What Japanese Devs And Players Think Of DLC

What Japanese Devs And Players Think Of DLC

Downloadable Content can be a controversial topic. On the one hand it can feel like a developer/publisher nickel and diming the player, and on the other, it can also help to enhance a game experience and lengthen a game’s play-life.

In this week’s issue of Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu, developers and users were presented with questions about their thoughts on DLC.



20 different game developers were questioned. Developer names were excluded.

12 developers responded that they are actively distributing DLC, 6 developers have distributed DLC in the past, 1 had no plans to ever distribute, and the remaining developer answered “other,” but no specifics on what that meant.

Half of the developers noted an increase in DLC users compared with last year.

Asked what they thought the benefits/appeal of DLC was, here is a sample of developer answers:

“[DLC] allows for increased user satisfaction, revenue and slows the flow to the used game market”

“It allows us to release timely content in conjunction with real-world events and holidays.”

“DLC can lead to players revisiting games they’ve already put down. DLC also gives us an opportunity to develop unique collaborative content that we hope will allow users to have fun outside of the main game.”

“DLC released after a game’s initial release lets us answer player requests and fine-tune a game, making for a more complete experience.”

“Periodically releasing DLC lets players enjoy games longer.”

“We can offer players the option of ‘an alternative way to play.’ The fact that it doesn’t have to be mandatory, but rather an added bonus is also a plus.”

“It allows users to play added elements not in the main game.”

“By releasing DLC, we can further show a game’s appeal.”



On the user side of the spectrum, 476 people responded to the questionnaire. Of those who answered, 95.9% answered that they had played DLC before. Of those who had, roughly 60% responded that they played only free DLC.

Asked how much they were willing to pay for DLC, an overwhelming 65% of responders answered that how much they would pay would have to depend on the content rather than a strict cut-off price line.

In terms of their thoughts on DLC, here’s some of what people said:

“[I’ll buy] anything that will make a game that scores 100 score 120.” Male in his 40’s

“Please abolish DLC that ‘unlocks already existing data in a game.’ I’d welcome anything that adds data.” Male in his 20’s

“So long as it’s additional content outside the main game, I welcome anything from items to scenarios!” Female in her 20’s

“Things like additional costumes or jobs would help maintain motivation for a game. But I’d prefer if it was free.” Male in his 30’s

“It’s sad to see that user-friendly games that ‘contain everything’ are on the decline.” Male in his 30’s

“I often use DLC that adds new rules or ways to play to a game.” Male in his 40’s

“I appreciate the additive properties of DLC, but I don’t want DLC that ends up costing more than the main game itself.” Male in his 20’s

“I think the problem is in the timing of release. It seems like distributors are miscalculating the time someone who would buy DLC spends playing a game.” Male in his 20’s



DLC is still a young paradigm, with a lot of room for improvement (I’m looking at you EA and Namco Bandai). While there are definite problems, there is also a lot of potential for good as well. What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts.

ファミ通.com [ファミ通.com]

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  • You don’t want to know what I think of dlcs. Got a few season passes barely used them, barely got the time to use them. Work play game work play game. Work finish game. New game comes out. Yeah dlc later on comes out. Look at me care.

    • I’m in the same boat. Get all excited when the game comes out, buy the season pass but then another game comes out. Then another. Then there are those other games in my pile of shame. Learnt my lesson at least.

    • I’m much the same. Prime example is Borderlands 2 new character pack for the ex-Psycho. Yeah. That would’ve been a pretty badass fun thing to play, when I was playing Borderlands 2. I’m not playing Borderlands 2 anymore though. There is a LOT on my gaming plate right now – too much for me to go revisit an old experience with some slight tweaks and changes here and there.

      If I know a game is going to be churning out a steady stream of DLC every couple months, I’m far more likely to wait until I’m pretty confident they’re done fucking around with the game, so I know I’m actually playing everything there is to play on my potentially only one playthrough.

      Life is too short for me to go replaying old games every time they release a new hat or include a new side-mission.

  • and then you get Borderlands 2 and a $15 character which isn’t included in that season pass.

  • I loved the response from the Developers that said along the lines of “It allows us to fine tune and or polish our game.” HELLO THIS IS CALLED FREE PATCHING TO SUPPORT YOUR PRODUCT. To me this is starting to seem down right criminal like.

    Statements like “Periodically releasing DLC lets players enjoy games longer.” I’m totally cool with.

  • If those circumstances are the only options, the “Other” response clearly indicates that they haven’t distributed in the past, but intend to in the future.

  • I bought Fire Emblem for the 3DS when it came out here in Aus, I wanted to get some of the DLC for it, but due to the way Nintendo handles DLC purchases, I had to pay $10 for a $6~ piece of dlc.
    I have a problem with that.
    Had similar issues with the wii points, trying to find things to buy with the leftover points after getting what you actually wanted sucks.

    • I just save them up for a rainy day/the next ripoff, so that your third or fourth ripoff is practically free.

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