Epic: Why We’re Charging For Gears Of War 3 Unlock Content That’s Already On The Disc

Epic: Why We’re Charging For Gears Of War 3 Unlock Content That’s Already On The Disc

The $US10 worth of new content that went on sale digitally for Gears of War 3 this week is mostly already included on the Gears of War 3 disc that gamers bought for $US60.

It’s fair to charge extra for content that is already on the game disc you bought, one of the game’s lead creators told Kotaku. Sound strange?

“We’re not saying that everything on the disc is the product,” Gears 3 executive producer Rod Fergusson said in a telephone interview. “The disc is another delivery mechanism.”

Fergusson and his Gears team at Epic stand on the opposite side of an argument that gained fire this week when people noticed that the new $US10 Gears of War 3 Horde Command Pack, which consistis of three new multiplayer maps, new weapons skins, new Horde mode items and more — was a mere 1.42MB download on Xbox Live. That meant what it looked like. Most of that content was on the disc people already paid for. The $US10 people paid for it was, essentially, an unlock key. Cue the howls: Epic is charing people for something they already bought.

“I can definitely see the counter-discussion,” Fergusson told me. He says Epic is trying to be transparent about what it’s doing and why. That 1.42MB figure wasn’t even intended to be hidden. “We didn’t want to artificially pad it,” he said “I know of instances where other [game companies] have said, ‘We’ll put a downloadable video in there.” That would get the file size up, but it would also reek of dirty tricks, if detected.

“People hack the [download] streams, and when they do, they think that you’re trying to pull a ruse.” Epic, he said, isn’t trying to mislead anyone. They admit it: Horde Command Pack buyers are paying for content on discs they already own.

Fergusson can justify his game’s on-disc DLC. His answer is complex, but logical. It goes back to the fact that Gears of War 3 was originally going to ship in autumn, but was pushed back to spring. “We had begun DLC packs early enough, and with the extension to our schedule. It meant we had that stuff done before we shipped.” He was talking specifically about this first DLC pack. The others aren’t on the disc. This first one included weapons and maps that needed to be visible to all players, even those who weren’t going to pay for them.

Game developers don’t want to splinter their multiplayer community into sub-communities that each have to own the exact same pieces of content to play with each other. To get around that, they often provide new DLC to all players, ensuring that all of them can see the content. But only those who pay for it can use the DLC weapon skin or host the DLC map. Fergusson and his team knew they’d have to do something like that. “One of the concerns was we would have to have people download compatibility packs because, with a big emphasis on the extra characters and weapons skins, that whole thing is a vanity play.”

The autumn delay gave Epic a new option: instead of making every gamer download the Horde Command Pack content, they could finish that DLC before the fall and put it in some of the open space on the Gears game disc. “We felt it was a win/win, because no one is going to have to download anything huge when the DLC comes out.”

Gears of War 3 already had a lot of content, even for a full-priced game. Fergusson said reviewers have said there is as much as three games in one, what with the game’s replayable co-op campaign, its extensive co-op Horde and Beast modes and its competitive multiplayer. He doesn’t think gamers were short-changed for the $US60 even if they weren’t getting access to all the content on the disc without paying an extra $US10.

“I think the thing that makes it muddy for people is when it’s on the disc,” he said. But Fergusson views the disc not simply as a purchased game but as a delivery mechanism. “We could have left it off and said, ‘Hey, here’s another disc.'” Instead, he believes Epic did the right thing, sticking to a plan of doling out multiple DLC packs month after month after the game’s release and making it convenient for everyone to experience the first pack without a huge download or added physical purchase. It all comes down to what people believe they’re paying for and, as far as Epic is concerned, gamers paid for the full game that they got access to this past September.

Gears of War 3 isn’t the first game to include on-disc downloadable content. If Epic’s logic is sound and if it sits well with consumers, it won’t be the last. But that’s all the on-disc Gears of War 3 DLC for now. Fergusson said the next Gears DLC is going through its certification process now. It won’t be on the disc. You’ll have to download it all, if you decide it’s worth paying for.


  • I don’t care how he tries to justify it. At the end of the day, DLC that was finished when the game was finished is a despicable ploy.

    DLC should be used primarily as a tool to get content to the community when they have asked for it, and actually want it because nothing in the game is good enough for what they want. That is, DLC is for when the developers need more time to create a section of the game. This tactic however is just moneygrabbing. I don’t think you really can justify it.

    • Okay, let me provide a counterpoint: DLC comes off a seperate budget than the main game.

      EPIC listens to entitled people like you and makes this supplementary material which is not vital to the main experience avaliable for free.

      Their publisher axes the DLC budget completely.

      Now, no more support for the game because they can’t afford it.

      They finished the game for it’s original release date, then got to work on DLC that would have been finished after release, using the DLC budget. Just because the game got pushed back doesn’t mean they can just go to their publisher and say “Yeah, we’ll just take this stuff you paid for the DLC and add it to the main budget, mkay?”

