Downloadable content has provided publishers with a great way to extend the life of their games. In theory, it encourages players to keep playing games long after they might have otherwise gone back on the shelf, adding extra content for a small price. Heck, extra content can even entice new players into giving a game a try. Unfortunately, greed tends to ruin a lot of things, and publishers almost immediately started taking advantage of DLC by charging gamers for thoroughly ridiculous additions. Dead or Alive 6 already had a fairly expensive amount of DLC, but the game is now charging players if they want to change a character's hair color.
The change comes as part of Dead or Alive 6's 1.60 update on PlayStation 4. While the addition might be a bit more forgivable if players were being charged to add new hairstyles permanently, the fact is that players are getting charged for the change itself, not to buy the color. So, if players want to change Helena's hair from its natural blonde to brown, that's one Premium Ticket. If they decide they want to go back to blonde, well, that's another ticket. The cost of each Premium Ticket works out to be about $1 each.
As far as DLC pricing goes, this blatantly goes against the concept's spirit. Koei Tecmo's fighter is far from the first game to do something like this; a number of publishers have earned the ire of gamers from nickel-and-dime strategies. In the past, dataminers have caught publishers locking "downloadable content" on the disc, only to charge players to unlock it later. Regardless, it's hard to overstate how irksome this is for players, and how it can negatively impact other publishers, as well.
At the end of the day, players don't have to pay for this sort of cosmetic change, but microtransactions such as these have made gamers quite jaded about DLC. It's not uncommon to hear players accuse publishers of holding content so they can charge for it later. Many of these allegations prove to be unfounded, but the whole thing has a negative impact on the relationships between the industry and its consumers.
For now, Dead or Alive 6 players will simply have to send a message to Koei Tecmo by avoiding paying for this kind of thing. That, or they'll have to think really, really hard before they decide what hair color to choose.
What do you think of Dead or Alive 6's hair color charges? Have you found yourself frustrated by DLC charges? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!