Day one downloadable content (DLC); more and more games are finding one way or another to include them in your games. Mass Effect 2 did it with the Cerberus network, Mortal Kombat did it with their restricted access to online play, Catwomen in Batman: Arkham City and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is doing it with House of Valor faction quests. Now all this DLC has been free to people that have purchased the game new; but used buyers have to shell out for the content. Is this a fair or are publishers purposely restricting game content to make more money on their products? That is the focus on This Weeks Geek.
Now I am going to attempt to look at this objectively. I have my opinion on this, which I will get to at the end of the article, but lets look at it from both ends of the spectrum on this; starting with the broke gamer. The broke gamer typically plays games only after they have been out for quite some time. They have to purchase games for their favorite console used and don't have a PC that can play new games on Steam. These gamers are getting the short end of the stick as they don't get the day one DLC. After they buy the game used from Gamestop / Best Buy / Game Fly they have to then spend extra money to get the DLC that came with the game initially. It can be said that these guys are getting short changed by the publisher. From this perspective the DLC that is shipped with the game when it released should be on the disc for them to play.
OK, that was hard, now on to the publisher perspective. The publisher has spent millions of dollars and years to create what they hope to be a master piece. The game they have created is the bread and butter that will keep them in business and their people employed. In order to promote new sales of their game they have locked some content. This content is sometimes already on the disk, but we are seeing less of that. This content usually runs about $10 on the open market. By keeping it seperate the content can help a company continue to make money on used game sales; if a user wants to get the full experiance from the game, they will need buy the DLC.
I think I made it pretty clear which one I am on board with, but lets spell it out. I am on the side of the publishers. By placing codes for $10 DLC I can look at it like a bundle. I am getting a $50 game with $10 of DLC bundled into the game. It makes me feel like I am getting my games a little cheaper again. Not buying that huh? Still think the publisher is messing with their customers by not having the day one DLC included as part of game? Here is another kicker then, people that buy used games are not the customers of the publisher. While they are buying the publisher's product, they are not giving the publisher any money, it all goes to the used game retailer. They don't become the publisher's customer until the used gamer gets that DLC, and now they have the DLC so they are not getting shorted.
There you have it, both sides (as I see it) and where I stand. Where do you stand on this?