      That’s business for you.

      • If this is how it works then yes i totally agree, Epic just did everyone a favor and put it on the disc.

        I mean, it’s not like they cut out all this content from their original game they were gonna sell you and thought “You know what, we’ll charge them for it.” They finished the DLC they set out a bit earlier from a different budget from the main game and decided it’ll be more convenient for the consumer if they didn’t have to download it.

        So yes, a win/win situation for everyone.

        • This.

          Although by the looks of it most people are too stupid to understand, and regardless of epic doing the right thing or not, they will be shunned upon.

          • The fact is though that the character skins added ALL featured in the single player campaign which makes me believe that some of this content was finished well before the main game was done and they started working on the DLC.

            Not only that but some of the additions to horde mode such as missiles on the mech also featured in single player which just shows they held them back so they could sell them at a cost.

            The maps on the other hand I can believe that they created them after the main game was finished, but that doesn’t negate the point that some of the content was clearly held back just to be bundled with the maps.

    • you are correct. DLC finished before release should be a part of the game. They are money grubbing lying thieves and i hope people take this to heart and stop buying things from them. Companies and people like that deserve nothing but the contempt they get.

  • “Gears of War 3 already had a lot of content, even for a full-priced game.”

    I think we have seen over the past couple of years the amount of content on the disc is irrelevant between games like homefront selling a 4 hour campaign for full price.

    or games like Dragon Age Origins with 50+hours of content

    If the DLC was meant to be DLC don’t put it on the disc. How hard is that, i mean they say they don’t want to look dodgy. Well surely the best method to do that is to make sure that nothing for the DLC is on the disc.

  • Yet if you sold these same guys a car with the aircon and radio locked out until they paid you more, they’d probably take you to court.

    • Gotta lover extremely flawed analogies.

      Let’s frame your logic. Let’s say you buy a car, a Ford. It doesn’t include airconditioning. You are happy to pay for air-conditioning, as long as it’s not finished at the time the car was manufactured. It’s only ethical to charge you for air-conditioning if it wasn’t developed when the car was finished.

      By your logic, even if it’s engineered at additional expense to the car, you’re entitled to all available extra features that were available at the time your purchased the car. Because, if it was ready at the time the car was shipped, it should be included with the car right?

  • “The autumn delay gave Epic a new option: instead of making every gamer download the Horde Command Pack content, they could finish that DLC before the fall and put it in some of the open space on the Gears game disc. “We felt it was a win/win, because no one is going to have to download anything huge when the DLC comes out.””

    How about doing this… Since you finished the content before release, release it as part of the finished god damn product.

    Internet quotas are large enough people are happy to download maps, people aren’t happy to pay for things they’ve already paid for.

    …. I’m probably still going to buy it… f**k

    • I agree. If it is finished before the release of the game it is a feature not an additional content pack.

      What stops other companies from finishing a game then deciding after that they will flag certain areas as DLC and let people pay to access them later.

      We are already seeing what is likely to be the first steps toward this with the Cat Woman sections of Batman.

  • I’d be slightly miffed if they weren’t giving it away for free in a few weeks anyway. Gears players are getting 5 new maps for versus multiplayer on Nov 24 for free. Can’t complain about that.

  • Wellp, I’m glad I never bought Gears 3 and I’ll never buy another Epic game.

    I can’t believe these developers shit on the consumer and the consumer will ask for more. And they wonder why people pirate games…

    This guy on Youtube called GamersGettingPlayed has been talking about issues like this for a while, I suggest everyone check him out.

  • Hang on a second, so because it’s on the disc already, you should have it for free?

    Here’s another idea, they could just remove ALL that content completely and never release it at all. How about that? It was intended as DLC but they did people a favour by putting it on the disc to save everyone time when it came to releasing the content.

    People on here bitched and moaned about needing to go online with their consoles for the Batman/Catwoman thing and such because not everyone has their console hooked up to the net, let alone have a large download cap like others.

    It’s extra content. Get over it and either pay for it or don’t Your life is NOT going to change one way or the other.

    • How about you remember back to when people didn’t have to buy games in this piecemeal nickel and diming way?

      When you bought the whole game and got to enjoy everything that was on the disc that you paid for? And then Expansion Packs were actually as their name implies, being an actually justifiable expansion of levels and gameplay that could be made after release when you knew you had tonnes of fans that wanted more.

      • Hey do you remember when petrol cost less than a dollar a litre?

        Times change. Things are different now. DLC is never going to go away. Time we all got used to that little fact. DLC is so ingrained into how gaming works now that there is absolutely nothing you can do unless of course you’re going to organise it so that the vast majority of gamers never purchase a game again until DLC is stopped completely.

        • I completely agree with snacuum.
          DLC is just a console term.
          Back on PC, expansion packs were worth the money. More story, plot, characters, weapons and levels.

