Just Cause 2 dev bemoans 'crap' DLC, forced multiplayer

Avalanche Studios boss says publishers and developers "run around as headless chickens" attempting to make money from DLC and shoehorned multiplayer.

Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg has shared some strong words about the downloadable content strategies and "forced" multiplayer that he claims publishers and developers are using to make money from gamers. Speaking to Eurogamer, the Just Cause producer claimed that offering up new DLC is not the best way to go about driving player engagement.

DLC is not the answer, Sundberg says.

"DLC is not needed to keep players engaged if the game is well executed," he said. "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 went on to explain that he likes DLC and stands by the add-ons made available for Just Cause 2, because "it was the game itself" that kept gamers playing, not the DLC, he said. The developer was also critical of the trend to create a multiplayer component solely to deter used game sales.

"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," he said. "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."

Sundberg pointed to Just Cause 2 as a game that remains actively played without such strategies because it is a "full-out playground," in which players can spend 15 minutes or 15 hours. He said in March 2012, some two years after the game was released, the title had over 100,000 unique players each week, with some of those gamers logging over 200 hours of play time.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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347 comments
LessThanMike
LessThanMike

Oh man, I would love multiplayer, just to able to run around in free roam in just cause 2 would be AMAZING!!!

CruiserCaptain
CruiserCaptain

He makes a valid point. But Honestly I'll pick this game up if I can pal around with a frew friends engageing in the same free-roam sandbox joy. Actually I didn't pick it up right away because there was no multiplayer freeroam.

Gerrard_W
Gerrard_W

Was this supposed to be irony? JC2 had a bunch of **** DLC, but devs had no time to fix actual issues with the game and released a whole 1 patch nearly half a year after release. Same thing happened with the first game, except without the DLC part. Do you think I will be buying JC3?

jthotty
jthotty

If its over 100k unique players, i hate to brake it to you, but it means people sold their game because its not worth to keep it.  Try making a game that is actually worth keeping

 

a0me
a0me

Hey Avalanche Studios, you can release a multiplayer DLC for Just Cause 2 anytime you want.

thepayne78
thepayne78

Hey  Just Cause 2 developer know what DLC I would actually buy for Just Cause 2? Cheat dlc that gives me infinite health and ammo and  the ability not to get killed no matter how far you fall. Because after I beat the game it would have been really fun just to go around playing the game and blowing stuff to kingdom come and not worry  about dying.

 

I do agree though a lot of publishers see DLC as away to milk money out of their customers for their games. 

Haplo17
Haplo17

Oh absolutely...the DLC craze has gotten out of hand, seems half the game you get these days are holding back content that was originally intended as part of the game, just so they can charge you extra to get the entire product you thought you would be getting in the first place.  On disc DLC is some of the shadiest crap I've seen since the single player games requiring internet connection copy protection thing started (thanks for that "great" idea Ubisoft), nothing like not being able to use something you bought..  DLC should be used to ADD to the game, not to just gouge more money out of you.  I'm sick of dropping full price money on half done products, and then being expected to pay again to get the rest of the game.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I suspect there are many others in the industry that consider this a statement of truth but aren't willing to admit as much.  Unfortunately, principles and pragmatism are easily sacrificed on the altar of profits when there's money to be made or you're trying to keep your company afloat.

george43
george43

*cough*Mass Effect 3*cough*

neumanbr
neumanbr

"I've just paid for the crap that developers decided to cut because they didn't have the time to get into the game." I agree... but wait, I paid for crappy Just Cause 2 DLC before! o.O

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

SOOOOOOOOOOO, wut bout Juz Coz 3?? u can juz ask SquareEnix for munneh

Noformation
Noformation

Sounds like this publisher wants to side with "the people" in order to gain profit. Oh, but his DLC isn't crap because the game was so good... Give me a break.

CapnXtraObvious
CapnXtraObvious

A perfect game is a game that's fun both alone and with someone else.

Random example: Saints Row 2 was fun for me but I never was into playing it alone for some reason. Just felt dull. I only played it if someone else was willing to join. Saints Row: The Third, on the other hand, I enjoyed alone as well. I actually finished the game alone that time around.

CapnXtraObvious
CapnXtraObvious

Here's the logic. Why create such a thing as DLC at all when you can put all that stuff in the game during developing process right away?

eriktkire
eriktkire

JC2 was reason enough to look forward to what this team comes up with as their next game... this is just icing on the cake.

talamalopilis
talamalopilis

im very scared that games are starting to become as costly and painfully addicting as a drug,, i must add that its not a fun addiction either. YOU KNOW maybe the wii U will be successful if it sticks to the business model that gamers love and leave the subscriptions to microsoft and sony. they would win over many gamers including me

talamalopilis
talamalopilis

i think that we will see the gaming industry split off into 2 oppositions very soon, there will be the companies trying to addict players to dlc or subscrition services like EA and Blizzard, and there will be sort of the 'rebels' that try to make fair games and side with the gamer.. and no doubt there will be battle. 

nathangray
nathangray

Oh, this is truly beautiful. Now all the people that keep trying to defend dlc and forced multiplayer (looking at you, ME3) can get it straight from the horse's mouth.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Finally, someone with an eye for the real consumer and what we really want. Stop with the multiplayer in everything. And stop with the nickle and dime DLC crap. I am SICK of it!!!!!!!

