A quick question about the Day 1 DLC discussion

I've recently been catching up on those Extra Credits episodes on the PA website (because I forgot they even existed, shame on me), and I was watching the episode based on Day 1 DLC.

Now, they were defending it saying that "While the game is in the certification process/ fabrication and shipping process, developers have next to nothing to do, so it makes sense to work on DLC if they aren't needed on another project. My question is; doesn't DLC have to go through the certification process as well? And don't patches also need certification too?

EC were saying that it takes roughly 6-8 weeks for this process to finish, and while that seems like a fair amount of time, I don't think it's enough time to create a piece of DLC (that isn't simply cosmetics or an extra character/ vehicle/ weapon) AND have THAT go through the certification process as well.

I'm probably over simplifying this whole thing, but I can't help but think that the need for DLC to also be certified has been overlooked.

Dude. You download it off something. It doesn't need to be packaged on a disk and shipped out.

It hasn't been overlooked - it's just not as big a deal as you make it out to be.

I think even people who are against day 1 dlc concede the point you raised, as it makes sense.

As well as the obvious point that DLC doesn't need to be physically created, burnt onto discs, packaged and shipped to distributors, you also have to bear in mind that the retail discs are already certified, produced, packaged and delivered to stores (i.e. completely finished) up to a month before the actual release date, which gives even more leeway for Day 1 DLC to be completed and certified, ready to be downloaded on the official release date.

While it's probably true that the base game is finished and certified before the Day 1 DLC, that base game isn't released to the public until Day 1, so finishing off DLC is a good use of the developer's time while they have nothing to do until the publisher mandated release date.

There genuinely is a significant period of time between the point when all work has finished on the base game and the point when developers need to support that game once it's been released to the public (at which point they can start working on patches and solutions to problems they didn't know existed until then).

I think the main problem that most gamers have with day 1 DLC is when it's content that was obviously taken out of the game and then required users to pay for it.

The "From Ashes" DLC for Mass Effect 3 is a good example.

Day 1 DLC (the kind that's "free" if you buy the game new), is perfectly fine. It's a non-issue for people who buy games new.

The argument gets fuzzy when you start talking about stuff that's "taken out" of the main game to be sold later, something that's pretty debatable; in most cases claiming it was "taken out" is just sour grapes. The final game is whatever the developers say it is.

Extra Credits are normally not lying and grant a certain insight into... certain things. Then again, I personally don't like Extra Credits for the chipmunk voice changer and the oftentimes rather extremely slanted view on things. Every now and then, there's a certain political extremism to beardyman Portnow's stance that makes him as flexible as glass and as smooth as hairy Stalin's dried up corpse.

I generally agree that the time between pressing the game for retail and actual release can and should be used for something useful. DLC mission packs, expansions or whatnot are, methinks, good and useful, although I still don't like them popping up on day one. Just let me enjoy that darn game first, then let me get some goodies. Alas, that's not how things work at the moment. Buy from me! Get this goodie goodie gadget! - NO! BUY FROM ME! GET MY GOODIE GOODIE GADGET! - No! come preorder with us and you'll get bigger guns, bigger 'uns and bigger everything! And a free muffin on top!

I really think that stinks.

I also don't like day one (or rather zero day) patches you need to download and install the moment you first install/start a game - it just tells me that QC isn't what it used to be, and no matter how many months/years we have to wait for a much-anticipated AAA title, they'll still manage to muck it up. That, to me, also just plain stinks.

The artificially hidden content you can later add in again as a preorder bonus, a first time buyer code-unlocked bonus or as paid DLC content - yeah, also no fan of that.

All that did but one thing, it made me go back to 8-bit and 16-bit consoles, it made us all solder plenty of new wires and figure things out for those modern flat digital TV sets, and it made us go back to enjoy ourselves with the games from ten, nay, twenty years ago. We tried throwing money at publishers to show them we really mean it when we say we want fun games with little to no hassle, and all they did was region-lock all the melonfarming games away and make us buy censored or dubbed or otherwise mutilated versions depending on country of residence. That stinks and it makes old console games with their decidedly plug&play approach so much more enjoyable.

Well, they could just work on the Studio's next project or a substantial expansion instead of making a bunch of half-assed DLC, couldn't they?

Jamash:
As well as the obvious point that DLC doesn't need to be physically created, burnt onto discs, packaged and shipped to distributors, you also have to bear in mind that the retail discs are already certified, produced, packaged and delivered to stores (i.e. completely finished) up to a month before the actual release date, which gives even more leeway for Day 1 DLC to be completed and certified, ready to be downloaded on the official release date.