          Gone are the days when expansion packs like Opposing Force, and Brood Wars were the pinnacle of what it meant to have extra content.

          Valve and Blizzard still do it right. EA and Activision have seem to have forgotten this mantra.

          • No DLC is not just a console term and for the life of me I cannot figure out where expansion packs came into this. Did Epic call this DLC an expansion pack?

          • Because at the end of the day that’s all most DLC is, a short expansion pack with a lower value proposition than the expansion packs of yester year. DLC is as the previous guy said a console term, the name itself never even existed until the advent of the Xbox 360 and PS3.

            At then end of the day pre-loading this kind of content onto the disk is a disgusting trend in the industry, one of many that have come along in recent years. Publishers are just looking for more ways to screw money out of their customers through use of overpriced low effort DLC, retailer exclusive pre-order bonus’, dynamic in-game advertising, paid for cheat codes and slapping price tags on things that used to be free by way of post release support.

            Business evolves sure, but the speed at which consumers like yourself seemingly just roll over and tell everyone to like it is truly frightening.

    • this!

      Seriously, people stop complaining and moaning, you got a full game with lots of content even without the on-disk DLC, it’s funny that once the game was released and people were playing it, they were praising Epic about such an awesome game that is worth the money, now this on-disk DLC comes out and the whining starts.

      These developers work their asses off to bring you a premium quality video game and delivered! and this is the way you all respond?!

      Have a little respect!

      • I bought gears 3 and (IMO) it sucked. Everything was better than gears 2 admittedly, but gears 2 sucked as well.

        Epic kinda went down the drain after the first gears of war which stands as one of my favourite games still Surpassing most other 360 games.

        Anyway, the point I was trying to say was that for a game that is competing with AAA titles, everything that was made in time for release should be on the disc, ALREADY UNLOCKED

        • So every product with optional extras that are available when the product hits the market should all be free and come with said product?

          • if you start bringing in the opinion of ‘optional extras’, does that mean that in the future people will be made to pay to play inverted? Or how about developers making people pay to unlock the option to start a new game or change the difficulty?

          • 10 years ago, if you asked somebody ‘hey kid, here’s the latest Pokemon game for full price. But to get the full experience you’ll have to come back here and link cable your game to an external source to unlock the game already on the cartridge.’

            I don’t know about you, but people would think that’s retarded. How come a different medium (a disk) is allowed to do something another medium (a cartridge) would not?

          • Yep. It was much better when to fully complete the game, you needed two copies off a full game, a piece of cable and two consoles.

            I can see your point, but you could not have picked a worse example.

          • I realise that it was a poor example, all things considering, but it was the only Gameboy game which nearly everybody had at one stage.

            I could have said DBZ legacy of Goku or prince of Persia, but I thought that Pokemon was a better example…

          • Yes!, I love that you used Pokemon as the example here. Do you remember when you had Pokemon back on gameboy, and then they had a promotion where you could go (usually to a shopping centre) and they’d hook your gameboy up, and then suddenly you’d have Mew?

            Spoiler Alert: Mew was already in the freaking game. There’s a bunch of videos on YouTube now that tell you step by step how to catch Mew. Mew was content, that was ALREADY on the cartridge, but you had to do something extra to get it. This is exactly how this Gears DLC is. (except money in exchange for effort)

            Game Dev’s have been doing this for years, but, as the Epic guy said, they pad it, or disguise it with videos and other filler, so nobody has really taken notice before.

            Weird gamer entitlement strikes again…They did you a favour by putting it on the disk so you didn’t have to download it, and all you do is bitch.

            NB: I’m a pure PC gamer, never played Gears etc. This is speaking from pure logic and intellect.

          • As I just said above, I used Pokemon as an example because it was well known, but of you want to go into an argument of this, so be it.

            To catch Mew you had to glitch the game cartridge. To me, this is akin to modding. If you were to mod (or “glitch” if you want to say that) gears of war 3 to unlock this DLC, you’ve just stolen from epic. They will now sue you and see if you have distributed it. If you put a video up about how to glitch it, they can sue you more.

  • Is it better than having to download DLC? Yes.

    Is it an okay practice to have DLC that’s finished when the game is? No.

  • People don’t seem to realise that it’s a business. Why are you all under the impression that companies aren’t allowed to release extras to make more money? You can pay for extra features on a computer, or a car, or even a deluxe DVD, but not a game?

    If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. Easy.

    • The issue isn’t that it happens, but that it hasn’t always happened. The old Spider-Man game had shitloads of costumes you could unlock. That would nowadays be at least $10-$20 extra.

