Reuters writers (we rhymed!) have jumped head first into the whole downloadable content debate and discuss how it's changing not only the consumer's view, but how developers think. They bring up topics like how big the microsotransactions market is, how much Microsoft profits, and how developers are now approaching additional content. Most importantly, they touch on how companies have yet to find a perfect formula for pricing DLC that is universally accepted and even mention how angry the community was when the GoWmap pack turned out to be $10. Full article after the jump.
We've already crossed this bridge before and know that from a gamer's point of view overpriced content sucks big time. But do you think developers are making progress in finding a pricing "sweet spot" that you can live with? Or are you preparing yourself for DLC pricing to only get worse?
Well, there's about half an hour left in March, and we it looks like Rainbow Six: Vegas' downloadable content, the Player's Pack Red Edition, did not make it to Marketplace as Ubisoft would have hoped. The pack is currently still under development, and Ubisoft will be sure to let the community know when there is news regarding its availability. That being said, Ubisoft stated that there has been no change in what's to be included in Red Edition since its announcement. So, while you continue to wait, you might as well refresh your memory on how it looks, too.
In the coming month, Marvel Ultimate Alliance will have two new character packs featuring 8 new playable heroes and villians. The Good Guys™ are comprised of Hawkeye, The Incredible Hulk, Nightcrawler and Cyclops, and the Baddies™ include Dr. Doom, Magneto, Sabretooth, and our personal favorite, Venom. Individually, the packs will run you 500 MS points, but you can nab both for 800, saving you $2.50 USD, or $3.20 CAN. On top of the new content, their will be additional Achievements available, most likely to coincide with the new characters. Once they are unveiled, we'll give you the details. So, would you pay up to play as these characters in Marvel UA?
Our UK friends who preordered Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 at their local GAME store will be receiving a special treat. Xboxic discovered that preorders will be emailed a code that will allow them to download a new gun called the Famas. Of course this begs the question whether or not it is really fair for certain players to have weapons that others either can't get or would have to pay for. We don't agree with messing up the "balance" of GRAW 2's multiplayer weapons system (if there is balance) by allowing exclusive weapons and not having a level playing field. What do you think, should developers offer rare or purchasable weapons in FPS or do you think it just isn't fair?
Update 1: Chris stopped by the forums to set things straight. This free code is for the Famas gun in the single player campaign and not multiplayer. Everyone will have the gun in multiplayer. You can now rest, everything is zen-like in the world.
Eidos' Battlestations: Midway is getting a boost in content in March. The 600 MS points pack will come with a new single player mission, multiplayer map, and 5 new vehicles for you to use. Hmm, wouldn't new vehicles give players a potential advantage in online matches. As such, shouldn't the vehicles be free? Two ways around this would be making the vehicles only available for use in the new maps, or releasing a separate pack with just the vehicles for free to level the playing field. None the less, we know Scott Strickland absolutely loves the multiplayer in the game, and will be all over the content. Also, as an added bonus we have a video of the new mission for you after the break.
As you may have noticed from the previously reported video, Capcom is releasing new content over Xbox Live Marketplace for Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. It will come in the form of two new maps named "Island 902" and "Radar Field", and will be priced at slightly expensive 400 Microsoft Points. That's an Arcade title right there! Well, none the less, the screens look pretty, so its not all bad. Still, two maps for 400 points seems a little sketchy. Is that a little too pricey for you, or given how Ubisoft has been acting lately, is it par for the course? More screens after the break.
A mere two hours ago we brought you the screens for Rainbow 6: Vegas' new content due at the end of March, now we have our hands on the official press release, which gives plenty of information one what you're getting in the "Player's Pack Red Edition". First off, the two relit maps are Killhouse and Border Town. That covers the content you've seen before, albeit at a different time of day. The fresh meat in terms of arenas are Roof, Doscala Restaurant, and Marshalling Yard. The two multiplayer modes can be played on all 15 maps, and look interesting. Total Conquest is a team-oriented "King of Hill/Territories" game type, with three static control points on a given map. The goal is to control at least 1 point for the specified time. Assassination has the attackers gunning for the VIP, who is being escorted to the extraction zone by the defending team. Essentially, it is Saints Row's "Protect Tha Pimp", without the bitch slapping. Now you know how it looks, and how the new gametypes work. If the screens didn't grab your attention, does this? Additional details on the three new maps can be found through the "Read" link.
