In July, CD Projekt Red started releasing 16 free pieces of downloadable content (DLC) for their game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” and now gamers are hoping this trend starts catching on.


This set of free DLCs gave “Witcher” players new finishing moves, quests, weapons, and armor to add to the game’s many hours of content. Developers usually charge upwards of $20 for the average DLC, so gamers weren’t complaining when they received additional content for free. CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski has called for more developers to start offering free bonus content.  


Downloadable content


“I would really like to see such initiatives become an industry standard rather than an exception to the general rule, and I hope that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has set a good example,” said Iwinski.


Should it be the standard for developers to release their DLCs for free? Although gamers would appreciate free content, many developers wouldn’t develop DLCs if they couldn’t profit off of them and would instead move on to creating their next title. Without the release of DLCs, some games could start to feel stagnant after many hours of playing them. However, some developers have been abusing DLCs by leaving gameplay out of their popular titles, so they can get customers to buy extra content during or soon after the game’s release.     


Call of Duty DLC promo


Activision is known for releasing DLCs for its “Call of Duty” series when the games are being released, rather than making the content a part of the original game. “Call of Duty: Black ops III” isn’t available for purchase until November, yet Activision is already advertising additional maps and gun packs that can only be obtained through a season pass. The season pass itself costs $50 and adds content to the game upon the DLC’s release, so customers have to spend over $100 for the full “Call of Duty” experience.   


Soon after Bungie’s first-person shooter, “Destiny,” was released, gamers came across partially finished zones that were supposed to be blocked off for the future release of purchasable DLCs. Bungie President Harold Ryan said they made this decision to limit the download size, and that the DLC was by no means “finished content.” Some “Destiny” players were upset over this decision; they believed Bungie released an unfinished game, so they could sell it earlier and charge customers for the rest of the content upon its completion.


While many developers are putting a price tag on DLCs for their upcoming titles, CD Projekt Red has recently released mod tools for “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” that allows gamers to create free content for themselves.       


Do you think gamers should have to pay for additional content? Should developers continue to offer purchasable DLCs when the game is first released? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.