  • everyones super mad at Epic, but Capcom have been doing this for years. hence i dont buy Capcom games anymore, also all the re-releases

  • I really do not see the big deal, perhaps they should’ve called it EC or Extra Content, you paid for the game, you didn’t pay for the EC

  • This is ridiculous. The pack was ALWAYS meant to be DLC. This isn’t a case of “it was going to be included in the retail release, but we thought we’d stooge people out of more money”, like, IIRC, the Catwoman section of Arkham City. People are getting pissed off about the wrong thing. Hate on DLC all you want, but don’t hate just because the delivery system is different from usual. Think about it – would you still be pissed off if the DLC was download-only and you found out it was completed by Epic a couple of months ago? Is it really WHEN it was developed the thing that you’re mad about, or that it was developed separately at all?

  • True. Everyone seems to be getting real fired about the big corporations screwing them out of their hard earned dollars but at the end of the day, this comes back to two things.

    1) They sold you one product. You bought that product knowing exactly what you were getting. You bought that product knowing that in three months time, there would be something extra you could buy to add to that product. They built the product with this in mind. You don’t have to buy the extra thing. It’s entirely optional.

    2) The existence of the extra thing doesn’t diminish the original product you bought with full knowledge of. Epic made an add-on pack. As it happens, they managed to finish something they planned to sell seperately well in advance of their schedule. You want them to alter their original plan just because you want something for nothing? Grow up. And don’t buy the godamn pack if it upsets you that much. They’re not forcing you to. They didn’t take away a sizeable portion of the original product to sell it to you again, regardless of the arguments to the contrary. They simply decided, FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, to put the data somewhere all the people that might buy the pack could get to it easily.

    Quit your freaking griping.

  • People don’t buy cars and have to pay extra to have the back doors unlocked.

    It’s funny, the amount of times I’ve not bought a game due to these practices, they’d probably have to sell 10 copies of the DLC to make that money back.

    Hell, I can remember when IW GAVE AWAY map packs during CoD4 – hell, they even got into the Christmas spirit and did a snow-themed version of Crash, complete with santa noises and presents. This is from the guys who pracitcally made paid DLC mainstream.

    • “People don’t buy cars and have to pay extra to have the back doors unlocked.”

      The back doors are an intended part of the original product. This DLC was in no way meant to be part of the original product..

      • I am a car manufacturer, I decide what the original product is, hence the back doors are now not part the original product. My release date got delayed so I had time to include the doors but I wanted to charge for them later so I’ll keep them locked until paid for, however for the consumers convenience I’ll put them on every car regardless.
        understand the metaphors before you try and counter.

        • “I am a car manufacturer, I decide what the original product is, hence the back doors are now not part the original product. ”

          You’re now out of business. Don’t come up with stupid metaphors that are completely illogical just to try and prove a point. A point, mind you, that is solely based around an arrogant self-entitled nature that a lot of gamers have in this day and age.

          • “Don’t come up with stupid metaphors that are completely illogical just to try and prove a point.”

            Oh like your counter-argument against me with the price of petrol? Like the adjusting cost of something that you don’t have on your possession compares to something that I do but is arbitrarily withheld by the maker unless extra cost is applied actually compares as a metaphor?

            Oh and yes I do remember when petrol was under a dollar, and I’m still upset about it for the same reasons as the day it went over. I find it so strange that your solution to anything a business does is “either bend over and take it or just go without.”

            Awesome, “bread’s now worth $500 a loaf, pay up or starve.”
            (Before you tell me I know… It’s an inappropriate metaphor!)

          • Hi, I want something that was always going to be an extra and never part of the original product for free. Why do I want it for free? Oh well, it was on the disc already. Oh so it was there because the game was delayed and as a favour to people to make things easier you added this to the disc so that everyone could get it without issue? Well that changes nothing. I still want it for free because it’s already there so I deserve it.

            You’re a self-entitled wanker, Snacuum. OPTIONAL EXTRAS FOR ANY PRODUCT ARE NOT FREE. That is how things have ALWAYS worked. The metallic paintjob for a car is available and ready when a car was released, do you want that for free as well? The AM/FM adaptor for iPods was available at the same time, do you want that for free?

            It’s nothing more than pathetic childish arrogance and stupidity that makes people like you feel they should get things for free when it was ALWAYS INTENDED AS AN OPTIONAL EXTRA THAT WILL COST YOU MORE.

            At no point was this content intended as part of the original product. It was always and solely intended to be DLC that you pay extra for. Pull your head out, stop thinking the world owes you and grow the fuck up.

          • Apologies to all for the rage rant but by Zeus! Just because it was completed by release means nothing when it comes to DLC. Of course it will be completed by release. They’re going to make sure it works. Same way most DLC is completed by release. Just because it was on the disc doesn’t mean you should have it for free. Fergusson is correct in saying that discs are just a content delivery system. That is EXACTLY what they are. So what if they put the DLC on the disc. That was done to make the release of the DLC a smoother experience for everyone. The extra content was never intended as a part of the original purchase, it was never advertised as such either. You people had no idea it even existed. Hell, Epic are being extremely transparent about the whole situation. That should be applauded.

