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Ubi to Charge for Xbox Downloadable Content 43

bippy writes "Ubisoft just announced that a four map pack for Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow will cost $5. This comes on the heels of THQ's announcement that they will be charging $4.95 for a downloadable mission on Full Spectrum Warrior."
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Ubi to Charge for Xbox Downloadable Content

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  • by Goosey ( 654680 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:28PM (#10461337) Homepage
    *pull string* The consumer says: "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Keep milking.. >_
  • knew it was coming. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prankfurter ( 818985 ) <> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:34PM (#10461407) Homepage Journal
    I just find it funny. One of the big things they touted about XBox Live was that you only had to pay one fee. Now with all these extras costing Its just getting more and more expensive. But I can't honestly say I didn't see it coming.
    • I've been following the XBL rhetoric since the beginning, and I remember them being ambiguous enough with the fee structure that it was obvious - to me anyway - that they planned to charge for content. Even when True Fantasy Live wasn't a fantasy, everyone knew that you'd pay to play. When Galaxies was rumored to be coming the Xbox, the same was also true. So where this "one fee" myth cropped up I'm not exactly sure. Maybe Microsoft's marketing was too effective?
      • by alatesystems ( 51331 ) <> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @03:12PM (#10462651) Homepage Journal
        There was no hiding or deception. There has always been an option to "allow downloading of premium content". I don't understand why this is news. It is free to play all the games on xbox live, that's why EA and MS fought so much. However if you want to download additional maps/players/vehicles on many games you have to pay a small one-time fee. I downloaded an additional course for Links2k4 and it was the best 5 bucks I've ever spent.

        It's just like buying an expansion pack in a store, except it's delivered instantly with a button press from your recliner.

        Once again, why is this news? "Evil company follows through with allowing publishers to publish software and then charge for it online." OH NO!!! Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?

  • Not really new news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by neverkevin ( 601884 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:39PM (#10461472) Homepage
    This isn't new, PG2 has been charging for new content for a while now.
    • Same with Links 2004. As early as last Christmas (2003), Links was charging to download a new courses.

      Besides, since the beginning, part of the Xbox live business model was to charge for some of the downloads. That way consumers could get small, incremental additions to their games without having to shell out $40 for a whole new game. Likewise, game companies would have the incentive ($$) to provide the new content. There were even rumors in the Official Xbox Magazine about adding new Halo 2 missions s
  • by vasqzr ( 619165 ) <vasqzr@ n e t> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:41PM (#10461504)
    Don't complain. What's making this different from 'additional missions' you could buy for a PC game?

    This is a good thing. People can release a game engine, and you can just download free or cheap games to play with that engine.

    Garage developers can start doing total conversions on Halo etc now.

    • Yes, in theory, it is indeed a good thing.

      You just won't really see third party developers releasing cheap mods on XBox Live though. Microsoft exclusively controls all MoD (means of distribution). These days, the big developers only have two distributors to chose from (MS and Sony) but they still have a lot of leverage. Both companies desperately need one great game to bundle the consoles with to push sales. In Microsoft's case, that's Halo (they basically bought Bungie just to have that one great title).

  • WOW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VendingMenace ( 613279 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:45PM (#10461565)
    considering that the WHOLE game costs $50. Charging 10% of that for 4 maps or 1 mission (which is basically a bunch of scrips and design) is a great freaking way for companies to make money hand over fist.

    I wonder if this will become a trend. Instead of releasing large expansion packs, will companies start just releasing smaller cheaper "mini packs" at more frequent intervals? I wonder if that would be more effective. It seems like you might be able to sell more $$$ amount of stuff that way. I mean, that way, you could gradually see the gaming geography of your game change -- requiring EVERYONE to buy the expansions.

    Right now, it seems like for many games that have expansions, there are still servers that play the non-expansion game. But if you release a few maps at a time, those maps might just be incorparated into the map rotaion of more existing servers and then people would have to buy the expansion to keep up. OH man.

