According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter unlocking downloadable content that is already present on a retail game disc when you by it might not be illegal. On the latest edition of his GameTrailers TV show " Pach Attack," Pachter also says that it shows the greediness of developers and publishers in some ways.
"Yeah, it's just plain greed," he said on Pach Attack. "The answer is that simple. I think that DLC has been so successful that publishers are trying to get a jumpstart and if you put it on the disc it allows them to unlock it when they feel like it."
"Some guys get it right," he continued. "Some guys take a long time to get it out, putting it on the disc allows the publisher to determine the optimal moment to launch it. All DLC is great, games are getting shorter, DLC is keeping people engaged, it's a profit deal. I don't think it makes much difference how it's delivered."
On whether it is illegal to unlock content on the disc that you technically have already paid for, Pachter says it may not be illegal.
"The stuff on the disc, some gamers feel entitled to because they bought the disc, so they should have a right to anything that's on the disc," he said. "And that's a dicey one, you actually do own the disc and I think, theoretically, if you could crack the code on the DLC you probably would be allowed to access it without paying. And I'm not even sure that's stealing because you did, in fact, buy the disc. That's about as close as you can get to legal piracy."
Ultimately Pachter thinks that the practice of on-disc DLC is on its way out. Capcom, one of the companies that have taken the most heat publicly for using this method of delivery, recently said that it would reevaluate the way it handles DLC, though the company admitted that it would continue to use this method in the short term. The most recent Capcom game to have on-disc DLC was Dragon's Dogma.