What does "DLC" mean in gaming? Explained


What does DLC mean in gaming?

‘DLC’ is an abbreviation of ‘downloadable content’, which is an official add-on to a game that’s provided by the developers after launch. This is typically through an expansion pack, new questline, or set of new multiplayer maps.

When were DLCs first introduced?

DLCs can be traced back to the 1990s when games were still stored on and played through disks. If a developer had a set of new areas, items, quests, and storylines that they wanted to share with their players, they would need to distribute this through a separate disk of downloadable content to be installed on the player’s machine.

Nowadays, with most people having access to reliable internet, it’s much more common for developers to release their DLCs digitally, where a player can download the additional game files directly onto their machine. But in the beginning it was only possible to do this through the separate release of a new disk.

What types of DLCs are there?

DLCs can come in varying shapes and sizes. Some are free expansions that could be as simple as a few new skins. Others are paid, major expansions that offer tens of hours of additional gameplay.

What does the community think of DLCs?

Over the years, there’s been growing resentment in the gaming community against how quickly developers seem to release DLCs after their base game has come out. Some people feel like developers will intentionally omit certain parts of the game from its release to offer as downloadable content further down the line.

The feeling among much of the community is that DLCs should be used as additions to the base game, rather than a way for company's to increase profits. As such, some DLC announcements can be met with backlash if people feel like the content should have been included in their initial purchase, rather than sold as an add-on afterwards.