The “you got to pay to play” attitude in this generation of gaming is starting to wear thin. Gamers pay a price tag of up to sixty dollars for a game upon release and would naturally expect to get the entire game in exchange plus some hidden bounces and extras for the amount of cash they are dropping down on the latest and greatest title. But more and more game developers are venturing into the charted realms of micro-transaction and in-game currency that consist of real money just to get the full experience and it seems that treasure hunter Nathan Drake is now looking to find his next score in the uncharted depth of your wallet.
Naughty Dog announced earlier this week that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is getting the story DLC treatment with a single-player expansion which will be a first for the franchise. Naughty Dog is not new to the realm of story DLC add-ons, though, as their first big adventure with it was the fantastic The Last of Us: Left Behind, thus resulting in the current announcement. “It worked really well for us for The Last of Us, we thought we could put together a really great piece of content as well for Uncharted 4,” said Arne Meyer. It seems that the company’s success with added DLC has made them confident enough to create some for Uncharted, something Meyer said that developers wanted to do for along time, but is it worth the money?
Before everyone fires off about how they need to sell consumers extra DLC content to extend the game’s life-span and to help the developer rack in some extra cash to put towards a new project, let’s take a look at something that’s even rarer to see in this generation of gaming than a unicorn: Free DLC. Impossible? A dead generosity? This is exactly what CD Project Red has promised their loyal fans and anyone who has purchased The Witcher 3, their biggest release this year, and it’s not just one download, it’s multiple downloads spread across the remainder of the year. CEO Marcin Iwinski, explained their actions and the decision to offer such a bulk load of free content with something as simple as the studio’s love of games. “Every time we reach out for a new release, we expect to be taken care of, we expect support if we encounter any problems, we love updates constantly improving the experience, and we feel really special when we receive free content that gives us more than we initially paid for. Cutting to the chase, everyone who buys Wild Hunt will receive 16 specially prepared DLCs absolutely for free, regardless of platform, you don’t have to pre-order, you don’t have to buy any special edition to get them—if you own a copy of Wild Hunt, they’re yours. It’s our way of saying thank you for buying our game.”
What happened to the days that devlopers made games for the soul purpose of why they entered this field of work to begin with, their love of games. Everything has become about squeezing just a bit more money out of consumers. Big AAA publishers are not on the tight squeeze for money especially after the release of a majorly popular and long awaited title. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us DLC was great, adding more story to the game and more time to spend in this world, so there’s no doubting their talent and that Uncharted 4 DLC will be just as good. The question here is why can’t they just offer a free add on for fans? They know that any die hard uncharted fan who’s been around sense the beginning is going to buy their story DLC, but shouldn’t they celebrate the series end with rewarding their fans with some free extra content? With today’s economy and the growing expenses of living plus the stress of daily life, people who are avid gamers like to escape for a few hours into these rich worlds that they spent their rent or food money on. They don’t want to spend money just to be told that if they want to play on a certain level, or with a certain gun, or character they have to purchase Naughty Dog points with real money in order to buy it in game. It’s already in the game; if players want to work for it, make them work through challenges within the game instead. This will not only extend the game’s life, but also show that you care about your fans.
After being delayed earlier this year, Uncharted 4 has been slated for a March 2016 launch date and its single-player DLC will be released through the an Uncharted Triple Pack that will include two multiplayer packs. These multiplayer packs will unlock “new, rare, and legendary multiplayer items.” Will it be worth it? Single-Player DLC probably, but multiplayer add-ons is a big fat no.