When Natalia Holda, a 21-year-old student at Florida International University, first heard about Downloadable Content being released for one of her favorite games, Final Fantasy XIII, she was thrilled. "I was handed more weapons and upgraded my character the way I wanted, with more adventure and missions."
Downloadable Content, more commonly known as DLCs have become all the rage in the gaming industry, is additional content for a video game distributed through the internet by the game's official publisher. The rise of a high speed broadband, from Dial up internet service to WiFi, the internet has given rise to what used to be ambiguous. Steadily, since 1998, they have begun to take over the gaming industry, but are consoles one day, going to be outdated?
Why So Big?
DLCs have existed since the early 1980's. Introduced on the Atari 2600, downloadable content was used as a cartridge you could use to download games using a telephone line under the name GameLine. After GameLine crashed in 1989, the Sega Genesis created the Sega Channel in 1994 that, for a subscription fee, allowed players to download games over a cable line. The Sega Channel lasted only 4 years closing on July 31st 1998.
As technology rose, so did the rise of downloadable content, although in a narrow scope due to the narrowband connection. But with the development of high-speed internet and WiFi, gaming consoles have created networks (i.e. PlayStation Network, Xbox Live) that give the players easy accessibility to more gaming content created by video game developers. This is a technologic world.
"DLCs have become very renown lately," says Laura Gonzalez, 22, Gaming Associate at GameStop, "because of how often the consumer is on the network. Majority, if not, all the customers relating to video games are connected through LAN or WIFI and are able to get that internet source for interaction of newsfeeds, updates, relatable forums. Just for the simplicity of network marketing is why it's hitting so big- everyone is connected through the internet."
Video Game Developers have also presented ulterior motives, something gamers, like David Morrison, 19, have picked up on. "Primarily, it's a way for publishers to prevent customers from selling their games immediately after beating them," says Morrison, "and a good way to make additional money on what may have been a huge investment."
DLCs have received mixed reviews since they have become so big. Many people like them, but others not so much. "I generally don't like them," says Holda, "but it depends. If the DLC just adds more fun bonus content, then I usually don't mind getting it. Though if it's a story based, or continues the games story line, then what was the point of paying for a $60 game if you were going to continue it?" Many gamers have said that it's not worth the money and issue complaints such as "well why didn't the developers just put that in the game in the first place".
Others disagree, and like the expansion of the story. "I'm certainly down to spend some money to expand upon a game I love," says Morrison, "especially if the new content is a significant addition to the base game. Of course, it can be done badly."
Others, Gonzalez, say "DLC content for any video game is definitely worth the time and purchase. The majority of the content available gives more depth to the stories of each game feeding that desire for the consumer to want to know more and more. However, there are just enough DLC in the market that are not needed and are just simply add-ons to gain an extra irrelevant character or expertise."
(The Scret World latest DLC takes you on the train to Cairo)