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

finally, somebody in the professional field that agrees with me regarding multiplayer being forced upon us in games where it is absolutely unnecessary. although half-hearted (id use another word there but you know how it is here) co-op modes also hurt, whats the worst is deathmatch type multiplayer being thrown into games where it just doesnt fit. it also goes the other way too. i dont think all games with a focus on multiplayer must have a single player mode. i would not have a problem with buying a call of duty or battlefield game with no single player campaign. it would free up more of the game's development time, disc space, and budget towards improving the multiplayer which is their obvious focus anyways. besides, the single player campaigns in games like those are usually average at best anyways and for systems with limited disc space like the 360, it needs all the space it can get and single player campaigns are a huge chunk of that.

thingta42
thingta42

And look what crapcom did with Tekken versus Streetfighter a bunch of characters for 20$ for DLC aka Disk Locked Content. Its not needed. You've already gotten 60$ outta of the person but ohh to play those locked characters you need to make that 60$ game cost 80$.

 

Its one of the reasons why i never bought DLC for Halo 3. You pay 60$ for the game then pay 15$ or whatever on a few maps or modes. By then you've already paid 100$ for a game just so u can keep playing online. It's stupid.

thingta42
thingta42

Lol look at capcom with its DLC for Dragons dogma, some of the worst DLC i've seen for a game,. Even worse the very first screen you see if about DLC being released.

 

How about some useful story DLC so i can make sense of what little plot there is in this game? I just hate the mappack bull. It just splits the community way too much. Look at AVP3 Mappack DLC for a game that not many people play to begin with. WHO DOES THAT?

 

Remember in AVPGold when there was about 10 or so mappacks with like a dozen or so maps in all for free? What hapepend? Now you pay almost 20 bucks for like five maps half of which are just recycled from previous games (Im looking at you COD)

 

I think the main reason why people are brainwashd into DLC and mappacks and stuff is because of Activision with COD back in 2006. I never buy DLC. Only times i see DLC worth it is when they include it into GOTY edditions with games. One of the reasons why im holding back from Getting Skyrim on the PC is because im just waiting for that GOTY edition.

Qixote
Qixote

I'm glad to see someone in his position taking that stand.  I've been saying this for years. I don't want multiplayer added to a game that is obviously a singleplayer type game.  The saddest part is, gamers still buy this crap.  So companies keep making it. Meanwhile, the singleplayer game keeps dying a slow death. 

Mawy_Golomb
Mawy_Golomb

Just Cause 2 was fun (to a certain point). I'd give it a 7 out of 10 rather than a score like an 8 or 8.5. While it's grappling hook and explosions were a lot of fun, the vehicles handled too poorly, there were too few weapons, and there weren't nearly as many different activities in the game as other open world games. Plus, aside from the story missions being way too short, the game felt very grindy when it came to finishing just the story. And there wasn't really that much originality in the mission structure, save for once in a while with a few of the missions.

 

So, yeah. It was entertaining, but not as much as many critics or fans made it out to be. A game shouldn't be 100 hours of nothing but destroying settlements. Much like how a game shouldn't be just hundreds of fetch or kill quests (I'm looking at you, Skyrim).

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Sidenote: I really enjoyed Just Cause 2, it was a really fun 'chaotic' open world game, despite the story and voice acting being a joke. Thanks to playstation plus I got to play it, otherwise I wouldn't have.

VALikimlav
VALikimlav

I'm waiting for the day gamers get wise enough to see this DLC bubble pop.

cirugo
cirugo

bravo!  I agree with this man.

ElFlechero
ElFlechero

There's still people playing because there's plenty of used copies for sale on amazon!

AdamK47
AdamK47

Absolutely loved playing Just Cause 2.  Awesome game!

 

I also agree with Sudberg's assessment on forcing multiplayer options on a single player game.  If a developer chooses to develop a great single player game, they should not be forced to shoehorn in multiplayer at the request of a publisher.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

I like dlc, extra content is nice... Sadly no one makes extra content anymore since they figured out how they can easily make money selling things that were clearly in the original design documents.

If a year after release fans/devs notice something that would be cool in the game and decide to add it in, I like that... But I guess that's another thing "good business practice" has taken away from good old fashioned fun.

servb0ts
servb0ts

Its sad to see developers make crappy games, and have crappy excuses for DLC purchases. the only thing sadder than that, is fanboys blindly defending their every move.

