The lights are on
Harmonix has been one of the more reliable purveyors of DLC, releasing new Rock Band content weekly since the game's 2007 release. It should come as no surprise then that its upcoming Kinect dance game Dance Central will be getting post-release content as well. One thing might be a bit different from what players are accustomed to: the price.
According to Joystiq, Dance Central's DLC will be a bit more expensive than the typical $1.99/160 Microsoft Points/200 Wii Points price structure that most typical Rock Band tracks sell for. It's not necessarily a diabolical plot to milk cash from the dance population. As it turns out, the process to create playable tracks in Dance Central is more involved than taking an R&B song from the '90s and pressing the "add flail" button. In a conversation with the game's project lead, Kasson Crooker, Joystiq learned that there are several important (and expensive) steps.
"Because [Dance Central DLC] comes with a brand new unique routine with the three difficulties, we have to: engage the choreographer, find the song, license the song, come up with a routine, get them into a [motion capture] suit, shoot all the choreography, integrate the animation, build the filter system, the flash cards, the [voiceover] for 'Break it Down' -- it's a pretty elaborate process that is not only a lot more expensive, but a lot more time consuming," Crooker says.
It certainly seems like the process of converting tracks to a playable form is more customized than grabbing a few canned animations and calling it good. That's great news for people who are really into their dance games, but will casual players notice anything other than the price tag? How much are we talking about here, anyway? A buck more might be within the scope of reason, but crossing that $3 threshold seems a bit steep. At what point does DLC like this become too rich for your blood?
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.