A lot of gamers are tired of the DLC model that includes withholding vital missions or quests or content that seems essential for creating the full gameplay experience. Examples include the Promethean mission for Mass Effect 3, which was restricted as day-one DLC; or the DLC for Asura’s Wrath, which withheld the true ending of the game unless you paid $6.99 for it. Well, Ubisoft has tried a new model for DLC and after seeing some successful results from it, they’re no longer going to be using any of the cut-content DLC models that some publishers have used in the past.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft’s VP of live operations, Anne Blondel-Jouin, commented about the company’s new direction with downloadable content, saying…
“The key is if it’s not adding something on-top of the actual experience of the game, then it is no good. Because you’ll be asking for more money for the wrong reasons. Also, if the content is compulsory for the gamers, it’s no good as well. It is a way to deliver more fun to gamers, but they have a choice to go for that extra fun or not.”
Blondel-Jouin uses Rainbow Six: Siege as an example of Ubisoft’s new take on DLC, explaining that the free maps allowed the community to grow together instead of being segregated by content demarcations. Said segregation is something that currently plagues the Battlefield and Call of Duty communities, forcing players to either buy the new DLC or get left out in the cold.
According to Blondel-Jouin, they don’t want people to freeze their teeters off like an abandoned Maltese puppy locked out of an abusive owner’s home during wintery sub-zero temperatures in Nova Scotia. Instead, Blondel-Jouin wants to invite gamers in and keep them warm and welcomed like rich ski lodgers snuggled up by the fire place during a Christmas vacation. Blondel-Jouin explains…
“No more DLC that you have to buy if you want to have the full experience. You have the game, and if you want to expand it – depending on how you want to experience the game – you’re free to buy it, or not.”
The character customization DLC is there for people who want it in Rainbow Six: Siege, but all the maps are free.
This bold move from Ubisoft has allowed the game to do something that’s opposite of almost every other shooter out there: grow its daily active user base over the time it’s been on the market. Usually shooter games shrink their DAUs over time, but this new DLC model has helped Ubisoft accomplish the impossible.
EA and Respawn Entertainment are doing the same thing with Titanfall 2 in hopes of getting a long tail-end out of the game, and 343 Industries has also tried their hand at this method with Halo 5.
It appears at least that times are a-changin’ and we’re on the cusp of less anti-consumer DLC models.