In the videogame franchises, there’s a new topic trending that has been sinking its claws into the industry: DLC and Microtransactions. It all started slowly and quietly. Horse Armor DLC for Elder Scrolls Oblivion, and everyone laughed at that time on these things. Nowadays, though purchasing a full-game after the release date is not an easy task: maybe the developer locked some in-game content in the pursuit of milking its own creation with absurd DLC. We gamers don’t have any problem with DLC until it is done in a right way. Why would you need to become better at playing when you can spend money on those microtransactions that allows your character – in a singleplayer or a multiplayer game – be much better, stronger and clever than the rest of the characters? But the question is why do developers implement these kind of things in their games, this is because the budget of developing AAA blockbuster games has increased from few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
The original concept of DLC was to add content for their games after release and keep the community engaged in the game but since then the meaning of DLC has changed a lot. Nowadays developers have started practices like Day One DLC. Developers remove some content from their games and release it as Day One DLC which actually means to enjoy the full game now you will have to pay some Rs. 3000 for the disc you buy and 10-15$ for the DLC. This practice brings loads of cash in developers’ bank account as franchise lovers who want to enjoy the complete experience offered by the game will go and pay for that DLC. A example for this is the that of a very popular game, Gran Turismo 5. Polyphony Digital and Sony did something similar with Gran Turismo 5 by releasing a Gran Turismo 5 prologue in 2007 . The game was meant to give you a small slice of the full release but still cost you 40$. Game was already one of the most awaited games and sold a whopping 4 million (40 lakh) copies, gamers enjoyed Gran Turismo 5 prologue while developers completed the full game and released it in 2010. This type of practice don’t effect games which have no story to be told. Kojima productions are also doing something similar with Metal Gear Solid. This March Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes will be hitting shelves and all the fans are really excited for this game but this title is not a full game and is a prologue to Metal Gear Solid 5. What Sony did with Gran Turismo was still digestible because we could skip Gran Turismo 5 prologue because we knew the content in prologue will be available in final game but same is not applicable on Metal Gear Solid. To enjoy the complete experience provided by Metal Gear Solid 5 we need to buy 1 game that is been distributed in the form of 2 games. Now gamers will have to pay 80-90$ to enjoy the full game which is way too expensive for one single game.
Microtransactions were originally implemented to Free-To-Play games so that developers had a source of income from free to play games but this model quickly changed from Free-To-Play to Pay-To-Win. In reality free to play games cost you more than paid games because these types of games designed with micro-transactions in mind and to complete missions they are going to ask you for money. This kind of system can be done right if a developer wants. There are games like Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, and the recent Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft which have implemented micro-transactions in right manner. They ask you for money but only of cosmetic value which have no effect on the gameplay whatsoever. This issue is not a very big because we know in a Free-To-Play game micro-transactions exist. This problem becomes bigger when full 60$ games start having micro-transactions. Forza Motorsport 5 (Xbox One) is an example of full game having micro-transactions. The game itself has less content compared to other entries in the franchise and still few cars which are fan favourite behind the pay wall, Microsoft and Turn 10 are aware that these cars are most loved cars and people will pay for these cars and it will bring them money. We don’t want to say that DLC and Micro-Transactions are bad but the way they are being done is definitely not right for us or even the industry.
“There’s a thing about DLC and microtransactions. They wouldn’t exist…if the market didn’t consume them.”
Not all’s that bad though. We have a couple of great free-to-play recommendations that don’t abuse the player’s need to be rewarded. Check them out: