchise out there that already has more than enough DLC releases? It is the Call of Duty franchise.
Call of Duty has been a large leader in shoving DLC in front of their players faces and in splitting their online community in half due to their $15 map packs that only add around five maps for the current generation of games.
What’s more, other companies that have released a lot of DLC are Bethesda and Obsidian. Their wide choice of DLC for Fallout provided new quests of which spanned up to five hours and offered new weapons for $10 each. The “Bloodmoon” expansion for Morrowind released back in 2003 is a great example of how to use both expansion packs and DLC effectively for the reason that it lasted twenty to forty hours long and sold for around $25.
Many dislike the way that developers have used DLC just as a money-making machine and not as a wonderful tool to get amazing content to their consumer with the current generation of games.
In the end, DLC is just not worth paying for anymore. They have made games much less of an amazing experience for players by raising the price tags for substandard features. In the future, hopefully a promising expansion pack will come out that will not disappoint its audience and keep up the spirit of video gaming for years to come.
I’ve noticed that a lot of DLC released today aren’t as big as the expansion packs game developers have released in the past years. Digital distribution is a very convenient way to get games, but I think that leaving out content that should be in a game or even making content included in a game inaccessible isn’t the right way to bring additional content to players.