In today's video game market, publishers and developers are more inclined to include extra downloadable features in their games. While sometimes these features can be free, most of the time, the extra downloadable content costs more money.
Some games require you to buy them online after their release, some require you to pre-order the game, and some require you to buy a "special" version of the game, but the result is the same: you spend more money for more game.
The first problem is that this downloadable content (or DLC) can be expensive, especially when compared to the original content that comes with the purchased game. For example, look at the recent hit game Call of Duty: Black Ops. You have the original purchase price of $59.99, plus 15 more dollars for DLC. Buying the extra DLC meant you spent around $75 on one game. The DLC today raises the cost of current video games, since in the past all today's DLC features would have been included with the initial game.
Another annoyance is the fact that developers will use the fact that their game has DLC to make another version of the game; a "special" addition. This "special" addition always costs more, and includes DLC that would normally be purchased separately.
While you may think this DLC would be on the disc, sadly, that is not the case. The game comes with codes to input for the DLC. This creates problems for the people who buy the special version of the game because they do not have a console connected to the Internet. They are still not able to get the DLC.
Also, sometimes the DLC won't even be available at release, requiring you to wait some time before you can actually redeem your codes. This happened when Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released, and people who bought the special edition were unable to get the included DLC characters.
The real danger comes from the fact that many people choose to buy DLC, and it can make developers a hefty amount of money. If people are buying DLC, many developers will not hesitate to add it to their games, especially if it will increase profit. The result is that the cost of playing full-fledged video games goes up, costing more money to the average consumer, if they want all the features they can get for a game.
My final complaint is that in the pre-DLC era, a consumer would have gotten a full game with these features on it. But now, in order to increase the profit from a release, developers will create content while developing the game, but will purposely release it as DLC.
With the price of video game discs increasing steadily with each new generation of hardware (now a new game costs $59.99), this blatant exploitation of the consumer is just unfair.
Teen Board Member Nicholas Novajosky is a sophomore at Aquinas High School