I don’t really have a problem with DLC. When it’s done right, it can add great content to a game, especially when it’s like an actual expansion pack, as with Dragon age Origins: Awakening and Skyrim’s DLC. What’s quickly becoming a bit of a cancer though, is the ability to pay good money to unlock stuff you could otherwise earn by playing. DriveClub goes that route, by allowing you to pay upfront to unlock new cars.
It’s the same sort of model used in the pay-to-win sorts of F2P titles – but Evolution Studios’ Paul Rustchynsky, speaking to IGN, insists it won’t lead to any sort of unbalance.
"It’s been a hot topic of late inside gaming, and we’ve been very keen to take on board the feedback from gamers and make sure we don’t upset anyone," he revealed. "So, in Driveclub, what we’ve done is make sure that the progression system is really straightforward, really simple and gives you access to a lot of content really quickly.
"In Driveclub you earn Fame, and as you earn Fame, you level up. Every time you level up, we give you another car. There’s no double gating or anything along those lines, you’re given the car straight away without having to do anything else. The only thing we do have is a couple of shortcuts.
"If you want to unlock a car immediately, you can pay to unlock that car straight away but it’s not a consumable microtransaction. We don’t let people buy Fame, for example and spend lots and lots. The idea is if you want to shortcut things you can do – it’s identical to what we did in Motorstorm RC. So if you played that, you know what we’re doing here."
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. Gran Turismo and Forza’s newest iterations both allow consumers to buy cars outright instead of earning them, so it’s becoming a norm – but does that make it ok? What do you think? do you side with publishers, who argue that it’s about choice, and not profits – or do you think these things should be earned in-game?