Speaking to Gearbox’s chief creative office Brian Martel, he told us that downloadable content (DLC) is one of the things that people “don’t really understand about how games are made”.
One of the complaints that many players level against DLC is that, if it’s already finished by the time the game comes out, why is it not included on the disc in the first place?
Martel explains that a game is finished a long time before the game hits retails and that DLC is one of the ways to keep the development team busy, as well as to work on ideas that didn’t make it into the final game.
In relation to Borderlands 2, Martel told us that:
“We’re working on DLC now, and I think that’s one of the things people don’t really understand about how games are made – it’s months after a game is finished before it finds its way onto the shelf,” said Martel. “If we were like Hollywood we’d hire a bunch of contractors and fire them as soon as the project is over, but we’re a much more respectful organisation than that.
“After the game is done we need to keep our guys as busy as possible, and a lot of that is DLC. Our DLC items tend to be things we had on the wishlist for the full game but we couldn’t include for whatever reason. So now is about the time we start to push those things into pre-production to prevent people not working.”
When asked whether Borderlands 2 would have similar a similar quantity of DLC as the first game, Martel said:
“Yes, we want to have the same kind of big, story-driven content and we’ve got a bunch of ideas ping-ponging around the office right now. But we also want to couple that with the new character DLC which adds skills and gameplay elements that are completely different and a good excuse for people to play through the whole game again.”