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Just Cause 2 dev blasts fellow developers for squeezing money out of gamers with “crap” DLC

by Ethan Powers on July 26, 2012


Two years after release, Just Cause 2 still manages to log over 100,000 unique players each week, with some putting in over 200 hours of game time. While giving players the ability to explore a vast set of tropical islands with unprecedented player freedom undoubtedly plays a role in the game’s longevity, Avalanche Studios boss Christofer Sundberg tells Eurogamer that the title’s success is due to the fact that Just Cause 2 is a polished and deep game which hasn’t attempted to screw gamers out of money with cash-grabbing DLC.

“DLC is not needed to keep players engaged if the game is well executed,” he said, going on to state that developers and publishers “run around as headless chickens” trying to squeeze every penny out of gamers through the concept of add-on content:

“We create a game allowing players to properly explore and have fun and not focusing so much on the actual end goal of the game. As most publishers and developers have run around as headless chickens the last three years looking for a way to make money DLC was definitively a tool to try to keep players engaged, but how many games have been truly successful with DLC? Not that many.”

Sundberg noted that although Just Cause 2 saw minimal DLC, the content was restricted to aesthetic items and weapon/vehicle packs, and that it was the launch product itself that has kept players engaged.

“I like DLC, but the DLC we released for JC2 was standard stuff and they haven’t helped keep the players motivated to keep on playing. It was the game itself. The big thing now is to force multiplayer into games that are really single-player games just to combat second hand sales and that makes absolutely no sense as it just consumes budget and does not add any value except on the back of the box.”

The Avalanche boss added that DLC can in fact add value to the core experience of a game, but that very few developers as of late have managed to employ the content successfully and instead resort to adding on “crap” that they weren’t able to include with the game at launch:

“Proper DLC that adds VALUE is great but so far very few games have motivated me to actually pay for the DLC. I’ve just paid for the crap that developers decided to cut because they didn’t have the time to get into the game. ‘We save that for DLC’ – famous last words.”

Sundberg concluded by boldly commenting on what he sees as pure speculation within the industry in regard to the future of games distribution, saying, “I do not believe in the death of consoles and the bright future of F2P.” Though Sundberg’s comments may not sit well with those involved with the iOS and F2P models, there is unquestionably truth in his statements. Analysts and developers alike have contributed their “two cents” as to how the decline of the console era is imminent and the era of iOS and free-to-play is on the rise, though the only certainty the industry currently holds is uncertainty.

“They don’t know s*** and neither do I.”“These years of recession and showing how desperate this industry can really get has been very interesting,” he said. “I’ve never seen so many experts on predicting what is going to be the way of making money for game developers and publishers. We’ve got the stubborn console game developers, the F2P developers, the Facebook game developers, the iOS developers – all holding the key to the industry’s future, but you know what? They don’t know s*** and neither do I.”

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  • Frank

    THANK YOU! Very few people in the biz realize this. EA, THQ, and many other devs and publishers keep pushing out trash dlc. That’s why sales are plummeting. They’re releasing halfassed games and think we’re stupid enough to embrace them. Don’t even get me started on the whole iOS and F2P. Any company that decides to go those routes is signing off to kill themselves and lose millions/billions. People play games on their phones to kill time. No one goes home and says “I can’t wait to play Angry Birds 3749302 for 5 hours”. Wow, just realized that milking Sequels happens on the iOS too, but because those games don’t cost millions, Ubisoft isn’t saying s*it. Look at DC Universe, its free to play. And yeah, a lot of people I know, including myself downloaded it after it went f2p, but once Uncharted 3, Modern warfare 3, and skyrim released, game was abandoned and deleted. No comparison between an iOS/f2p vs a AAA title. Id rather spend my hard earned money on a QUALITY $60 game than a $2 game on ios. And again, something devs and publishers lost site of; quality. P

  • RROD$2PLAY

    I love Just Cause 2 but mostly for the fun out of the story line gameplay. I found the gameplay to be rather repetitive but to just go around and do nothing it’s just about the best game out there to do that with.

    Graple hook cars/trucks to helicopters or planes. Parachute out of your plane to land on another midflight and throw the pilot out or just blowing everything up with an awesome tank, chopper or bad ass 4wd car that has a roof mounted missle launcher/machine gun.

  • ShockedPumpkin

    I agree with the developers statement! Some games nail the dlc, like: the elder scrolls: oblivion, and som games like Cod that give out 2 maps per month are just stupid. F**k CoD…

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