Cryptic_Shadow
Cryptic_Shadow

I will buy DLC for a game if it is worth it.  I have never bought the DLC because of multiplayer.  It simply isn't a selling point for me.

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

This guy said exactly what i think. No i don't want to pay 5 bucks to get a new skin for my character and a new weapon or vehicle. Take the add-on for Oblivion for example, that is the way to do a dlc. Instead of forcing us useless stuff they worked to give us an expansion with 30+ hours of gameplay (yeah i know, the horsearmor was fail but nonetheless...). How about stop with "dlc" and give us expansions?

frodo10
frodo10

I think DLC is a fantastic idea but in all honesty 99% ( for me anyway) of the DLC out there is a joke. It has to be one of the worst things about this generation of consoles.

 

I didn't play just cause two so cant say anything on that but this guy was spot on, not many developers use it for anything beyond a quick cash grab.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

I agree, I not fully against the DLC thing(only if it exist fully outside the disc), as long the DLC gives at least 10 hours more of game, and they don't keep releasing an endless amount of DLC, like EA IS doing to ME3.

jcuffley1209
jcuffley1209

I concur once again. BTW Just Cause is actually a pretty cool game. 

kurtven
kurtven

He's right.

Let;s take  Forza Motorsport 4, good game, but the DLC has more than doubled the price of the Game. I don't think that is Fair to us Gamers.

Fallout 3 is one of the best games there has good DLC.

The same goes for GTA IV, but the only downside was that the DLC was way to short.

Zacmaccraken
Zacmaccraken

One of the BEST graphical engines on the industry!!!!! The amount of detail, variation, depth, frame rates, drawing distances, weather and water effects, types of vehicules and environmental destructibility make this game an example of what an engine should be!!!!!! 

Doomguard3
Doomguard3

Hmm, I still think Just Cause 2 would have been much better if I could have explored the insanely big playground with a buddy or two, it kinda got a bit lonely in Panau after 100 hours,

tushwacker
tushwacker

I think focus should shift away from competitive multiplayer and tack-on coop modes and toward coop in full campaigns. Almost every great single-player game that has come out in the past decade could have been 10x more awesome with coop IMO. And games that just had ok campaigns (like halo 2 or 3) became lots of fun simply because they did have coop. If a great game like fallout3 or mass effect2 had coop (which they totally should have), they would have been sooo much more awesome.As for DLCs, I personally think the best DLCs ever released were for Borderlands. They added enough play time and content to be well worth the money, and the vanilla Borderlands was big enough and complete enough on its own that it didn't feel like the DLCs should have been in the original release.

Wula_
Wula_

Games that get cut up and resold as DLC annoys me alot. Luckily I do research into said game I am interested in playing. When I find out the devs did that. I just wait till it goes on sale via steam or I find it in a pawn shop at a quarter of the retail price. And then after playing through the game I ask myself "do you think the DLC is worth it?". I can easily say that I say "no" most of the time.

 

Makes me wonder. If devs didn't dissect their games a few months before launch. Could they possibly see more money from me? and maybe others?

minivirus2
minivirus2

In my current game collection, I think the only franchise that screams "THE DLC IS WORTH IT!" would be titled Fallout and Borderlands. I'm not one who pays for very much DLC, because I can't reall justify spending 100+ on a single game for extra MP maps and bonus items. Fallout and Borderlands, both had extremely good DLC content and I'm glad i paid for every bit of it. Were Fallout 3/NV or BLs short games? No! Did their DLC effectively increase their playtime by 2x? Yes. Did it feel like their DLC was left out for the expressed purpose of earning money when it could have been in the original game? Nope! If more devs made games like these 2/3, I think more players would be likely to retain their copies for a much longer time period.

istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

"I've just paid for the crap that developers decided to cut because they didn't have the time to get into the game."

 

I don't think it has anything to do with deadlines, and everything to do with trimming the fat and selling it back to the biggest nutbag fanboys.

 

DLC is nothing but a scam, and I'm eager to see just how bad it gets before the general populace realizes what idiots they've been for supporting it.

jagcivtec
jagcivtec

If more games were like JC2 and Skyrim, and less were like CoD I would have a simply huge library of games instead of the tiny one I own now.  Everything now revolves around multiplayer, scripted events, cinematic presentation, graphic prowess, while actual fun and gameplay have taken the back seat to development. 

jagcivtec
jagcivtec

Proudly I have put 200+ hrs into JC2.  It's simply the best single player game out there, has so much to do that you can play forever.  This game together with GTA san andreas are just at the top of the fun and value pyramid. 

Q-abs
Q-abs

DLC is the reasons I keep waiting cool games released in "gold" or "game of the year" edition. And DLC also the reasons why I dont play new cool games everytime they've been released...