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XBox (Games)

THQ to Charge For Xbox Game Packs 51

Thanks to Eurogamer for the news that THQ is going to be charging for Full Spectrum Warrior mission packs. This additional content was originally supposed to be available for free (and indeed was shipped with the PC version of the game) via Xbox Live. Players are instead being charged $4.99 for the additional content.
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THQ to Charge For Xbox Game Packs

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  • Knew it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Well we knew this was going to happen eventually.
  • Duh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ooPo ( 29908 )
    Behold that which was told in the ancient texts of gaming past! Tremble at a future where you rent, not own, your games! Fear and repent!

    Seriously, this isn't so bad as it is single-player content. You don't have to buy it. The problem is when they start charging for multiplayer content and if you don't buy it, you're left with very few servers to play on because everyone else upgraded. Its like peer pressure except that if you don't bend to its will, your game is instantly unusable online.
    • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by *weasel ( 174362 )
      Except that most people won't pay more. Not on a console anyway. Why pay $5 for a mutliplayer map pack that no-one else has?

      If this concept is going to work, the 'buyable' content has to be usable with/against those who have not yet bought it.

      Sure, the network effect will make an online game obsolete if a particular pack takes off - but the same effect makes for a substantial barrier to initial adoption. Why should I pay more for content I can almost never use?
    • Currently, premium Xbox Live content is downloaded so that you can play against people with that car, etc. but you will not be able to directly use it yourself unless you pay for it. With a bit of thought it works perfectly well.
      • Except in that case you're talking about just the visual appearance of the car, you don't need to be able to play with the car in order to see it.

        In this case we're talking about levels which means that anybody who needs to see a level will be playing with it at that time.
        • Generally, you're talking about a 10-20% expansion, from the paid updates that I've seen. For people that have paid for it, it's great, but there's nothing stopping you starting a game yourself and simply not playing those maps. Online sessions are really not that big. The updates do not 'lock people off servers' at all.

          For the case in point, the online portion is just co-op, and the cost looks like 10% or less. It's quite simple to join a game and agree not to play them, or start your own. Personally, I e

  • Continual Content (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Taulin ( 569009 ) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @10:09AM (#10438878) Homepage Journal
    I would rather spend $5 than $20-30 like PC expansion cost. As long as companies don't shorten the real version with the purpose of making expansions. If the fan support is there, I think it will actually motivate game companies to push more out, too.
    • The PC people got the extra's free. The X-box people get to pay for it and, at least over here, also have to pay more for the game. So your screwed twice.

      Also this hardly qualifies as an expansion pack, closer to the "extra" missions the better game companies sometimes put online to download. Missions that weren't good enough for the full game or to big for the minimum requirements but are downloadable if you want them.

      Then again this has been happening less often recently.

  • This is especially harsh considering the game itself. I was really surprised at how short FSW was when I played it. Great game, lots of fun, realistic action, really cool stuff. But, it didn't start getting even moderately difficult until about level 8, and then there were all of 11 levels in the entire game. The game had maybe five hours of gameplay. When I beat the game, I thought, "Wow, chapter 1 was great." And then there was no chapter 2.

    Maybe if the game had been a long and expansive tale to be
  • If I am remembering correctly, Microsoft has expressly forbidden the downloading of any content such as patches, game updates, and expasion modules on the XBox Live network.

    I'm pretty sure this came out when XBox Live started, and when that spy/commando game came out with a flaw.

    With this known, why would anyone expect the free downloads to occur?

    That said, you really can't complain about $5.00 for an expansion pack. Most expansion packs I buy for the PC are $30-$50. The game company has to cover
    • I think they don't (normally?) allow patches/game updates/expansion modules *unless they pertain to online play*. As in, Live is not to become a patching mechanism for any and all XBox games; Live is how people play XBox games together, and can also improve/fix that multiplayer experience as necessary.

      Didn't some game recently go through this, where they needed/wanted to patch SP badly but had to wait until they had some MP fixes to bundle the SP fixes along with? I can't remember the specifics.

      As far as
      • As far as the concept of $5 expansion packs go, this is only news insomuch as a 3rd party company is doing it.

        Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow charged 4.99 for two maps a few months ago, so this isn't even the first time a third party developer has charged. The only news is that is costs five bucks here, really.

        • I ...well, sit...corrected.

          I believe this is the part where I say "Geez, why did /. post this, this isn't news at all!" and an AC replies with "You're new here, aren't you?"

      • Bungie was discussing this a few weeks back on their rumor roundup, I believe. They said that they were going to stick to free maps and the like, if I am not mistaken.
    • Microsoft has expressly forbidden the downloading of any content such as patches, game updates, and expasion modules on the XBox Live network.

      That's just plain false. A big factor of Xbox Live is downloading new content and getting updates (including bug fixes) to games. Most content is free, but everything else is (so far) reasonably priced.

