Remember when game add-ons and patches and DLC sounded like a good thing? Internet connections were once like an all-healing, benevolent messiah that could iron out a game’s technical issues, then shower us with bonus content of all flavors and sizes.
Then game companies got greedy.
As a lifelong Bat-fan, I’m itching to play the latest Batman game installment, Arkham City Origins. Trouble is, I’d feel like a dope buying it on day one. Or even year one.
A little over a week ago it was announced that a DLC package entitled “Initiation” was already in the works. The gist of Initiation is that you’ll play through Bruce Wayne’s pre-Batman ninja days. Anyone who has seen Batman Begins knows that Bruce embraced his physical skills and abilities through ninja training. The Initiation DLC won’t deal with Ra’s al Ghul or the League of Shadows, but it will provide some nifty narrative backstory… For a fee, of course.
Obviously, DLC and bonus charges are nothing new, but it’s ridiculous that Origins’ producer is touting upcoming DLC when the game itself hasn’t hit a store shelf yet. And don’t give me that “Just buy a Season Pass” nonsense either. The issue here is that game companies have abused a system that was meant to benefit gamers. We welcomed the idea of downloading updates to fix a bug or two. We loved the idea of having access to bonus content; even when companies slapped a price tag on it, we welcomed having the option.
But now, I feel that new releases aren’t games anymore. They’re subscriptions. And the $60 that loyal fans lay on the sales counter is just the start.
I’m on the fence about buying Arkham Origins this year. I’d love to play the game, but spending $60 on it seems wasteful and foolish, especially when (Spoiler alert!) the inevitable Game of the Year Edition is due in 2014. And once the GOTY version hits the market, it’s price will plummet, just like Arkham City’s GOTY edition, which can be had on Amazon for fifteen bucks.