BioShock 2 MP DLC Already on Disc; 2K Explains

By Chris Faylor, Mar 12, 2010 10:40am PST The first piece of publisher 2K's "aggressive post-launch downloadable content plan" for BioShock 2 arrived yesterday, adding some new multiplayer characters, weapon upgrades and a higher rank cap in exchange for 400 Microsoft Points / $4.99.

However, buyers quickly noticed that the download itself was extremely small--23KB on PC, 108KB on Xbox 360 and 103KB on PlayStation 3--suggesting that the download wasn't adding new content, but rather unlocking content already on the game disc.

That suspicion was quickly addressed by 2K Games, which explained that this was done to avoid splitting the player base--if the data needed to support the multiplayer tweaks wasn't available to everyone, then those who hadn't purchased it wouldn't be able to properly play against those who had bought the extra characters and upgrades:

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.

I know some of you have strong beliefs about DLC, and I'm not here to sway your opinion or convince you to buy our stuff - if you like what we're offering, I hope you get it and enjoy it. If it's not your speed, enjoy BioShock 2 as we released it.

I want to let you know that DLC is not interfering with our patching capabilities, which are a top priority and are still being actively worked on. We're committed to supporting you and making BioShock 2 the best experience possible.

Of course, that doesn't answer the core question of "if it's already on the disc, why not make it available to everyone from the get-go"--a possible but entirely theoretical answer to which could involve the content being made under the downloadable content budget, and thus requiring the additional fee to break even and/or turn a profit.

As noted above, this particular add-on ("Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack") is only the first in 2K's "aggressive" plans. It remains to be see whether the additional single-player and multiplayer content due across the coming months is already on the disc as well.

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43 Threads | 146 Comments

  • Just for note to the people that think we're complaining about the 'new content' already being on the disc, that's not the point. The content being on the disc is the smoking gun that there was content made for this game during development that was intentionally withheld in order to get more money out of consumers.

    The point of DLC is supposed to be to add new content after the game has been completed, rather than withholding content from the game and making the final product suffer in order to wrangle more money out of consumers. If you'll forgive a little hyperbole, it's a bit like if the game was originally designed to have 8 weapons, but then they decided to lock out 4 of them so they could sell them back to you later as DLC. The game comes out, and the game is noticably lacking in weapons (Enemies in far off alcoves that look like they're supposed to be sniped, but you have no sniper rifle). But wait, you can buy these weapons online! To use a real-world example; The Sims 3 was released and it was incredibly noticeable that a lot of stuff was missing, yet the missing items were actually available as DLC from the second the game launched.

    You can say 'But you pay for more fun' all you like, it doesn't make the process any more despicable. Games are incredibly expensive to buy, and it's not fair on consumers to cripple games just so the publisher/developer can make more money AFTER you've discovered that stuff is absent. Some people might argue that games are expensive to develop as well, but the thing is if you're developing this stuff DURING the development cycle, then it's costing that development budget to make them. DLC is supposed to pay for the development time that went into creating that new content, not for double-dipping with us paying full price for a game and then paying AGAIN for content that was created in the same period.

  • I understand what they're doing and why they're doing it but I don't agree with it. It was annoying when Halo quarantined all the players without the new maps and prevented them from joining certain game modes. If the content is completely ready before the game even goes gold to the point of putting it on the disc, it should be included with the game. I am all for purchasing extra levels/maps for games as they're created and released after the main game is released but if it's finished beforehand and even included along with your purchase, it is pure BS that they charge you more for it to actually use it. What's to stop them from doing that with larger portions later? You get towards the end of the game and then it goes to a black screen... "To fight the final boss and save the world please insert $5 (400 points). 9... 8... 7 "