Epic defends pre-launch DLC development

Love it or hate it, developers have to plan and make DLC before a game's launch

It has become commonplace in recent years for developers to work on and announce download content for games before they're even released.


It's also more recently common for games to launch alongside day-one paid DLC, much to the frustration of many of you who seemingly believe developers should put their entire offerings at launch on disc and release DLC that's developed post-launch.

But that's not how the industry works, says Gears of War 3 developer Epic's Cliff Blesinski and Rod Fergusson. Good DLC takes time.

"What people need to understand is that extra content is something that you have to plan," said Fergusson before Bleszinki chimed in, "You don't just lift up a rock and say, 'oh shit, there's new levels!'"

Fergusson added: "There are people who think that the first day of DLC development is the day after you launched. That's not the way it works.

"A lot of it is that you have to prepare and plan and manage your resources and your people and everything to allow for that," he said in the latest issue of Game Informer magazine.

"I think that as the industry has matured we've gotten more into that," added Fergusson, explaining that DLC is another way - as opposed to EA's widely adopted Online Pass system - to tackle the used game market.

"It's less about shipping what's left over. It's not about, 'Oh, we had this map left over'... it's keeping the disc in the tray. In a used game culture that you have to actively fight against, I think DLC is one of the ways that you do that."

Epic has extensive DLC plans for Gears of War 3.