If you take a stroll down Twitter lane, the prevailing opinion on it (and almost all other forms of social media) is that DLC is the devil. Cheap, greedy was of segmenting a game’s content outside of the main package, making the $60 standard a lot thinner than it used to be. And in a way, that’s probably true – but when it’s making this much money for publishers, they’re really not going to care.
EA are probably the most seasoned in the DLC game, being one of the first to start offering things like Season Passes and massive post-launch content drops for their games. Just look back at Star Wars: Battlefront. The game launched with some sparsely spread content for $60, and will have more added to it throughout the year with a Season Pass worth $40. It seems ridiculous, but it, and even smaller pieces of DLC, are making EA a hell of a lot of money.
That’s according to GamesIndustryBiz, who revealed that EA earned a staggering $1.3 billion from all additional content over the past year. That’s microtransactions, DLC, Season Passes and more. Breaking it down further, EA reportedly earned $650 million of this total from Ultimate Teams alone featured in their sports titles – the confusingly additive card-like game that is always a huge focus during EA’s FIFA showings.
That total alone is an incredible amount of money, and explains perfectly why this isn’t a trend that will go away. As long as we carry on spending like this, publishers will continue making sure there’s content to purchase. Why wouldn’t they? It would otherwise be the same as turning their noses up at sure profits. Nevermind the idea that DLC and their kin are, in a way, the lifeboat that this entire industry is currently lounging on (think about how many more sales studios are needing just to stay afloat).
Is it unreasonable to ask for good DLC? Definitely not, but I think the days of wondering whether DLC would be a fad that publishers would eventually outgrow is long gone.
Last Updated: March 3, 2016