Stand Alone DLC: A Good Alternative

Can DLC not be a dirty word? I think so.
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What am I talking about?  

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Well, let me start with three examples:

  • Dead Rising: Case Zero
  • Farcry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty

These download only games are built on game engines that is already established and is a bite of what the overall meal will taste like.  

Having not played Blood Dragon yet, I can not comment on the exact quality but for what I have heard you can drop a good 5 hours in the story mode not doing side missions and most likely you could get over ten hours in total.

For $15, I say that is a good deal.

Dead Rising: Case Zero I can speak on, though.

Let me warn you that I never have been a huge fan of the Dead Rising series and before you get mad, I never said I hated it.  In fact, this stand alone DLC is what taught me what I enjoyed about the Dead Rising series and what I did not.

Regardless, the game did something really cool:  It was like a demo of the full game, but in a self contained story separate from the main game. I easily got four to five hours out of it in one play through even.  It showcases everything that will be in the main game, but on a smaller scale and that is very important.

Most things can not be properly shown in a demo or those hour long previews you get on the PSN.  Making a side story, putting in the things that you want to show off from the main game, and then selling the experience on the cheap is a great idea!  This could even be an excellent marketing strategy for new games.

“Hey, remember _________? Well with the new one coming out, try this to sate your appetite for more!”

Is pretty much as effective as,

“Excited for _________?  Well, this game showcases most of the features in a short story leading up to the main game!”

No, I am not suggest developers run out and build a slap dash piece of content for a quick buck.  I am suggesting that if you can put out something like Dead Rising: Case Zero for $5 and it be more fun then the actual game, then they are doing something right.  Everything I wanted from the Dead Rising experience was right there with no BS in between.

Had I been a fan of the series, this would have left me frothing at the mouth and wanting more.  I think that this is an AMAZING marketing concept and should be implemented more.

Even if Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty was not critically acclaimed or receive high sales, it did sell “well enough” according to Patrick Klepek from 1up back in 2007.

This kind of goes hand in hand with how Double Fine took time after the sales flop of Brutal Legend and made small downloadable titles that were inexpensive in the long run and turned out to be a successful venture over time.

All these things are pointing to the idea that making stand alone content can be very profitable and put a good light on a game most consumers might ignore or gloss over.  If you have not had a chance to try these games, I would recommend them.  Take a look at what I am talking about and let me know.

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Reilly C.
I like video games so I talk about them! Works for me!