BioWare Director Defends Day-One DLC

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.

Source: Polygon

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  1. Yammo says:

    Day0 DLZ isnt the problem… That concept is nothing but a straw man.

    The issue lies in calling ON DISC content – “Downloadable content” when you do not have to download anything. Customers usually hate being lies to, but publishers are so focused on short term gains that they will gladly tace a crap and a piss on their customers if they think they can earn an extra buck by lying.

  2. Mycroft Holmes says:

    I don't get how people don't understand that there exists a time between bug fixing and the game hitting the shelf that can be months long.

    In that period it's incredibly easy to design/generate/test content for digital download, because your team is at it's most efficient state.  

    Why should they wait "a couple weeks" as people have suggested to release that content?  I get that people feel like that content should have been on the disk but that's simply not possible with the process of creating massive software projects that include tens of thousands of art assets.


    If you don't like the DLC; you don't buy it, no one is forcing you to.  If you really feel that it should have been included; don't buy from the Dev studio/Publisher again.

    If you do like the DLC; congrats you've probably helped the dev studio bridge the gap between projects with hopefully fewer layoffs.

  3. Freyar says:

    It really doesn’t help that development budgets have gotten WAY out of control. With budgets ranging from 50 million to 100 million and games that must sell over 5 million copies to make any financial sense (that’s $300 million dollars) it’s easy to see where a problem tied in with this exists.

  4. Mycroft Holmes says:

    Because, I don't want the lettuce and the tomatoe; why should I pay 5.10 for that burger?

    The same logic applies to DLC; requiring people to over-pay for the content they want is a sure fire way to get less people to purchase and to incite MORE anger over dodgy sales practices.

  5. Freyar says:

    Why not just increase the base cost of the game and stop faffing about with Day-One DLC anyway? Charge the full price for the full game and be done with it. I hate this bullshit nickel-and-diming crap that comes out after a release. Sleeping Dogs came out with a bit of cheat DLC, a texture pack (albeit free), and a “Retro 80’s” that changes the mechanics of the game.

    Charge me the full price then, charge me $54 instead and be done with it. Stop giving me this BS of trying to hide away the cost under the guise of DLC and give me what the true value you think the game is.

    It’s like telling me here’s a hamburger for $3, but all the trimmings are extra.
    Lettuce for $0.50
    Cheese for $0.60
    Tomato for $0.50
    Ketchup for $0.10
    Mustard for $0.10
    Just give me the goddamn burger and tell me it’s $5.10 already.

  6. Infophile says:

    It seems to be a psychological effect peculiar to on-disc DLC, rather than Day 1 DLC. On-disc DLC makes people feel like they have to pay for something they already own. Add to this the fact that people who have hacked their systems are occasionally able to access this content for free, and you have a recipe for rage.

  7. jedidethfreak says:

    The problem with this argument is that players want to have their cake and eat it too – they WANT the super-high-budget games with the super-HD graphics and hundreds of hours of content, they want all of that front-loaded, and they don't want to have to pay for it.  THAT mindset needs to be fixed LONG before anything the developers are thinking does.

    Players are killing the industry, not the producers or developers.

  8. Neeneko says:

    The problem with this class of argument.. the customers generally do not care.   Most customers do not want to get into how budgets and schedules are structured, they do not want to be shown a gantt chart and told 'here is why we are doing this'.  They want a product and they want to feel like they are not getting ripped off.

    Project managment is a means, not an ends.  If they way you are allocating resources is causing issues then that is what needs to be fixed… and if you have to justify your buisness practices by 'well, that is how we schedule things', then you have a problem.

  9. Kajex says:

    "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."

    If I'm renting out an apartment each month and the landlord/lady adds a pool that I'm allowed access to, that's fine.

    But if I buy a house, only to find that I'm locked out of rooms that came with it unless I purchase the keys for it, I won't be held responsible for busting some balls.

  10. NyuRena says:

    I see what they really are hoping for. They want to get people so used to being ripped off that it's the "norm". Kind of like what our political system has become, "Well yeah of COURSE they are corrupt!".

    Take the New Vegas DLC for example. Yes it was obvious that they planed it from the start, since the entry points were laid out already, but they put a lot of extra development into them and it added quite a lot of content. If you have to do DLC do it like Vegas or Skyrim's Dawnguard. Then again, Bethesda(Zenimax) is not Bioware(EA) so the product mentality is vastly different.

  11. ZippyDSMlee says:

    So dollar DLC, heres how it should work most all DLC is a 1$, character packs for cloths and stuff are sold in packs for 1$ a theme. Small add on's and crap are a buck a pop. 6 months later they are all put together by the theme for 1$ a shot.


    For expansions its about 5$ (new levels 1$,new music 1$,new story 1$, new characters 1$, new equipment 1$).

    1 year later it's 1$.


    Is that so bad?


  12. MechaTama31 says:

    Egads!  Another sane person among the sea of "wah!"  As you said, if the core game is worth 60 bucks to you, and the DLC is worth its cost to you, then what's the big deal?  And if it isn't, just don't buy it.  So simple, and yet people get so butthurt about it.  I don't understand…

  13. Longjocks says:

    I've never given a crap about day-one DLC. I only care about getting value for money from the intended product. Provide that value and they could ship an entire sequel on the disc for me to unlock with money for all I care.

    The only thing that shits me more than those that make an issue of this is the companies trying to justify the practise with all sorts of bullshit excuses. Call a spade a spade and just say you're withholding already developed content for maximum return. I can deal with that and choose to buy based on the aforementioned value for money or leave your product on the shelf until it costs what it's worth.

  14. Overcast says:

    Stupid idea, lol.


    Luckily there is way too many games out there to give a flip about one with a dumb ass sales setup. Eff them, lol.

  15. sqlrob says:

    It's ceased mattering to me now. I wait until all the DLC is out and get the discounted complete version. I can wait. There are some games that are the exception to this, very rare, or if I can get the version incredibly cheaply (I got AC:R for $10 recently, good enough)


  16. MaskedPixelante says:

    Here's a crazy thought. If you don't want people complaining about day one DLC, then STOP MAKING DAY ONE DLC! Release it a few weeks after the game was released, to give people a reason to want to play more of it. And don't give me that "boo hoo, if we don't release it day one then people won't buy it because they traded in their games" nonsense. If they were going to trade in their game when they were done with it, then they probably weren't going to buy into all that extra content.

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