An Expansion pack, Expansion set or Stuff pack is a marketing device used by video game and board game developers intended to extend the lifespan of their product unnaturally. In the best of times, additional gameplay is added in abundance in the first place, not requiring an expansion, whereas when this is not available, developers will aim to release few expansions with extensive content in them, usually due to issues with the game's installation space or in response to fan requested features. In the worst of times, for example, the Sims series, a ridiculously large amount of expansions may be released to reduce the incremental effort put into the original product, or to generate profit from the slobbering masses of morons and camwhores. It is the video game equivelent to the marketing gimmick known as a Gold Edition or Collectors Edition.
Expansion packs are a commonly overlooked detrimental aspect to the video game industry, and is frequently used to reap profits from the growing majority of uneducated teenagers of the Myspace generation. The gimmick is being used more and more, sometimes even replaced with a virtual equivelent, known as an 'Online Shop'. The video game that has been bastardized the most since it's inception in 2004 is The Sims 2, which has a grand total of 18 expansions. The game additionally has the balls to open and online shop to further charge it's users for content online. The game's successor, The Sims 3, has been confirmed to have 'several' expansions commissioned for sale, before the release of the game itself. The Sims 3 also has a screen on each game startup encouraging the user to purchase items and clothing from it's online shop. This is further encouraged by the lack of original content included within the 'core' game.
Mentions in video game journalism Edit
Yahtzee is to date the only critic to mention the expansion pack plague, mentioning in his Sims 3 review; "I have to admit i'm surprised The Sims 3 even exists, considering EA's policy of releasing a fraction of a game every time the cocaine bucket runs dry seems to be serving them perfectly well. But i guess sims fans occasionally demand something more now and again when they're not drinking Bacardi Breezers and having periods."
Mr Montmorency has frequently mentioned and protested the adbundance of Expansion packs on OMGWTF?! Forums, frequently posting Sims related rants crossed with expansion pack phobia. He has frequently noted the inconveniences of the release of expansion packs, up to and including virtual and physical space wasted, frequent headaches involving installations on devoted computers, anti-piracy measures included that only effect paying customers and general complaints against capitalistic and democratic exploitation.