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How Late Is Too Late For Downloadable Content?

Today Bethesda Studios formally announced Dragonborn, the latest add-on for the hugely popular Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The December 4 release date comes more than a year after the debut of Skyrim. Is that too long a wait for a meaningful content drop?

To be clear, I'm not complaining about getting more content for my 2011 game of the year. But after sinking more than 100 hours into exploring the frozen tundras of Skyrim, I've moved on to other adventures. I'm currently playing a vital role in the American Revolution in Assassin's Creed III, staving off an alien threat in Xcom: Enemy Unknown, scrounging for new weaponry in Borderlands 2, and confronting an ancient precursor race in Halo 4. With so many new great gaming experiences on my plate this time of year, the chances of me returning to confront the Dragonborn are drastically lower than they would be if this content came out closer to the game's release. 

Skyrim is hardly the first title to take this approach. Bethesda released The Shivering Isles a year after The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion came out. EA elected to wait nine months before releasing Bad Company 2: Vietnam, the first legitimate batch of new maps for Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Grand Theft Auto IV debuted in May of 2008, but Rockstar Games didn't get around to releasing the second follow-up episode, The Ballad of Gay Tony, until October of 2009. I played and enjoyed all of these.

What's your take on the timing of this latest content drop for Skyrim? Do you feel more prone to purchasing DLC closer to the original release date, or are you fine with new content at any time as long as it's meaningful? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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