Welcome to the group, it seems to me that some of us have a problem, and that problem is our relationship with DLC. So why don’t we go around the room, tell each other our names and share?
But first, let’s answer some common questions and misconceptions about Evolve’s DLC. All answers are taken from information given by the Evolve developers and staff on these forums and elsewhere
I’m actually in the wrong place… but what is DLC?
DLC stands for Downloadable Content, and is a term that describes a range of content released by a game developer after the release of their game. This could be new characters, weapons, character skins, maps, game modes, music, cosmetic items…the list is fairly limitless. Anything that could be added to a game could be provided as DLC.
What is the difference between a micro-transaction and DLC?
A micro-transaction is actually the process of buying something from another person or business for a small amount of money, even if you do many micro-transactions at the same time for a large sum of money! Some games (Team Fortress 2) encourage micro-transactions for weapons and cosmetic items to the sum of a few cents/pennies. Other games (Candy Crush Saga) encourage micro-transactions to purchase in-built power ups.
Micro-transactions have gained a bad name after games seemingly elevate the difficulty level to a point where not using micro-transaction items makes it almost impossible to continue playing.
Does DLC have to cost money?
No, some companies release new content for free, or as a reward for achievement. Turtle Rock Studios (TRS) will be employing a mixture of methods for gaining content.
Why are TRS keen on making DLC?
The aim, that has been repeated over and over on these forums, is for the game to have longevity. All games get tired (with few exceptions), only those that adapt and keep things fresh sustain a high long term user-base.
What is the TRS view on DLC in general?
TRS have said they don’t want “hit and run” DLC updates that ruin game balance, and no “play to win” style mechanics that Free to play (F2P) games have introduced…
What are TRS planning to release as content for DLC
It’s still early days and so the full details haven’t been confirmed yet, and plans for what types of DLC and how they’ll be provided can change in the future. This is what we do know:
- New maps will be created and made available for free
- New monsters will be created and will likely cost around $10 per monster
- New hunters will likely be created. The cost for individual (or teirs, complete sets of 4) hunters is currently unknown.
All content will be visible to everyone, this means that there will not be “DLC purchaser only” maps, and if someone wants to use a monster they have bought they will be able to play with people who haven’t bought any DLC. Purchasing DLC for Evolve is about enhancing and mixing up your own game without denying anyone else the ability to keep playing the game with or without buying anything.
Hold up, $10 per monster? How much does it cost to create DLC?
Different types of DLC take different amounts of time to create. Creating a cosmetic item for a game is simply a case of designing it, getting it modelled in 3D, skinned, tweaked/tested for compatibility with existing models, and then released.
A new map, or character, has a much longer design period, it is more complex to model. You also have to animate it, record voice or sound effects, then you have to balance it against existing characters and weapons.
Sure, but isn’t DLC all about milking us for our cash?
Theoretically (as I don’t wish to delve in to TRS financials!) TRS could be paying at least 10-15 people to each do 3 months work on a single character or map, on an average salary of around $60k (industry average). There are other overheads that would need to also be paid for in this time, as noted above there’s marketing, but also things like rent and electricity used during this time.
The cost of creating a single monster could cost anywhere upwards of $300-350,000 (reminder, this is not scientific or an actual factual cost, just a basic guestimate!).
Valve’s co-founder, Gabe Newell, once said that his experience from talking with partners was that only around 2-3% of people who play a game actually purchase anything. It is tough to say how many units Evolve will sell. Left 4 Dead 2 sold 11 million, but was backed by Valve. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was a well rated game that achieved around 750k in sales. Games like Crysis and Bioshock achieved 3-4million sales over the course of 3 years.
Assuming, worst case scenario, Evolve has sold 1 million units after 1 year, a $10 DLC may well only bring TRS in the money that they spent creating it, with little or no profit made.
DLC fragments communities, will Evolve commit this sin?
No, all content created will be available for everyone to see and interact with. Maps will be made available for all to download, and if your friend buys a character or monster you can still play with them despite not having purchased it yourself.
Aren’t TRS creating content now that they can then sell as DLC later?
No. All their efforts are on making the game that’ll be released. They are making sure that the way they code the game allows for quick and easy implementation of DLC, to get it done faster, cheaper and to allow for easier tweaks for balance, but what they release will be everything they’ve created to date.
How long will TRS be creating DLC
For as long as it’s viable. The aim appears to be to continue to create content that the community will enjoy playing with and will continue to purchase. Once it becomes economically unviable to spend the time to create DLC (because it would mean TRS losing money) we can expect the process of creating DLC to stop.
Will there be a “Season Pass”?
There is currently no word either way on this, it is up in the air.
Now, pull up a seat, and let us know how you feel. We’re all friends here!