Microsoft forcing Epic and other devs to charge for DLC

There’s an interesting discussion going on about this over at NeoGAF. From the first post:

Seems pretty slimy to me. What do you guys think?

Here’s a link to the other forum’s discussion:

if there’s no free DLC on XBL, then why have many games already had free DLC?

Hasn’t Microsoft realized the potential of having a large customer base over a few mundane sales? As far as I recall Gears of War will be a trilogy or something along those lines, so wouldn’t they make more money from all of those sales than these… content upgrades?

Technicality wise, is it possible for Epic to allow this content to be downloaded over a PC and uploaded onto the Xbox360’s HD, much like music and other content is?

There will be free (to the user) DLC, as long as the publisher/developer/sponsor is willing to pay Microsoft enough money. Microsoft is not going to put something on Live that they aren’t getting a cut of, one way or another.

Sponsored content.

Where did it say there was no free DLC? This post was about how Epic and the developer of Marble Madness didn’t want to charge for their DLC, and Microsoft was forcing them to.

And yes, the previous DLC maps for GoW were sponsored by Old Spice.

sponsored by who? there are free cars in test drive unlimited I don’t recall there being a sponsor mentioned for, and the new agents in crackdown that I recall off the top of my head.

the Gears maps were sponsored by discovery channel, actually, although I guess we see how well that advertising worked on you. Maybe they should have put a billboard in one of them.

It’s pretty clear that microsoft is pushing a policy of no free lunch on XBL, if there’s premium DLC that it thinks people will pay for, then someone has to pay for it, either a sponsor or gamers. If they fuck up their releationship with epic over that and say, the ps3 version of UT3 gets plenty of downloads and the 360 has none then the only one getting screwed is microsoft themselves.

Yeap. Hopefully this is exactly what happens. It will really open a lot of people’s eyes to what MS is pulling on Live.

For the record, we wanted to release free GamerPics and Themes on Marketplace for our last game, and Microsoft wouldn’t let us. Even after much pleading and cajoling.

This really bites but it isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It sure gives sony a chance to grab some developers and users.

It sucks that the Marble Blast Ultra updated isn’t going to happen anymore. :( That game’s leaderboards are seriously bugged, half the time you can’t see your friends on the list. Garage games said they’d fixed it in their updated, along with lots of free multiplayer maps. I guess if the above is true, I wish they’d just canned the multiplayer maps and released only the update to fix the god damned bugs.

One possibility is that it protects smaller developers trying to publish on live arcade who can’t afford to throw away ‘A’ grade content to reinforce box sales. If content of a certain quality is available for free from the marketplace, then consumers are justified in asking why other content of the same quality is not free.

In other words, gratis geometry wars would stop pom-pom from getting as many purchases.

I guess I am on the fence about the issue. I see both sides of the argument. No publisher wants to piss off thier userbase, and there isn’t a consumer alive that doesn’t like free content. On the otherhand, it is MS’s console/ marketplace, and the content that goes up isn’t free to make/host, and niether is the bandwith.

Microsoft is after it’s cut. Ultimitly, it’s not going to matter where it’s from, be it sponsers of the end consumer. Unless they start getting really greedy, and want it from sponsers and consumers.

Epic could always go public with this. The PR hit Microsoft would take has to be worth something.

Things like map packs though not being free really screws with the online community causing it to splinter.

So, you are saying that Epic had to pay to get that new map on Live for Gears? I call utter and complete bullshit. The sponsorship could just been to pay to develop the content and get some extra revenue. I do not believe that MS is going to demand that all publishers/developers have to pay if they want to offer extra maps or weapons or skins to gamers.

I’d love to see Epic pack up and move on to the PS3 for GeoW 2+ :)

It was sponsored by FutureWeapons or something like that.

Yeah right, devs are going to leave money on the table because of this, if it even is true and there are games that have paid DLC that I still bought. Hasn’t stopped me yet.

It sure would. Too bad Sony is still managing to completely flounder in their online strategy, with no signs of them pulling it together anytime soon. It was a frustrating GDC, because I really wanted to see them have their act together.