After a GDC-fuelled hiatus, the Develop Jury is back, and this week the discussion is centred on recent controversies surrounding on-disc downloadable content.
It was claimed last week that publishing arm 2K Games had allowed Bioshock 2’s DLC to be built during the full game’s production process. The publisher allowed the DLC to be pre-loaded into the final build, and today is selling what are essentially unlock codes for the content.
Consumers are already up in arms about being sold access to data they have already purchased – yet a 2K representative said that pre-loading the data was necessary to ensure that the game’s multiplayer base is not divided into the ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’.
The new controversy is not the first time publishers and developers have been questioned on the practice of pre-loading DLC. With this in mind we ask:
Should the industry adopt a code of best practice that rules DLC is built only after the release of a game?
We are also looking for a wider view on the matter. Is pre-built DLC simply siphoned-off elements of a full game? Will this level of negativity damage the industry the way DRM is? Is it unrealistic to ask studios to build DLC after a game’s release?
Whatever your view, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let it be heard. You can speak anonymously, or otherwise post your thoughts in the comments section below.