            Also, I say this as a person who purchased the Epic Edition of Gears3. Epic owe me nothing. They owe you NOTHING.

            It was not part of original product, you didn’t know it was there, stop thinking you deserve everything for free.

          • Is this what the forum is for now? Just flaming? Instead of actually trying to support your reasoning you simply aim insults squarely at me. Charming. I never said I expected to get things for free. Nothing is for free. Those optional things you mentioned? They’re all things that are not physically in you possession until you’ve traded money for goods. This DLC is already supplied in the order of contents on the disc, and hell we even had a delay to wait for it to be put there! YAY Too bad we can’t access something we paid for, oh but wait we didn’t pay for it because it’s not a part of the original product!

            I find this a funny concept, for both you and Epic to exclaim. If we have it in the original product then how is it not a part of it? The silly metaphors we have used above fit into this argument, “The car with rear doors cannot be opened!” etc etc.

            Actually I feel that this debate is only so stifling since we are not arguing about the real issue itself: DLC. Any paid DLC. I’ll cut this short, I don’t like it. I won’t stop you from liking it, but rest assured even though I believe it is a rip off and may defend that opinion, I wouldn’t start calling people self-entitled. I was actually wondering when somebody would start throwing that word around. It’s the new buzzword of the month.

          • So because of the delay you expect anything they did in that time that was DLC related to be free? Just because they had the time to add it on the disc?

            They added it to the disc as a favour. They could’ve left it as seperate content and made you download the entire thing but they chose to help you out and put it on the disc instead.

            Since when is doing someone a favour instantly something you’re entitled to?

          • ““We had begun DLC packs early enough, and with the extension to our schedule. It meant we had that stuff done before we shipped.””

            Well what are they getting paid for? They didn’t make it obvious that they needed this delay for the main game, they were clearly making expansions before we could even offer our money.

            “They could’ve left it as seperate content and made you download the entire thing but they chose to help you out and put it on the disc instead.”

            And I still would be mad, whether that makes you think I’m an idiot or not, with some people here claiming they either: Won’t buy that DLC they put effort into making, or not buying the whole game because of these practices. “Entitled” on not such people may be, they are potential buyers, I would rather keep them than spurn them. Always add more worth to your product.

            In ye olden days when a good game came out and received a loyal fan-base, they would post-big game, make expansion packs and extra goodies like maps and weapons for either free or to buy. Fans would just rush out to get them since they got even more of their favourite game, with absolutely no reason to feel short-changed. There were no debates like this, and no room for excuses.

    • Guess what, those who avoid buying the game altogether or those who avoid buying the dlc are going to be the minority because most people don’t feel that the world owes them everything.

      Also, do you know what caused the delay? I don’t. It could’ve been certification it could’ve been anyone of a number of things. Either way, they found time to do people a favour in regards to content that was intended to be DLC. You can be mad all you want, it doesn’t change the FACT, the undisputable FACT that you want content that was ALWAYS intended as DLC one paid for, for free.

      Cry victim all you want, try to sound as intelligent as you want. Nothing changes the simple FACT that you want something intended to be paid content for free. Something that was NEVER part of the original promised package that you willingly purchased.

      Do you understand that? NEVER intended part of product. ALWAYS intended as paid extra content? Done as FAVOUR to consumer at their expense. Or do you need drawings to explain it to you?

      Hell, with you self-entitled (yes there is that term again, because that is EXACTLY what is happening) bs maybe your parents can pay for it. That way you’ll be less of a arrogant douche…

      Oh noes, insults are being slung. Is this a sign of a poor argumentative nature? No. This is a sign of someone who is sick of people thinking they are owed everything in the world instead of paying/working for it. Remember, not all of us are content to share this planet with people who constantly try to have everything handed to them with no effort on their behalf.

      • Even though Reoh has added nothing to the discussion save for more of the “You owe me” attitude, this reply was actually meant for Snacuum. Apologies for the mixup.

      • What the hell? Is this seriously how you want to represent the side of the intelligent people who are all for the good nature of business and those who are humble and pious in the world? Anybody who has a differing view is simply sent to the corner with a dunce hat?

        How dare you claim as facts you don’t know or have proof of to how I consider the worth of something or to which it should be paid for. I never claimed that what they made should be free, I never claimed that I even wanted it. I never claimed I even had the game and sat there fuming in some kind of pile of self-entitlement.

        One of the very ideologies that the people who blindingly accept these business models is that it is business. For money. That they don’t care about you. That they don’t owe you anything. Yet you claim what they have done is a favour? Business doesn’t do favours. There is a financial benefit to the creation of DLC and a financial benefit to putting it on your disc and locking it.

        In terms of people who are upset being in the minority, you can’t claim that, nor does it matter. I would not be interested in running a business where my actions contain the risk of losing custom. If publishers and developers didn’t do this then there would be nobody complaining, this argument would not exist. Instead for all the people who like these kinds of games, they would just buy it, and play it, and be more than happy to buy the next.

