Black Ops Map Pack Available February 1st – Value For Money?

Black Ops Map Pack Available February 1st – Value For Money?

Map packs are typically the subject of much controversy and gnashing of teeth – do they represent value for money, or are they exploitative and overpriced? Black Ops’ first map pack, ‘First Strike’, has just been announced and once again has us questioning the value of such packages.

Coming in at 1200 Microsoft points – the customary price for Call of Duty DLC – ‘First Strike’ will be released February 1 and contains four maps in total, but is this fair pricing?

The cop out answer is, of course, it depends. Value is relative and DLC generally costs as much as people are willing to pay – I would argue that the map pack’s value is representative of how much people are willing to play.

As a Halo fan, I’ve bought every single pack released for the franchise and, to be perfectly honest, not once have I felt satisfied with the purchase. Most of these maps are slowly filtered into playlists through time and eventually they’re made free which, as an early adopter, always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Simply put: I buy the maps early, but only fully utilise the purchase when the maps are made free on the marketplace.

But in a sense the problem here is people like me. The folks who buy these map packs time and time again, never learning the lesson.

What about you guys – will you be picking up the latest Black Ops map pack? And what represents value for money when it comes to DLC?


  • value has it right, don’t restrict your playerbase via paid maps.

    Activision does it cause they can and they make a truckload too, so they keep on doing it.

  • Knowing me, I will pick it up. Do I think it’s value for money? No.

    I’m sure I’ll get a ton of hours of entertainment out of them, and for money per hour it’s worth it. I have a bit of a stigma against DLC above 800MSP. Even the Halo ones push it, but that’s mainly because they are only 3 maps (granted, Bungie does spoil the player base with all the tweaks and forge additions, etc).

    My personal issue is fragmentation. Say if I play with my brother, who most likely won’t buy them. I’ll never play any of the new maps when running with him. Or my other occasional running partner. That really leaves the times when I’m going lone wolf, and it’s much more fun to play with people you know. That’s got more inherent value to me rather than the monetary aspect.

  • You’re right Mark.. It IS cause of people like you that Kotick keeps bending us over and going to town baby YEAH…

    And Activision is leading the way for screwing us over for content that SHOULD have been in the game to begin with. Now other publishers are following suit because they’ve seen Activision can get away with it so why shouldn’t they too.

    We need a boycott for this crap, but it’ll never happen because boycotts always fail. People’s resolve is nowhere near strong enough.

    “OMGWTFWOW… I can buy MORE MAPS that I already played in the LAST VERSION of the game! Woo!!!!!”

  • Value also depends if they are good. You see Firing Range always gets a second run through, Hanoi a bit less but popular. People love nuke town (I dont) but people dont like Jungle. If it were 4 Firing Range quality equivalent – 1200 is good value, if it is one good and 3 fillers, not so much. That being said, I will buy like a noob lemming.

  • So do these things actually give you new stuff to do or just new places to do the same stuff in? New stuff to do is good, new places… rather unremarkable

  • If you are the kind of guy who plays it every night and few other games then yeah it probably is.
    If you just play occasionally or with peeps who wont buy it then not so much.

    I found the first two Halo 3 map packs worth it, the first especially but that’s because I played a hell of a lot of halo those days.
    1200 mp is a bit of a stretch though, I probably would not even have bought the Reach dlc for that.

  • Hopefully First Strike Pack comes with new matchmaking patches. And maybe Grim Reaper will not be as glitchy on Gun Game? At the moment its like flipping a coin to see it will be usable.

  • It seemed to me that the early Halo map packs tried to be worth the money. I remember buying one of the Halo 2 map packs on a dvd for $15 and it included a couple of special videos, I think including some behind the scenes stuff. It really felt like they were doing their best to try and increase the value of the new maps by adding some cool stuff with it, as if they knew themselves that the asking price for just a few maps was a bit much but that’s what they had to ask for them.

    Nowadays its just a couple of maps for a set price, no bonuses, no feeling of generosity from the developers. I don’t expect them to drastically drop the price, if that’s what they have to put it at to make the money they need to in order to make it worth making, then let them; but it’d be nice if they gave us a reward for being loyal fans.

  • I’ll buy it, I won’t be happy… but I’ll buy it.
    It’s the cost of being able to play when I want to.

