The Controversy of Downloadable Content Dissipating?
From very early on, PC gamers could usually expect expansion packs for big name titles to be released a year or two after launch of the main title itself. For about half the price, and usually offering a lot of content to be worth the price, players had life restored in games they hadn't touched in a while. Expansion packs were not something you'd hear people complaining about, unless it was console gamers complaining that the expansion wasn't available to them.
Fast forward to around 2005 or so, this is when things really began to change. With consoles becoming more and more online accessible, and developers looking to both answer the call of gamers as well as increase their profit margins, downloadable content became a thing. Two words that sound innocent enough, and were in the beginning, are so loosely regulated that it has caused a firestorm of feedback from gamers across the world. Mostly gone are the days of true expansions, and now gamers on multiple platforms find themselves being nickle and dimed on small pieces of content that when all added up is often more expensive than the main game and the price an actual expansion offering the content in a single package would've been.
That is not to say that all downloadable content isn't worth the money, there are some real gems that actually are worth the money out there, such as Bethesda's offerings for both The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With the exception of Tomes and Horse Armor in Oblivion, fans generally responded very well to the DLC offered because they were cheap, and they actually provided the content to match the price. Sadly it's not the case with most DLC out there.
Chris Early, Vice President of Digital Publishing at Ubisoft, has an interesting viewpoint on the subject;
"I know people who've spent five digits or more of money in Clash of Clans, spending in the tens of thousands of dollars," Early said. "Who would think of that? But nobody's really angry about that. That's how that guy chooses to play, and he's playing against other people of the same caliber, whether they got there through spending hundreds of hours playing the game or tens of thousands of dollars. Good design, that's what it comes down to."
It's no secret Ubisoft is commonly a company that over saturates their games with DLC, both of high and low quality, as well as one of several endorsers of the 'season pass' business practice (where you can get most, if not all of the DLC for a lower price). To hear what Chris Early thinks about it though certainly makes one think. Though people are displeased with developers and publishers, the community is enabling these practices to continue by buying into it.