“Come on, what’s with all the DLC?!” Ah the chants have been going ever since the first second of the new generation and the last breathes of the last. It has reached a deafening fervor at this past week’s E3 as the new generation really begins.
What’s with all the DLC you ask? Well, I have to admit something to you gamers, you have been asking for it for years upon years now, so sit down and shut up! See, what the average consumer rarely ponders (often to their financial detriment), is the true economics that go in to their favorite products or services. They only see the end product and the price tag, which inherently is not wrong at all, that’s what the developers and producers want you to see. As Otto von Bismark once said “there are two things people should never see being made, laws and sausages”. He hit it on the head with that one, and rational ignorance is totally fine, life is too short and the adult world to busy to be concerned with knowing every finite detail of every interaction you make every day.
However, this having been said, I simply have to shake my head harder than Michael J. Fox when I hear the constant bitching and whining of the modern gamer, cause they really don’t know what they want now do they? With every generation gamers want to see technological and aesthetic upgrades, as do I. I love what the new generation is bringing in terms of interactive technology and absolutely gorgeous games that are taking us closer to uncanny valley than ever before. But what people don’t understand is that the cost of development, even when dealing with inflation is not what it used to be decades before. People are well aware of how much modern games are beginning to cost, GTA V cost over $350 million in development and over $700 million in global marketing, capping at over a billion! Now luckily GTA is such a huge franchise that gamers were treated to the full experience at the classic game price tag of $60 without being nickeled and dimed for the whole experience. However, the typical game company, like the typical company of any industry, usually has to put their necks on the line and manage huge amounts of debt annually, with only the CHANCE that the game will be a hit. When one factors in the interest on these capital loans as well as the development costs, the salaries of the programmers, the maintenance costs like electricity and office rent and even the food that is consumed by the workers every single day, its no surprise that the original $60 price tag for a complete game just does not cut it anymore for these companies.
Yet, the typical modern gamer whines and complains like a man child when they see that the $60 game has content missing and it ends up costing more like $80-$90 for the complete game or a staggering $140 for the whole experience in the case of Destiny year one (a game which btw cost $500 million just in development costs). You simply cannot have it both ways, the new generation of gaming will be more expensive, either put up with PS2 visuals forever, or embrace a new price tag, if you’re willing to shell out money for the DLC as well as the $60 game, then why not just pay $80 or $90 for the whole game at once on one disk? If you’re not willing to do that then don’t complain and cry when you’re favorite company can’t realize their next creative vision cause they’re bankrupt.