Microsoft Forces Valve to Price Left 4 Dead DLC on 360

By Nick Breckon, Sep 08, 2009 1:20pm PDT The decision to charge for the Xbox 360 version of the upcoming "Crash Course" Left 4 Dead DLC was ultimately made by Microsoft, according to Valve's Chet Faliszek.

"We own our platform, Steam. Microsoft owns their platform. They wanted to make sure there's an economy of value there," said Faliszek to Eurogamer.

The first content release for Left 4 Dead, which included a new Survival mode and extra Versus maps, was free on both platforms. Crash Course, set to include a new campaign for the game, will be free on PC and cost 560 Microsoft Points ($7) on the 360.

"[Microsoft] helped us get the first one out for free," explained Faliszek. "We had the one DLC out for free. And I think... they have to look and say, wow, we're kind of being unfair to everybody else if these guys can do that."

Added Faliszek: "It's not like we're looking at this as, 'Oh my god, we need some money, we're going to charge,' obviously, or we'd do it on the PC. So it's just kind of the way the system works right now."

Valve will also have to put a price on its upcoming Xbox 360 Team Fortress 2 DLC pack.

"On the consoles, they want us to charge money for [DLC], because that's in their model, and our model is very much more to grow the community by giving out free updates," said Valve president Gabe Newell last year. "That's harder for us."

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  • ...and in other breaking news, the sky is blue and water is wet.

    I freely admit that I pay for Xbox Live, because I'm forced to since the only way to play online on the 360 is through Microsoft's pay service. It's really sad though that for all that it's not, Live isn't free. Microsoft seems very keen to hold onto that cash cow, despite the competition offering similar free services (PSN and Steam). No surprise that they force developers and publishers to charge for the content they'd rather serve free of charge as well.

    Guess they've gotta make up those billions lost on shoddy hardware *somewhere*, and last I checked, people weren't lining up to buy hard drives with ridiculous $-per-gigabyte ratios and overpriced wireless network adapters. But I digress.

    Live is a great service. Microsoft needs to loosen the reins a little bit and quit being such greedy bastards though. I love my 360, my Ps3, and both of my gaming PCs; truth be told, if an FPS comes out on all 3, I buy it for PC because a) online play will always be free, b) KB+M control is still superior to controllers, and c) there's the updates, freebies, and mod communities to keep PC FPS alive.