The same British developer also used a different, seemingly devious way of introducing DLC. The critically acclaimed strategy game Total War: Warhammer immediately received the Chaos Warriors DLC on the day of its release. 

Players were not happy with this. If the DLC is already available on release, surely it could and should have been in the base game? 

Moreover, the specific Chaos Warriors breed from the DLC was already in the base game, but due to the lack of Lords and an absent campaign storyline, it was actually an unplayable faction. And let this faction also be seen as the ultimate evil in the Warhammer world, making it not exactly a boring extra faction. This DLC was certainly interesting for players of the game, but it could only be obtained for free if the basic game was pre-ordered. Creative Assembly countered the criticism by stating that nothing had been cut out of the game, but that it failed to get the breed into the base game based on financial resources. You can simply use the lol smurf accounts and come up with the wining strategies.

For example, Creative Assembly faced this kind of criticism when Rome 2: Total War players felt that certain camel units included in the paid Beasts of War dlc should have been in the base game. That was substantiated with a video that reportedly featured these units specifically in a Creative Assembly video released before the game’s release. The developer denied and indicated that it was very different units, but fans were not happy with it.

Little bits instead of big additions

What the above examples make clear is that many games nowadays use a revenue model with an almost endless list of different DLCs, which are often not too large or impressive in terms of the amount of content. New, relatively smaller additions to games are released quite regularly and often appear relatively soon after the base game is released. Shadow of the Tomb Raider has only been out since September 14, 2018, but expansion number two, called The Pillar, was released three months after this release date.

Homeworld: Cataclysm

This contrasts quite clearly with the practice of roughly ten years ago and before. In the days when games were still released on sometimes a multitude of specular discs, the DLC model did not yet exist. You often saw that there was an expansion, but it often came a long time after the release of the base game and also formed a larger whole and sometimes introduced a completely different world with a different story. 

The space strategy game Homeworld is an example of this. The Homeworld: Cataclysm expansion was only released in Europe in September 2000, a year after the original was released. This expansion included completely different races, different environments, different ships and a different storyline. The same was true for the more recent Battlefield: Bad Company 2 from 2010. Nine months after its release, the Vietnam expansion completely transformed the battlefield to the setting of the Vietnam War, including new weapons, vehicles, environments and even a new in-game menu environment with a characteristic soundtrack with songs from the late 60s.