Microsoft confirmed today at Gamescom that its Xbox One fighting game Killer Instinct will release for free with one fighter (Jago) and that each additional character will cost $5.
Microsoft also plans to release DLC combo packs with multiple characters and extras too; the Combo Breaker Pack ($20) will offer the first eight characters from the game (six at launch, two later on down the road); and the Ultra Edition ($40) which features eight characters, accessory packs, costumes, and a digital copy of the original Killer Instinct game.
Speaking at a Comic-Con panel in San Diego last night (as detailed by Polygon) South Park co-creator Trey Parker had some harsh words about turning content cut from the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth game into future downloadable content. Parker and his partner Matt Stone were inspired by Skyrim to write 850 pages worth of material for the game. Some of that material was eventually cut.
Some suggested the material be used for future DLC.
If you are someone that will buy CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and are concerned about all the nonsense associated with DRM and used game sales blocking found on the Xbox One, and you want free DLC (that you likely won't get for free on the PS4), then your best bet seems to be found on the PC.
Valve Software revealed today via its Team Fortress 2 blog that Team Fortress 2 community members have had a total of $10 million paid out, and the 60+ individuals who participated in Robotic Boogaloo made a quarter of a million between them. The $10 million was distributed to over 400 contributors and partners, and almost $250,000 out of that money will be handed out to Robotic Boogaloo participants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”