Call of Duty: Black OPS 3 launched this last week which means that people lined up outside of video game stores everywhere for the midnight release to pick up the hard copy of their game for the great price of $59.99. Not only will the vendor allow you to buy the game disk, but you can also buy a season pass. What is a Season Pass you say? A season pass gives you the entire map DLC, or Downloadable Content, the developers of Black Ops3, that Treyarch and Activision, the will issue for the life cycle of the game.
Downloadable content allows revenue to be generated during different stages of the year. Activision and Treyarch will also put out smaller portions of DLC that aren’t covered by the season pass at certain points in the year. These pieces of DLC will be things like camo packs, guns, skins, or different features in game.
The Season Pass for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 costs another $49.99. A consumer needs to now spend roughly $110 in order to get the full benefit of the game. DLC has been the standard for developers as of late. This creates high revenue for the developers. In fact Electronic Arts, a different game developer, reported that 77% of their first quarter revenue was created by “downloadable game add-ons” according to an article in Fortune. This is a large percentage especially for a developer as large as EA.
It may seem like developers are ‘double dipping’, but this strategy has actually helped keep layoffs from happening in different firms according to Brad Wardell, CEO of PC software and gaming company Stardock in an article written in Kotaku. Wardell said “before DLC took off, you laid off lots of people” upon launching a game. “You really had no choice.” The problem was that all of the revenue generating work for a project was done up front and there was no reason for developers to keep programmers and other staff employed.
DLC also provides a more stable job environment for employees of the game creators. The content also helps keep the game fresh for those who choose to partake. The plan seems to be working for developers and gamers alike.