Modern games are never finished, thanks to the numerous post-release updates and DLC content that is released for months and sometimes years after the initial release date. Back in the 90s, the final code on the disc was all that was needed but now there are huge changes and overhauls available afterwards that can fundamentally change how a game plays. What are some of the titles that have benefitted the most?
Live service games that are designed to keep players engaged in the long term are renowned for ongoing updates. Fortnite has arguably been the most successful at this since it first launched as an early access title back in 2017. Since then, developer Epic Games has released major updates every month and offered new in-game items daily to its 350 million registered users. Without updates, Fortnite would still be a basic battle royale but ongoing iterations and changes have made this one of the most popular multiplayer titles ever.
Grand Theft Auto V is another game that has received a staggering number of updates. Rockstar’s action-adventure game first launched in 2013 with its single-player epic being the main draw for players, but it is now Grand Theft Auto Online that attracts the most attention. The multiplayer launch was mired with technical issues and repetitive missions which prompted some critics to name it the “biggest disappointment” of the year.
However, frequent free updates have softened that critical reception with the Heists release in 2015 in particularly viewed as a turning point for the online multiplayer mode. Nine years on and GTA Online is still being updated and will likely be supported for a while yet. With more than 100,000 players at any one time in the game, it is fair to say these updates have been a huge success.
Single-player games also received updates in the form of download content (DLC) which allows developers to explore new characters, stories and settings. Polish developer CD Project RED received acclaim for its very generous post-release updates which included two huge expansion packs. The main game already offered around 200 hours of gameplay, but this DLC added even more monsters, bosses and plot developments. “Blood and Wine” is now viewed as one of the best DLCs ever released.
Outside of traditional gaming, players that visit online casinos will also be aware of the updates and enhancements made to top-rated slot machines and casino games. A quick look at the latest Indian casino games shows several titles, including Temple Tumble and Into the Storm that have been released recently with exciting gameplay features that keep players engaged. Casinos regularly update and add new slots for real money players.
It is fair to say that post-release updates have been a huge net benefit for the industry. While some players may pine for pre-internet days when all you needed was a single disc to get a finished product, the ability to fix problems and release new content has given developers greater scope to build the games they want.