    Anyways, i am really impressed (an irritated) that companies have found yet another way to more efficeintly milk the consumer. Too bad that enough people will pay this rediculous price/content ratio -- and it will probably stick around. :(

    Yeah, just my random ramblings :D
    • Correction: The whole game costs 40 dollars. The original was 50, but since Black Arrow is essentially an expansion with some new modes and bug fixes, it was released at a lower price.
    • Well, if the $5 downloads become popular enough, perhaps some publishers will lower the off the shelf cost. If they go from the typical $40 or $50 to say $29.95, that'd be cool. I don't mind being milked (mooooo!) too much as long as it's just a little at a time! It's kind of like buying volumes of a manga series.
    • Re:WOW (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jjhlk ( 678725 )
      So vote with your wallet. But most people probably think it's worthwhile and will pay, so don't blame the companies.
  • Gaming group (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wift ( 164108 )
    Informal survey in a gaming group I belong to (200 members) shows that a slim majority will buy it eventually. The sticking point is that since this is a closed group, the normal hosts need buy this map otherwise why bother?

    Horrible timing since Halo 2 is out in 33 days. The last map they issued for Black Arrow was good but not worth .01 more. Nice plain ordinary map but nothing to get excited about.
  • Ubi Soft and THQ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @02:10PM (#10461889)
    Ubi should try diversifying their game selection in order to expand their audience instead of milking the Tom Clancy license.

    Beyond Good & Evil and Prince of Persia are the only two Ubi games I've been interested in years.

    THQ hasn't put out a game I've wanted to play since either the NES or SNES days I can't really remember.
    • THQ hasn't put out a game I've wanted to play since either the NES or SNES days I can't really remember.

      Surely you have at least tried out one of the latest two Grand Theft Auto games... (since Rockstar Games = THQ)
  • Not new (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hollismb ( 817357 )

    Microsoft already had the idea of 'premium content' well-established even before the Live service launched. It's part of while you have to have a valid credit card associated with your account, and is also part of the parental/protected controls, in that you can have a password associated with accessing a live account.

    Like I said when talking about the Full Spectrum Warrior content, I definitely wouldn't pay five bucks for one map, but I have no problem paying five bucks for four. Can't wait for it to com

  • Anybody remember the days when new content for the game was released for free, and only when there was enough of it to almost qualify as a new game would the expansion packs come out. And those expansion packs actually changed gameplay significantly.

    This is just another step forward towards charging people for every single little detail of the game. Thank god mods are still free because I will never pay for something like maps, which anybody can whip up in 5 minutes. And granted, this is on the Xbox, but

    • Ummm... but there IS demand for this.

      I think of games like Links 2004, or Dance Dance Revolution, or Project Gotham and i think I LOVE THIS GAME... i just want to get more out of it... It's great to be able to get extra "content" without having to wait 5 years for a sequel, or 2 years for an expansion pack. I love Rainbow Six and i want new maps!

      And YES i will pay $5 if i think that i am getting more value out of my original game.... bridging the gap until the sequel comes out.
    • anybody can whip up in 5 minutes

      What on earth makes you think this? Seriously, I don't even know what to say to that.
  • Oh man am I mad......seriously. Rainbow Six 3 is the absolute best game on Xbox live. I'd say it's one of the best games I've played in years. When Black Arrow came out it was seen as an expansion. It cost $40 instead of the regular 50 and they weren't reinventing the wheel as far as graphics or gameplay were concerned. Black Arrow added clans through the game itself instead of having to go through an outside site like teamcompete.

    Sadly, Black Arrow has felt like a failure to me, the maps aren't as fu
  • is looking more and more like a PC.
  • I switched to a console because I was sick of upgrading my hardware every six months. Now, I've got a different problem: only the company can make mods for the game, and they're going to charge me for it.

    Maybe it's time to return to the PC fold--at least it's (marginally) easier to mod a game for that without the blessing of the company.
  • by larsoncc ( 461660 ) on Friday October 08, 2004 @01:38PM (#10471784) Homepage
    Giving up mod points here, cause I think this is an important point.

    I think we're missing one of the BIG points here, and one of the big negatives of the Infinium Labs Phantom console...

    It's the lack of any long term storage options for things you've purchased. What happens 5-10 years from now when your XBox hard drive breaks? What happens 2 years from now, when the XBox is all but abandoned?

    Do you have any recourse for getting these levels that you've paid for BACK?

    PC expansion packs come on DISC, or you can back them up to disc, at very least. What responsibility will these companies take to customers that lose their info, in the long run or even short run?
  • I think this is heading in a bad direction. Paying extra to be able to join a larger community of gamers on line is one thing and the value exchange makes sense. Buying small content expansions for 5 dollars here and there is going to take us down a dangerous path. Pretty soon you start getting crippled games that you have to pay extra for to enjoy. Then game retailers start negotiating exclusive deals to carry full versions while their competitors get the crippled version. They'll do this in order to get

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