Killer Instinct for Free - Sort Of

June 11, 2013 -

Besides serving up the most misogynistic moment of E3 so far (during the press conference when the Killer Instinct lead told an Xbox Community Manager to "Just let it happen, it'll be over soon"), Microsoft revealed that Killer Instinct for Xbox One would be free… sort of. The game will let you have the very first character - Jago - with the game when you download it. But after that, all other characters from the game are going to cost you extra.

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EA Begins Eliminating Online Pass Fees, Offers Content for Free

May 30, 2013 -

Electronic Arts has cut the price of online passes for dozens of its games - and in some cases - has made them free of charge, according to Eurogamer. Earlier in the month EA announced that it was discontinuing the use of its online pass system.

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Bethesda's Peter Hines: Day-One DLC Debate Stems from Consumers' Lack of Understanding the Development Process

April 10, 2013 -

Bethesda VP Pete Hines thinks that the debate about the acceptability of day-one DLC  comes from a misunderstanding from consumers on how the development process works. Speaking to OXM, Hines said that with most big budget games development of new content would stop a long time before the title’s actual release.

"I think there is [a misunderstanding], at least among a certain segment of the gaming audience," he said.

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GDC Talk Reveals Digital Distribution Growing at a Rate of 33 Percent a Year

April 1, 2013 -

During GDC last week in San Francisco research firms NPD, iResearch and Digi-Capital held a talk on digital games sales and revealed some interesting numbers on the space. According to data revealed during the event, digital game and downloadable content sales are growing at a rate of 33 percent year over year in the United States and Europe, while spending in China is expected to grow 10 percent annually for the next three years. Asia is going to be the most dominate region in the world when it comes to online and mobile games by 2016, according to the speakers.

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Toronto Woman Slams Microsoft, Praises EA Sports After FIFA 13 Charges

March 28, 2013 -

A mother in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) blames lax security at Microsoft after her 11-year-old son's Xbox Live account was hacked for $300 in fraudulent charges for in-game content. Jennifer Stubbs of Toronto said an unknown hacker charged the FIFA 13 Ultimate in-game buys to her credit card.

"I wasn't aware that these purchases were happening," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "Someone had gone into our device remotely."

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Good Old Games Surveys Community on Downloadable Content

March 15, 2013 -

After a less-than-stellar launch of downloadable content for Omerta: City of Gangsters, Good Old Games has decided that it wants feedback from the community on whether it should continue to offer DLC and other content. As the company steps into offering newer games the reality is that a lot of these games use new models for content including multiplayer, offering early access to games, season passes for purchasing DLC content in bulk, and episodic content.

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DLC Keeps Skyrim Relevant, Profitable

March 12, 2013 -

While Bethesda Softworks' popular role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been out for over a year on various platforms (PC, Xbox 360, and PS3), the company says that it is far from done with the game and that downloadable content is helping the company keep the RPG relevant to this day and make some money in the process. Speaking to UK publication MCV, Bethesda European MD Sean Brennan is using retailers to help push the game’s DLC (Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn) on Xbox 360.

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Activision Adds In-Game Purchases to Call of Duty: Black Ops II

March 12, 2013 -

Activision will add in-game purchases in its popular action game Call of Duty: Black Ops II tomorrow. The announcement was made by Activision community manager Dan Amrich on his OneofSwords blog. Amrich says that players will notice on March 13 new "Micro Items." The pre-order bonus map, Nuketown 2025 will also be made available for free tomorrow.

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Fox News Highlights 'The Tyranny of King Washington' AC III DLC, Mount Vernon Estate Curators 'Have No Problem' With It

February 20, 2013 -

A FoxNews.com report points out the release of the Assassin's Creed III DLC, The Tyranny of King Washington, a day after President's Day by a "French company" (thanks jccalhoun). The DLC released on Tuesday is an alternate storyline where General George Washington accepts the post of "King" and ultimately becomes a tyrant.

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Dead Space 3 Micro-Transactions Thwarted by Exploit

February 7, 2013 -

Update: A representative from Electronic Arts clarified with us that the resource-earning mechanic in our story is not some sort of glitch or exploit, and therefore they have no plans to issue a patch to fix "the problem." From the EA representative:

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Poll: Which Video Game Publisher/Developer Practice Do You Find the Most Irksome?

January 30, 2013 -

If you follow me on Twitter, you're probably aware that I can't stand Activision's Skylanders games or Disney's upcoming Disney Infinity.  Both games require you to buy a bunch of figurines to unlock stuff in the game you already paid full price for.  This is an extension of that "on-disc DLC" stuff that many have been

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Gazillion Boss Defends Pricy Content Pack for Marvel Heroes

January 21, 2013 -

Dave Brevik of Gazillion, the developer behind the upcoming Marvel Heroes free-to-play MMO action game, is defending a pricey content pack for the game that costs well over $100. The pack, the Marvel Heroes Ultimate Pack, gives players every hero and costume the game, as well as in-game currency and early access prior to the game's launch. Being that this is a free-to-play title some have scoffed at the huge price tag for the package, but Brevik doesn't think it's that big of a deal.

