Folks, we have to talk about something.

People in some corners of the internet think that offering downloadable content (DLC) on the same day a game releases is shady business.

Angry customers assume that such a release schedule is only possible if developers completed the extra content and the main content on the disc at the same time. Then they accuse the game’s creators of taking content that is “rightfully theirs” by locking it away from dedicated fans.

You’ve got it all wrong.

To believe that every piece of day-one DLC is a cash grab on the part of the developer (or publisher) shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the video-game production process.

Let’s take these two tweets from Mass Effect producer Casey Hudson:


Mass Effect 3 is the latest game hit with “cash grab” accusations.

So let’s review: Dedicated developer works hard to complete more content for a highly anticipated game, and we take a steaming dump all over them. Alright.

It’s also important to realize that all the content that is becoming DLC today was left on the cutting room floor in the past, mostly due to time or technical constraints.

Legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto created 32 levels for Super Mario 64, but only 15 made the cut. If Super Mario 64 happened today, those extra levels might be DLC.

But how did you feel about the game when you played it in the mid '90s? Did it feel incomplete?

Finally, let’s consider the phrase, “content complete.” Content. Complete.

That means that what you get on the disc is a full experience as defined by the people who made it. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t recall a single game that was incomplete unless you paid for DLC.

Show me a game that says, “Thanks for buying our game. Now pay $10 for the REAL ending!” and I will join you guys on the front lines.

Until then, let’s make a pact to support the developers who love working on their games.