Modern Warfare 2: DLC Already Confirmed?
I’m still undecided when it comes to downloadable content (DLC) for my XBox 360 games. The 3 times I’ve laid down the dollars on Microsoft’s ridiculous points system to purchase DLC, I’ve only come away remotely happy once. That was my late adoption of the Modern Warfare Map Pack. The other two DLC’s were for GRID and World at War, neither of which have been worthwhile in the least.
Fortunately with the Modern Warfare map pack, I’ve gotten quite a bit of use out of it, but only really enjoy two of the meagre four maps included in the DLC.
When I complained earlier in the year about DLC and how Call of Duty didn’t really show any respect to early adopters, I received a very interesting comment from Robert Bowlin (AKA fourzerotwo) Infinity Ward’s Online Community Representative. As part of his comment he addressed Infinity Ward’s approach to DLC:
“We don’t start working on DLC until we’ve fully finished and given significant time for polishing to the full game and have it out the door and to the hungry gaming public. Even then, we have a window of time where we’re solely focused on getting feedback from gamers and addressing bugs / exploits / and glitches before we start thinking about DLC.”
So it came as a bit of a surprise when Bowlin himself announced on his twitter account that “2 Map Packs for Modern Warfare 2 coming to Xbox 360 first. Not to imply only 2 will come”
The game is still five months away from being released, and already Infinity Ward has announced at the minimum, two DLC Map Packs will be coming out. Doesn’t sound like they are waiting to have the game “out the door and to the hungry gaming public” this time does it?
But lets be realistic, DLC is to a popular game what death and taxes are to us mortals; inevitable. They are a fact of life and the precursor to the future of gaming where gaming companies will cut out bricks and mortar stores and deliver content direct through XBox Live.
So with DLC a fact of life, and, admittedly something that adds value to many games, how do we make DLC look less like a money grabbing ploy in the eyes of cynics like me?
I’ve come up with two ways, either of which will still make Infinity Ward a fist full of dollars.
First there’s the collectors edition. Many games these days come with two versions: The Standard version, and for about $30 more, the Collectors Edition. The collector’s edition comes with any manner of gimmicks from replica World War 2 canteens to instant unlocking of special guns in online play. These are designed to give something extra to the hardcore fans, but often end up only being gimmicks left to collect dust. What if the collector’s edition came with a unique code that gave you free access to all future DLC for the game? Along with some of the gimmicky stuff as well. Surely it would fly off the shelves, and reward those hardcore fans for their obsession.
Secondly, you could have a two stage approach to DLC. Any time a map pack is released, it costs money to download. But (and this would have to be make clear right from the start) after a month (plenty of time for hardcore gamers to find all the sweet spots), the map pack would be made available for free. In fact you could go as far as to make in compulsory for online play so that you never get the ‘map pack disabled’ message when someone comes along who hasn’t got the map pack. Sure, this would reduce Infinity Ward’s income slightly, but how many people are really going to want to wait to get the latest map pack?
Anyway, that’s just my two cents, and to be perfectly honest with you, I will be in line to purchase this game on it’s day of release.