On-Disc DLC Conspiracies Are “Nonsense,” Says EA’s Moore

August 13, 2015   ·   0 Comments

A key executive at Electronic Arts has dismissed claims that publishers release games incomplete and hold back finished content to up-sell later.

While it is considered widespread practice for games studios to devise plans for DLC during the production of a game, some believe that publishers often go a step further, creating content during production and holding it back for post-release sales.

In an interview with GameSpot, EA chief operating officer Peter Moore claimed that such conspiracy theories about locking-out finished content are “nonsense.”

“A lot of [fan] resistance comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back. Nonsense,” Moore said.

“My desk in the office is about fifty feet away from Visceral, and it’s a hive of activity developing extra content for Battlefield Hardline. You come and stand where I am, and you see the work that is being done right now. And it’s not just DLC, this is free updates and ongoing balance changes.”

Downloadable content, now often bundled in season passes that sometimes cost the same price as their base game, are increasingly becoming a commercial necessity for western games publishers. One leading games executive, who did not wish to be named, recently told GameSpot that DLC is sometimes the only way that some triple-A games can sustain profit.

However, fans often air displeasure for having to sometimes pay twice the price of a base game in order to play all the content that has been created for it. There have also been occasions, such as with Destiny, where players have discovered inaccessible areas of a game world that has been locked away for future expansions.

Such discoveries often feed into the belief that some companies develop DLC during the production of a base game, before locking it away. But Moore claims that this type of locked-out content often serves as the necessary building blocks for future expansions, and not signs of on-disc DLC.

“You have to do that from a technical perspective. Think of them [games] as APIs,” he said.

“Knowing down the road that something needs to sit on what you’ve already made, means you have to put some foundations down. What people are confused about is they think DLC is secretly on the disc, and that it’s somehow unlocked when we say.”

Moore also spoke of the evolution of games development, and how post-release content now demands significant manpower.

“The big games drive so much engagement nowadays, because they are not games you play for a while and then walk away from. Triple-A games today have live elements to them, and things like season passes are a way of keeping people engaged.

“Season passes themselves are also a huge investment. Today we’ve got what used to be the size of a whole game development team, of about 40 or 50 people, working solely on the extra content.”

Moore also touched on the level of jeopardy involved in building triple-A games.

“These things are high risk, with hundreds of people connected to it, and sometimes with their livelihoods connected to it,” he said.

“You have high capital investment, and you hope it pays off.”

Elsewhere in his interview with GameSpot, Moore explains why Kojima should reunite with Konami, his views on the lack of single-player in Star Wars Battlefront, and why annually updating EA Sports via download-as opposed to selling boxes each year–would be “nirvana”.

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Rob Crossley

Rob Crossley is GameSpot’s UK Editor. He is being forced to use Oxford commas.

Battlefield Hardline



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