Amount of DLC released for high profile releases is getting a little absurd

For the past few weeks I’ve been shopping around, trying to get some 4x to get back into the genre. My library is full of them so I thought I’d check which DLCs I’m missing for some of them and I quickly realised I’d be paying upwards of 40 dollars for dlcs for titles that are at this point 5+ years old.

And then bam, Fanatical comes out with a Civ VI Gold bundle. Perfect! Right? No. Turns out that these new bundles mean fuck all because the goddamn DLCs keep coming. Civ VI now has a new DLC called Gathering Storm which costs 40 bucks. 40 fucking bucks. Seeing how the game is now 3 years old I did the reasonable thing - refused to play an incomplete game and skipped on buying the bundle and the missing DLC.

Let’s move on. Gal Civ3, came out in 2015, has 95€ worth of DLC. The game is on sale right now and I can’t help but wonder if they’re trying o sell me a game or a way to squeeze more money out of me. Pass.

Endless Legend: 2014 release date, 80€ worth of DLC. Fortunately I’m only missing 4 dlcs for this one which cost a measly 52€ total. Yeah right. Not to mention the various editions that plague all Amplitude games.

Endless Space 2: 2017 release date, 50€ worth of DLC. One of the more reasonable offerings.

Stellaris: 2016, 143€ worth of DLC.

Crusader Kings 2: 2012 (!!!) release date, 300€ worth of DLC. Jesus fucking Christ Paradox, stop updating the fucking game already please. I actually own all the dlcs for this one because I kept buying them over the years, but this example will be relevant to my point at the end.

Europa Universalis 4: 2013, 361,72€ (!!!) worth of DLC. Come on, man.

Civilization 6: 2016, 107€ worth of dlc. Base game still sells for 60€ too. Gold default price (all dlcs minus Gathering Storm) is 100€, so you save about 30 bucks. Yay.

And these are games where most of the DLCs have some substance to them, meaning no time savers or other consumable mtx bullshit that plagues some other genres.

So what’s my point? 3 years after release when I feel like trying out one of these games I’m really not inclined to a) spend a minor fortune up front to get a complete experience or b) spend several hours researching the various dlcs, trying to eliminate the needless ones to cut down the cost, at which point I’m already disinclined towards purchase. Sure, I could go with option c) buy the vanilla game at low price and hopefully be able to ignore the fact that I’m not getting a complete experience. DLCs can of course be bought later, but who honestly has the time to properly asses these games during the duration of an average sale, to see if further investment into DLCs is worth it. And that brings me to Paradox. For the love of god, Paradox games ON SALE at -75% were still around 80€. That’s more than the price of a new AAA release. Is the value of these packages good? Yeah, probably, considering how many hours of entertainment these games generally provide. But from the perspective of a new customer with no experience with the game it’s a huge risk. So instead of paying a medium amount of money years after the game came out to get a complete experience I instead spend absolutely no money on the game and start looking at more reasonable options on the store.

Being a patient gamer used to be worth it, but now I’m starting to think it might be better to buy the game on day 1, reviews be damned, and then allot 20€ each month for the inevitable barrage of dlcs, some of which are surely to unfuck some of the design mistakes and the bugs these games generally launch with.



I think that is a reasonable approach but certainly not the only reasonable approach.

If the base game is good, I don’t care if I have the complete game or not. I mean, if I can grab some extra DLC right away because it’s a good deal I’m certainly not against it.

It still is, because you can get that base game for 75% off and give it a try for a lot less cost. If you like the game, pick the DLC up later usually at a discounted price. I mean, Civ games hardly require you to own all of the optional Civs to play. Also, after playing base games that I’m fond of I’m happy when some DLC comes out to breathe more life into it.

I’ll grant you the Civ VI expansions did seem a bit pricey, but just wait for the sale and play the base game until then.

I played every single game you mentioned above at or near release without any DLC. Some were good as they were and some weren’t. The ones that weren’t really weren’t made good with the DLC.

None of these are flawless but I enjoyed Endless Legend, Civilization VI and Europa Universalis IV base games for what it’s worth.

Wait for humble store DLC bundles. :)

You’ve mentioned games from two publishers who do this a lot with DLC. And though Firaxis doesn’t go hugely overboard on DLC on most of their titles, anything CIV is an exception for them and they get positively Paradoxical.

