Earlier this week, Valve announced that their digital distribution platform Steam would now be offering the ability to push “DLC” (Downloadable Content – a marketing term made to refer to microtransactions on consoles) to those who publish their games on Steam. This news has so far been met with reactions ranging from “good for you, PC” to customer outrage on the Steam forums. I am finding myself to be somewhere in between, but I’m leaning towards the belief that “DLC” on the PC is a bad thing for everyone involved. I’ll share with you my reactions as a consumer, as a business student, and also as a person who writes about games.
The Problem With The Maw
With The Maw’s “DLC” (two “bonus” levels), I went from thinking “that’s neat” to realizing the implications. I knew the maps were available and ready by the time the PC version released because they were available for purchase on my Xbox 360 before the game even came out. That means they were held back with the intent to sell them later as “bonus content”. This immediately diminished the value of the product that I had already purchased. I felt like I was not getting the full experience out of The Maw if I didn’t pay $2.50 for these extra levels. But I hadn’t even launched the game yet despite having pre-purchased it, knowing that if it’s good I’d be writing about it here at DoSu as a Cheap Game. But I hadn’t played it yet, so I was not attached to it. I found myself with no desire to play it. So I requested a refund. After jumping through some hoops, I received my refund. I no longer own The Maw — I probably never will again. Since that means I’ll never get to play it, The Maw will not be recommended by me here as a Cheap Game.