Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinksi has defended on-disc “downloadable content”, calling it an “unfortunate reality” of the development process.

Speaking with GameSpot, the Gears of War developer explained that such content is often made by development teams between finishing a game and shipping it.

“When you're making a game, and you're getting into a ship cycle, there's often three or four months where the game is basically done,” said Bleszinksi. “And you have an idle team that needs to be working on things.

“And often for compatibility issues, [on] day one, some of that content does need to be on-disc. It's an ugly truth of the gaming industry. I'm not the biggest fan of having to do it, but it is one of the unfortunate realities.”

However, Bleszinksi added that the practice is unlikely to continue, or be noticed by gamers, once digital distribution becomes the norm.

“If we can get to fully downloadable games, then you can just buy a $30 horror game and just have it, and that stuff will thankfully go away,” he concluded.

The practice of including downloadable content on the disc has come into sharp focus after Capcom revealed 12 additional characters are locked on all Street Fighter X Tekken retail discs.