It’s quite simple to explain, but I do think players are entirely right – if the content is on the disc already there’s absolutely no justification for studios to offer DLC which is essentially an unlock key or something. But I guess what doesn’t come across to some people is that when a game hits the shelves, it’s probably been wrapped up for four or five months in any true sense.
The time between finishing the game and retail is usually spent on debugging – you can spend months and months just fixing errors and glitches to ensure the product is finished and ready for release. Then when you factor in the console approval and the manufacturing process, you’re talking about a substantial part of the game’s overall development time.
While all of that stuff is going on, it tends to free up resources at the studio, so they can make items that can be added on as DLC afterwards. I think people outside of that process assume that the development of a game and its DLC are executed in parallel, and that’s really not the case. - Rebellion’s David Brickley
Don’t sell me some bullshovel deal on DLC where the content is already packed away on the disc, but we need some sort of code or something to unlock it. If you want to make me pay for DLC, give me something that isn’t hidden away from plain sight. We’re already paying $50 for games, we shouldn’t have to shell out more for content that’s laying dormant.