Outside of multiplayer-centric games, there's zero incentive for me to buy games at release.
If I wait a few years (I'm a patient fellow), I get more content, for less money, in a better state (patches, community fixes, etc).
Valve provides free content, so I'm willing to pay a bit more upfront. But most games worth playing receive a gold edition, which includes expansions and DLC for one low price.
This pathetic, half-assed DLC is inevitable. Publishers either have to drastically lower dev costs, sell more copies, or raise prices. They can't do the latter at retail (sticker shock), so they find crappy ways of monetizing their games. PC gamers have been spoiled for a decade or more with free content, so I'm curious as to how they'll respond to this sort of DLC (instead of traditional, hefty expansions).
I wonder if we'll see an expansion of what I'll call a "have your cake and eat it too" model of charging full price for what amounts to a microtransaction/DLC delivery vehicles. If you're going that route, steeply discount the base game or don't charge for it at all.
Also: charging for multiplayer content is fucking stupid. My experience with Battlefield 1942 multiplayer expansions: not enough people bought them, so lots of servers refused to put the maps in rotation, giving you less incentive to buy them. In short, charging for multiplayer content segregates the community.
This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2009, 15:54.