It's An 'Unfortunate Reality'
Day-one DLC is cannibalising the gaming industry, at least as far as we're concerned. Many gamers also rail against on-disc DLC, wherein already-created content is locked off at release in order to be subsequently paid for down the line, despite already being contained on the disc. Capcom recently came under fire for the controversial strategy in Street Fighter X Tekken, but Epic Games dudebro-in-chief Cliff Bleszinski has spoken out to defend the practise as an "ugly truth of the gaming industry."
In an interview with Gamespot, design director Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinski patiently explains that an "idle team" needs to work on new content once they're freed up from their duties on the base game, and this content frequently has to be included on the disc to ensure "compatibility" upon release.
When you're making a game, and you're getting into a ship cycle, there's often three or four months where the game is basically done. And you have an idle team that needs to be working on things.
And often for compatibility issues, [on] day one, some of that content does need to be on-disc. It's an ugly truth of the gaming industry. I'm not the biggest fan of having to do it, but it is one of the unfortunate realities.
The solution? A digital-only future, apparently.
If we can get to fully downloadable games, then you can just buy a $30 horror game and just have it, and that stuff will thankfully go away.
We're not entirely convinced that a fully digital marketplace will convince publishers to stop creating cynical DLC packs, both at launch and post-release. We'd love to get your take on this.