• Video games are now firmly part of mainstream entertainment with consoles and digital content big business for game developers and publishers. In the case of AAA titles, gamers can be expected to part with upwards of over £39.99 for new games on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox one. After paying such high premiums for games, players can be excused for expecting the best possible experience, but one recent phenomenon has left gamers questioning whether they are starting to get a raw deal from developers; Downloadable Content, or DLC.

    Paid DLC Vs Free to Play Games

    Occasionally, developers will release new DLC as part of a free update but in most cases the extra game time comes at a sometimes-steep price. Such practises in the video game industry are certainly part of the commercial requirements to survive but they occur in a sector where other providers are seeing exponential growth driven by free content, sign-up offers, and bonuses. This of course is the online gambling industry we are referring to, and in recent years the genre has seen the biggest numbers of new players in the industry.

    As the name denotes, downloadable content comes in the form of sequels, new chapters, or spin-offs relating to an original title that users can download and play. This system enhances player’s experiences by expanding the scope of a game and offering new in-play features. While good for driving revenue, this approach does not take into account the benefit of attracting new players via free-to-play games – a trick their igaming counterparts are all too aware of. Indeed many new bingo sites offer a no-deposit option in addition to free play, giving players a genuine reason to return once they become familiar with the format of the games.

    In essence there is nothing wrong with developers charging for DLC as they have every right to be compensated for their hard work. However, the biggest issue is that many gamers feel that developers may be holding content back to sell at a later date as DLC releases.

    Incomplete Games, – or Additional Content?

    Whether developers would put out incomplete games is up for debate but there is no doubting the potential of the practise in terms of revenue. In the same way, is charging more fair on gamers who will have already paid premium prices for the best games? We do have to take into account that there are a lot of factors that may affect decisions surrounding DLC such as deadlines and pressure from publishers.

     The consensus among gamers is that not all developers intentionally withhold content for release as a DLC at a later date, but some do. However it is also worth noting that existing content may not be included when a game is released as it will have been developed for a planned DLC. This is different from deliberately cutting content from a title that would have been created as one game initially.

     In conclusion, it is doubtful whether professional developer would release an incomplete game at the risk of alienating the very market they are targeting with their content. And with that in mind it may be fair to give developers the benefit of the doubt and allow for their need to survive financially and being able to support those that create our favourite games. Despite that, the issue of cost is a sore one among gamers and more discussion around the subject is needed to find a more agreeable solution for both parties. If the online gambling industry can do it, then so should mainstream video game developers.

     

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