People who forked over the money for the downloadable multiplayer maps in BioShock 2 noticed something pretty quick, that the download was instant. The file size on the Xbox 360 was a meager 108k, the bare minimum, and 24k on the PC. So, why are players being charged for content that is already on the disc? Let’s let a 2K community manager try and dig his way out of this one… poorly:
“The way our engine and game structure works is that people need to have the exact same content for people to play together. One of the challenges with post launch content for MP is that it can split the player base, and we want to avoid that whenever possible. For this content, creating the DLC package the way we did allowed for us to not split the player base – so whether you purchase the new content or not, you can still play with your friends.”
Huh? Well, here is an idea. How about letting everyone have the same content they paid for that is already on the disc? You won’t worry about splitting your player base then, now will you? What 2K (and other developers in the past) has done cannot even considered DLC, because it surely is not downloaded content.
Of course, anyone can quickly point out how other games, Modern Warfare for example, handle their new maps that aren’t on the disc and weren’t made before the game even shipped. You create a separate playlist for those with the maps, and insert them into a regular play too in case all in the room have the maps. It’s not hard.
To be clear, you did not spend time “creating the DLC package the way we did” to allow everyone to play together. You designed it purposely to squeeze additional dollars out your consumers while the game was still fresh in their minds. That might seem clever in a board room, but not down here where people are being asked to pay for a god damn unlock code.