Fans who purchase Polish developer CD Projekt RED’s upcoming action-adventure game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" will have access to 16 free downloadable content packs, and Marcin Iwinski, the company’s CEO, has a few ideas about how DLC should work.
“We are different. We think different. We think DLC should be for free,” Iwinski told International Business Times. “The small bits and pieces of content we are giving away free to the gamers, to encourage them to keep playing the game, to buy the game, to not trade it back. Also, in a way to combat the piracy. We’ve decided the smaller things that do not cost that much money to make should be free.”
The studio will release two downloadable content packs for free for the first seven or eight weeks after the game’s launch.
Iwinski doesn't oppose charging for DLC if it’s “really big” or “meaningful,” but he said he’s disappointed in the way that many developers exploit fans by overcharging for content.
“One problem with the word DLC, you can totally devalue it. People are abusing it. At the Game Developers Conference a few years ago, I went to a couple of lectures. At one of them, the developer was actually teaching other developers that ‘Hey, the business model is great, you just make a tiny sword, it costs you two hours, and then you sell it for five bucks.’ And I left.”
Iwinski adds that many companies will remove features of games, only to charge players for them in expensive content packs.
“If it’s meaningful for gamers, and if you think it’s worth the money, why not charge for it? That’s a fair deal and gamers are happy to do it. But if you’re removing pieces of the game, that’s very common these days. ‘Let’s chop out this little quest and let’s chop out this set of armors and then sell it for five dollars,’ that’s totally unfair. It’s not a free-to-play model. That’s a big expense," he explained. “Treat others the way you want to be treated. As gamers, that’s very simple."