Cheese It: Mafia III’s Post-Launch DLC Plans Detailed

I remain puzzled by big publishers announcing DLC for games before they’re even released. “Here are cool things that won’t be in the game you’re paying £35 for,” they proudly announce. “Here’s what will cost you an extra £26.” We haven’t even got to play the game and see if we like it yet they’re trying to upsell us on extras – which makes me want the game less. Baffling. Welp, with Mafia III [official site] just over a month from launch – October 7th – 2K have detailed the paid and free extras coming to their open-world crimes ’em up after launch.

On the free side, planned newbits include more outfits to choose from, some flashy golden gun skins, more vehicle customisation options, and more races to zoomzoom.

Then there is, of course, a DLC season pass. £25.59/29,99€/$29.99 will get you three story add-ons along with new vehicles, weapons, outfits, races, and crime opportunities. Don’t these story slices sound fun?

“Faster, Baby!”
Fast cars, dramatic chases, and stunt driving take center stage as Lincoln joins forces with his former flame, Roxy Laveau, to take down a corrupt Sheriff terrorizing Civil Rights activists on the outskirts of New Bordeaux.

Kill, kill!

“Sign of the Times”
A string of ritualistic killings has New Bordeaux on the edge of terror. At Father James’ request, Lincoln agrees to hunt down the cult responsible, a quest that will take him from the dark heart of the old bayou to the drug-ridden counterculture of the inner city.


“Stones Unturned”
When a merciless rival resurfaces in New Bordeaux, Lincoln must join forces with CIA agent John Donovan to settle a blood feud that began in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam.

Ooh, that dastardly The Man!

Yep, they sound fun and they won’t be in the game. I understand that this pre-launch period is focused on bugfixing and waiting for the game to pass console certification, when the content teams don’t have much to do, but telling me about cool not-in-the-game things before I’ve even played the game is bizarre. Why. Mafia III does look and sound pretty fun but this is all a little off-putting.


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    It’s a racket!

  2. Freud says:

    Mafia II was one of the first games where it was obvious they had designed the game with DLC milking in mind. That left the game feel barren on release.

    That was the last time I pre-purchased a game. Now I want to make more informed decisions. Some games I buy very early after some reviews are in (Witcher 3, Divinity: Original Sin) but never pre-purchase again.

    • DuncUK says:

      Actually, in all the fallout after the game release some of the former developers and writers on the game described a chaotic development progress that had overrun hugely. The game was designed to be released with all the DLC stuff in the main game as side quest map icons. The publishers wanted to recoup costs for all their investment and forced them to end development “early”, carving the game up like they did to maximise the amount of money they could make. It backfired of course and the negative press caused the game to tank and DLC sales to be negligible.

      • woodsey says:

        Yeah, there was quite the furor over it at the time – at least among fans of the original.

        If you watch the first demo they gave (I believe) at one of the conventions they talk about side missions designed to expand on the main story akin to a director’s cut.

        Hints of it remain in the game itself. You can go back to the guy at the docks and ask him for jobs but all he ever says is he has nothing for you at the moment, yet it was one of his side missions that they demoed.

    • April March says:

      I haven’t played any of Mafia II’s DLC’s, but from the descriptions they don’t seem to make the world any less barren.

  3. welverin says:

    While it may be odd, it makes some sense to me, at least from their perspective.

    They have to plan the DLC early on to make sure the game can support it, and you need to start working on in some capacity before the game is done other wise it won’t be ready when people are still playing it and will be most interested in buying additional content for it.

    So if you have this thing you’ve been working on and are planning to release, why wouldn’t you treat it like any of your other products, announce it and talk about it prior to release?

    • Someoldguy says:

      Yeah. Back in the days when DLC didn’t get released for a year or more after the main game it made sense to have a separate period of hype. Now that they want you to buy a “season pass” to get all their new stuff that’s arriving within months of the original cheaper than buying it individually, it makes much more sense to show what at least some of that “season” is going to be.

  4. Hyena Grin says:

    I’m pretty ambivalent about these kinds of schemes.

    On the one hand, tiered access is a thing. You see it everywhere – you pay more, you get more. If you pay more for airline tickets, you get more. Is there anything inherently wrong with that? Is it a disincentive to fly economy class? Well, arguably if you got rid of first/business class you could spread the seats out, maybe make things marginally more comfortable for everyone, but I guess that’s the thing. There’s limited physical space. When you pay more for a ticket you get more of a limited slice of pie. There are ‘resources’ that are being divided up.

