Is Warner Bros Using DLC and Video Games as a Strategy Model for the DCEU?

Who’d win in a fight between Superman and Spawn? How the f*ck old is Cable? And what in the holy hell is a Megatron? When the tough questions arise, Panels on Pages will gather the facts, but it’s up to the PoP!ulation to draw its own conclusions. So come on… Riddle Me This.

batman-v-superman-and-suicide-squad_header

“Extended cut” home releases, eh?

The thought occurred during an email conversation with my man in Amsterdam, Grimmy Acosta, that there seems to be a pattern forming with the DCEU movies. Batman V Superman comes out and quite a few people really enjoy the movie. However, many others hated it. The result is a raging debate over whether or not the movie is any good, if the DCEU is doomed to failure, how badly (or not) the characters were (mis)treated, the whole nine.

Because of how much fanboy outcry sadly defines our culture and because outrage is the new national sport (™ MSL), this debate is still going on when Warner Bros announces that the home release will contain an “extended cut” with a buttload (an actual term of measurement, look it up) of new footage that fleshes the story out some. Some are happy with it as they now see the film making more sense. Others, still not pleased (and probably never will be), decry the new version.

Fast forward to a few months later, when Suicide Squad debuts to a very similar – if not stronger – reaction from both sides. The movie is called everything from ”so bad-to-the-bone it’s good” to high-priced junk. And those are just the critics’ reviews; the online reaction is a lot stronger. The debate rages once again until, very recently, Warner Bros. announces that an extended cut will be released of this movie as well.

Video games have, for years, been produced with DLC to come at a later time. It’s become almost the norm for a highly anticipated game to hit the market with bugs and missing content that fans were really hoping for added on later for an extra fee. There’s plenty out there about how this practice seems to be nothing more than a ploy to bilk money out of consumers by charging them for an “incomplete” product (or a product not as good as it should be coming out of the gate) and then charging them to improve that same product after they’ve already made their initial purchase.

Why the sudden detour talking about video games and DLC? Well, that’s where the connection comes in. It’s almost too much of a coincidence that the studio has released two blockbusters to sharply divided response and then “made good” with the home video release. Not only has this now happened to two of their tentpole films, it happened consecutively. Is it outside the realm of possibility that the movies are being deliberately produced to perform under expectations, tapping into fanboy outrage in hopes of carrying the movie’s momentum – for good or ill – into the home release cycle? As the old adage goes, “any publicity is good publicity,” and the publicity for both movies has been strong based on positive – and negative – word of mouth.

Of course, this is just a theory. There is a report swirling about how the studio is freaked out about Suicide Squad and meddled with the movie because there was too much money riding on it for them to be comfortable with letting the filmmaker just do his damn job. It’s very possible the studio is just badly mismanaging their biggest franchise. It’s also possible this could be deliberate.

So, Riddle us this, PoP!ulation: do you think Warner Bros. employing the “DLC” strategy when it comes to their biggest film franchise? Or is this all the overactive imagination of a fanboy that may have too much time on his hands? Sound off in the comments below!

Share

Filed Under: ColumnsRiddle Me This

Tags: , , , , ,

Who ARE these people!?

Michael Melchor has covered pop culture in all its forms for several publications and websites, including BackStage Pass magazine, 411Mania.com, and Examiner.com. He's been an avid comics reader since Barry Allen was first put on trial for the death of Professor Zoom. He's also been an avid wrestling fan since Dusty Rhodes beat Harley Race for the NWA World Championship. He now brings his fandom of comics, music, and wrestling to PanelsOnPages.com.

Leave a Reply