4 Reasons DLC is Better Than Old Fashioned Expansion Packs
DLC has gotten a bad rap over the years. Publishers have exploited the goodwill of gamers by releasing divisive and exploitative DLC under the guise of support. Expansion packs are still held in high regard due to the large amount of content they add to the base game.
However, DLC does have its advantages. Developers have released worthwhile content to create truly amazing games with DLC. Here are 4 reasons DLC is better than expansion packs.
DLC can be Free
Nothing in this world is free, except for the occasional free DLC. Sometimes considered large scale updates, free DLC provides additional content at no cost to the player. This may be to encourage purchases or introduce a DLC model to a new game gracefully. The 3DS Fire Emblem series introduced their DLC model with a few free maps and items. Fire Emblem Awakening in particular had a large variety of maps and characters up for purchase. It created replayability and encouraged further purchases.
Expansion packs will always cost money. They contain too much content to be released for free without breaking the bank. This alone gives DLC an edge in investing the player in future content.
DLC is Cheaper
Most expansion packs are about a third to half the price of the base game. StarCraft: Legacy of the Void for example, costs thirty dollars, while a Super Smash Bros. character costs five. The content difference is massive, but the price difference is as well. Each piece of content is priced to encourage a quick spend when wanting more to play.
This difference in price allows DLC to give players instant gratification. With content being only a few bucks, players are encouraged to buy when they feel like it.
DLC is Faster
Speaking of instant gratification, DLC is released very shortly after the main game. While expansion packs take months to be released, DLC is available almost right after launch. Players don't have to wait; they can buy the new content immediately.
Day one DLC is the extreme example of this, and while it is commonly abused, it is still a valid method of selling content. Most DLC practices that are considered anti-consumer, are actually fine in theory. They just get abused by publishers who try to wring every penny out of their product. The time itself just allows players to experience more content.
DLC has More Options
While the idea of publishers giving options reminds players of exploitative practices such as micro transactions, DLC actually gives players the ability to choose what they want. You can choose what you buy and customize your game to suit your needs. If you only want characters in a fighting game, you can just buy the characters.
Expansion packs give you a large amount of content, but are highly priced and can contain unwanted items. Even if you want only a few quests, you still have to buy an expansion pack. DLC gives you the freedom to make a variety of purchases.
The line between DLC and expansion packs has blurred with the creation of fully digital marketplaces. Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC can be considered an expansion pack, but is marketed as DLC. Both have a place in this market and it's up to the developer to decide what is best for their product.
What do you think of DLC and expansion packs? Let us know in the comments below!