Call me old-fashioned, but in my day you got all of a game when you bought it. And you certainly didn’t have to buy the rest of it piecemeal as “downloadable content.” But beyond the fact that DLC is a ridiculous concept to begin with, there are some items that are worse than others. Here are some examples of the worst DLC ever made.
These bad DLC apples aren’t some free extra content to sweeten a game and keep gamers playing. Nor are they a few extra levels for a few extra pennies, which seems reasonable. No, the following list is full of egregious attempts to charge real money for next to nothing. If these pieces of software were people, I would hate them with a passion. So, without further ado, here’s the six worst pieces of DLC in gaming history. Cross your fingers there are never any worse examples.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Horse Armor
You thought riding a horse in The Elser Scrolls IV: Oblivion was amazing? Wait until you equip the shiny new DLC you just bought. Now your horse has armor! Only problem is, this is a single-player game. Nobody else is going to see it. Also, some of the pricey horse plating actually made you easier to kill. Seems like the publisher realized they crossed a line charging for this, because the Game of The Year Edition (which I have somewhere and should really get around to playing) doesn’t include Horse Armor. Then again, that means you still can pay a stupid amount of money on this insult to gaming.
Forza 5 – Currency Conversion
This DLC strategy really pushed the envelope back in 2013. Forza Motorsport 5 offered the ability to convert real money to in-game currency. You could buy upgrades, garages and shiny new cars, all in neatly packed DLC. Buying in bulk would lower the cost-per-item or you could earn the money normally and buy it through hard work. But it took several weeks to earn an equivalent amount from playing that you’d get from spending an amount of real-world money that could have bought another whole copy of the game. Turn 10 – the company behind Forza 5 – eventually released a patch to lower prices but it still leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth.
Tomb Raider (2013) – Tomb of the Lost Adventurer
Ah, the Tomb Raider reboot. An excellent take on Uncharted which is an excellent take on the original Tomb Raider. But with Lara’s new graphics and gameplay comes new pitfalls. For a meager $3.00, you could buy the fancy-sounding DLC Tomb of the Lost Adventurer. What would you expect for $3.00 in another game? A new gun, maybe an outfit thrown in? Nope. How about one tomb with maybe a minute’s worth of puzzles in it? Well, that’s this DLC in a nutshell.
The Sims – Clothes Packs
The name EA used to mean good games for good prices, but that feels lie ages ago. To many gamers today, the publisher’s name means good games that you have to buy in the form of DLC and extra content. So it’s no surprise that EA is constantly creating new content for the many, many, many games in The Sims franchise and charging through the nose for it. Honestly, what does that new outfit for an NPC actually do? Other than look hideous, that is.
The Amazing Spider-Man – Osphone Games
Clones are inevitable in the app market. Just open up the app store on your phone to see dozens of clones of Minecraft, Pac-Man and Snake out there. But who wants to play a silly, derivative app on your phone for (at most) a dollar when you can buy crummy clones as in-game DLC and watch Spider-Man play them? That idea occurred to the suits at Activision when they created crummy phone games within The Amazing Spider-Man movie tie-in, asking you to pay to download minigames on Peter Parker’s imaginary phone that you could get for free on your real phone. How cool is that!?!
Street Fighter X Tekken – 12 “Additional” Characters
Imagine that you buy your significant other a nice meal at an expensive restaurant. The meals come and they look amazing. Nice atmosphere, polite waiters and… Hang on, they’ve forgotten the cutlery. Could they maybe… Oh, it’s extra for silverware? But, don’t you usually get it with the meal? You’d think that, just as you’d think you’d get the dozen characters Capcom included on the disc of this game. In what may be the most infamous incident involving bad DLC practices, many objected to the on-disc inclusion of content in Street Fighter X Tekken that you then had to pay to unlock. Capcom would later apologize, but the damage had already been done to the game.
So that’s the worst DLC to date. Here’s hoping both consumers and publishers keep these in mind when considering DLC plans for upcoming games.