As of late, let's face it; DLC has branched off and created its own profitable venue... but really, what do the fans think? Of the more colorful phrases I've come across, "it's like, you get to enjoy your game, at the expense of having to bend over and get reamed with a spiked horse..." While I'm sure the person in question has more than one bone to pick with game devs, one can admit that they have become a bit of a thorn in the side for those not as well off as desired. To make matters worse; these same developers think it's almost necessary to make download content for almost every game brought out to the market. Personally, I think DLC should only be introduced as a way to:
-fix something that they fudged up (and to make it up to the consumer add in a little perk)
-add something by fan request (like Makoto Nanaya, Platinum the Trinity and Valkenhayn R. Hellsing in BlazBlue) or
-add something that can definitively aid in the storytelling, such as the DLC missions made for Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed.
DLC such as maps for shooters like Call of Duty is nothing more than shovelware that gaming companies can send out to make money off of their ignorant consumers. Certain games can get away with it (such as the points and weapons packs for the Agarest games) but other than that, it's just a way to score cash off of a group of dipshits.
If they could be classified into territories, there are DLC packs for aesthetics, game expansion and gameplay modification. Aesthetics are shit, I'll get that right into the open. All they do is offer a different environment to let the player...*drumroll* do the exact same shit they've been doing already. The most notorious examples of which are the dreaded map packs. "OOH! I CAN SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE IN THIS RUINED CITY PLOT! I CAN SNIPE YOU IN THE SNOW!" Yes, I'm pessimistic when it comes to this. Deal with it.
Game expansion DLC is by far the most worthwhile approach to take, but not without weighing the cost of "is this too much? Couldn't we just make everything we were going to add into a cheap disc? Couldn't we just install some of these things in a patch (supposing the company actually admits to falling on its ass and pushing out a game either half finished or otherwise incomplete) and notify the player what was in the update?" Haha...if you believed that last part, you best be dreaming. The game companies fueled by the consumers' wealth and are more than happy with pushing out a half completed game just to score an extra buck without seeing that it tarnishes their own company name.
Lastly, with gameplay modification, it's the easiest to work with as there's little to go wrong and the changes can be anything between "let's see how broken we can make this game" to "let's see what we can wring out of the consumer for as little help as possible." There's a full spectrum and unfortunately, more mainstream titles (coincidentally being the popularized FPS games we -so- idolize) use this as a way to wring money out of these poor saps and let players either relish or revolt in this. This doesn't go to say that it can't provide a well needed asset, as these types of downloads can let the impatient or lazy gamers enjoy their gaming experience in a manner most comfortable for them.
In a nutshell, while game devs might be looking to help their consumers, a majority of them only do it for the cash. It's cruel, painful really to see it, but unfortunately an overwhelming percentage of gamers are guilty of spending a little extra for a little extra content. The only thing worse is making it so certain content can ONLY be found if one buys a new copy of the game in question *coughcoughMassEffect2coughcough* and therefore DEPRIVES them from fully enjoying themselves. "Dubya tee eff, mate?" While those ass-pulls can be avoided in future development, the devs should understand that if the fanbase gets too pissed off, they might resort to things other than the Sniper from TF2. Also, hats.
-Kris "Kaz" Sturm