What Makes Good DLC?


DLC is something that has been both celebrated and hated in this generation of consoles.  Gamers clamor for DLC but are quick to attack when it is not up to their standards:

Length (for single player games) – For single player games, DLC can be the only reason a gamer will put it back in the machine two or three months after their first or second run through it.  Companies have to make their DLC long enough for gamers to actually get excited about the extension of the game.  Many gamers will feel cheated if they have waited a few months for forty five minutes of gameplay.

Quantity (for multiplayer games) – This means quantity of new maps or modes being added to the game.   Playing an FPS for the first time on launch weekend is exciting.  Everyone is trying to figure out the maps, and people are discovering strategies that will work over ones that will leave you getting teabagged.   After a few weeks or days, depending on how much of an outside life you have, most people will have maps memorized.  Newcomers will have a hard time getting used to the maps while they are getting sniped from somewhere they didn’t even realize was part of the map.  When new DLC maps come, it begins the excitement that occurs when gamers can find a new path that will give them the advantage, and with more maps, that time can last longer. Nothing gets a gamers’ blood flowing like a high number of maps to frag people on. It is also good for companies trying to sell older games.


Don't Be Horse Armor - I probably don't have to elaborate on that one.

It is important that companies actually work on the content AFTER the game goes on sale – If anything will evoke a backlash from gamers, it is DLC that simply unlocks content on the game disk.  People are already suspicious that game companies are trying to squeeze money from them.  Completing content and purposely locking it on the disc just to gouge gamers a few weeks later will make consumers think twice before buying that company’s next game.

DLC is great.  It breathes life into games that have been under your bed for a few weeks.   Good DLC makes gamers excited to dive back into familiar worlds.  Bad DLC makes gamers hesitant to trust the gaming industry as a whole.  Companies have to stop viewing DLC as a cheap money maker and start viewing it as something that can strengthen their relationship with gamers, something that can bring us all together.