BioWare Edmonton director of online development Fernando Melo tells Polygon that day-one DLC makes sense. He thinks that it is all a matter of simple math for game developers because development budgets for post-launch downloadable content incorporate attach rates against the total sales of the game, and attach rates decrease a few weeks after a game's launch. By putting this content in front of the players on launch day, Melo believes that it ensures better post-launch content while at the same time maximizing the use of budgets.
He also claims that it solves the problem of when a players wants to use that content because it is there from the start to be used at their leisure.
"We realized that the only way we're going to cater that, and meet both demands, is to have it available day one," Melo said. "Because in that case, you're making it available on their time. They get to choose when to pick that up. It's not based on us, it's not based on some first-party release schedule. It's there, if they want to pick it up, they can, or if they want to wait to finish the game, they can do that too."
Melo admitted that developers are still trying to figure out the best way to deal with fan backlash over day-one DLC and that the best way is to properly communicate how this content fits into their development schedule. In a few years he thinks none of this will matter, though.
"The only way that's going away is, fast forward a few years, where this is just normal," Melo said. "Every game is digital day-one, every game is an ongoing service, almost like an MMO, where at any given day, new content shows up."
Of course consumers would argue that day-one DLC that is packed on the disc isn't free most of the time and since it is already on a physical product they paid for they already own it.