BioShock 2's DLC Is On The Disc To Keep Us All Together

Technically, BioShock 2's downloadable content released before today. That's because it's on the disc. So, again, we're downloading an unlock. 2K says this was necessary to allow the entire player base to play multiplayer together.

The BioShock 2 community noted the downloads were 108K for the Xbox 360, 24K for the PC, so either 2K's achieved some insane results with compression technology or that's just a key to access code on the disc. A 2K community manager noticed "a bit of confusion" and stepped in "to clear things up for you". Here is the reasoning:

The way our engine and game structure works is that people need to have the exact same content for people to play together. One of the challenges with post launch content for MP is that it can split the player base, and we want to avoid that whenever possible. For this content, creating the DLC package the way we did allowed for us to not split the player base – so whether you purchase the new content or not, you can still play with your friends.

So if anything, this type of DLC delivery not only isn't going away, it's now offered with a bulletproof justification. You want to own all the code on the disc, well, do you really want to split the player-base? It's like putting kids in the middle of a divorce.


    You purchased the content already. It's already on the game. Splitting the community? Puh-lease.

    Some of these game publishers have shadier selling tactics than sketchy drug dealers in dark alleys smelling of urine and faeces.

    Ummmm can Kotaku grow some and clearly state this is simply WRONG!?

      Yeah, if it is actually on the disc (which isn't entirely clear from the statement, but I think it's safe to assume) then it's poor form from 2K. You're perfectly entitled to not pay for it.

        Whether or not it's on the disc is moot I reckon.
        The developer, in creating the game, deliberately left out a feature because they knew they were goin to offer it later.
        The way you access that feature doesn't REALLY matter does it?
        At the end of the day, you'll need to pay to get it.
        It's part of their plan.
        Just a different way to executing it.

      First I want to say I agree that this is a complete load of garbage and anybody involved should be hanging their head in shame right now. I also agree that the gaming media really needs to pull its finger out and start pressuring publishers/developers when they pull crap like this.

      Second, just for the sake of argument I want to bring up XBLA game demos. Thanks to the way downloads are structured on the XBOX Live Marketplace when you download them you're literally paying 0msp for the demo. You effectively own the demo.
      The thing is the demo file is the same as the full version. When you buy the full version it doesn't even re-download the file it just flicks a switch on your profile (almost exactly like what they've done with BioShock 2). So according to the logic presented here by 'buying' the demo you're entitled to the full version.

      Again I'm not suggesting 2k is right. This is wrong on so many levels. I'm just questioning where the line between having the data and owning the data lays.

        XBLA games are TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. which is why its done that way so when you decide you like it enough to buy it, it becomes the full version. having to redownload the whole game would be a waste of bandwidth and time.

        Bioshock 2 is a full dvd game. When you buy the game you have entitlement to every piece of code on the game otherwise it just shouldn't be on there.

        i'm reminded of gta's hot coffee. that should have been removed since it was not meant to be in the final release of the game.

    I disagree with this method of DLC, I really think that if I'm going to throw cash down for physical media then I should have access to everything on that disc.

    I can understand if you are just paying for the game as a download because you literally are paying for just the licence, but it costs me money to ship the item/drive to pick it up. I smell a lawsuit cooking.

    Still a bullshit excuse.
    I bought the disc. Why should I have to pay more for whats already on the disc?

    I wouldn't be suprised if they get tempted to cut off more and more content and charge it as "DLC".

    Still doesn't justify it.

    If that is their statement on it, couldn't get make it an necessary patch for all THEN you buy a code to unlock the extras?

    That way everyone has it, the player-base hasn't been split because its been downloaded/installed but not unlocked yet.

    Wait... if I download the DLC it would not be the same as what everyone else downloads? What if I don't want multi-player? I accept there are limitations with the DLC system but I call bullshit.

    bit bullshit, with the release of the mp dlcs the game could've updated to add the content. This system also means that they cant have multiplayer dlcs that they didn't plan out before the game got into its final stages...

    What in sweet jesus is he talking about?

    this is a horrible justification. How about just having a patch with the DLC on it for non-DLC buyers, so they can SEE it but can't use it?


    How about include the content in Patches to the game? Thats what they do with Little Big Planet to make sure everyone has the same content.

    Fair enough, if you are going to release it so close to launch anyway...

    Charging for it is just mean though.

    But I bought the disc with money. I shouldn't have to pay more money to use the data on the disc that I already own. Whatever happened to expansion packs?

