DLC for DLC?

March 6, 2018

I was going to hammer out that Jungle Adventure review tonight, but then a thing happened so here we go.

The next Sims 4 stuff pack was officially announced today, entitled My First Pet Stuff.  It’s notable in the series as it seems to be the first stuff pack (the $10 tier of content for The Sims 4, and the $20 tiers for 2 and 3) intended to be an expansion to an already existing expansion. The Sims 3 Store had some sets that included pet-related items, but nothing as concrete as an entire pack themed around content from a different DLC.

It’s DLC for DLC, which sounds like something someone would say as a joke from 10 years ago.

Stuff pack producer Graham Nardone clarified on twitter just how this would work.

I’m not quite sure the point of making the pack available to people without Cats & Dogs, as the pack would still cost the same but have a chunk of the content carved out, but I suppose if one believes their $10 is still worth that, then more power to them as long as this limitation is clearly defined in the advertising.

Truth be told I don’t actually hate this idea of smaller content being released as expansions to previous packs. I would gladly throw down $10 to $15 for a new neighborhood with apartment lots, something which would obviously require the buyer to already own City Living in order to play.

But City Living was released just about a year and a half ago, and this highlights the problem I have with the newly announced MFPS. By now it’s obvious that the chances of there still being unfinished City Living content in the works is impossibly slim. The expansion hit shelves in October of 2016 and if EA were to suddenly announce a stuff pack revolving around that pack’s apartment mechanics, it would be assumed by most that work on that pack didn’t start until CL was well out the door.

In contrast, MYFP’s release date comes only four months after Cats & Dogs. One can easily assume that the content for this pack was already in the works during the development of C&D, and they may even be correct. In fact, if we take how transparent the development process was for the Laundry Day stuff pack, we can sort of pin down a timeline for the development of stuff packs.

The first concept art for Laundry Day was presented to the world on May 18th 2017, after a vote for what aesthetic the pack would centre around concluded on April 10th. We can assume production moved past the ‘floating ideas around’ phase some time between those two dates. Laundry Day Stuff was released on January 16th 2018, which pegs the production time of that stuff pack to be around 8 months.

If we assume the community voting aspect of pack’s production didn’t tack too much time on, we can also assume that MFPS was in production for 4 months before the release of Cats & Dogs.

Although this period was probably on the ass-end of C&D’s production, and possibly past a time where everything for the expansion was finalized, it looks bad. To the average person it looks incredibly suspicious that just four months after buying a $40 expansion pack, a new $10 chunk of content is being released as an addon to it.

Are we to assume that we got an incomplete experience the first time? Is this content that was intended to be included in the expansion but then cut for time? Is it content that could have very well made it into the expansion but was simply shaved off in order to sell it separately later?

This pack was already a risky idea, but one that could have worked had it been released later. But coming so hot off the heels off of Cats & Dogs, the whole thing just ends up looking pretty bad.

I’m still going to buy it because it’s apparently bringing back the guinea pig disease that was so good at wiping out my households in the first game, and I’m all about both sim death and Sims 1 references (and I am also a goddamned sheeple). Botched as this idea is, I’d still like to see where EA goes with the concept of adding content that crosses over with other packs.

The Sims 2 Apartment Life included a witches’ spell to summon a spectral cat, which was only available to players who also had the Pets expansion installed. More intersection between packs like the aforementioned is definitely something I would like to see more of.