With the release of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes tonight I believe the floodgates have been opened on something that could be worse than Day-One DLC. Mayhap something that could be more ominous than on-disk DLC. That monster is Pre-Release DLC and we have Konami, Hideo Kojima, et al to blame for that.
You see, we no longer live in a time where developers need to actually finish a game in order for it to be released. As a full-on console gamer in my youth, on the NES, SNES, PS1, I remember there were no patches. There were no updates. A game needed to be as perfect as possible. As time progressed, and with it technology, the internet opened up new possibilities. Bugs that went unchecked were fixed, and bugs that were noticed were finally repaired as well. This gave way for more developers to fall in line fix errors after a game's release. There were expansions that didn't just add but a few new missions; however a new story, one that could last nearly as long as the main game. Something that felt different, sometimes looked different yet, more often than not, required the original game.
Now we come to the modern age of gaming, where we see developers rip part of the core of a game out and treat it as if it is something completely new and not part of the whole. We are in a time where games have not the content they used to, and the content they should have been shipped with is cut and sold at a $10-$15 price tag.
And after reading Kirk's MGS5: Ground Zeroes review, I can see this only getting worse. We saw how impressionable developers and publishers were to the Season Pass and the Online Pass systems. We saw how some relished the inclusion of Microtransactions. If there is a high success rate with this entry into the Metal Gear Solid 5 series, how often before we see a two-hour long prequel to game that doesn't actually need one? A prequel to a game that will now be that much shorter, but come with the same $50-$60 asking price.
Will Call of Duty shill out a campaign-only game for $30 then sell the Multiplayer portion for $60? Will Battlefield? What about Gears of War? Halo? The success or failure of MGS5: Ground Zeroes leaves a lot of questions and few answers in its wake.
And sure, this is just a metric butt-load of speculation. It one-hundred percent is. But how long will it take before this:
Only time will tell.