Was the 7th generation of gaming the “Generation of DLC”?
Welcome to Part 1 of my new segment. Here, we will discuss and analyze the many aspects of what is now the previous generation of video game consoles. The goal is to find out what will this generation be remembered for most. Today’s topic involves what might be the 3 most hated letters among some gamers: DLC.
Now, DLC (Downloadable Content) was technically not introduced in the 7th generation- at least not in the nature we know of it today. The act of adding content to an already released game, while not commonplace and extremely difficult to pull off, goes all the way back to the Atari 2600 with their GameLine service. DLC was also part of several personal computers, phones, and consoles including the Genesis, Dreamcast, and Xbox. Then there was the Xbox 360.
Downloadable content in its most modern form was born and popularized by the 3 consoles of the mid 2000’s. It soon became commonplace to buy extra skins, avatars, characters, modes, upgrades, etc. Or you could buy entire games in digital form (which I will cover another time). This push was brought about by services like the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network as a way to tout their new online capabilities and ease developer struggles.
It was a novel idea. Perhaps it was one of the most important byproducts of the 7th gen. It’s main purpose is to allow developers the means to add new features that could have not met time constraints or were thought about after release. This allows games to be released much faster and for the consumer to get more content on their game. What made DLC such a gray area was the way some developers started using this tool.
Suddenly, developers thought of ways to gain more profit with these means. You suddenly had developers charging for any single thing they could get away with passing off as DLC. Content that was planned from the start was held back from the initial launch in order to make a quick buck. That means you’ll be forced to pay for content that is most times already on the disc to begin with. This gives the concept of DLC a bad name in to some gamers.
Debate aside, DLC as a concept became mainstream by these systems and would become a heavily used asset for both its good and bad qualities. This would be carried into the 8th generation consoles with little to no changes made.
So could we go as far as to say this generation will be most remembered for DLC? Can this epitomize the entire generation?
I would say no. DLC was certainly an important part of it, but I doubt that this is the very epitome of the generation.
I believe that DLC has certainly changed the industry as well as the gamers’ perspective of it. The way that games are developed, the condition of which some games are produced, the financial shift brought about, and the impression it makes on companies who utilize it in certain ways have definitely changed because of DLC.
It’s very hard to say if it has exactly benefited the industry more than it has also caused a stir. It really depends on what individual consumers are willing to spend their money on. I personally don’t bother too much with DLC unless it’s something I deem worthwhile, but to each its own. The kind of gamers that buy all of the alternate costumes and the expansion packs are still in good numbers. That means DLC isn’t going anywhere and may be the permanent standard for the industry.
However, the main reason I say this is not what defines the seventh gen is because it technically isn’t a new thing. It’s because of this time period that it has become commonplace, but it’s been around long enough to not be considered new. This generation more popularized the practice by easing the use of it.
You can’t deny that DLC was a game-changer, but it’s not what made it special. There were much bigger changes, more controversial topics, and more newly made features that were probably more vital than this.
And that, my friends, is the first installment of 7th Gen In-Review. Thank you all for your patience with this series. I know it’s been a long wait. Keep in mind this series is in its developmental stages, and may change depending on the topic I cover.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you agree with my statement? Was DLC one of the things that made this generation stand-out most? And when do you commonly use DLC in your games? Let me know in the comments and we can discuss it together.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I cover another aspect of the 7th generation? To make things more interesting, I want you to decide what I cover next. I have 4 options below. Whichever you decide will be the next topic.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!