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Bastion Developer: DLC Ruins Immersion

Jonathan Lester
DLC, Immersion, Supergiant Games

Bastion Developer: DLC Ruins Immersion

Flushed with success after winning big at the GDC Awards, Supergiant Games' Greg Kasavin joined the growing group of developers to speak out against DLC and microtransactions. Interestingly, though, the Bastion developer had a very different complaint to the norm: that DLC completely breaks immersion and ruins the sense of atmosphere that games strive to create.

When asked about downloadable content during a GDC Panel, Kasavin bluntly argued that constantly asking the player for money reminds them that they're playing a game; breaking the fourth wall and scuppering the all important sense of immersion.

I think that's really tricky and a really tough problem. If your business goal is to make many bits of content and have in-games stores and stuff like that, I don't know how compatible that is to having an atmospheric experience. I think it's pretty tough.

I think when the game asks you to pay real money it's hard to make it atmospheric. In fact I've never played a game that has achieved that.

To illustrate his point, Kasavin pointed the finger at social games like Zynga's lineup, whose aggressive in-game advertising "shatters the fourth wall with a baseball bat."

Certain design decisions make achieving atmosphere virtually impossible. I can't imagine how somebody could have an atmospheric experience playing something like Mafia Wars 2. Because this is a game that is constantly prompting you to go and play a completely different game.

It's an interesting line to take in the DLC debate, and it's one we'd love to get your take on.

[via EG]

Add a comment3 comments
phil16  Mar. 9, 2012 at 11:24

I'd like to know who actually buys DLC? With the cost of it on Mass Effect 2 costing me almost as much as it was to preorder I didn't bother.

Loved Bastion BTW.

kinkinkaid  Mar. 9, 2012 at 11:42

Any chance of this coming to PSN? Keep hearing great things about this game.

Late  Mar. 9, 2012 at 14:36

I'd like to know who actually buys DLC? With the cost of it on Mass Effect 2 costing me almost as much as it was to preorder I didn't bother...

Definitely moving away from it myself. The COD games put me off. Did Black Ops have 4 or 5 map packs? I forget. Either way, the DLC ended up costing considerably more than the actual game. (I think the game was £22 on launch day, but my memory's not what it was. Four lots of dlc @ 1200 points would cost around £35-£40.)
I know a lot of folk took a big hit to their wallets with guitar hero / band hero / lips etc.

Generally I prefer to wait for GOTY editions of games. "Yes I'd like the extra content, but I'll wait until you've actually finished making your game and you let me have it for a reduced price, thankyouverymuch."


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