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Is It Fair To Charge For DLC That’s Already On Disc?

by Ben Reeves on Nov 05, 2011 at 01:07 PM

Earlier this week, Epic released The Horde Command Pack DLC for Gears of War 3, but it turns out that much of that content was already on the disc, and players just needed to download an unlocked. Is that fair? Epic thinks so.

"We're not saying that everything on the disc is the product," Gears 3 executive producer Rod Fergusson told Kotaku in a recent interview. "The disc is another delivery mechanism."

According to Fergusson, in an attempt to unify a game’s online community, game developers want all players to have access to new DLC content whether they pay for it or not. This makes DLC a trick proposition. The solution is that many developers provide new DLC to all players, but only allow those who paid for it to use the DLC weapon skins or host a new DLC map.

"One of the concerns was we would have to have people download compatibility packs,” explains Fergusson. However, since Gears of War was delayed from its original released date, earlier this Spring, Epic felt it had the option to include it’s first DLC pack on the disc, so that everyone wouldn’t have to download the new content. "We felt it was a win/win, because no one is going to have to download anything huge when the DLC comes out."

Fergusson also said that he thought that there was so much on the original Gears of War 3 disc that he didn’t feel like Epic was shorting players who didn’t want to buy the DLC. You can read more about Kotaku’s interview with Fergusson here.