DL 0X2

“Where’s the downloadable content beef?” is a valid question, but overlooks the fact that video games used to be like ham and cheese sandwiches.

Video game downloadable content should make everybody happy. In theory, anyone who buys the standard game should be able to expect a reasonably lengthy and satisfying experience, while those with a special fondness for that title’s particular brand of cooking can have seconds, thirds, or as many extra helpings as the developer chooses to release as DLC.

Not everyone feels that’s how things work out in practice, though. As a matter of fact, some would argue that DLC is causing a steady slip in a game’s initial content volume and quality, and this tweet from the Japanese arm of online game marketplace G2A shared a visual representation of anti-DLC sentiment that’s been floating around for a bit.

First, here’s the edible metaphor for how game content used to be packaged.

DL 1

In the past, G2A argues, the base game was a full meal in itself. Meanwhile, expansion packs represented something different, and also offered a substantial amount of new content.

Nowadays, though, G2A feels the DLC business model is making things more like this.

DL 2

▼ “Games in the past and games today – Sad!”

G2A has a point. The ease with which DLC can be used to add, and charge for, new bells and whistles comes coupled with an incentive to provide fewer of them in the base game. This is especially aggravating when developers choose to withhold the sort of features that gamers would have expected to come as part of the standard package.

Still, there’s a bit of rose-tinted nostalgia involved in G2A’s view of the past, which is somewhat ironically the result of not looking back far enough. Instead of being the electronic entertainment equivalent of a double cheeseburger with fresh lettuce and tomato, most games in the 8, 16, and even early 32-bit eras were more like this.

DL 3

Sure, that may be a mighty tasty ham and cheese sandwich, but that’s all it is: ham, cheese, and bread. Post-game and unlockable content is practically a given for any modern game, but was reserved for only the most ambitious and polished titles up until the late 1990s. Multiplayer modes also used to be much rarer, and were generally maxed out at two players, the same number of standard controller slots on the systems of yesteryear.

And while critics will argue that it’s shameless of developers to nickel and dime customers for what constitutes DLC cheese, back in the (very) old days, the only way to get one more slice of cheese was to order an entire additional burger. “Oh, you liked Street Fighter Alpha? Well here’s Street Fighter Alpha 2, with five new characters! That’ll be 60 bucks.”

▼ And if you wanted to play as those four new characters in Samurai Shodown II for the Neo Geo? The system’s tremendously pricey cartridges meant you were essentially paying US$50 for each one of them, and could only purchase them as a bundle.

DL 4

In other words, regardless of the era, it’s always a good idea to take a good long look at the menu before ordering.

Related: G2A
Source: Twitter/@G2A_JP
Top image: Twitter/@G2A_JP, The Daily Coffee Cafe (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Twitter/@G2A_JP, Greggs, Mugen Guild (edited by RocketNews24)