    Which is a fair enough technical explanation, but that doesn't explain why it wasn't included in the game, seeing as it was already on the disk to begin with.

    ahahaha oh wow. 2K, you're really trying to roll with the big boys like Activision and Ubisoft, aren't you?

    thats bullshit and they know it.
    they're charging you for something you already paid for.

    if they dont want to split the player base, they could have released code like - marvel ultimate alliance 2. if you didnt have the juggernaut code, you could download that file that enables you to play with people who did have the code.

    since i traded in 3 games for bioshock 2 at jb hifi, i cant get a refund for this game so now im going to sell/trade it in.

    2K you can go FUCK yourself.

    Its not bulletproof because if its already on the disc then we all should have access to it. If your worried about splitting the player base, then either design your engine to support it or don't do the dlc.

    Its just greed to program all this stuff, put it all on the disc, lock parts out then charge extra to unlock it. Its like buying a cheeseburger, but the cheese is sealed in plastic and you have to pay extra to unwrap it.

    Erm...thats a piss poor excuse.

    Criterion and Burnout Paradie's massive patches to ensure everyone has the same content say hello.

    It can be done.

    I don't get why certain peoples complain about such cases with DLC.

    I would MUCH prefer my DLC to be delivered to me this way, rather than having to download the thing, when some can be upwards of 1GB+

    DLC adds up on your hard drive, especially on a 360. So i encourage these sorts of steps with DLC. Just, developers would obviously need to have completed it before even releasing the game. Otherwise, expansions!

      Are you for real?
      So, you dont mind buying a game but not having access to all the content? But then having to pay extra to get access to content on the disc you have already paid for?
      You are exactly the kind of fool these companies rely on.

        Fair enough.
        But you would much prefer, if they've finished the DLC which if its on the disc, then they have. To just exclude it from the disc (when there is plenty of room to add it on) and just upload it onto XBLA and make you waste some of your downloads to get it. Cause thats what all the other's do anyway...

        Hey i don't have Bioshock 2 anyway - so i'm not the one getting jipped. But if a move like that means I don't waste as much space on my HDD which then, if i did, would mean i would need to delete stuff that i've bought (which i wouldn't want to do) or buy another HDD which is way over-priced on MS's behalf. I would much prefer to save myself $150+ on a new HDD if it means some stuff on the disc i need to pay for later as DLC.

        Fool i wouldn't say so - just cautious, well, when it comes to my HDD.

      and you dont install your games to the hdd?

      -decrease load times
      -reduce disk wear
      -reduce dvd drive wear

    I’ll give 2k credit, it takes some serious balls to charge people for something they have already paid for.

    The exact arguments are on about the Street Fighter IV series; we have to pay to download a "DLC" which unlocks costumes which is already on the disk... we are paying for unlock.

    This really questions the use of the word "Downloadable Content" (DLC).

      Yea, it's more like ULC (Unlockable Content)

      But I still think if they've got it finished before launch and it's on the disc it should be included for free.

      Back when they was no DLC it would be on the disc and you wouldn't have to pay for it. Now they find that this gets them heaps more money.

      Now if they made the RRP half the usual, then I guess they would have a reason to charge for this content.

    I think if the code is finished at launch date then it should just be included in the purchase price.
    If they add extra features *later* on then sure, feel free to charge for it, you have spent extra money developing the thing after the product has been released for sale.
    It isn't an extra or DLC if it is already shipped, it is just effectively a way of charging $70 for a game that is advertised at $60.

    I reckon in the future, devs will artificially inflate unlock-style DLC file sizes to make it appear as though we're actually downloading something new so as to avoid this kind of backlash. A 100kb unlock code could be wrapped in 100mb of padding.

    Disable access to half the game, pad the unlock codes and hey presto, millions of extra dollars a year in DLC revenue. A most deliciously dastardly proposal.


    AAA game title - $100
    'DLC' - $15

    Paying for content you already own - not pricless.. Fuck you!

    I for one am against paid DLC as a whole.

    /goes to play TF2

    Wait, so does this mean the Sinclair Test Pack thing is the only DLC that will be released for BioShock 2? If what they're saying is true than it must be.

    Back on subject I could almost understand if the DLC was something substantial. If I got a full game and the expansion pack was already included on the disc but unplayable until I paid for it then I wouldn't be so annoyed. As long as I'm getting my $80 worth from the original game and my $15 worth from the expansion pack I don't really mind.
    Mass Effect 2 for example can do what ever it likes because for what ever is going on behind the scenes, they delivered a game that was well worth the money I paid for it. As long as the DLC itself is worth the money as well I don't see myself as getting ripped off even if it could have made it into the retail release.

    All that aside this isn't one of those cases. The only portions weren't worth what I paid for them. The multiplayer was boring and repetitive and more maps, plasmids/tonics, trials and characters would have really helped that out. I'd wager that originally 97,000 ADAM was meant to get you to Rank 50, not 40, and that's why the last 10 ranks feel like such a massive grind.

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