  • Fine by me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hollismb ( 817357 ) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @10:50AM (#10439380) Homepage

    I don't have a problem with paying for additional content, as long as it's worth the price. So far, most of the pay content has actually been pretty good, examples being car/track downloads for Project Gotham Racing 2, two new maps for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, and new licensed courses for Links 2004. All of them worth five bucks, IMO. That being said, I don't think I'd want to pay for say, a single map for Rainbow Six, which wouldn't be worth five bucks, although a whole pack of maps would be.

    And there's been plenty of patches released for Xbox games. Off the top of my head.... MotoGP2, Splinter Cell: PT, Star Wars Battlefront, ESPN 2K5, Rallisport Challenge 2, and an upcoming one for Rainbow Six: Black Arrow.

    So, none of this paying or patching is anything new at all. If a developer has a bug or exploit that needs to be fixed, they need to patch it, and if they work extra to give us content, I have no problem paying for it it it's worth the extra cost.

    • DDR had 4 songpacks at $5 each.

      You're right about the Links courses- at least Kapalua was worth the $5. The Gallery (I think that was it) came too late for me to really enjoy it- although I did buy it.

      The only premium downloadable content that I have NOT purchased (where I actually had the game) was for Mechassault. And once again, that was because it came so late, that I no longer played the game.

      But I've downloaded all the free, and premium content that I could- I don't mind paying the $5, because it
      • The RTCW content was a lie. That crap was already on the disc, and all you downloaded was a key to unlock it. Sure, it seemed like new content, but it was really just giving you something you'd already paid for.
  • They promised there would be additional content offered for free.

    Now there isn't what a bunch of wanks.

    It would be nice for game companiese to see how sucessful a game is before doing a full development cycle on it but guess what if the customers start to figure out you are just going to SCREW them I don't think it will catch on.
  • ...quite frankly I was just amazed they managed to make a game that wasn't complete rubbish - normally a THQ game is a mediocre game...

    Making people pay for content that would normally be free (an extra level/map etc would happen sooner or later with the PC's moding community) seems about inline with the THQ school of thought.

    Xbox live had the promise of "free exclusive online content" but who honestly believed that?

    Business is business and if there's a buck to be made sales and marketing folks will happ
    • ninja gaiden, rainbowsix 3, crimson skies, mech assault, and splinter cell all had a good deal of post-mortem development.

      I'm not sure what you expect when you say 'flowed and flowed'. A developement team can't work on the same project for ever.
    • $5 is a rather far cry from "screwing the customer" when PC game producers can usually extract $20-$30 from each expansion pack.
      • Yes but why exactly are they charging?

        If it's just a small expansion pack then why not give it away for *shock horror* _free_ as thankyou to people who bought their game and have XBox Live?

        What's wrong with treating people who paid $50 for what was a good (but short) game with a little aftersales service?
  • I agree that's it's dirty for them to offer free downloadable content and then turn around and charge for the content on disc. The problem there is not keeping their word. However, I see no problem with selling a patch/update for a small $5.00 fee. I think that's great. Lots of people (myself included) don't have Live and have no intention of purchasing. Plus, if you download content that is only available via Live, and Live is a subscription service, then the content isn't really free is it? There's
  • I'll bet Microsoft will be watching the success or failure of THQ's approach very closely. Why? Because downloadable content is something that is done best with the availability of local mass storage, like a hard drive. Even with a broadband connection, you usually don't want to be pushing a lot of data back and forth if it can be stored locally.

    If a lot of people are willing to pay $5 for additional content, then including a hard drive in the next Xbox makes better business sense because it enhances the r
    • If a lot of people are willing to pay $5 for additional content,

      Well, a lot of people won't. A minority of Xbox owners use Xbox Live. A minority of Xbox Live users bought this game. A minority of people who bought the game will buy the extra content.

      No, I don't have any actual figures to back this up. But I suspect this is exactly how it will play out.

  • Putting something free on the PC version of FSW but charging for it on the XBox version makes the latter look bad, which in turn makes the XBox look bad. Perhaps a portion of the $5 fee is going to Microsoft as restitution?

  • Otherwise I won't be biting. This makes THQ look lame beside Ubi that has given tons of free post ship content on the Tom Clancy games. However, even Ubi loses points for charging for PT content.
  • Only offering one level for five dollars is an outrage. I've spent hundreds of hours playing Rainbow Six 3 on Xbox live, and Ubisoft has offered a multitude of premium multiplayer maps for free download. Most of these maps are equal in quality to ones included in the box, with some being being better i.e. garage and carnival.

    Once Splinter Cell 2 allowed users to download 2 online maps for $5, i knew there was going to be a change in the way content was distributed via xbox live. No longer are are we goi

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