Fergusson Justifies Selling You Content That’s Already On Your Gears of War 3 Disc

You know that first batch of Gears of War 3 DLC you downloaded the other day with your $30 Season Pass? Did you wonder why that download only racked up to a couple of megabytes? That’s because you already have that content — it’s on the Gears 3 disc you purchased in the store.

Gears 3 players all over the Internet are pretty incensed by the fact that the DLC they paid for isn’t DLC at all, necessarily — what you downloaded from Xbox Live was an unlock code, essentially, and the Horde Command Pack DLC is already stored on Gears 3 discs players bought at retail. Rod Fergusson, Epic Games’ executive producer, doesn’t see a problem with that. He told Kotaku in an interview that the disc isn’t the game, but rather, the delivery system for receiving the game.

See, what happened was, Gears 3 got pushed back from its spring release date. When that happened, the devs over at Epic were already putting in the time on its various DLC packages, since no game is released today that’s complete when you buy it. By the time Gears 3 was released back in September, Epic figured they’d just slap the Horde Command Pack on the disc and let users unlock it when they purchased the DLC — no muss, no fuss. They didn’t even try to hide it, Fergusson said; some other studios or publishers use the same trick, but they’ll throw a digital video or something else in the download file in order to pass it off as DLC-sized.

Fergusson said throwing the DLC on the disc was a good decision on Epic’s part, because it would have made all players download the DLC in some form or another anyway. In order to allow users to see certain content that others have paid for — like vanity multiplayer items, for example — all the users have to have that content on their hard drives. Leaving the relevant portions accessible on the disc means instead of making every player stop and download the content regardless of whether they wanted to buy it, this way, the downloading is kept to a minimum.

Rod also argues that there was, in fact, a s–tload of content made available to Gears players for their $60 purchase. You get the fully cooperative campaign, Horde and Beast modes (both of which are co-op-based) and the massive multiplayer mode. He thinks players just have trouble with the idea that the content was on the disc, and if it hadn’t been, no one would have had a problem with the DLC or the game as purchased. And in Fergusson’s mind, the disc in this case is just the means in which you’re given the content — having it doesn’t necessarily entitle you to the content on it.

If you ask me, everything Fergusson says makes sense — and yet it still sets a dangerous precedent. Gears 3 does include lots of content and is a worthy $60 purchase, but the prevalence of DLC in every game, and its planning and creation being inserted earlier and earlier into the development process, makes me worry about the idea that you can buy a disc but not be entitled to everything that’s on it.

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5 Comments on Fergusson Justifies Selling You Content That’s Already On Your Gears of War 3 Disc

Nate

On November 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Yes, I think most of the fuss is over the fact that it was included on the disc. However, the question I have is whether the money used to develop the the DLC was, in fact, leftover production money. If that is the case, then gamer’s have every right to be upset.

Perhaps you could make that allegation about any post-release DLC pack, however, the fact that they were able to include it on the disc makes it more likely, I think. And yes, it does set a dangerous precedent that could cost gamer’s in the future.

prime88

On November 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Thats wat I like to hear, “Hey guys, I know u just bought that disc, but just to let u know,u didnt really buy it, u just bought part of it.” Wow, thanks epic, now I see the producers for the money hungry whores they freely admit they are, if u had time to make more content, and the space on the disc, why didnt u just include it with the game?

MrFlibble

On November 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

In my mind it’s not so much an issue of the content being included on the disc, rather that the content COULD be included on the disc.

If developers are taking content which was developed and completed before the release of the game, and was in a condition able to be included on the disc, then I have a problem with them charging extra money for that.

If content was completed during the development cycle of the game itself, then it should be part of the game. If content is developed after the game is released, I have no problem paying for it as DLC.

They did no extra work that we hadn’t already paid them for with the initial $60 purchase price, and as such I’m really irked that they would charge gamers an extra fee for something which amounted to zero further financial burden to them.

Timothy

On November 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Okay as long as theybare telling the truth I rally don’t care. If the game was released on time I wouldn’t have had it, so I am paying for the extra time they put in these maps. If the dlc dev team had time to finish while the rest of the team polished than it saves room on myharddrive. Of course it also answers the question that’s been nagging me about how people without the dlc can see some of the stuff. Ohh and I paid full price for it cause I’m too cheap too buy season pass so I have every right to my opinion

Mr C.

On November 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

“You get the fully cooperative campaign, Horde and Beast modes (both of which are co-op-based) and the massive multiplayer mode.”

Sorry but apart from Beast mode everything else was on Gears 2, and how is the multiplayer “massive”? Apart from a few extra modes its again the same.
EPIC – F**king joke, the new Activison.