E3: Gaming firm behind Fable Legends defends paid-for extras

Fable gameplay

Back in the day you picked up a game off the shelf, bought it and played it.

But for some time now games developers have been focusing more and more on offering extra content to gamers after initial release.

One game that will rely heavily on downloadable content (DLC) is fantasy role-play title Fable Legends.

Speaking to Newsbeat at E3, the game's director says DLC can be brilliant for gamers but developers need to make sure they use it "responsibly".

David Eckleberry is director of Fable Legends
Image caption David Eckleberry is director of Fable Legends

People have been telling us this week that downloadable content is part and parcel of being a gamer these days.

Others say that by encouraging gamers to use in-game purchasing and other similar promotions, the industry is just trying to squeeze more money from fans.

The director of Fable Legends told Newsbeat that the game, made in Guilford, Surrey, will focus a lot on releasing extra content for months after its initial release.

David Eckleberry said: "We wanted to do new things and create a game that would last for years to come.

Fable gameplay

"We launch the game later this year with a certain amount of content but then we're going to continue to release new content every single month, new quests, new stories to play.

"Some of that you can purchase, some you can unlock in the game and some you just get for free.

"We're seeing more and more games embrace this kind of service-based approach as it's sometimes called.

I think what would be wrong was if you built them half a game and then tried to charge them for it later with extra bits that should have been in the real game
David Eckleberry
Fable Legends director

"There's always something new, a new magic sword to find or a new character to play.

"These are great for us from a business point of view, to have players come back and enjoy our game.

"Our players love experiencing new things, and downloadable content is critical to that."

What about the criticism that the games industry only does this to make money?

David acknowledged that as much as gamers enjoy new experiences, they also want value for money.

Fable gameplay

"We as game developers have to be responsible.

"We have to offer a very fair proposition in the base game if there's an up-front cost or even in a free-to-play game.

"You have to give them a great amount of content for them to enjoy and then add to it.

"I think what would be wrong was if you built them half a game and then tried to charge them for it later with extra bits that should have been in the real game."

The boss of UKIE Dr Jo Twist
Image caption The boss of Ukie Dr Jo Twist says DLC is a "fantastic business model"

The body that represents games developers and publishers in the UK also thinks that downloadable content is good for gamers.

The boss of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist, told Newsbeat: "Downloadable content is really a catch-all term for games as a service.

"In other words, you don't just release a game and that's it. You give your punters more of what they love.

"It's a fantastic business model and it is providing a service rather than a one-off product."

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