Downloadable content (ダウンロードコンテンツ, Daunrōdo Kontentsu?), often shortened to DLC, and also called add-on in the PlayStation Network, is a part of the game where a player can download additional content for a game, very often for a price. Typically distributed through the Internet, the practice of offering downloadable content became prevalent with the proliferation of Internet-enabled, sixth-generation video game consoles and mobile devices.
Types of downloadable content range from simple in-game outfits that change the appearance of playable characters, to expansions to the game's storyline. Downloadable content may thus include new game levels, minigames, music, equipment and characters to an already released game. Downloadable content is often used as a pre-order bonus and as a general device to market a game, such as how Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection was released with DLC codes for new outfits for Cecil in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy in some regions where the game was released.
Depending on the region, the method of getting downloadable content may vary. Some downloadable content is released for free as a way to market the game's optional content, as publishers will hope that customers who log on to unlock their free content will end up making additional purchases as well. Examples of this practice can be seen with Square Enix and downloadable outfits, some of which are available for free. Sometimes a specific code is required to get DLC. These codes can be packaged with pre-orders or certain editions of a game.
For example, in certain regions, Final Fantasy XIII-2 pre-orders came packaged with codes for an exclusive weapon for the character Noel Kreiss, depending on which retailer the game was ordered from. Sometimes, codes can come packaged with promotional items for the game. For example, the April edition of the Japanese magazine "V Jump" came with a code for a DLC costume for Squall Leonhart in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, whereas the June edition came with a code for a costume for Vaan, and the Yakusoku no Basho / Tatta Hitori no Mikata single and mini soundtrack came with codes for exclusive items for Final Fantasy XIII-2.
DLC is redeemable (either by purchasing or by entering codes) through the console's or mobile device's e-Store. For the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, this is PlayStation Network, whereas the Xbox 360 uses the Xbox Games Store, the Nintendo 3DS uses the Nintendo eShop and the Nintendo Wii uses the Wii Shop Channel. Finally, iOS devices use the App Store to purchase downloadable content. Most of the games with DLC also include a DLC menu, allowing purchasing and downloading within the game.
Similar to downloadable content, many games may contain microtransactions. These are small payments often included in a free-to-play game. They do not add additional content, but purchase boosts or in-game currency within a game.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC offers additional accessories, weapons and costumes for Serah Farron and Noel Kreiss, Coliseum battles where the opponents can become recruitable Paradigm Pack monsters, and playable scenarios. Of all the available downloadable content, Serah's "Steel and Style" costume is the only free item that doesn't require the purchase of any other promotional items.
Director and producer interviews in Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega reveal that there were more plans for DLC scenarios than what were actually released. There were plans to have a motorbiking minigame included in the Snow Villiers DLC, where he would have had to kill monsters on the Archylte Steppe, and another where Hope Estheim would have traversed the Augusta Tower with the player's Live Trigger choices determining the story's outcome.
On June 11th 2013, the game was released on the PlayStation Network, along with the majority of the DLC content, which was released in a bundle. The DLC content, bar some of the costumes, is included in the Steam release by default.
The developers gauged player feedback to the downloadable content for Final Fantasy XIII-2, and used it when planning for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. One of the biggest issues was the negative reaction of players having to compulsorily purchase downloadable content to see the game's complete ending. In response to this, it was confirmed early on that the entirety of the storyline would be finished in the game, and players would not require downloadable content to be able to complete it.
The player can purchase optional items from the Mog Station store.
Downloadable content has been thought about for Final Fantasy XV in the form of airships, costumes, special battles and language options, but whether they materialize and in what form is still unknown. If content was to be added via DLC, it is said it would be free. The game won't have a gallery mode, but it's being considered for a post-release addition. The coliseum in Altissia is a place where the player can play a minigame where monsters fight against each other, and the player participates by betting on the winner. The developers are considering adding more content there post-launch.
Final Fantasy XV will include a virtual reality experience, something extra to be enjoyed by the people who purchase Final Fantasy XV. It will not be available at the same time as the rest of the game; Square Enix has said they will likely release the VR part as DLC later on.
