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Default The Rise and Fall of Expansions & DLC

December 22nd, 2013, 22:58
I've been wanting to get some detailed feedback on the views and opinions of RPGWatch goers regarding Expansions & DLC. Since Christmas has essentially begun in our household, I have more free time than usual to attempt to properly convey what I would like to elicit.

First, let me define Expansions and DLC. This definition is just MY definition. But for the purposes of this thread, if you all can amuse me and just accept it as a baseline for discussion.

Expansions and DLC are essentially the same thing, the latter term being used more often by marketing departments as the digital era descends upon us (thus 'DLC' or (D)own(L)oadable (C)ontent) while retail with it's physical boxes (usually more associated with the term 'expansions') slowly meanders into the fog of the past.

In a nutshell, expansions/DLC typically require the 'base' game and they simply add some measure of additional content to it.

Sidenote: Unofficially, there seems to be some distinction, primarily with gamers, that suggests 'Expansions' imply that there will (or should) be MORE content than what a DLC might offer. But this difference shouldn't distract the topic of conversation in that regardless, expansions and DLC simply add additional content to a base game. For simplicity sake, for the remainder of this thread I'll refer to expansions and DLC simply as DLC.

With that out of the way, I'd like to better understand why it is that many people have a negative view of DLC. I've seen and read the disdain toward it numerous times and I already have some ideas of why people don't like it. But I often wonder if people don't like HOW the concept is being used by developers/publishers or if it is the concept itself they don't like. Or perhaps both. Or perhaps some of you have a completely different framework of how you view this subject.

Growing up along with the dawn of videogames, I always looked forward to games and any additional DLC that might come along for it. My first exposure to the concept of DLC was the Forge of Virtue for Ultima 7, The Black Gate. I had spent the better part of nearly two years anticipating Ultima 7. After spending several months playing it and finally finishing it, later the gaming world learned there would be an expansion to the game. It was wonderful news and it was universally looked forward to.

This experience isn't a clear-cut case anymore. And I'd really enjoy reading all the different viewpoints each of you here might have on the subject.
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