Editorial: DLC Games

I buy a lot of DLC games, which I will play for a while but then forget about after about a week.  This has happened with pretty much every game I have digitally purchased through Steam, Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network.  I think this is because I do not feel this is a “real” game because I do not have a physical copy of the game.  This concerns me because we all know the future of the video game industry is going to be digital distribution only, so will I still have the same problem then?  I want to know what you guys think.  Do you have the same problems I do?  Do you think I’m crazy for forgetting about all these games I dropped money on?  What is your opinion on digital distribution on general?  Tell me in the comments below!


  1. I have the exact same problem.

    One of the ways I decide to play a game is by looking at my game shelf (much reduced as it is now) and saying, “Yes, I think I will play that,” as I see the various cases lined up there.

    With digital games, I have to turn the system on and flip through the titles that I have downloaded. However, usually I decide what to play before I turn the system on to begin with.

    That isn’t to say I don’t play my DLC games–I do play them. However, they need to be very good to keep me coming back again and again, otherwise they are quickly forgotten. Braid is an example of a game that was able to do that, as were Geometry Wars and Pac-Man Championship Edition on my old Xbox 360.

    There may also be the issue that I no longer enjoy playing games when I am alone. I prefer to share the experience with others–and those others usually bring their own games over, so the DLC titles are not used.

  2. The PSP GO demonstrated that physical media still has some life in it, that said I have been loving some downloadable point ‘n’ click adventures on my iPod.

  3. The PSP GO had other issues though.. It was doomed the moment Sony affixed such a ridiculous price tag relative to the regular PSP. And I can’t remember any specific examples, but it seemed like they were pretty inoonsistent at making their titles available for download.

    Maybe part of it has to do with downloadable games being so much cheaper? It’s easier to disregard something that you paid $10-15 for, instead of having a brand new game that you paid $60 for staring you in the face when choosing what to play.

  4. DLC games that leave a dramatic impression on me (Braid, Limbo) I always remember that I have. Whenever someone comes over, I have to have them try it out.

    However, if it’s a game that meant nothing to me, I forget about it constantly. (Crappy demo’s, TMNT Arcade)

  5. I’m the opposite. I forget about my physical copies of games. I go through my list of games on my PS3 thinking “I don’t want to play any of this right now” and then remember that I have discs.

  6. For me it seems to depend on the system. For game consoles, I tend to decide what I’m going to play before I sit down to play it, so I don’t have a ton of DLC. For portables and the PC, I seem much more likely to play a digital game than a physical one. This makes sense on the PSP, since I’m usually trying to decide what to play on the train, when I don’t have my physical discs with me. I’m honestly not sure why this is on the PC. I think it’s because of what a pain installation was before Steam. I just reformatted my computer and I actually don’t plan on installing any games off discs, I just load up my steam games when I want to play something. Being able to access all my recently played games with alt+window+3 is a pretty awesome feature in my mind.

  7. I really don’t have this problem, probably because I emulate so much. I am used to not having a physical copy, and in fact I prefer to not have to worry about discs or cartridges or whatnot.

    Perhaps the issue is that you just don’t like these games as much? Or maybe it’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing. It may be easier/more tempting to play games you see on your bookshelf than games you have to login to a special server to see.

  8. Is it really “DLC” if it is the entire game?

    Personally, I haven’t bought a physical-media game since last Christmas (Assassin’s Creed II), and I don’t even actually own any physical media for my PC any more. I just bought Darksiders for PC on Steam. Took me about 3 hours to download with my shit-for-speed connection and I was ready to play. The only reason I would buy physical media (apart from wanting to play it on my PS3) is if I wanted an immediate install. Which means I’ll probably buy Cataclysm as a midnight release, but nothing else.

  9. They aren’t offering pre-sales and downloads of it? It’s not like you can do much with it before they flip the switch server-side anyway.

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