The Future of Halo DLC

Extra Credits, of The Escapist, posted a video today on Microtransactions, which can be found here:

One part mentioned that splitting your player base is a bad idea. Halo’s DLC has done this, especially with Reach. I know Noble and Defiant are integrated into MM, but they’re only available if everyone in the lobby has it. If even one person is missing the content, it won’t show for everyone else who did. And I, personally, have seen Breakpoint in the Invasion playlist twice, at most. I’ve never seen Highlands outside of the DLC/Premium playlists. This leads me to believe that most of the player base hasn’t actually bought the DLC.

Here’s what I propose for future DLC: Anyone can download and use it, but only for a limited time. Let’s take the Defiant Map Pack, for instance. With the system I propose, anyone would be able to download Defiant, free of charge, and use it as much as they like for five days (Note: Achievements for this pack would not be earnable for the duration of the trial). At the end of these five days, the player is locked out of the DLC, and is prompted to pay for it. If he doesn’t like the pack, he doesn’t buy it, and is no longer harassed about it beyond the prompt. If he does, he can pay, and is now granted permanent access to the Defiant pack. The price would remain ten dollars.

Essentially, this is a “demo,” and may actually spur sales of the map pack in question, or other playable content that may come out. Players would have a chance to explore the maps and get a feel for them, or test out a level or two from a new campaign DLC, and if they like it, they pay, and are allowed free reign over all of it forever.

It’s too late for Reach to do this, and may also be too late for Halo 4 to implement this properly, but it might be something to consider in the future, as it seems to only be a matter of time before Microsoft would get ideas for how to do this with their flagship franchise, and I’d rather they do it right.

What they mean by spliting player base is spliting them to two games not different gametypes/lobbys

It’s funny, because Halo DLC has always been premium, since it debuted in Halo 2. In Halo 3, you couldn’t play most of the playlists if you didn’t have the DLC, period. It was never really a problem back then. Now along comes Reach, with code to integrate our DLC maps into normal playlists with semi-regular frequency, and now people are saying it’s splitting the fanbase.

I’m not trying to criticize your opinion, OP, I just find it funny how people were fine with DLC restrictions in Halo 3, but along comes Reach being more accessible to both DLC and non-DLC users, and the system is getting criticized (by more people than just you).

I personally think the system is fine. It’s not splitting the userbase and I love using my DLC in Premium playlists. It would be nice to see it more in “standard” playlists, but let’s face a fact here: If you play Team Slayer, nine games out of ten will have you on community maps. That’s just a fact of life. Shipped maps themselves, not just DLC, are becoming more of a rarity with the sudden takeover of community maps.