Ubisoft released five images of the to-be-priced Xbox Live Marketplace content for Rainbow Six: Vegas. The expected release date is the end of March, and will include two new multiplayer game modes, and 5 maps. That being said, two of the arenas are modifications of currently existing ones, which may just be a fancy way of saying "relit". Still, it's good to see Ubisoft continuing their tradition of supporting their new gen titles with downloadable content. Screenshots of the maps after the break.
Bethesda Vice President of PR Pete Hines sat down with Gamasutra to talk about Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion. In the Q&A, Hines stated that the the content will only be available through Xbox Live Marketplace. According to Hines, stand-alone expansions can not work with another existing product on the Xbox 360, leaving Marketplace downloads as the only viable option. Despite Bethesda wanting to have a version for the retail market, they were unable to do so because of this. Should implementing expansions via disc become possible after some extensive work on Microsoft's part, Bethesda plans to explore that option for Shivering Isles.
As for price point, Bethesda doesn't have anything concrete yet. They are still in talks with Microsoft to find the proper balance between value and profitability. After Shivering Isles releases, Hines said that they are planning one or two more pieces of content for Oblivion, albeit not the size of the forthcoming expansion. So are you going to download Shivering Isles? If so, how much are you willing to pay?
Many were disappointed last week when the new Call of Duty 3 maps were unplayable. Following the discovery of this error, the developers promised that a fix was coming. One of the games developers, known on the Xbox.com forums as AxisOf3vil, has announced that a fix will be available in the "very near future." Accompanying the re-release of the Valor Map pack will be an update to Call of Duty 3 that should fix two of its major problems. The update should keep players from being booted out of a ranked match lobby when the countdown hits zero, and it should fix an issue that causes players to fall out of the map at the beginning of ranked matches.
The maps and the update are undergoing final testing and should be released soon.
Gamespot held an interview with RedOctane's Dusty Welch about the much anticipated Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360. One question came up that is probably on the minds of many fans of the series: Will Guitar Hero's tracks be available for download over Marketplace? Welch didn't outright spill the beans that all of the tracks would be there for the taking on launch day, as no specifics on the content has been confirmed yet. What he did say, however, was that fan feedback had high demand for the original's set list, and it would be a safe bet to see a good portion of the songs.
So, should Guitar Hero's tracks be available for download to play on GHII, how would you want the content organized? One big 47 song download featuring all the tracks, broken up into the same sets as the first game, genre based, or even single song downloads of the "fan favorites"? We'll be satisfied as long as "More Than A Feeling", "Killer Queen", "Sharp Dressed Man", and all the other top-notch tunes are confirmed.
It's that time of year when everyone gets to put on their speculation cap and their analytical pants to decode some viral marketing goodness. 2old2play found the site the above domain. The site is titled "RE-Emergence Day" and depicts the COG repelling down underground to take on the Locusts and a date 12-24-06 (that's Christmas Eve, FYI) plastered across the bottom. Not only is that exciting, but the website is registered to a JS Mining Corporation located on North Sera Road, Sera with administrative contacts of Baird, Cole. Getting that viral marketing feeling yet? All of this is speculated to be leading up to the release of downloadable content available Christmas Eve on the XBLM. But, the pessimistic side of me cries out hoax. This could easily be a fan of Gears messing with our heads, preying on our emotions, and ultimately making everyone depressed when the 24th rolls around and we get nothing. Anyone up for a little viral marketing?
Update 1: Looks like this is fake. Mr. Rein, we just want some answers to what you're offering and when. Any info would be nice.
November 22nd is coming up and is the magic date in which we'll be able to download movies and TV shows via Xbox Live. We've already touched on what is going to be offered, HD and SD content, along with movie rental and TV ownership. The only problem I foresee with this service is not how much content will be available, but how much the content will cost. If movies cost less than what I could rent them for at the local video store, XBL purchases could be a possible option. Same thing with TV shows. If they are relatively cheap based on what the cost per episode is if I bought the whole season on DVD, then I'd be inclined to make XBL purchases. My magic numbers are $2 SD movie rental, $3 HD movie rental, and $3 SD/HD TV show purchase. What are your magic numbers?
New Kameo content on Marketplace, dubbed "The Kameo Power Pack," is set to add several features to Rare's platformer. The content adds three new modes of play including Expert mode, Time Attack mode, and Rune Battle mode. All modes support two players, the first two being co-op while the third is a versus mode. One interesting tidbit: the new content will actually add 15 new achievements and worldwide leaderboards to the game (anybody know if this gives Kameo more than 1000 achievement points?). Whatever your opinions of Kameo, it's nice to see Rare supporting the game with fresh content this far into its lifespan. Expect to see it hit Marketplace "soon."