Oh I don’t understand videogames any more. I feel like such an old man, harking back to the days when the game would come out, and then eight months later there’d be an add-on. Now I’m not sure if I’m only getting a fraction of the intended game when I open the box, what with pre-order bonuses, special editions with extra quests, and most of all, DLC. DLC is a great idea! More content, and downloadable because we’ve got this new thing called the internet. Great plan! But why am I posting a trailer for Dragon Age II‘s DLC below, over a week before the game has come out?
And why is it offering me an entirely new companion. Did the writers intend this companion to be part of the story? Is his narrative integral to the plot as it was conceived, and sort of done without if the DLC is ignored? Are writers even able to create something cogent when a marketing team is demanding that they cut the game into ribbons, so each section can be sold separately?
The mistake is the appearance of greed, of swindling your initial customer. When additional content came out a few months after the release it at least gave the impression that the developers had just kept on making the game after it was finished out of sheer momentum. Revealing that entire chunks of plot, quests, characters and abilities are being deliberately designed in order to not include them in the game just seems like a “fuck you” to the customer. Before DLC was an option, such content would either be artificially held back until it was really too late for people to have it for their first play of the game, or more likely just be contained in the game. Now it’s dangled in front of us, with no other message than, “Sure, you can spend only the £35/$50 on this game, but look what you won’t have.”