I understand this point completely, but what about when the day 1 DLC is on the disc already? The "Horde command pack" for GoW 3 pissed me right off by being the first DLC you got with the season pass, and was a 50kb or whatever file to unlock a couple features on the disc that really should have been a part of horde mode to begin with.

If the disc is already burnt and shipped out, how does day 1 DLC like this end up on the disc itself? It had to have been developed before the shipping process. It's probably the case that the "on-disc" and "download" day 1 DLC are different issues that require different levels of forgiveness/scorn.

One thing you do have to remember is that people like artists and story writers are going to be finished with the main game long before a programmer would be so that is all often created by the time the game goes of to certification it just needs to be programmed and tested and there will be lots of parts that are already in the main game that can be used again. Also DLC being smaller than a full game just takes less time to certify.

DrunkOnEstus:

Jamash:
As well as the obvious point that DLC doesn't need to be physically created, burnt onto discs, packaged and shipped to distributors, you also have to bear in mind that the retail discs are already certified, produced, packaged and delivered to stores (i.e. completely finished) up to a month before the actual release date, which gives even more leeway for Day 1 DLC to be completed and certified, ready to be downloaded on the official release date.

I understand this point completely, but what about when the day 1 DLC is on the disc already? The "Horde command pack" for GoW 3 pissed me right off by being the first DLC you got with the season pass, and was a 50kb or whatever file to unlock a couple features on the disc that really should have been a part of horde mode to begin with.

If the disc is already burnt and shipped out, how does day 1 DLC like this end up on the disc itself? It had to have been developed before the shipping process. It's probably the case that the "on-disc" and "download" day 1 DLC are different issues that require different levels of forgiveness/scorn.

I was talking about Downloadable Content, not Disc Locked Content, which is really a different issue to the subject at hand and not something I care really care to get into.

You're right though, it is a different issue that does require different levels of forgiveness or scorn, depending on the exact circumstances and incentives behind it being locked away from the base game.

I think it's Bullshit. Nothing will change my mind.

Ship me a finished product, or don't ship the product. Games don't cost 60 bucks anymore. To get the full game, that everyone else is playing, you pay about 20 dollars more. Lets start... with say Battle Field 3.

Well there's the online pass if you made mistake of buying used.
The Xbox live subscription fee (if applicatable)
The DLC, because nothing annoys any one more when getting booted from a server because you don't have the day 1 MP maps, so thats what another 10 if not 20 dollars itself?

After a season pass or a year worth of DLC trying to play keep up with all the kids and their new content. You've invested over 100 bucks in less then a year. My CoD experiences have always been like this, and after not learning my lesson the first time. After it was all said an done, Modern Warfare 3 cost me 120 dollars. For content, alot of which wasn't worth it. Not making that mistake again.

The only DLC I could ever get behind was Mass Effect 2, seemed most of it, like shadow broker's lair, hellfire, overloard and what not. Added a lot of content there, I was happy to have that much more added. I squeezed a whole months worth of game play out it. ME3's... Well I kind of just stopped caring, when I realized that some people had to pay form "from ashes" and all it was extra dialogue, and a character. Fail.

These big publishers are swimming in money, they have record breaking releases and profit margins every year. With out fail, but they are only encourage to further hamstring developers into making rehashes with has much DLC as possible. Squeezing every penny out of the consumers. I find practices like day 1 DLC at best dubious, at worse complete exploitation of loyal consumers.

Maxtro:
I think the main problem that most gamers have with day 1 DLC is when it's content that was obviously taken out of the game and then required users to pay for it.

The "From Ashes" DLC for Mass Effect 3 is a good example.

This is mostly a problem with Bioware, and it's only actually a problem because they're fucking terrible at deciding what to cut to make production timescales.

A living Prothean who completely overturns everything we thought we knew about one of the founding pillars of galactic society? There's no way a sensible developer would have cut that in favour of spending more time masturbating over a weaboo space ninja or robot cameltoe fanservice.

But, well, Bioware are evidently not a sensible developer (See also: Worst F2P model ever in a major title in ToRtanic)

The thing about day 1 dlc that you get for buying new is that it should definitely be something extra. Uncharted 3 pissed me the fuck off because it took out the game+ feature it had in Uncharted 2 so there was no reason to play the story again. And the fucking download pass for multiplayer? The download code on my manual was FUCKING BLANK. It was like I was being pranked by EA. They really know how to destroy decent franchises

Shadowstar38:
Dude. You download it off something. It doesn't need to be packaged on a disk and shipped out.

Unless it's on-the-disk "DL"C.

 

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