Gears maps: pay now, free later

Upcoming multiplayer maps for Epic Games' Gears of War will be available for "reasonable price" initially, free "a few months later."

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In late 2006, those who believe that all downloadable content for the Xbox 360 should be free thought they had found the perfect spokespeople in Epic Games. At the Spike TV Video Game Awards, where Gears of War had just scooped up four awards, Epic president Mike Capps said, "We always take care of our customers, we always give them stuff for free, and we're going to keep doing that forever. That's how we do it. This is Epic."

Unfortunately, it appears that it isn't just Epic who calls the shots. Speaking on the 1up podcast, Epic vice president Mark Rein and CEO Tim Sweeney dropped the bomb that upcoming map packs for the shooter actually won't be free...at first.

This caused a bit of an uproar among Gearheads, who took to the forums at EvilAvatar to voice their displeasure. Rein responded to put out the fires, clarifying that the map packs would follow a similar business model used with the bonus multiplayer maps released for Halo 2.

"Epic thinks the way to maximize the return on Gears of War is to give the maps away for free and Microsoft thinks the way to maximize the return on Gears of War is to sell the maps," said Rein. "So what we've agreed to do is to put these maps on sale at a reasonable price then make them free a few months later. They did this with the original Halo2 map pack and it was a huge success. Lots of people bought the maps and lots of people downloaded them when they became free. That's what is going to happen and it seems like a fair compromise for both companies and a win-win for Gears players."

Rein also said that the next map pack will feature four multiplayer maps, but was unable to give a price or release period for the download. A Gears of War update, which adds the new Annex gametype, will be available for free later this afternoon.

Discussion

434 comments
Gamundi08
Gamundi08

Yeah! I'm happy now! I didn't pay for new maps! I knew it! I should wait first! Rigth now the four maps are free!

abu123
abu123

atleast one good company knows that free stuff is good stuff for gamers

mforbesy
mforbesy

The 4 new maps are big & fun to play. Thanks Epic for some quality maps. Free would have been sweet but at least the maps are worth the 800 points or $10. No thanks to MS for forcing Epic to charge us.

The_Houston_Kid
The_Houston_Kid

"A Gears of War update, which adds the new Annex gametype, will be available for free later this afternoon." ?????? What? I thought that update 1. has already come out and 2. was free in the beginning... I sure didnt pay for annex... i dont know about the rest of yall.

MoK86
MoK86

enough with the lame multiplayer downloads give me SINGLE PLAYER content.

ALARMVIRUS
ALARMVIRUS

new maps honestly was is microsoft holding back from honest gamers, even cliffy b wanted free downloads for the game, i hope ut 3 wont be the same way, damn you microsoft well your still my favorite.

Warchild
Warchild

Wow, I never thought of the arguement we are all cows just waiting to be slaughtered. While it is true companies make games to make money, I'm not here to throw money at them willy-nilly. The people making the most off this deal isn't even the ones doing all the work for them, MS is. I've about had it with this new business model MS is pushing on us...make them pay now, later, and everywhere in between. I'm seriously thinking of switching camps...if only Sony made a decent controller. :/

Robbie8912
Robbie8912

4? that will be great value. Instead of the 2 COD 2 maps for $8.00. I am checking everyday for info on these beauties!

kharn_reborn
kharn_reborn

You know, there is nothing I love more than watching someone elses giblets roll off my shoulders as I run through them with my trusty shotgun. The chance to do that in 4 New Levels just seems unreal. I believe that I will pay the fee, just like I did with the 1st Halo 2 map pack. I am not a fan of delayed gratification... HaHa. Peace...

jedimastr
jedimastr

W/e i'm gunna buy them cause thier worth buying! but it is dumb that it's not completely free, it's those damb corparate monkeys in microsoft that are doin that suff!

roxomega
roxomega

ITS A FEW BUCKS!!!! programers worked to make the maps im gonna pay for them.... jesus. I like giving the peeps who make good games more money so they can make more GOOD games... anywho. you work u get paid.. you miss out on an easy adventure to score some G's then your an idiot all you newbs will pay n be happy when ur on the maps so it makes little dif.

sacker63
sacker63

Honestly, it's dumb that they aren't free. But you have to realize huge market share when you see it. The first two maps were free and EVERYONE got them. So now... you have to pay a couple bucks at most cuz microsoft will make %95 percent profit on it. Big deal. If you're that cheap, then why do you own an xbox 360 in the first place? The whole reason people make video games is to make money. However, if they're more than $3, then i'll get pissy.

Islandertj
Islandertj

I don't see what the big deal is. They'll eventually be free.

Fooljeff
Fooljeff

Prove microsoft wrong and don't buy the maps. I can wait.

bestbuy319
bestbuy319

HERES AN ISSUE IF YOU HAVE GOOD FRIEND ON XBOX LIVE THAT IS TO CHEAP TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW CONTENT WHEN IT COMES OUT YOU WONT BE ABLE TO PLAY WITH HIM FOR MONTHS THAT SUXS AND SO DOES BESTBUY

jedimastr
jedimastr

IM still a die hard microsoft fan, and gear of war fan either way so w/e, i'll pay for neve awsome gear maps! screw sony!

foxtek
foxtek

I HATE MICRO$OFT. epic content has a rep for being free. and then they force this bull$hit on them, microsoft, im not saying what, but something WILL happen to your servers if you dont change your way of thinking.

The_Houston_Kid
The_Houston_Kid

Im guessing a reasonable price will be 1 dollar per map minimum with no more than 2 per map. ill do 1 dollar but 2 only if I hear good things. to willripyouanew1... gears 3 is a sure thing even...

GoltanaZerg
GoltanaZerg

I'm curious to see the price range on the maps, and how long of a delay it will be before they become free as well.