        Alas, this argument will continue. I will still be here to voice my opinion in other articles.I don’t think we’re going to agree on anything, especially since insults don’t have argumentative merit. Good day sir.

        • Then why get involved? Why argue for the side that wants stuff for free that was always intended as extra paid content? Also I never said that us consumers were the only ones to benefit from them doing this. Everybody came off as a winner with this.

          And there are ALWAYS people complaining. There is no perfect business that everybody loves. To think you can run a business that every single person is happy with is beyond ridiculous. The fact you even mentioned that you’d never run “a business where my actions contain the risk of losing customers” shows you know absolutely nothing about business by any stretch. There is ALWAYS that risk with EVERY SINGLE DECISION one makes when running a business.

  • As someone who generally opposes this kind of thing because of the slippery slope is creates, I support Epic on this one.

    When I finished Gears 3 and pundered horde and multi-player, I did not for one second feel like I had an incomplete experience.

    If DLC is created at extra cost to the main budget of the game and doesn’t feel shaved off the main experience, I don’t care how it’s delivered eb it on the disc, over the internet or on a USB deliverd via carrier pigeon.

    When it comes down to it, the main argument should be about the notion of developers cutting content from a finished product in order to sell it the consumer later. So, did this happen in this instance?

    The DLC they’ve described seems very much ‘additional’ to the main experience. The Raam’s Shadow single player component doesn’t feel like it was missing or ‘shaved off’ from the campaign of the main game, it feels like an expansion of the GOW3 campaign. It doesn’t even feature main characters from the game.

    If however, they released a DLC pack that was like “play as Cole and Baird as they travel to Hanover thrashball stadium and discover how Baird managed to drop a load of tickers off the bridge to help Marcus and Dom escape”, that would completely stink of underhanded game development.

    At the end of the day, if a developer produces content in addition or alongside the main game and it doesn’t feel shaved off or cut from the main game then I don’t care how it’s delivered or distributed.

  • People need to understand that with software you’re paying for a license to use the content, not paying to own the content, the disc is like he said just the delivery method, like digital distribution. You paid your license to play the original set of content, the next lot of content just happened to be finished at release and there room on the disk so they decided to cut you a download and put it on there to be unlocked at a later date.

  • So how does Epic justify charging 3600MS Points for weapon skins already on the disc? How about all of the preorder and retailer-exclusive character skins that customers could only get if they bought four separate copies of the game?

  • Also lol @ everyone for saying they don’t buy games from x because they do x. Grow up and get a clue, games is a business now not just a hobby, and the people running these businesses know how to run one and obviously this method works so get used to it.

    • If you realised that the reason ‘this method works’ is because people have accepted this method of business.

      • Obviously, that’s how business works, you try something and if people accept it it means it works, it means the people bitching about it are the minority and so it will continue to happen so my point is still valid. More People are ok with this method then not so get used to it.

        • You were telling those not supporting these practices to “grow up”. I’m just informing you why people don’t gladly drop their pants and grab their ankles.

          • Nobody is getting screwed here so they are just whining for the sake of it, hence being children, especially singling out single companies because they are doing the same as the other just in a different method. most DLC is finished to half finished at release, so boycotting a couple of companies because they are transparent about it while supporting the rest is childish

          • No point arguing mate, it seems that some gamers now think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter for free.

          • And why shouldn’t it, or at least in Australia?

            Full rrp GOW3 from EB games au = $108

            Full rrp GOW3 from GAME us = $60

            The Australian dollar is still slightly higher than the American dollar.

            Ergo, we are already paying double, so the ‘minority’ of people which you said earlier would not buy the DLC is paying approx %40 more for the privilege of having an unused content on our disk, and then are made to fork out another $10-$20 for the privilege to unlock the content.

            I know that this comes off as a ignorant, self-absorbed, greedy ‘douche’, but I’d every game did this, what’s next? Paying for a team deathmatch multiplayer game mode that was already available and ready to use, but the company didn’t want the ‘minority’ of cheap douches to play it without paying?

            Flawed idea – epic games done goofed

          • Also, you’re another person using an example that doesn’t work. This content was not part of the original product that was removed to become DLC, it was always intended as DLC.

  • Games are a buisness, and you are a consumer, as a consumer it’s my right to refuse to support companies with shoddy buisness practices. If it’s on the disc they could have included the option to use it day 1, instead they didnt include the license so they could charge you a fee later and make out like its a new product and that is by very definition screwing the consumer

    • How is this shoddy? They did work they considered worth more then the content you already paid for, so they charged you for it, they wanted to increase the longevity of their game so they waited a time before offering it to you, it was finished before it shipped so they included it for you. This is a fact of the industry, like I said get used to it or stop playing aaa titles

  • Dlc- implies that your downloading content, not that you’re downloading a license to play something you already have. If it’s ready on release day it should be included and able to play. it’s called harboring good will with your fanbase not nickeling and dimeing them in a sleazy manner. yes they have the right to do it but is it ethicly sound? No

    • So if they did this the same way but made you download it rather then it be on the disc already (it finished before release) you’d be fine with that? That TOTALLY makes sense.