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Microsoft Investigating Issue with Halo 4 Season Pass Holders and the Crimson Map Pack

December 10, 2012 -

Microsoft has indicated to the Xbox 360 community that it is aware of problems with Halo 4 season pass holders not being able to download the Crimson Map Pack that was released today. The company says that it is investigating the cause of this and working on a solution. Instead of being able to simply download the Crimson Map Pack, season pass holders are being asked to pay 800 MS Points prior to download. The season pass costs a flat fee enabling purchasers to grab all the downloadable content upon release for free.

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Capcom: DLC Found on Retail Resident Evil 6 Disc is Free

October 11, 2012 -

Looking to clarify some stories that have been written by the media about on-disc DLC found within Resident Evil 6's retail disc, Capcom has taken to the Capcom Unity blog to clear the air.

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Report: Borderlands 2 Players Face Stats Erasing Bugs Again

October 9, 2012 -

Some players are claiming the newest Borderlands 2's character, Gaige is erasing their "Badass stats." The download, which also requires a patch to play seems to be affecting players on Xbox 360 and PC. The problem seems to be a repeat of an earlier issue some fans had with the game wiping out their progress.

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Capcom Takes Heat for Resident Evil 6 On-Disc DLC

October 8, 2012 -

A YouTube user named Fluffyquack has released a series of Resident Evil 6 videos that show locked content hidden on-disc, unlocked by modding the game. In one video he demonstrates a new "No Hope" difficulty mode, as well as locked melee attacks, and taunts and costumes for Resident Evil 6's multiplayer.

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George Washington will be the Villain of Note in Assassin’s Creed III DLC

October 3, 2012 -

IGN points out that Ubisoft's upcoming DLC for Assassin’s Creed III will have a very unique villain: George Washington. The founding father of our country and the first U.S. president was basically offered a position similar to "king' or "emperor" of America. Washington declined that offer and instead became the first president of the country, according to every history book I have ever read.

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Battlefield 3 Premium Subscribers on PS3 Get Armored Kill First

August 27, 2012 -

Usually it's Xbox 360 players who get premium content first for Battlefield 3, but Premium subscribers that bought a subscription on PlayStation 3 will be delighted to hear that they will get to play the latest expansion, Armored Kill, before anyone else on September 4. Xbox 360 and PC owners will have to wait until September 11, while those who don't have a Premium subscription will have to wait until September 18.

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EA Addresses FIFA DLC Hack Issues

August 20, 2012 -

According to this Joystiq report, EA has made a ton of money off of FIFA 12's Ultimate Team DLC last year, but this year it wants to avoid the headaches associated with the "FIFA hack." The company reportedly made over $39 million in just three months off the DLC, a 69 percent increase from the same period the year before. But it also created a lot of headaches for consumers who found their security on Xbox Live compromised.

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BioWare Director Defends Day-One DLC

August 13, 2012 -

BioWare Edmonton director of online development Fernando Melo tells Polygon that day-one DLC makes sense. He thinks that it is all a matter of simple math for game developers because development budgets for post-launch downloadable content incorporate attach rates against the total sales of the game, and attach rates decrease a few weeks after a game's launch.

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CD Projekt RED: DLC Should be Free

August 9, 2012 -

Teasing an upcoming interview, VG247 reports CD Projekt RED's Konrad Tomaszkiewicz's thoughts on downloadable content: he thinks it should be free. Tomaszkiewicz says gamers shouldn’t be paying for post-release digital content, given their bite-sized nature and sometimes hefty price tags.

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Katsuhiro Harada: I Might Quit Before Agreeing to Paid DLC in Tekken

July 10, 2012 -

Katsuhiro Harada, the man in charge of Namco Bandai’s Tekken series, says that he would quit working for the company if he was put under pressure to introduce character downloads as DLC.

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THQ Australia to Honor GAME Australia Darksiders II Pre-Order Bonus

July 6, 2012 -

THQ Australia confirmed that it will honor all Darksiders II pre-order DLC bonuses purchased through retailer GAME Australia. The retailer announced this morning that it would close its 15 remaining stores on July 8.

GAME Australia had offered Australian customers who pre-ordered THQ's upcoming game the Deadly Despair DLC pack, but then it went into liquidation. Obviously if the retailer is no longer in business it won't be able to fulfill those promised pre-order bonuses.