LocastKilla21
LocastKilla21

As long as it isnt to much ill buy it new maps to own people on, sounds like fun to me.

DaClint91
DaClint91

I wonder what a reasonable price to Microsoft is?

TorugotoShinsan
TorugotoShinsan

Epic tries to be fair and Micro$oft come in and try to rape the gamers once more. It's times like this that make the happy that my PS2 and Gamecube are still rigged up and ready to play.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@Saaren Part of that big picture too, though, is that Microsoft put up a lot of money for Gears and to promote Gears (see Rein's response). Rein admitted that they're entitled to expect a return on that investment. Also, not all games are going to sell as well as Gears, so publishers/developers who do want to sell things on Live to help their financials see their offerings devalued everytime something is offered for free.

monkeyman360
monkeyman360

SnuffDaddyNZ yes the ps3 has a free online service but does it let u have unified friend's list across ALL games, voice chat, video chat, a market place that not only lets u download demos, arcade games, trailers, movies, tv shows, and has the biggest online community for a console? Not to mention the new stuff in the spring update such as the new instant messaging feature, and much more. that is all.

willripyouanew1
willripyouanew1

I think that 's bullcrap, Gears 2 it's a sure thing anyway, they just wanna cash in on Us the real fans. boooooooooooooh u s u c k !!!!!! EPIC BALLS!

Saaren
Saaren

People here don't seem to understand that the issue isn't that the maps WONT BE FREE, the issue is that Microsoft is trying to take Epics choice away from them. Look at the bigger picture for a second. Microsoft owns XboxLive (which is in the red). Microsoft also publishes Epic's game Gears of War. MS XboxLive wants MS Publishing to "encourage" Epic to charge for its maps. Anyone else see the problem here, yet?? Theres a conflict of interest... because ultimately it should be Epics choice what they sell, and for how much. Microsoft is playing two sides of the same field here... they want Epic to do well, but they want to scratch their own back, too.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

So, Sony offers free online play (correct me if I am wrong) and Microsoft charges to play online and charges for map packs that would be free if this was a PC game? This could make me turn.

matty_sen
matty_sen

is M$ who are forcing epic to make us pay dam it it shout be free i can think of it now i get home tierd and just want to playgears with my mates but i accept the invit but it says the other person has downloaded content that you dont have for the next three months

a-man-called-e
a-man-called-e

i think gears is a great game an the new maps will be very good for it has to be in the same quality... i know halo2 had a very good map pack but you cant compare great games with one of the best games ever(h2)

grandgundam3
grandgundam3

I think I'd be able to live a few months without new maps. Not that I'm a cheapskate, don't get me wrong, it's just that I don't play multiplayer Gears enough to warrant buying the maps, as opposed to when this was done on Halo 2, and I was on alot, so it was worth it.

fluffebunnie
fluffebunnie

I laugh at all the people who have supported these microtransactions from the start and now are complaining when it comes back to burn them. Take a stand and speak with your wallet and do not support this crap.

bingbashbosh
bingbashbosh

i played annex but it gets old pretty quick they should put in ctf !!!

flatfuel
flatfuel

I am , **** it , I have bought far more useless things then that from marketplace

chadyoung2
chadyoung2

I'm deciding if im going to buy the maps or what? What do you guys think I should do?

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@VegetaMaelstrom He might not have heard what Sony was originally planning for GTHD, either. Thankfully Sony canned that idea @_@ @cenz_is "why cant microsoft just let epic do its thing" Would you still be saying that if it was Microsoft who wanted the map-pack to be free and Epic wanted to charge for it? Just curious.

Poshkidney
Poshkidney

you might as well wait those few months

Lasafrog
Lasafrog

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cenz_is
cenz_is

why cant microsoft just let epic do its thing

-SiiLeNCE-
-SiiLeNCE-

the new annex game is pretty kewl i played it 30 mins ago :D lol and btw thats kinda dumb ill save my 5 bucks and wait 3 months ty

trickazzmark
trickazzmark

...wow...what crappy philosophy these people follow...pay now, free later? yea no thanx. MS keeps layin it down...greedy bastards!

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

I'm pretty sure Sony will be charging for DLC stefonte.

stefonte
stefonte

AND THIS IS WHY PS3 ROCKS!!! No charging for game updates!!!OR ONLINE ACCESS

randomgod
randomgod

drey323 new maps? 1st they need to fix the massive glicthes this title has on-line, i doubt the update will do anything....... haha how rong were you

randomgod
randomgod

y r people whining epic dont hav a choice il pay for them i got some points left over and ppl hoo r saying annex is for easy kills go chek xbox.com and be thoroughly disappointed

riveting1
riveting1

i agree with peeweeshift if you like a game developer then buy their stuff so they continue to make more good stuff. Its just like music if you like an artist than you want him to make more music. I will probualy buy these maps. I want more maps to come out and a new gears of war. But annex is cool, I have a question about it though. Can you get your Achievment seriously on it. Because you get hundreds of kills in like 5 rounds. Tell me at my gamertag. Blacktavish

diablobasher
diablobasher

Peeweeshift: The flaw in your argument is that while it takes a lot of time and effort to make a game, in comparison, making 4 maps is like a fart in the wind. Sure, i agree that charging for them is a good idea from a business standpoint. But seriously, if it's anything like the halo mappack (£15... Or 30 bucks roughly) then they can kiss my sorry can goodbye. I'm not a cheapskate, but i do know how long it takes for a team of mappers to make a fairly high quality, balanced multiplayer map, and the answer is, not all that long. Not enough to warrant charging more than a couple of quid for anyway (a few bucks)

scibbly
scibbly

annex is pretty fun. i am excited for some new maps

KILLAJV92
KILLAJV92

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]