What Does DLC Mean for Your Games

What Does DLC Mean for Your Games

Today I’m going to share with you what is DLC and why you should be using it in future game development.

I’ll show a study that backs DLC as an effective player retention tool and show stats that back that DLC is being effective.

Let’s dig into what DLC means for your games.


What does DLC mean?

This content enhances or completes the video game’s features. Total Annihilation was the first modern game featuring DLC, offering additional free new units, maps, and scenarios starting 1997.


Why you want DLC in your game

A recent study by Juho Hamari –Helsinki Institute for Information Technology– and Aki Järvinen – Digital Chocolate, Inc.– shows the importance of DLC for the acquisition, monetization, but more importantly, for the retention of users in social games.

Games as a service has established in the industry as a viable model. It’s now possible to acquire users more easily and engage them with good gameplay. To then, offer users virtual goods through in-app purchases that enhance the game’s original experience.

This one-two punch is something to have in mind if you want games to last longer: a larger influx of casual players thanks to free-to-play, plus better retention of hard-core gamers who are more likely to spend on DLC.

Greater game longevity can be achieved with a constant stream of DLC releases that help players get a sense of continuing support for the game. It keeps player interest alive thus reducing the drop out. Plus, it can make players who stopped playing to come back and check the new content for the game.


Did you know DLC revenues are in Billions?

Recently, EA reported their annual DLC revenue was on course of hitting $1 billion, with prospects to rise in the future. Not bad, eh? There are a myriad of games of different genres that have put DLC to good use:

  • Ubisoft – Assassins Creed III “Tyranny of King Washington”
  • Wargaming – World of Tanks
  • Riot Games – League of Legends
  • Bungie – Destiny
  • Nintendo – New Super Mario Bros 2

With DLC, now developers have endless options to deliver an even richer game experience to players. But, what can you do with downloadable content? Learn how other studios used it successfully and got a better engaged player base.