Almost every major video game has some form of DLC, which is content that can be added to a game to enhance the experience. What Is DLC in Gaming? Let’s look at the different types of DLC and why it’s so popular.
What Is DLC?
DLC is an abbreviation for “downloadable content” in gaming. It refers to game add-ons that provide extra features not included in the game’s initial release. You often download DLC via the online store via which you purchased or ran the game, whether that is Steam, the PlayStation Store, or another platform. It could be free at times. Other times, you may have to buy it separately, or it may be included in bundles that include the base game.
Although it is most commonly associated with modern games, DLC has been around for a long time. DLC was available for a few of the major games on the Sega Dreamcast, one of the first video game consoles that could connect to the internet. With the release of the Xbox 360, which expanded the availability of extra content through its Xbox Live service, DLC became more common. PlayStation and Nintendo quickly followed suit with their own online services. The rise in popularity of PC gaming on Steam also played a significant role.
DLC is becoming increasingly common as more users purchase games digitally rather than on physical discs. Most big games from major studios (often referred to as AAA games) include DLC. It’s become a big part of the gaming industry, and it can help a game’s popularity and profit potential last for years.
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The various types of DLC
The following are examples of game DLC:
- Extra characters, levels, and challenges are among the new additions.
- Weapons and power-ups are examples of items that assist you move through the game.
- Character costumes and weapon skins are examples of cosmetic embellishments.
- Loot crates are a type of loot crate that contains a random assortment of in-game bonuses.
- Season passes provide you early access to new DLC.
Some games provide free DLC, which you can get from your console’s online gaming store. Companies, on the other hand, are much more likely to charge for DLC, especially if it adds a significant amount of content.
A “season pass” is a package deal offered by games that have a lot of DLC released over time. Season passes typically include all current and future DLC for a given game at a discounted price, allowing you to pay for the game’s DLC only once, even if some of it hasn’t yet been released.
Not all DLC is made available by game developers. Many games also have players who create in-game content and distribute it for free. DLC created by game players is commonly referred to as a “mod.” User-generated content can be used to enhance games in a variety of ways. It also frequently leads to entire subcommunities and forums dedicated to the creation, distribution, and review of game mods.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a fantastic example of this. Despite the fact that Skyrim is nearly nine years old, it still has one of the largest and most active modding communities on the internet. A quick Google search yields thousands of Skyrim modding guides, databases, and tools. This is due, in large part, to the fact that Bethesda Game Studios (the developer) designed the game to be mod-friendly.
Community content can keep a game alive long after the developer has stopped updating it. For example, Blizzard’s Warcraft III was released in 2003, but it still has a thriving player base. This is due to the numerous mods that are still being maintained.
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Criticisms of DLC
Video game addiction has been linked to the rise of DLC and microtransactions. Because players don’t know exactly what they’re getting before making a purchase, some lawmakers have compared loot crates to gambling. In fact, some countries, such as Japan, prohibit the sale of loot crates as a form of gambling. Season passes have also been chastised for this reason.
Game developers have been accused of purposefully leaving content out of games in order to sell more DLC. Multiplayer games with a lot of power-ups for purchase are sometimes referred to as “pay-to-win,” because players with larger wallets have an advantage.
Is DLC Safe?
Downloading DLC from reputable services such as the PlayStation Network, Google Play, or Steam is always safe.
Note: DLC is distinct from mods, which are pieces of content created by a third party. When downloading files from the internet, always use a virus scanner.
If you enjoy a game, the ability to obtain more of it to play is always a plus. That is why, despite its flaws, many gamers continue to embrace DLC.
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