    On the other hand, with games, we’re largely talking about content that has been created and can be copied and sold for (virtually no) additional overhead. There does not appear to be a ‘resource’ distinction between the experience provided at the base price, and the experience provided at a higher price (with DLC). Which makes the DLC feel more like arbitrary cuts from the game in order to artificially create a tiered customer experience when there isn’t a physical need to do so.

    This whole thing bothering me actually started with EA/DICE’s ‘Premium’ Battlefield thing. Unlike a regular season pass that provides you with early access to DLC (something that I’m fine with), it also provided you a ‘preferred’ spot in server queues, which was utter nonsense. Or it seemed to be, at least. I have yet to justify my distaste for that but my tacit acceptance of ‘fast lanes’ in airports for people who have paid more.

    It’s hard to shuffle out the differences between these things, except that something intuitively bothers me about certain things, contextually, while the same kinds of things in other contexts seem to be fine.

    Still, it does impact my purchasing decisions.

    • k47 says:

      Well, accepting “fast lanes” on airports I believe doesn’t defeat the purpose of why you are there. More tedious or not, you are still going to get to travel where you need to go.

      But when talking about games, if your purpose is have fun playing for a while, having a bunch of V.I.P. blockades or slow downs can actively affect the pace at which you are playing and irritate you to the point you are not having fun.

  5. Zanchito says:

    Games have effectively increased in price to around double the label printing. Somehow, I don’t think developers earn double. At least I don’t.

  6. Michael Fogg says:

    Honestly I’m probably better off without these addons. A mafia crime-sim in which you defend civil rights activists against the law enforcement? That’s textbook ‘trying to hard to be relevant’.

    • April March says:

      I’m not sure I agree, but I’ve been assaulted by the image of the protagonist starting the DLC mission by facing the camera, sitting on a chair (with the chair’s back in his front, naturally) and saying “Now, we’ve been having a lot of fun pretending to be a mafiaman in this game, but now I’d like to talk about something serious…”

  7. Kabukiman74 says:

    Well, with multi-GB day 1 patches and countless DLC buying a game on release is a bad idea nowadays anyway. Better wait for a GOTY bargain release where most/all the bugs have been eliminated and all the addons will be included for a sensible price. For me there are still enough gems out there I want to play – Mafia III and other DLC heavy games can wait…

    The thing I don’t really get – people complain all the time about the DLC system, yet they support it by buying the stuff. Starve out the “greedy” publishers and they might yet change their DLC policies…;)

  8. AlFitz says:

    This means I just wont buy the game until there’s a game of the year edition, on sale naturally. Same attitude I have with the new Deus Ex one, knackers to them say I!

    • kwyjibo says:

      When Human Revolution came out, I pre-ordered it. And I was pretty happy with that then.

      Since that time, game prices have crashed. Humble Bundles are now a regular occurrence rather than an event, and publishers now have to compete with key trading websites.

      I have more games than I can play, so won’t bother with the new Deus Ex until there’s a GOTY version at a discount.

  9. Dudeist says:

    Well, I see strong “Angel Heart” influence (location and theme), and I’m not against :D

  10. BobbyDylan says:

    Dont really care, Maffia 3 is on my steam sale wishlist. After how pants M2 was, I’m happy to wait.

    • Cvnk says:

      So “pants” means “bad”?

      • Someoldguy says:

        It does in the UK, and we don’t mean trousers.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Yeah. Us Brits “pants” as the word for underwear.

        • hpoonis says:

          If I ever caught Letterman on the TV I was always amused when, at the end of the credits, the cheesy voice stated that it was a “division of Worldwide Pants”.

  11. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    You don’t have to wait for the GotY edition of a game.
    I picked up The Witcher 3, and all the DLC on sale for basically the same prices as the GoatY price, but a few weeks earlier.
    Don’t pre-order though, that’s just a massive gamble.

    • Alegis says:

      Witcher 3 is quite different from other games as the paid DLC is actually amazing in both quality and value for money.

      • Freud says:

        Not only that, but the original game offers so much value for money paying full price for it feels like a bargain. It’s almost as you feel you owe CDR some money after finishing it.

