Konami really didn't expect Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to sell as well as it did, and with the unexpected success came impromptu DLC, which producer Dave Cox now refers to as a "mistake."
While Cox isn't discounting the idea of using DLC as a means of continuing a game's story, he explains that the add-on content for Lords of Shadow wasn't planned. The idea came after the game was released and received critical acclaim -- not to mention promising sales. As such, the team at Mercury Stream had to really rush the follow-up Reverie and Resurrection add-ons, neither of which were particularly well-received.
"The problem was that the game's success caught everyone by surprise. It caught senior management by surprise and they wanted us to do DLC. We never planned to do DLC, so we ended up doing DLC after the fact and in hindsight that was a mistake. It was rushed. We had to rush it to market.
"I think we enriched the story that we wanted to tell, but I think if we were going to do DLC again it would have to be planned right from the get go. And it wouldn't be something that would try to build upon an ending—it would be something that's perhaps a side story that enriches the original story. If we were going to do DLC again it would be something much more carefully considered."
That's not to say Cox and the team were forced into making the DLC, but they definitely felt the pressure. He's hoping to learn from these mistakes but won't confirm whether Lords of Shadow 2 will have any DLC after launch. Interestingly, he's not "a big fan" of most DLC coming out these days.
"I'm not a big fan of most modern day DLC. I think if DLC is going to be done it has to compliment the main game—not be a continuation of the main story but more of a side story.
"It should add to the experience, not take away from it."
When asked for his opinion on EA's controversial methods, Cox hesitated to outright criticize the publishing giant. He did say, however, that he believes DLC should expand a universe, like the way Bethesda has done with their recent Dawnguard add-on for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
"Well, there's a market for it—but I think people want to get value for their money so I think that in that respect you need to give them an expansion of the universe you've created. Like what they've done with Skyrim.
"Instead of giving players a part of the story and giving them the other part as DLC, I think the DLC has to expand the universe of an already whole product."
The Castlevania story continues later this year with Mirror of Fate on 3DS. Mercury Steam is currently working on Lords of Shadow 2, coming next year.