Final Fantasy XV will have a season pass for additional downloadable content. According to the Japanese PlayStation Store, the pass includes the following six pieces of downloadable content, one of which will include a new mode:
- "Booster Pack" (DLC #1)
- "Episode Gladiolus" (DLC #2)
- "Holiday Pack" (DLC #3)
- "Episode Ignis" (DLC #4)
- "Episode Prompto" (DLC #5)
- "Expansion Pack" (DLC #6)
Final Fantasy Type-0 features free DLC through the game's Square Enix Members page, so as long as players have Internet connection to the PSP. By linking the game and its PSP Player Code to a Japanese Square Enix Members account, players can collect daily tickets which can be redeemed for in-game items that will be sent to the main game. This allows players to obtain items that are normally difficult to find in-game (e.g. high-level phantoma and chocobos) as well as items that are only available as prizes from Multiplayer Mode (e.g. character-exclusive accessories and SPP Shop weapons). The members page allows the party to obtain their two additional costume sets, the summer and formal uniforms, by downloading the game's free trial demo and referring other users to download the demo as well.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King DLC offers additional dungeons and outfits for the king. The DLC can only be bought directly from the Wii Shop Channel and can vary in price from 100 Wii Points to 800 Wii Points.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord DLC offers additional costumes, monsters, stages and an extra chapter after the completion of the game. The content can only be bought directly from the Wii Shop Channel and can vary in price from 200 Wii Points to 600 Wii Points.
It was announced on August 6th, 2012, that Bravely Default would have downloadable content. The content available is only alternate costumes for the playable characters (Agnès Oblige, Tiz Arrior, Edea Lee and Ringabel). Each character has a unique individual costume, as well as a "Freelancer" costume, available by purchasing the soundtrack. Though none of the content is directly purchasable from the Nintendo eShop, the unique costumes costumes can be unlocked in a variety of ways; from viewing the true ending to registering one's Square Enix Members account or Facebook account to playing the sequel, Bravely Default: Praying Brage.
Like its predecessor, Bravely Second was confirmed to also have downloadable costumes. Currently, the only characters to be confirmed to have Downloadable costumes are Yu Zeneolsia, Magnolia Arch, Edea Lee and Tiz Arrior. The current method for obtaining these costumes are unknown.
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy DLC offers additional costumes and music packs. Additionally, the Japanese edition of the game has available downloadable quests for players which show more of the story. Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Final Fantasy was released ahead of the game as a downloadable feature that largely worked as a playable demo, but wasn't listed under demos, but rather among downloadable games in PlayStation Network since it was not free content and featured a side plot not present in Dissidia 012. If the player downloaded Prologus they could unlock the optional Assist character Aerith.
The content can be unlocked primarily by purchasing through PlayStation Network, though a lot of content can be unlocked by the use of promotional codes distributed with special editions of the game, pre-orders, guide books, magazines, participating in tournaments or by purchasing other games (or specific editions of them).
The Nintendo 3DS version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy DLC offers several additional themes from titles of the series, while its iOS port offers more tracks from the series than 3DS version and has several downloadable characters. For the 3DS port of the game, following the release of eight initial tracks after the game's release, tracks were released weekly until September 21st, 2012, when all regions had the identical 52 tracks.
All the content is purchasable directly within the game, for the Nintendo 3DS version, and from the App Store, for the iOS mobile version.
Much like the original game, additional themes and characters can be unlocked through downloadable content. It is split into two schedules: The First Performance, which ran from April to August 2014 in Japan and during September and October 2014 internationally and has a focus on titles within the series, and The Second Performance, which began November 2014 in Japan and December 2014 internationally and has a focus on non-Final Fantasy titles by Square Enix.
Final Fantasy All the Bravest DLC includes 35 playable characters from the entire Final Fantasy series, from memorable characters such as Aerith Gainsborough or Mog, to joke characters such as Pig and Imp. DLC worlds are also provided. Each DLC world has its a unique set of enemies related to its original game.
All the content is purchasable directly from the App Store on iOS mobile devices.