    Not having them limits my choices of online matches, and they’re hard enough to get into anyway.

  • Mark, you would probably agree with me but I feel that Noble Map Pack is the biggest let down of any pack released by bungie and that maybe the after launch support for Reach might lack was Halo 2 & 3 had.

    • I would totally agree with you. Especially since I prefer smaller, arena, MLG-style maps. I’m rubbish at Big Team Battle, as my performance on Friday will attest.

  • Cods existence is based on people forking out money for shit. Sadly Im one of them though I highly doubt Ill bother with map packs. I do enjoy the MP completely and wish they’d give up the ghost on SP and put all energy into MP.

  • im against the stupid map packs kinda in the same way as you mark

    there never value for money and they are either over used or segregate the playerbase.

    i mean hell in MW2 you ended up with a section for classic maps, a section for the first pack and a section for the second pack.

    which was downright annoying seeing as in method of purchasing it you actually end up ruling other maps out, to play on the one good map out of the 5

  • Hmm.. $15 for some more maps.. Or an extra $5 for Team Fortress 2; a game that has over doubled in content size since release FOR FREE..
    Not to mention TF2 is worth my time..

      • Yes but Call of Duty wasn’t on Steam at the time and Activision hadn’t turned on exploit mode for CoD yet.

        I’m 99% sure they’ll be on Steam for the same price the MW2 Map packs where.

        Personally, I will get the map packs and I won’t find them a waste of money because in the end, the cost isn’t going to affect me at all and 33% more maps will be awesome at the start and then degrade in experience, still it will become that I’ve paid on several cents per hour to play the maps.

        4 NEW maps (campaign remake count as campaign is freaking awesome and it’s fun to play in those levels) and a zombie map itself is worth a lot 🙂

  • I still can’t even play this game. Still getting disconnected from Xbox Live after a few minutes of play. Started happening after the patch.

  • Recently bought Bad Company 2 Vietnam for $20 ($15US on Steam) and that is TRUE value for money. 5 maps, new weapons, vehicles, audio. Stuff like this used to cost $50 as an expansion pack.

    • Yeah word to that. I remember those days. This is how I originally envisioned DLC. Guess they saw the profitable gold lining.

  • They should learn from BFBC2. Getting the BFBC2:Vietnam DLC which is great update. new weapons, new maps, new vehicles and music! for only $15. Now that’s worth it. At least provide some new character customisations, new camo, new emblems and stuff like that. Paying at premium price for maps is redunkolous.

  • Holy crap. I can imagine Kotick’s smug grin right now. The only reason that they’ve got the price at 1200 points is because they know people will lap it up regardless of how much the maps are actually worth. It’s pathetic.

    Bad Company 2: Vietnam – now THERE is some fairly priced DLC.

  • IMO, anyone who gives Activision/Treyarch more money after the whole shambles that is BlackOps is complete mug. I agree with those who also say just the maps is underwhelming too, especially when they include maps from previous games. It’s a complete cop out. Unfortunately there are enough mugs to make it worth it…

  • thing i don’t get is a map pack for WaW or even CoD4 would cost around $16, with the WaW packs bringing achievements and trophies, which would be like any other psn title or add-on. but since MW2, the price got jacked up (and even more so for recycled maps) and now its starting to look like a continual thing. Personally i see splitting the cost with a mate and game sharing it would be more value for money, but for the price they are asking its too steep, and as of 1.04, definitely not worth it

  • Fact is people are gonna spend that amount for it – happened with MW2 which everyone said they would boycott or refuse to pay. Point is, these COD games are mainstream. Gamers who don’t come to Kotaku etc.. play it, non-gamers play it and they’re the ones who don’t realise alot of the time how much of a rip off it can be.

    Heck MW2’s map packs broke records, i’m sure this would aswell. I wouldn’t mind so much as I prefer Black Ops much more. I will probably end up buying this, so I become a part of the problem.

    No sense in whinging TBH cause really, the gamers who read the gaming news only make up a small percentage of those who play COD games these days.

  • i say it should be 800 Microsoft points 1200 is way to much nobody will be willing to pay such a high price no way it should be 1200 so many less customers im not buying it until they lower price if u agree type 1200-400=800!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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