Thursday, August 13, 2015

Late Expansions

     Recently, a new expansion for Diablo 3 (released in 2012) was rumored because of a job listing Blizzard posted. Diablo 3 being more than 3 years old, I find this weird, a major patch and possible expansion coming so late into the game's life cycle. Though the player base has seemingly been slowly declining, Blizzard still supports this game, giving regular content and balance patches; this is 3 years in and this is super unorthodox for a game like this, late-lifecycle support seems to occur only in MOBAs and MMOs. We've also seen this in GTAV with the multiple releases on all platforms and patches for the online aspect adding heists and content regularly; Rockstar still hasn't dropped hints of a legitimate expansion.
Aside: This extended support for games is by no means a bad thing. Whether it is extending the dev period of a new game or sequel, or just support because it's what the players want, there are very few ways in which this could turn bad.
Is this a rising trend? We see games like Destiny or Street Fighter 5 having "Ten-year plans" or being turned into something like a platform. I think this platform movement is a great thing; yearly releases like Call of Duty could easily be turned into a platform, with the occasional $30 expansion or $10 DLC. Really, any annualized games could really be given this treatment in different ways.

     I, for one, embrace this new expansion timing, especially if it means longer dev cycles and better, non-broken day one's for games; seriously, the broken game releases are getting a little out of hand.


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