Like it or not, Day 1 DLC is in a lot of our favorite games, whether it be the fresh out of the oven Portal 2, or the ever so popular Killzone 3 and Little Big Planet, DLC released on the first day is a reality, but is it ok? Day 1 DLC is frowned upon around the gaming community, commonly used as a reason to not support a game, or hate on it. Developers are called “greedy” for releasing DLC on the first day. There is a fine line between what Day 1 DLC is acceptable and what is not.
A good example of what type of DLC is completely acceptable on launch day is none-essential DLC. For example, skins, costumes, etc. Any DLC that doesn’t affect the gameplay experience. Portal 2 executes this perfectly; with the only DLC to be found on the first day is costumes and dances for the Co-Op mode. This is fine with me because it doesn’t feel required, and is probably something I can ignore.
However in some cases launch day DLC does feel required. Killzone 3 for example had a map pack featuring 2 maps released on the first day. This DLC does feel required if you don’t want to be separated from the community, all of my clan mates had the DLC, so I had to buy it too. Sure $5 isn’t a lot, but when I just spent $65 on a game I don’t want that to go to $70 just because I wanted to play with my friends.
There is one reason developers release launch day DLC; and that’s when the game goes gold. Most cases games go gold, (ready to be manufactured on the disks, sent to retailer etc.), 1 month before release. This gives the developers time to work on new content, or finish content that didn’t make the deadline. The content they do finish can be released as DLC on launch day. But that brings up the question, why not just patch it in? The answer is money; developers see a financial opportunity to releasing the content as DLC rather than patching it in, even though patching it in would give the game a much better image.
Nevertheless, what really grinds my gears is when a game is released and there is DLC in the store for me to buy, it looks pretty cool so I purchase it, and it downloads instantly. Wait what? How is this map pack only 40kb? I just got ripped off, by paying for something that was already done , already on the disk, and could have been released with the final game. It’s like buying a PS3, but you have to pay extra to use the USB ports.
Overall it’s probably better to just release DLC a month or more after the game comes out, it makes everyone happy, and the developers won’t have to deal with disappointed fans.