Paid downloadable content is a given these days — the age of free content patches is far behind us, at least among large studios and their larger games. Not so for indies however, with developers such as Coffee Stain advocating gratis updates for the goodwill they generate and the ease at which they can be released, thanks to less red tape.
In a blog post on Gamasutra, Coffee Stain's Armin Ibrisagic explains how the developer is going ahead with free updates for its latest title (and Steam hit), Goat Simulator. Coffee Stain previously went the paid DLC route with Sanctum and Sanctum 2, but Ibrisagic believes that the effort required to put such content together and sell it is not worth the cost in player happiness:
You might argue that companies aren't charities, and that everything that costs has to be recouped, but having a good relationship with players is the best long-term investment you can make ... I'm objectively stating that providing free updates can be the reason why someone on the fence ends up buying your game to support this type of game development. Having a ton of DLCs on the other hand, might prevent people from buying it on mere principle.
On principle, sure, but for me seeing a game with a lot of paid DLC puts me off for another reason — am I going to have to buy the game and the additional content to get the full experience? Personally, that could make me hold out on unloading dollars until all the DLC is available in a discounted bundle.