Day One DLC Effect

Found this in my Evernote drafts, pretend like I posted this a week ago as I’d intended to. Obviously I need to work harder on my resolution not to publish and not over-edit or leave stuff in drafts forever.

I’ve been catching up on my news feeds today and just ran across the drama about Mass Effect 3′s day one DLC, From Ashes. After listening to Total Biscuit and reading various posts, I’m left wondering why there wasn’t the same huge deal made out of the Warden’s Keep DLC for Dragon Age. I don’t remember blogging about it, but I remember being pretty pissed off that somehow there was DLC available for a game on the same day it launches.

I’m very curious to see how this DLC integrates into Mass Effect 3, but it can’t possibly be worse than Dragon Age: Origins where you actually had a quest prompt that then redirected you to the store.

Regardless of the realities of scheduling, where developers actually have time between completing a game and when the game ship to implement new content for digital distribution, it just feels like the design of the game was scaled back and I’m not getting the complete package for my initial money paid. Logical or not, it would be better for developers to hold DLC until after the first week or two as suggested by John Walker on RPS.

For myself, I had pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition from Amazon months ago (the day it was announce actually) so I’ll be getting this DLC gratis. I ordered the Collector’s Edition because I love the series. Were I waiting for launch day to pick up a regular copy, this DLC wouldn’t have changed my mind about just getting the basic edition.

I understand that some people feel like this content will be integral to the story and so they’ll be missing out unless they pay the additional dollars. This may be true, but frankly I doubt it will be that central to things, and once I’m done with the game I don’t really think I’ll miss whether or not there was one additional character on my crew. Honestly, I’m a tiny bit glad it will be available at launch, I think I would’ve enjoyed having Kasumi along on more missions rather than just the Stolen Memories DLC.

3 Comments

  1. YeeboNo Gravatar says:

    There was a great article I read recently about games as products versus games as services. In MMO land we have been living with games as services for a long time. Paying $50 for the EQ client basically allowed you the privilege of paying $10 a month for access to the servers (a service). Guild Wars, and arguably some multiplayer Roguelikes such as Diablo and Borderlands, are the only MMOish games I can think of that are sold as products (i.e., you buy a box, the online service is free thereafter). Stuff being locked off unless you pay more at launch seems to push the Mass Effect more in the direction of “paying $60 for access to a service” than “paying $60 for a complete product.”

    Not a big deal to me as an MMO enthusiast. I’m used to paying for clients that become dead space on my hard drive after a month unless I pay a sub fee. That’s a hell of a lot more harsh than “there is a bit of content I can’t get to unless I pay more.” But I can see where console gamers that are used to paying for complete products would be incensed.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Agreed, and that’s probably why I’m not upset over it like some seem to be. I’d say there’s going to be a lot more of that in the future. After all, one could make the case that SW:TOR didn’t actually need to be an MMO but then EA wouldn’t have had an excuse to charge a monthly fee for it.

  2. xXJayeDuBXxNo Gravatar says:

    I am not a fan of day one dlc and I don’t think that will change, but you do make some good points. I wish I could put into words why it bothers me so, but I can’t and in the end I am not forced to buy the dlc so why should it matter.