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PS3 Downloadable Content: Is It Worth It?

Submitted by on Thursday, 23 October 20084 Comments

psn logo 150x150 PS3 Downloadable Content: Is It Worth It?Before the idea of downloadable content was around everything was included on the disk, cartridge, or whatever media the game was on. If a feature was not immediately available, then it could be unlocked by progressing through the game. Players were rewarded for meeting requirements such as beating the game or finding all the collectables, lending itself to greater replayability.

Now that everything is connected to the internet we are able to extend that playtime even further through downloadable content. DLC can take the form of anything from extra chapters that expand the story to new characters. But when do we draw the line on what DLC is worth? What price are gamers willing to pay to get that extra content?

Downloadable content comes in a few different forms. There is the ‘good’ kind that adds something more to a game, expanding the story and pulling the player back to a game that could be months old.

Then there is the ‘bad’ type of DLC that simply adds a new skin to a character/game element but doesn’t really do anything except give it a new coat of paint.

A subcategory of this would be DLC that actually unlocks stuff in a game that is already there. Take Soul Calibur IV for example. You can actually pay extra to get more costumes and weapons that are unlockable if you play through the game. Is $3.99 price tag worth getting those weapons without the work? To some, yes. For most though any price seems ridiculous for something already included in the game to begin with.

Let’s take a look at Capcom’s recently released Mega Man 9. The game itself costs $9.99 with two downloadable content packs being available. For $1.99 you can play as Mega Man’s red counterpart Proto Man, and for $2.99 you can unlock Endless Mode which pits you against an endless stage filled of enemies.

So for half the price of the full game you get one additional character electronicentertainmentexpo PS3 Downloadable Content: Is It Worth It? and one new game mode. Does that seem worth it? No, not really. All you get is a new look with a few new abilities with Proto Man. The story is still the same so don’t expect any new material.

It would make more sense for Proto Man to be in the game from the start but that would be too easy. $2.99 for a single game mode seems a little ridiculous as well, especially in light of the free game modes other developers/publishers have offered. Perhaps it would have been better if both packs were released for a single price at around $2-$3.

So what is the best price for downloadable content?

The answer is – of course – that we all want it free. That is not going to happen with all DLC but one can wish. Burnout Paradise is a great example of offering extra content for the grand price of nothing. These expansions added more cars, bikes, modes and a plethora of other additions to the world of Burnout. This keeps players interested in the game while keeping their wallets intact as well.

Criterion Games could probably charge for these expansions and people would still purchase them but they choose not to. What it all comes down to is how much a consumer is willing to pay for extra content. I’m a huge Mega Man fan so despite the fact I feel that $4.98 is too expensive for just a new character and mode, I’m still going to download because I love Mega Man.

In the end, it’s all going to come down to whether or not you, the individual consumer, thinks you get enough bang for your buck. No matter how cheap or expensive the content is, there will always be people waiting to get their hands on it.

So go ahead, download those extra tracks on So go ahead, download those extra tracks on Guitar Hero and expansion packs for Warhawk. There will always be plenty of add-on content on the horizon, both good and bad.