It seems to me, at this time, that the state of gaming is at a crossroads. Video games are now big business, and everyone wants their slice of the pie. There is a problem, in my perception, brewing across all platforms. Paid DLC: Nearly all new titles feature paid DLC as a part of their new business model. It's a cool feature, to be sure, but it bothers me all the same. EA's project $10 doesn't bother me so much. They are attempting to grab some of the money from the used market, which overcharges like crazy I might add, and capture those profits for themselves. It makes business sense to have exclusive DLC available for people who buy the games new. But DLC seems to be a little bit out of control. Another EA title that I purchased, Dragon Age: Origins uses the Project $10 scheme, which I don't mind so much, but also has other paid for DLC side quests hidden within the game itself. I was pretty angry when I found this optional side quest, where I had to pay extra to access. I bought the upgraded edition of the game, but they want more money from me so I can complete the entire game and not just the storyline. DLC map packs haven't been too big of an issue. Nearly every developer and publisher made the DLC available for free to PC gamers. I felt that the only reason DLC was charged on the Xbox was because Microsoft deemed it. This is why Team Fortress 2 never gets updated for the 360. Activision and Infinity Ward hasn't released the "Stimulus Package" DLC for Modern Warfare 2 yet, but it's no secret that they're charging a stupidly high price for a map pack. DLC is a bane to gaming in my opinion. Okay, that's not correct, it's a double edged sword. It's very cool that DLC allows a developer to support and expand their products on any platform, keeping some parts of the game fresh for years (months). It's cool, I get it. What's not cool is making people pay money to complete a game 100% of the way through when the DLC is likely already included on the disc when it shipped. I'm a big fan of expansions. I've paid money for full expansion packs, and it is a good business model, just not as lucrative as the microsized DLC that is currently being offered. Games in General: As awesome as it is to see how far gaming has progressed over the years, the quality of the games has gone down significantly. Games are often rushed to production and released with bugs these days. "Wait for the patch" is a mantra that is seen across all platforms now. I'm not sure what the average age of people are on this forum, but I can remember a day when games were released and they worked flawlessly with their hardware right out of the box (may exclude PC titles). The cartridge era of gaming showed us what good quality control was all about. I can't recall any officially licensed games on those systems not working as they should. I know that the hardware scene has changed a lot over the years, and development houses have to ensure that their titles work across a multitude of platforms, hardware, operating systems and other factors. That's a lot of work, and I appreciate the efforts they put into ensuring that their games do work for as many people as possible, even if they have to patch it. Piracy and Guns I don't talk politics too much, but you can see the parallells between software piracy and gun control. Piracy is a great excuse for developers and publishers to try and include new forms of DRM on their products. Gang members and criminals are a great excuse to limit law-abiding peoples access to firearms. Neither scheme actually works though. Ubisofts new DRM, which is hailed as the most draconian DRM to exist to date has caused nothing but problems for the people who legally purchased these titles, and other folks who don't like it come up with ways to remove the DRM or work around it. Criminals aren't going to turn in their guns. Criminals are not going to stop acquiring them either. My point is, the people who follow the law shouldn't be punished because of those who do not. Whether the product is a video game or a firearm. The big difference between these two products is that we actually have a right to own one of them (in the United States). Final Thoughts: The future of gaming is bright, but I can already tell that PC titles are going to be straight up ports of whatever console is the most popular of the generation. Amazing things are happening, but the PC market will still introduce new ways to keep people from pirating their work. I can't blame them, totally, but I think it's really lame nonetheless. I already have a small list of companies I will not buy games from, and I hope it doesn't grow. Anyone else have thoughts on the modern era of gaming?