GalCiv’s DLC is the equivalent of I think 4 expansion packs worth of stuff back in the day- it’s reasonable.

Being hung up on “complete experiences” is IMO quite silly. Absent obviously missed chunks of game, which I honestly can’t think of any (except for where they obviously missed putting the fun parts in Civ VI, but the expansions don’t actually help there anyway), you’re just paying extra for additional content. The horror!

They do DLC because people buy them. They buy them because some people are unlike us, and instead of playing a myriad games in one year, they just play two, but a lot of hours to each. So for them it makes sense to buy 100€ of DLC for a single game, if you play it regularly for a pair of years.

I kind of like these games keep getting more and more new content. It can be expensive to catch up, but like Adam indicated it’s not necessary to enjoy the base games- especially as they tend to get patches and free content along the way on the backs of sales made from said DLCs.

not kidding about the Paradoxing

So you don’t want developers to sell DLC that improves their games, and you also don’t want to play games without the DLC that improves it. Right, got it.

I’m glad there is worthwhile, affordable post-release DLC for games I like and not predatory bullshit DLC stuff.

Why do people think games become magically 'incomplete when DLC gets added. DLC is by definition optional.
Star Wars:A New Hope didnt become 'incomplete the day rogue one came out. Pizza is not 'incomplete because garlic bread becomes an option.

I honestly feel like gamers are just looking for reasons to be angry about things. Lots of real things in the real world to be angry about…inequality, war, climate change, racism… but no, its the fact that popular games get additional content because some players want more of it…thats the real problem.

I don’t know how many people think games become incomplete when DLC gets added, more like, the game was incomplete at the start and DLC comes to make it complete.

And in some cases this is unfair, and in others it’s not.

Well, people are sick of incomplete games (Anthem) being released with promises of DLC (that is usually on-disc or clearly cut content?) release schedule or roadmap being sold to them later.

My only problem with DLCs is that the price point for them is more than the base game, which should be (and almost always is) full of much more content, and therefore more time/effort/money by devs, than the DLC. It’s like paying $25 for an entree and $75 for desert. We like the desert, we want the desert, but let’s stop off at the corner store on the way home and save ourselves some cash instead.

I quite like DLC for strategy games I like; there are a lot of games in the past that I wish got them also. Not a fan of day 1 / bloat / cosmetic DLC, which often does feel like the developer held back deliberately.

For Paradox I tend to get much more time out of these games than others, so the price is worth it for me. I also tend to always be a few releases behind for discounts.

I think the one better model would be their games on a subscription which includes all DLC. But I’m not too bothered with the current model.

This isn’t new. If you add up the costs of Civ II and its expansion packs, adjusted for inflation, you’d have very similar numbers to some of these.

The quality of some of the smaller DLC (especially cosmetic) is sometimes questionable, but I don’t think it’s as big a change as many claim.

My main problem with DLC (specifically the Paradox model) is that it often leans into a design philosophy of ‘more is better’ which is rarely the case. Instead of improving the game, it adds features and mechanics that don’t always mesh well with the previous mechanics, that are merely more bars to fill in or boxes to click rather than meaningful decisions to make, and maybe the AI understands it or maybe it doesn’t. When I compare some bloated grand strategy titles to something like a Knizia board game it really makes a lot of video game design seem superfluous, and those are decades old at this point.

The Civ VI stuff doesn’t bother really because every Civ I can remember had two expansions which is what the bigger DLCs in effect are. The extra civs and maps are easily ignored if you’re not interested. I’ve never played Train Sim games—which often unfairly get mentioned in these conversations—but those don’t bother me either. Like collecting model trains (never done that either tbh), you just buy what you want, though those are more self-contained items and not really part of a wider game, I assume.

That said, keeping up with DLC is essential for certain games. If you play multiplayer games, for instance. And there are some cases where developers seem disingenuous with their DLC. Paid day-one DLC does seem a bit scummy, for example, especially if it is for features in previous editions. There’s the argument that an extra team developed it, which might be true, but there’ still an optics issue that I don’t think reasonable to expect a consumer to see past, especially considering how these things are marketed or presented in game (little icons on the main menu showing you how ‘incomplete’ your game is because of missing DLCs).