Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg has shared some strong words about the downloadable content strategies and "forced" multiplayer that he claims publishers and developers are using to make money from gamers. Speaking to Eurogamer, the Just Cause producer claimed that offering up new DLC is not the best way to go about driving player engagement.
"DLC is not needed to keep players engaged if the game is well executed," he said. "We create a game allowing players to properly explore and have fun and not focusing so much on the actual end goal of the game. As most publishers and developers have run around as headless chickens the last three years looking for a way to make money, DLC was definitively a tool to try to keep players engaged, but how many games have been truly successful with DLC? Not that many."
Sundberg went on to explain that he likes DLC and stands by the add-ons made available for Just Cause 2, because "it was the game itself" that kept gamers playing, not the DLC, he said. The developer was also critical of the trend to create a multiplayer component solely to deter used game sales.
"The big thing now is to force multiplayer into games that are really single-player games just to combat second hand sales and that makes absolutely no sense as it just consumes budget and does not add any value except on the back of the box," he said. "Proper DLC that adds value is great but so far very few games have motivated me to actually pay for the DLC. I've just paid for the crap that developers decided to cut because they didn't have the time to get into the game."
Sundberg pointed to Just Cause 2 as a game that remains actively played without such strategies because it is a "full-out playground," in which players can spend 15 minutes or 15 hours. He said in March 2012, some two years after the game was released, the title had over 100,000 unique players each week, with some of those gamers logging over 200 hours of play time.