        I have no problem paying for DLCs when it comes to Witcher 3.

  12. Gordon Shock says:

    If it has a season pass then we pass for the season

    • DrPolito says:

      Poetic words for exactly what I was thinking.
      (Really considered day-1-purchase, but after that announcement: See ya next year…)

      • Gordon Shock says:

        I shamelessly stole it, but it perfectly encapsulate my attitude as a consumer.

  13. smeaa mario says:

    The game industry has indeed developed some extremely irritating habits, hasn’t it? I don’t even remember when exactly announcing DLCs before a game’s release became a normal thing. Well, I’ll simply wait for the complete edition and get it off when it gets a discount. This is what you do with these games.

    Playing it while it’s hot? I don’t care one bit about that.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Right? I was playing the original Deus Ex when the new one came out.

  14. lglethal says:

    On the one hand, I hate DLC. On the other hand, this at least makes sense for giving people interested in buying the season pass some knowledge beforehand.

    Take DX:MD where there is basically no information about whats going to be in the Season Pass and people are still buying the damn thing. At least the people here know what they’ll be buying into (even if they dont yet know if they even like Mafia 3!).

    Oh well, you cant change other people’s attitudes. Only your own…

    • nearly says:

      I tend to not mind DLC as long as there’s a reasonable amount of content in the base game, or as long as it doesn’t feel like it was built around DLC from the beginning, or as long as the DLC isn’t ridiculously overpriced–honestly, probably all three of these requirements since I don’t often buy DLC and instead get GOTYs a year or two down the road. I realize the reality of development is that content creation costs money, so I’m okay with paying more if it’s a game I want more of rather than seeing them rush into a sequel just to keep the money-wheels turning. I think we’ve mainly hit a point where devs/publishers have realized that extending game life through DLC is usually better for business than just jumping into pushing out Battlefield 4 way too soon: the big problem to me is getting them to invest in better/bigger DLC that offers people more than just a few maps for the price of the game all over again.

      It would also be nice if they were a little more transparent about the business end of things. DX:MD’s pre-order scheme, though reviled, was the closest anyone has come to outright saying “look, if it seems like the game is going to do well, we can invest more in it and secure better funding.” Unfortunately, they didn’t say that, and people love to jump on the “DLC is just content they cut out to charge you twice” bandwagon without really considering the investment that said content would be. Wild Hunt has been widely praised for the free DLC, but it seems clear that it’s stuff that has more value as “free” extras than if they tried to throw it into the original release or completely abandoned the scraps on the cutting room floor–they were just smart enough to realize the value of “we’re good guys and we love you so here’s free stuff” rather than slapping a pricetag on it the way Fallout’s extras were handled, and had substantial DLC in the plans anyway. I bought the Fallout season pass when it was still cheaper because the Far Harbor DLC alone seemed like it would be worth it, and it seems to me like they really should not have raised the price as nothing in that is a good value for the money as priced. I don’t regret buying the pass but it’s definitely on the side of more or less core things they couldn’t finish in time for whatever reason rather than extra stuff they could put out because the game did well. Realistically, I would much prefer if that stuff just appeared like Wild Hunt’s free DLC and they focused on making Far Harbor / Nuka World meatier offerings like Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. For whatever reason, though, it seems like a number of things went wrong and they did what they could to make what money they can.

  15. Zenicetus says:

    “Faster, Baby!”
    Because everyone knows that Fast cars, dramatic chases, and stunt driving was how the Civil Rights battles were won in this country.

    “Sign of the Times”
    Because the Mafia was in the forefront of solving mass murders.

    “Stones Unturned”
    Because criminals routinely joined forces with the CIA to resolve their territorial disputes.

    I’m less bothered by pre-announced DLC than by the way this sounds just totally unbelievable as a premise side missions in a Mafia game. I was hoping the main character and the setting would be just a *little* more believable.

    • Unclepauly says:

      To be fair the CIA has been involved in a lot of criminal happenings from the mafia to the cartels and other odd stuff. The CIA is pretty shadowy.

  16. Stoltverd says:

    At least they are going to wait for the game to be released.
    Unlike Ark

  17. jonahcutter says:

    Sounds like DLC from a Luke Cage game, not a game about the Mafia.

  18. spaced says:

    “Sign of the Times” is an interesting choice as it seems to be taking heavy inspiration from the first season of True Detective.