Eric Monacelli, who until recently was a community strategist at Naughty Dog, has weighed in on the ongoing debate around paid-for DLC in games, saying that "you should pay for good work."
Speaking to MCV UK, Monacelli said that the decision to add post-launch story content to Uncharted 4 would be unwelcome news for some fans, but said that people should be willing to pay for good content.
“Microtransactions tend to get a sort of negative connotation in the games industry," he said. "If you remember back in the day, people bristled when they sold horse armour [for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion]. It's something that has always happened.
"But if it's good enough content and you want to pay for it, why not pay for it? That's what it comes down to."
He rejected the notion that content is cut from the initial release of a game in order to be sold as DLC later on, using the introduction of DLC guns in The Last of Us as an example.
"A clear-cut example of that is the burst rifle in The Last of Us," he said. "A lot of people thought 'Why are they charging for guns?' We did the research and noticed that a lot of players were having trouble jumping into the game for the first time, so we wanted to give people a weapon that was easily accessible and would give them a bit of a leg-up. There were other weapons if they were a more experienced player that they could buy – it's up to them. If you're already kicking ass, you probably don't need these, but if you want 'em, have 'em. It's just a matter of personal preference."
It's worth noting that what Monacelli is talking about here is are one-time purchases for additional items, like weapons in The Last of Us, rather the repeat purchases to which the term "microtransactions" usually refers, like card packs in Hearthstone or premium currency used in many free-to-play titles. But as far as DLC goes, he says that it's something the developers have worked on, and so people should be willing to pay.
"The more thought that's put into DLC, the more you should be able to charge for it, because it's one of those things where you're creating another game unto itself – The Last of Us: Left Behind was another game. It's essentially the second Last of Us game, right?
"It's work, and you should pay for good work.”