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Webcomic Imagines BioWare’s Reaction to Angry Gamer

March 21, 2012 -

For the past two weeks, fan complaints over Mass Effect 3’s DLC and ending have been loud and plentiful (if not always rational or polite).  Much to the chagrin of the more passionate and impatient of us gamers, BioWare didn’t immediately kowtow to various fan demands, perhaps leading some to wonder if the company simply didn’t give a toss now that it has their money.

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THQ’s Farrell Sees Game Prices Dropping

September 24, 2010 -

While THQ CEO Brian Farrell believes that the future could bring lower costs for console games, that seemingly bright prospect contains a bit of a catch for consumers.

Speaking at a recent Goldman Sachs conference, Farrell, as reported by CVG, sees console games eventually selling for between $29 to $39 at retail, but those would be basic or stripped down versions of games, with—of course—extra content available from paid downloadable content.

THQ will experiment with just this kind of concept on its upcoming MX vs ATV title. As Farrell noted, “In the past, we've seen that we bring the game out at $59.99 and it does reasonably well - around one million, or one million-and-a-half units.”

He continued, “When we lower the price to a mass market price the thing really jumps... So what we're doing this time is we're coming out initially with a smaller game at a lower price point - the $29 to $39 range.”

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Namco Bandai VP: Games Too Expensive

May 20, 2010 -

Namco Bandai Partners Vice President Olivier Comte has called for a worldwide summit of game companies in order to address the price of games and to explore new business models.

Speaking to MCV, Comte noted that other types of media have more than one way to procure income; music has physical media sales and live events, while movies are similar, with disc-based offerings in addition to the cinema. Games, meanwhile, “… just have one model, the sale of the product either as a box or a digital download. So we need to think about how we can develop a secondary business model.”

Comte continued:

I am convinced that in the future we must change the price of video games – they’re too expensive for the audience. With the cost of development and the retail margins, £40 (approximately $58.00 U.S.) is a fair price [to us], but for the consumer it is too much.

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UK Retailer Takes Step to Warn About Used Game DLC

April 13, 2010 -

In response to a consumer suing retailer GameStop over the code for free downloadable content from a used game already being used (by the original purchaser), UK retailer GAME has taken a proactive step to avoid sharing a similar fate with its U.S.-based counterpart.

According to MCV, GAME has fashioned warning stickers that will warn potential purchasers to check with a store’s staff for more information on the availability of a used game’s downloadable content.

This solution, a GAME spokesperson told MCV, would allow the staff to “explain clearly the difference so that our customers understand the benefits of buying both pre-owned and mint [new].”

GAME started using the stickers in its stores last week.


Thanks Andrew!

6 comments

Ubisoft Rewards AC2 Users with Free DLC

March 26, 2010 -

Since its launch, Assassin's Creed 2 for the PC has been beset by server issues and outages so severe that Ubisoft is trying to make it up to their "patient" fans.

According to a story on Gameindustry.biz, users have gotten emails from Ubisoft offering free DLC for the game. If players bought the collector's edition, which already had the DLC, they are being offered a free downloadable game from the list of Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, Heroes over Europe, Tom Clancy's EndWar and Prince of Persia.

The server problems apparently have been caused by hackers upset with Ubisoft's new DRM policy. According to the story:

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Spawn of the Acronyms: DLC May Breed PDLC

March 22, 2010 -

If downloadable content released on a game’s launch day gets under your skin, what would you say to paid DLC issued before a boxed game hits the market place.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter was the recipient of some inside news from Visceral Games (an Electronic Arts studio) Senior VP and Group General Manager Nick Earl, and he spilled to GamesIndustry.biz about the plans, which would involve the monetization of “very long game demos,” like EA's 2009 release Battlefield 1943. The $10 or $15 “long demo” would then be followed at some point by the full packaged game.

Pachter offered a further explanation:

Think about Battlefield 1943 as the prototype, so a full (but short) game experience for a reasonable price. At the same time, an expanded version of the game will be under development for release as a packaged product.

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Analysis: DLC Pays off for World at War Franchise

October 21, 2009 -

Poking, prodding and massaging NPD U.S. videogame sales data, Gamasutra has arrived at the conclusion that the average owner of a console version of Call of Duty: World at War spent $9 on downloadable content.

DLC packs were released in March, June and August of this year with a price of $10 apiece. 6.5 million packs had been sold as of August, with the author rounding up to 7.0 million in order to make sales current. Based on estimates of an analyst, it was estimated that 65% of the 7.0 million DLC sales were within the U.S., meaning an approximate $45.0 million in additional revenue for Activision Blizzard stateside.

The average price paid for World at War was $56.00, adding in the total spent on DLC brings the total average price spent to $65.00, increasing revenue per software unit by 15% (with reduced overhead), ensuring that DLC is not going away anytime soon:

With Modern Warfare 2 expected to best World at War's 11 million units in sales, it seems certain that consumers will again be tempted with paid DLC throughout 2010 as Activision Blizzard attempts to maximize its revenue per sale.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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