  • I wouldnt be fine with that either, Dlc should come after the game, as a means of extending the experience. case in point, Infamous 2, Then festival of blood came out much later was a 3.7gb download. i felt like i was getting value for money, that is how DLC is done

    • You do know that there’s a good chance festival of blood was already finished when infamous 2 was finished, and if you don’t think what’s released is worth the asking price then that’s another issue entirely anyway.

      • You do know there’s a good chance festival of blood WASN’T already finished when infamous2 was finished don’t you?

        It could go either way

  • So would you buy a cd where half the songs are unplayable without further purchasing a license through itunes? maybe you would. But i don’t think it’s acceptable. Epic thinks that we are all a bunch of suckers and they can get away with this. next they’ll charge a further fee to play the final chapter of a game. If i buy a disc, Im buying whats on it, I shouldn’t be charged again to play content ive already bought, thats retarded

    • Thats an awful analogy, they are charging mostly for a bit of extra multiplayer content,which if you haven’t noticed is what most shooters are doing these days, its no different to CoD or BF, some people think iys worth it some don’t, be glad they gave and SP content at all, because most companies don’t. After release they just focus on MP. I would be inclined to say what sucker punch did is more money grubbing, holding back SP content this long after the games fans have finished it and moved on with no MP to give it any extended life.

      • I don’t think sonafly’s analogy is too awful. While yes this is just mostly, “a bit of extra multiplayer content”, the way they are charging for it is definitely questionable. Take the silverback for example. Rockets were in the main game but not available in horde. All they did here was charge for an already existing feature via dlc. Wut’s next for Gears4? Maybe allow active reloads in campaign but not in vs until you pay for it via dlc? As ridiculous as that sounds…it’s somewhat similar to what they did with the silverback.

  • Also I’m pretty sure DLC stands for ‘Downloadable content’. You need to connect to a file server to download.
    If its on the disc then that’s called installable/upload able content. No net connection and it’s still called DLC?

    What the fuck corporations? Call it what it is.
    Pay to play content.

  • The problem here is people are identifying the product they bought with the physical medium that is used to deliver the product they bought.

    When you bought “Gears of War 3,” you indeed got a game case, a manual and a disc. However, what you were actually paying for was Gears of War 3. In short, you purchased the right to use a copy of the software. The physical items are just a way of getting the copy of the software to you.

    You do NOT in fact own the data on the disk. You never did and it is a mistake to ever believe you did.

    When you purchased Gears of War 3, you indeed purchased (and received) Gears of War 3! That is what you were buying and that is what you got. You purchased a liscence to use a copy of a specific piece of software, the physical stuff is just a delivery mechanism, no different to downloading the whole game onto your console.

    Epic did nothing wrong here.

    The only people making a mistake are those gamers that are misunderstanding what they in fact own.

    • Here we go again. Seriously and this is my opinion since clearly flaming is what this whole article is about.

      I believe the entire copyright and IP/software licensing legal system is indeed in for an overhaul. I understand that I have a license, but I desire ownership of my copy.

      • Thanks for clarifying your perspective.

        I admit I am not an expert on IP/Software issues, so I can’t exactly comment there.

      • “Epic did nothing wrong here.” Maybe they didn’t do anything legally wrong, but I would argue that morally and ethically are a different story.

  • here’s a lot of people here who have no idea about how the video games business works. They are so eager to critisize Epic but they have little understanding of the publisher/developer relationship. So if you think Epic has ripped people off, then what would you have done in their shoes?

    Let’s pretend it’s an exam. I’ll pose the question to you and I’ll grade your answer.

    Congratulations, you’ve just been employed as a game director for a major triple A title. Naturally your entire project is being financed by a publisher so your development team will be accountable for delivering the final product in close collaboration with the publisher.

    The first order of business is to sit down with the publisher and discuss the business plan. It’s a fairly straight forward scenario. You’ll produce a retail product as well as 4 paid supplimentary add-on packs to be released periodically after the game ships. As is standard practice, the publisher will employ your studio during the prodction of the game/add-ons and in return, the publisher takes a majority cut of the games sales/add-ons. Of course your studio will be entitled to royaltees and bonuses based on the amount of copies are sold.

    You draw up a budget and submit it to your publisher for the amount of money you’ll need to produce the agreed content. Your budget includes projections for things like the amount of hours required by programmers to produce the game, money to hire voice actors, writers and artists as well equipment/technology to complete the project. Also, you have allocated a set amount of man hours for people to procuce the supplimentary add-ons. Since the publisher is fronting the money for the project you are required to maintain strong accountability for the money you spend and achieve certain milestones during the development process. In simple terms you have to prove the money they give you is being spent on the things you promised in your budget.

