Love it or hate it, DLC is the new normal in the world of video games. You pay $50-$60 for your boxed game disc, and then the publisher expects you to shell out around $10 (or more) extra to download additional multiplayer maps or entire episodes of solo play.
But is it fair?
The idea behind a DLC subscription model is to let gamers plunk down one lump sum with their game purchase that will cover planned content pack downloads that will be released in the future. So instead of paying $30 total for 3 content packs at $10 a pop, you might pay $20 for all 3 by buying them at one time. It sounds like a good deal, but is it? I mean, no matter how you slice it, you’re paying anywhere from $20 to $40 extra on a game you’ve (probably) already spent $60 on.
Most publishers come up with a marketing-friendly name for their subscriptions, like “Season Pass.” Just a few recent franchises to implement DLC subscriptions include L.A. Noire, Mortal Kombat, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty, and the entire library of EA Sports. But there are many more. The latest to jump on the “Season Pass” bandwagon? Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
Sony and Naughty Dog have given Uncharted‘s DLC subscription service a fun-sounding name: the “Fortune Hunters’ Club.” It entitles you to the first four multiplayer map packs, the first three multiplayer skin packs, and a Fortune Hunters’ Club PS3 theme, for $24.99 — a value that ordinarily would cost you upwards of $45.
Does this make anybody else nostalgic for the good old days when every component of a game came in the box, and “extra” features weren’t doled out piecemeal? It reminds me of a nickel-and-dime program from a cellular carrier.