A round-table discussion at Gametopius looks into the state of downloadable content for games as it has evolved over the past several years, going from an occasional, welcome supplement to being a common marketing strategy for most of the industry, frequently causing irritation over pricing and availability
"All of the map packs so far released for the Call of Duty games have been $10 each to download on consoles through closed networks, while PC gamers could download those same packs for free off of FileShack or somewhere else. Valve's own Team Fortress 2 has received a significant amount of DLC that's been completely free on the PC. Xbox owners of the same game, however, have only received perhaps half of that content, and they have had to pay for it in $5 packs. Why is this? The idea of this kind of content delivery was scarcely heard of on consoles, so console gamers see no reason not to pay for it. But on the PC, these amounts of content are usually just considered parts of patches. Furthermore, why pay for a few extra maps and costumes when modders are making and offering new ones for free all the time?"