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Pachter: On-disc DLC is 'just plain greed'

Analyst says hacking discs to access locked DLC is "as close as you can get to legal piracy"

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter thinks the practise of putting downloadable content on discs for players to unlock later for a price is "just plain greed" on the part of publishers.

During the latest episode of Pach-Attack Pachter was asked whether on-disc DLC is becoming more prevalent because of increasing development costs or simply because companies want to get more money out of consumers.

"Yeah, it's just plain greed," he replied. "The answer is that simple. I think that DLC has been so successful that publishers are trying to get a jumpstart and if you put it on the disc it allows them to unlock it when they feel like it.

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"A few years ago, we didn't see DLC for typically six months after a game launch and I think it was Red Dead Redemption, but Take-Two kind of pioneered and launched DLC like a month after the original title and it was super successful, now you're seeing a lot more guys do it.

"Some guys get it right, some guys take a long time to get it out, putting it on the disc allows the publisher to determine the optimal moment to launch it. All DLC is great, games are getting shorter, DLC is keeping people engaged, it's a profit deal. I don't think it makes much difference how it's delivered."

Pachter went on to analyse the issue from a consumer perspective, suggesting that players who hack discs to access locked DLC early may be entitled to do so since they technically own the disc.

"The stuff on the disc, some gamers feel entitled to because they bought the disc, so they should have a right to anything that's on the disc," he said. "And that's a dicey one, you actually do own the disc and I think, theoretically, if you could crack the code on the DLC you probably would be allowed to access it without paying. And I'm not even sure that's stealing because you did, in fact, buy the disc. That's about as close as you can get to legal piracy.

Finally he said he doesn't think the practise will spread much more as "gamers will push back".

While on-disc DLC is a commonly used Capcom is perhaps most closely associated with it and the company has received a great deal of criticism. Last week Capcom US boss Christian Svensson said the company has been listening to fan feedback and has "begun the process of re-evaluating how such additional game content is delivered in the future".

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