Upcoming not-Skylanders game Disney Infinity will have post-release DLC sitting snugly on the disc.
The argument against states that consumers who are being asked to pay a premium to access content they already own – in the sense that it physically exists on a disc they have purchased – and are being, effectively, conned.
The flip side is that publishers have argued that the content in question would not have been developed were it not for the planned additional revenue and that consumers don’t purchase content but instead a licence to access content.
The truth is that all DLC is not equal. Take, for instance, Rockstar, which spent years developing the amazing game that is GTA IV then went away, developed some additional content and then sold that to existing owners. That’s a world away from strategists cutting up projects pre-release to extract as much spend as possible from the consumer for the same content.
What makes this particular situation all the trickier for Disney is that the exec in question, Disney Infinity’s executive producer John Vignocchi, admitted in the Videogamer interview that he didn’t want the existence of the content to be reported, albeit for reasons of IP security.
Has Vignocchi acted very naively? He was chatting to a journalist, after all.
"That’s something that we’ve made the film-makers aware of," he stated. "There’s absolute potential that people are going to see characters prior to their PR campaigns kicking off if someone does that, but we’re hoping that isn’t something that is widespread reported because then people are going to start looking for it, and it’s going to ruin the magic for the consumer."
"In the future, as we move on to new versions of consoles we’re going to be able to digitally deliver that content, and the figurines themselves will simply be dongles that allow us to then instantiate a download of that content.
"But given the current generation of consoles, the content needs to be on the disc. But in the future we’ll be able to push all that digitally so we don’t run into that problem."
UPDATE 1 (11:46am): The headline has been amended.
UPDATE 2 (12:26): Intro and seventh paragraph also tweaked.