Since DLC came into our lives, gamer life has been in some sort off turmoil. Nowadays you never know if a game has that full value of an entertaining compelling story that it follows through till the end. Game developers too gladly release DLC with the attachment of “full gaming experience” and tie- in the story that’s not embedded in the game itself on release.
We pay a lot off money on release to see what happens to our favourite characters, only to find out that the story just doesn’t end there.
Compare today's games to the games developers worked on just six years ago when I was at Naughty Dog and the original XBox and PS2 were on the shelf. The scope and scale is almost incomparable! Budgets have doubled at minimum, tripling or more in many cases. Teams have doubled, and outsourcing is a must to keep up with production needs. Projects are taking far longer to complete. Yet the price on the shelf is roughly the same. Taking inflation into account, games may actually be cheaper!
I also fail to see any evidence that developers are removing content from the games they release in order to sell it later. DLC currently sells to a small subset of the gamers playing the full game. To risk bad reviews, a feeling unfulfilled expectations, or other negative response to the full game because important parts of the game were removed would be a bad strategy. It simply isn't being done.
To my knowledge, most DLC content is created after finishing the full game. In other words, if the developers were including the DLC, the games might have to be delayed. If there weren't a possibility of increased revenue from DLC it wouldn't be rolled into the game... it simply wouldn't be done.
Admittedly, there is certainly some strategy being deployed in creating plot "holes" and other opportunities to work the DLC into the game's universe. But again, I don't see this as a strategy to decrease the value proposition of the full game so much as create an opportunity for the DLC to make sense in the universe the game plays in. "I didn't get the full story" is about as fair a complaint for DLC as it is for sequels. The Death Star was destroyed, how dare George Lucas build it again... over 2 movies no less... and make me pay for two more tickets to get the complete story!
And there are cases of truly inspired DLC that obviously are wholly new experiences. I submit the Red Dead Redemption's Zombie expansion as an example of this.
As I responded to Rick:
DLC itself is not causing the problem. Certainly we can imagine a world in which every game fully completes the story and DLC is just added on top. Think the Zombie addition to Red Dead Redemption. That was clearly an optional add-on and not a plot addition. So if DLC is being abused then that is a decision of the game creators. In this case you are correct that gamer revolt (not buying DLC) is a fair response. I am pro-market. If you feel you are being ripped off, then don't buy. At the price offered, I thought the Zombie addition to Red Dead was a GREAT deal, and a wonderful way to get more of a game I loved.
I don't think on average Games are being shortened by DLC. If anything, games are getting bigger, longer, and fuller. You now often get a full 1 player game, multiplayer, and co-op for a single price. That almost NEVER happened in the old days. Having said that, development times are getting longer. So Naughty Dog used to be able to put out a game a year during Crash. Then Jak became a 2 year production. Though after I left Naughty Dog remained one of the most efficient devs out there, maintaining 2 year cycles, most other teams (especially Take 2 and RockStar) moved to 3 year or more cycles. As a fan of a game it sucks to wait 3 years for a sequel. DLC keeps the game fresh during that time. Without DLC, single team development (not like COD with multiple teams working on every other project) becomes a waiting game.
If you don't like DLC, don't buy it. But I fail to understand the agony.