    Fortunately, the publisher agrees to your budget and you’re able to get to work straight away. All of your teams begin work on their projects and things are going well. Towards the later half of the development cycle, as planned by the schedule, a number of artists and designers that have completed their initial tasks are set to work on the supplimentary add-on packs. If all goes to schedule, the first couple of packs will be 80-100% finished by the game’s release and the following packs will be ready in time for distribution shortly after shipping the main game.

    Then, the plans change. For whatever reason, the publisher is concerned that they do not have a strong enough portfolio of holiday titles to maintain market relevance so they decide to delay your game until Christmas. This is generally a good thing because it allows you to perform additional polish and a greater degree of testing through a public beta.

    A month or two ahead of your new release date, the teams that have been working on the first few supplimentary add-on packs have completed their work and the content is ready.

    *** Your supplimentary add-on packs originally intended for release post launch are ready. What do you do? ***

    Keep in mind that you are contractually bound to uphold your agreement with your publisher.

    • Dude, some of us appreciate the wall of text but the people you are trying to convince clearly lack the ability to see logic or reasoning of any sort. They’re the kind of people that feel they deserve everything handed to them on a silver platter at someone else’s expense.

      Regardless, I personally appreciate people like yourself and StudiodeKadent trying to bring patient and logical reasoning into the argument.

      • wow, really? Calling those who have a different opinion to you idiots? Or dare I say ‘beneath you’?

        Who else thought in a similar way to that back in 1889-1945?
        The name seems to escape me in this case…

        Dude, seriously, just give up! You’re not going to be able to convince me or anybody else with my opinion that this is a good thing just the same way that a Christian can’t turn an atheist or anything similar to that.

      • That’s a bit judgemental. I actually agree and appreciate the extra information Scott just wrote, I already know about what he stated, and I got caught up in the discussion focussed on the developers, when 9 times out of 10 it is the publisher that are forcing this model to which those who “clearly lack the ability to see logic or reasoning of any sort” are objecting to.

        • This is not matter of opinion. This is fact: Your opinion is WRONG. Epic did you a favour, or as much of a favour as they could keeping in mind they had a contract to uphold, and you are complaining about the favour that they did you.

      • Chazz, you are obviously an extreme fanboy who will pay anything for a game or an Epic employee. Get it through your head, there is no DLC cause it was already on the CD. Translation: they are lying. the content was tested, played, and burned to the disc. It was a premeditated scheme.

        CHAZZ: They put it on disc out of the goodness of their hearts, lolz 🙂

        No, they didn’t. DLC is content made after the game to keep the community active. Not during the game in some marketing scheme to nickel and dime their customers.

  • It’s funny reading over these comments and seeing that once one of te people for this DLC pricing don’t respond to a argument that makes logical sense – especially Chazz

  • I normally have a big issue with on disc DLC, but there are times when it seems legitimate, and others when you can smell the bullshit.

    I don’t smell any bullshit here, but the one thing that people need to remember with this kind of content is that it’s NOT core content. Nobody’s forcing you to purchase $80 worth of skins for your character. It would be NICE if that stuff was all just unlockable through gameplay, but its not about to effect your gameplay experience if you choose not to buy it.

    The same goes for levels. You might argue that DLC maps have to be downloaded, but they absolutely don’t. I never downloaded 1 map pack for Halo Reach, but that has never stopped me from playing online and having a great time doing it. It just comes down to your own choice to buy this junk or not.

  • Fergusson’s comment is bull. Care to explain why the silverback had its rockets removed from vs/horde when it was already in the main game? What’s next? If I want my secondary function on Gears4 to work, will I have to pay $10 bucks?

  • You fine gentlemen are arguing but miss the point of being angry about being taken advantage of.
    Chazz good Sir, lets talk about logic.
    Is it logical that you pay for a game with %60 content of the disk available, only to pay for the rest in parts?
    With me asking that, games used to be issued with more or less %80 content available with unlockable content provided you performed certain taks (time trials, finding hidden items ect).
    This came about because alot of players didnt fell that they should have to earn anything but rather pay for it because the companies want your money any \ways. I have read many threads with people posting that “id rather pay for it” comment.
    Now please humor me with an answer to my locigal question.

    • Finally, somebody with a valid point. That’s what I was trying to get across earlier. Why do we have to pay money for content that is unused?

      And Chazz, don’t give the crappy point again that it was for peoples’ benefit. As I see it, epic knows that high MB DLC isn’t bought by some because their data cap is limited, so epic did this to make more people buy it.
      Also, it would be cheaper for epic to put locked content on a disk, where its rated, tested and whatnot, rather than have to pay money to put it on Xbox live as a whole new piece of game to be rated, tested and whatnot. It was for THEIR benefit, not ours…

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!