Ubisoft announced that their plans for Far Cry 4 downloadable content recently. The plan includes – well, of course – a season pass and some day one additional content. Maybe Ubisoft has calculated that this is the way to go, but let’s think about the rationale behind these kinds of DLC plans for a moment.
Firstly, Far Cry 4 is supposed to be a content rich game. In the previous game, you had enough to keep you busy for 20 hours easily, and I don’t suppose Far Cry 4 is going to be very much different in that regard. I don’t fully understand, then, why would the players need more contend immediately on the release day.
Secondly, Ubisoft is already promoting the game heavily on launch, so the additional content does not really add any value to the proposition. What if they released the content e.g. a month after the release? Players would be reminded “hey this game exists”. Of course, this would require some additional marketing, but usually the biggest gaming sites at least like to write news pieces about every single content package for these bigger games. Releasing the DLC later would provide an additional bump for the game.
Thirdly, at least the most vocal players surfing the forums are already pissed about most of the downloadable content these big budget games get. I understand that in a project as big as Far Cry 4, it makes sense to plan these content releases early on. However, releasing day one (premium) content does not help to sway the players who already think you’re ripping them off. In reference to the previous point, you could actually say that Ubisoft is promoting a negative image of the product and the company.
Of course, Ubisoft is not alone in this. Plenty of big budget releases seem to handle the additional content poorly. It looks like Destiny is going to be another great example of this. Players have been (rightly) complaining about lack of content in that particular game. Apparently the DLC uses areas already existing in the game and just populates these places with enemies and objectives. Again, I understand it’s a business and the publishers and developers need to make money, but I can’t help but think that these things could be handled better.
Oh right, if you want to watch me talk about and play Far Cry 4, have a look at this video. Naturally it’s in Finnish…