I keep hearing folks complain about how the gaming industry is milking us all like cows, clawing every last hard earned penny they can from us. DLC is almost profanity in this brave new world, as we whine about how we used to be able to buy a game and get the game rather than buying a disk and then downloading (and paying extra for) half the content.
Before we get too hard on the folks trying to make a living making the games we love to play though, how about we take a look at what we're really paying and how those prices have changed over the years.
Back when I was a lad, and Atari ruled the gaming world with old faves like Missile Command, Asteroids, and Pac Man, the game system cost close to $200, or 1-2 weeks' pay for a working adult. For the price of 20 of those decks, you could have purchased a new car. The games for the old Atari ran about $20 each, or roughly a days' pay. Just for reference, 35 cents would buy you a gallon of gas, and $15k would buy you a small family home in a major city (after you paid off your 20 year mortgage).
Now, fast forward around 40 years, and we're griping that a game costs $85 or so after we've paid for all the DLC that didn't come with the $55 sticker price. Let's think about this for a moment. How outrageous is it to charge $85 for a video game? Is it reasonable to expect a game to cost $55? Considering that a student working part-time at McDonalds is making close to $100/day and gas has gone up tenfold (expenses that the manufacturers of games are facing, having to pay salaries considerably higher than minimum wage for their artists, designers, etc), I think it's pretty silly to make the manufacturers grovel for less profit on their product than they got when a game character could easily be represented by a couple of dozen black dots on a white screen.