Paradox Games is notorious for its DLC and Add-Ons policy. Paradox is a developer that publishes and releases a wide variety of strategy games, but is spearheaded by its real-time historical strategy genre. Hearts of Iron, Europa Universalis, and Stellaris are some of their best selling games.
The company tends to follow the following pattern when releasing a new game: release a skeleton with new features, and then over the next several years release countless DLCs that add new features, playable scenarios, and game mechanics.
The best example of this is Europa Universalis 4. Currently, the base EU4 game (released in 2013) costs ~$40 CAD on Steam. However, the game has 13 expansion packs (major DLCs) with a new one in development, as well as 20 more content, skin, music, and media packs. When bundled together, these expansion packs approach ~$410 CAD, not including the base game
Paradox has come under scrutiny for their level of DLC. First, many believe that Paradox purposely cuts content in order to release DLCs later on. Second, many people are put off by the cost of the full game. Since each DLC adds new game mechanics, not purchasing the DLC results in an incredibly watered down experience. This has led to the argument that some Paradox games are not worth it without DLC. Paradox has also toyed with introducing a subscription policy for DLC, in which potential gamers can subscribe monthly to have access to some DLC on a month-by-month basis. This understandably comes with its own pros and cons. Not all DLCs are included, but at the same time for short term the cost is much more affordable.
Surprisingly, a similar policy to DLCs and Add-ons is seen in the simulator community. The recent release of Flight Simulator 2020 has brought to the forefront the aspect of releasing paid add-ons to pre-existing games. Flight Simulator 2020 released in 3 forms, each one more expensive than the last and including new planes and improved airports. However, aftermarket purchases from 3rd party companies and users, which can be bought online or through the FS2020 in-game market, is incredibly common. Similar to what is seen with Paradox games, FS2020 add-ons can cost just as much or more than the game itself. Singular planes in FS2020 can be as much as $30-40.
This is a common tactic in other simulator games. DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) is free on Steam; however, each plane and campaign is costly, with the pricing anywhere from $12 to over $100 per aircraft.
Paradox Games tends to get a bad rapport for its DLC policy, yet the simulator community sees this as a way to "pay for what you want" as you go. I would argue that both communities have their good and bad- both games involve massive time commitments to play, with an inherent learning curve, and have dedicated communities surrounding them. Both release a base game and add DLCs on afterwards that alter gameplay and can change player opinion and choice.
In the end, it is up to the player to determine whether or not to commit to this price point for the games.
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