Christina Norman, former programmer and developer of the Mass Effect series (and currently employed at Riot Games), has strong opinions about the reactions of gamers to day-one DLCs, and she expressed them during a panel at GDC.
Norman stated that gamers know nothing about what a DLC entails before it’s released, and should hold judgement on it’s quality until they have actual elements to judge instead of complaining just because it’s released on day one.
You can read her full statements after the cut:
There’s no point in releasing DLC a year after your game has come out when most people have already sold your game back to GameStop three times. That means getting it out early; that means even day-one DLC. That is a terrible thing to some players. Players rant–they know nothing about this DLC that’s coming out except its name. But then it’s ‘oh this game must be incomplete, the game must be ruined.’ Game developers are not evil. (Some are evil.) But most are not evil.
We just want to release awesome stuff. Players please, give us a chance. Judge our games based on what they are. Judge the DLC based on what it is. Stop thinking you’re a producer and telling us when and where we should be building our content.
Personally, I feel that some of the most vocal gamers should stop thinking they’re producers on a much broader base than just on day-one DLCs. While complaints are always important and constructive criticism should be welcome, the “I know better!” attitude is getting way out of hand. But maybe it’s just me…