The creator of Super Smash Bros has accused rival publishers of withholding content from their games so it can be sold at an additional cost for more profit.
These days, the ‘DLC scam’ has become quite the epidemic, charging customers extra money to complete what was essentially an unfinished product,” he said. I completely understand how aggravated players must feel. After all, a game should be 100 per cent done at the time of release, and I would be livid if it were split up and sold in pieces.
Why, then, do you think so many titles provide premium DLC on or shortly following a game’s release? It’s because that’s the easiest way to make money. After all, if you wait too long after a game’s release to distribute additional content, players will already move on to the next title. Even long tail titles–that is, ones that perform consistently well over an extended period of time–make more money the earlier they come out.”
Smash Bros on Wii U will offer premium DLC, of course, but Sakurai insists that its development has taken place subsequent to the game’s release.
We could have easily reserved a few characters on the current roster and later sold them as premium DLC,” he added. If you were looking to make a profit, DLC would be the way to go. Development is more costly than ever, yet the price of games has remained the same, so more income would help offset that imbalance.
However, the DLC we are releasing for Sm4sh is authentic, developed only after we finished working on the main game. Of course, said content will come to you at a premium as compensation for the work put into developing additional content post-production.”
The comments are in stark contrast to a DICE producer who recently took to Reddit to defend criticism of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront strategy, saying that they’d never heard” of such a strategy.
Not that the comments are likely to dissuade a growing number of consumers from the belief that these practices have become routine among publishers.
Evolve may have been one of the highest-profile titles to be embroiled in such a controversy in recent times, but the list of games being accused of such things is huge. And it is now routine for publishers to announce DLC at a title’s very first unveiling, often months and sometimes even years ahead of release.
Even Michael Pachter, who is certainly no friend of the online gaming fan, has lashed out at the practice, accusing publishers who have been found hiding DLC content on game discs of plain greed”.