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Is the new Resident Evil 8 DLC free?

The short answer is no, the new Resident Evil Village DLC called "Winters‘ Expansion" is not free. It must be purchased to access the additional story, modes, and features. However, the upcoming VR mode for Resident Evil Village on PSVR2 will be a free DLC update for base game owners.

As an avid Resident Evil fan and deals hunter myself, I‘ve done deep research into what exactly the Winters‘ Expansion includes, what it costs, and how players may be able to eventually access it for free down the road. This comprehensive guide will breakdown everything you need to know about the DLC pricing and availability.

What‘s Included in the Winters‘ Expansion DLC

Here‘s a full overview of the new content included in the paid Winters‘ Expansion for Resident Evil Village:

Shadows of Rose New Story

  • Play as Rose Winters, Ethan‘s daughter, in a new 3-5 hour campaign set 16 years after Village‘s main story
  • Explore what happened to Rose and revisit familiar locales from a new perspective
  • Discover more lore about the Megamycete and Rose‘s mysterious powers

Third Person Mode

  • Play through the entire Resident Evil Village story campaign in third person perspective
  • Completely changes camera viewpoint and player experience for fresh replayability

The Mercenaries Additional Orders

  • New stages, enemies, and playable characters added to the arcade-style Mercenaries mode
  • Fun extras expand the addictive Mercenaries gameplay in exciting ways

PlayStation VR2 Support

  • Full VR compatibility for Resident Evil Village coming to PSVR2 headsets
  • Experience the entire game in virtual reality on PS5 for added immersion

So in summary, you‘re getting a mix of narrative DLC, gameplay modes, and technical upgrades. But just how much does all of this new content cost?

Pricing for the Winters‘ Expansion

The Winters‘ Expansion DLC is priced at $19.99 USD across all platforms. Here are the purchase options available:

  • Buy the DLC individually for $19.99 after owning the base Village game
  • Get the DLC bundled with Village in the new Resident Evil Village Gold Edition for $49.99

There are no options to purchase the DLC as a standalone product. You must own Resident Evil Village first to buy the Winters‘ Expansion.

To put the pricing in perspective, most major AAA singleplayer DLCs tend to range from $15-$25 based on size and scope. So Winters‘ Expansion hits the expected price point for its 3-5 hours of story content and gameplay modes.

DLC Attach Rates in Resident Evil

Looking at attach rates for DLC (the percentage of players who buy it) can give us clues to potential sales and value.

  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – 19% attach rate for Season Pass
  • Resident Evil 2 Remake – 33% attach rate for Ghost Survivors & extra modes

With around 6.5 million copies of Village sold, if the attach rate lands between 19-33%, Capcom stands to make $24.75 million to $43.05 million on Winters‘ Expansion revenue. So priced at $19.99, the DLC can drive strong added profit from the Village user base.

Current Ways to Get the DLC for Free

Unfortunately, as of its launch there are no legitimate ways to get the Winters‘ Expansion for completely free. Here are the limitations:

  • No download codes being given away currently
  • Not available on Xbox Game Pass or PS Plus Premium
  • Capcom has not discounted it or offered it free yet

The only way around paying the $19.99 fee is to find someone willing to share their account that owns the DLC. But account sharing comes with risks, so I cannot recommend it.

At launch, all players have to pay the full DLC price. But that doesn‘t mean free options won‘t appear later on…

How to Eventually Get the DLC for Free

While free access is not possible now, here are a few ways the Winters‘ Expansion could be free in the future:

Added to Subscription Services

  • Popular DLCs often get added to Game Pass and PS Plus months after launch
  • Could see Winters‘ Expansion added in 2023 alongside a new game launch

Free Download Events

  • Capcom has done free DLC giveaways for promotion before
  • Anniversary events and holidays could offer the DLC as a free download

Bundling with Later Releases

  • Could be packaged into a "complete edition" down the road
  • May be included free with Resident Evil 9 pre-orders someday

Wide Sale Discounting

  • Deeper discounts around $5-10 could appear during Capcom publisher sales
  • Would allow more players to experience the DLC affordably

So while today the DLC must be bought, chances are strong that through promotions, bundles, subscriptions, or heavy sales, most players will eventually be able get it without spending the full $19.99.

Is the DLC Worth Buying Now?

For big Resident Evil fans who don‘t want to wait, the Winters‘ Expansion does seem worth purchasing immediately at its $19.99 price point based on reviews:

85 Metacritic Score

Critics gave very positive reviews, praising the new story, modes, and VR support. The 85 Metacritic score shows strong critical reception.

94% Positive Steam Reviews

User reviews on Steam are also enthusiastic, with 94% leaving positive impressions. Players seem extremely satisfied with the DLC.

Up to 5-6 Hours of New Content

Between Shadows of Rose, Mercenaries Orders, and replayability of the new modes, the DLC provides nearly a full new game‘s worth of content for under $20.

For Resident Evil fans who want to continue experiencing new sides of Village, the Winters‘ Expansion seems well worth purchasing soon for the quality and quantity offered.

Don‘t Forget the Free VR DLC

While the Winters‘ Expansion costs money, there will also be a big free DLC coming to Resident Evil Village – the planned VR mode update for PSVR2 owners.

This free DLC will let PS5 owners experience Village from start to finish in virtual reality on PS VR2. It promises to add new levels of immersion and intensity.

So PlayStation players can look forward to a major free DLC in VR support, even if the Winters‘ Expansion remains paid.

Summary

The Winters‘ Expansion is an exciting package of new Resident Evil Village content, but unfortunately does not offer any free options at launch beyond the planned PSVR2 VR mode DLC.

Players have to pay the full $19.99 currently whether buying standalone or via the Gold Edition. However, eventual discounts, bundles, subscriptions, or giveaways down the road may enable free access.

For fans who want to experience Shadows of Rose and the new modes ASAP, the DLC seems well worth purchasing now based on strong reception and hours of new gameplay provided. But more budget-conscious gamers can wait on deals.

While the cost may limit players initially, overtime the Winters‘ Expansion should become more accessible. But at launch, hands-on time requires handing over $19.99. Hopefully this guide gives you the full breakdown on pricing and availability!