Downloadable content (DLC) is additional content created for an already released video game, distributed through the Internet by the game's publisher. It can either be added for no extra cost or it can be a form of video game monetization, enabling the publisher to gain additional revenue from a title after it has been purchased, often using some type of microtransaction system.
DLC can range from cosmetic content, such as skins, to new in-game content such as characters, levels, modes, and larger expansions that may contain a mix of such content as a continuation of the base game. In some games, multiple DLC (including future DLC not yet released) may be bundled as part of a "season pass"—typically at a discount in comparison to purchasing each DLC individually.
While the Dreamcast was the first home console to support DLC (albeit in a limited form due to hardware and internet connection limitations), Microsoft's Xbox console and Xbox Live platform helped to popularize the concept. Since the seventh generation of video game consoles, DLC has been a prevalent feature of most major video game platforms with internet connectivity.
Since the popularization of microtransactions in online distribution platforms such as Steam, the term DLC has become a synonymous for any form of paid content in video games, regardless of whether they constitute the download of new content. Furthermore, this led to the creation of the oxymoronic term "on-disc DLC" for content included on the game's original files, but locked behind a paywall.