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.

Written By

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

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350 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!

LessThanMike
LessThanMike

@CruiserCaptain The game is totally worth it just for the sheer amount of stuff you can do without even touching the story missions, I beat this game like a year ago and still jump in to just mess around in the world.

Colekern
Colekern

 @Gerrard_W You'll probably buy it. And the DLC was $ .99, Soit's sort of acceptable. 

ilantis
ilantis

 @Gerrard_W The dlc for just cause 2 were mainly those of the limited edition and a new car I think. So it's acceptable.

Colekern
Colekern

 @jthotty Really? Just Cause 2 STILL has a strong mod community.

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

 @jthotty 100k players each week.... That's a lot, lol. Most games don't even get there at launch, much less 2 years later.

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

 @neumanbr Did you even read the article? Those DLC are simple add on vehicles and weapons, they don't actually add anything to the game...

BlackLense
BlackLense

 @KimCheeWarriorX Yes, just make CoD MMO already so that customer dont have to pay for a new CoD game every year, thats my suggestion.

a0me
a0me

 @Mawy_Golomb I loved each of the 200+ hours I spent destroying every single enemy settlements in JC2. The gameplay is just that much fun.

nyran125
nyran125

Elder Scrolls is must more than fetch and kill quests..theres a MASSIVE story in there to and tons of character building, that youve obviously skipped.

jasonr71
jasonr71

 @HipHopBeats 

 

When you purchase a Car and you want to add alloys, or if you purchase something cheaper like an iPhone and you need a case for it, do you get the case for nothing? Does the car dealerships throw in alloys for nothing?, the answer is no!  These are simply add-ons as well, however I am giving you a more expensive item when we talk about alloy wheels for a car, but the price you pay for an iPhone compared to a game, and based on how many units are sold across the world,  that the iPhone should come with a case, even if it was a soft case! Now a case for an iPhone, several companies produce them, and they like any mass produced product is manufactured on an assembly line using factory machinery that would  probably produce 100 units every 15 minutes, talking hypothetically!

Now software, well that's a completely different story, and even though the machinery in a factory is only one of the major expenses when it comes to making and selling a product like an iPhone case, to produce software and than the cost for marketing the software, it can be just expensive simply because a product like the iPhone case will be more successful as a selling item because there is a larger market, which the figures show something like every 3rd person in the world owns an iPhone or an iPod. When a gaming company producers a DLC, the company knows the DLC is not going to sell as many units/downloads like the amount of 3rd party products sold for the iPhone, but they do know that it's going to be a more realistic figure within a smaller market, and how many units they sell, will usually be at least 80 percent of what the original core game sales were when it was released, and than more of the DLC will sell at a slower pace over a longer period of time.

 

You wouldn't be saying this if you were the one putting in the long hours as a Project Manager, developer, 3d modeller etc..

I not sure what rock you came out from, but you don't get anything for free in life, especially when it's quality and worth it's value, and if it's not, that's when you have every right to complain about what it's was worth in dollar value, and the software company should have enough common sense, especially if  they want customers to keep purchasing their products in future, to rectify the problems via a patch. Like any business, how are they suppose to survive if they are not making any profits to pay their staff, consult with the latest hardware manufacturers in regards to compatibility issues, working with companies like Nvidia and Radeon to make sure the software is developed to their standards, and to purchase the latest computing technology to develop such great games and DLC's . I'll give you an example, I remember purchasing the first Rockstar Game GTA 1, the game play was good but look how far Rockstar Games has come since the release of their very first game, the technology, animation, 3d modelling and great script writing by some of the best writers in the movie industry, just like the latest Max Payne installment. Now companies can not afford to do what Rockstar Games have done by giving software away for nothing! Even if gamers pay for the original game, the DLC's are produced and developed to the same standards as the core games, but obviously don't take as long to develop and to release, however they still cost money to make these add-ons, and that's just common sense!

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

 @HipHopBeats Free DLCs could also attract people to buying the games, it extends market shelf life and people won't sell the games which developers want.

Gerrard_W
Gerrard_W

 @Colekern 

it's not acceptable when all of it consisted of either pre-order bonuses, which are a bullshit for another discussion, or things that were blatantly withheld from the game just so they could be sold later.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

 @Colekern  the mod community would be even bigger if the game was open to modders. (no tools released) but the dlc for JC2 is definitely crap, not the sort of stuff you want or need to buy. (it'd be $9 to buy all the DLC, not 99c)

 @LessThanMike  Multiplayer for JC2 is being worked on by the mod community. www.jc-mp.com

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

 @nyran125

You're right. Fetch and kill quests. A massive mediocre story. A dead world that never reacts to one thing you do.

And stat building is not Role Playing. So there is no character building only ability building.

Funny enough though I still really enjoy the game.

BlackLense
BlackLense

 @jasonr71  @HipHopBeats A car don't have digital "DLC" exp: digital wheel?, that why DLC should be free unless its physical thing like expansion pack back in 90.

jasonr71
jasonr71

 @HipHopBeats Sorry about the grammar, I have left a few words out because I'm on a lot of medication for an illness. I don't mean to be a smart a.. by implying that you have been under a rock for your entire life, it's more of a figure of speech.

jasonr71
jasonr71

 @Gamer_4_Fun  @HipHopBeats  I'm not trying to argue the point with HipHopBeats and yourself, but if you both read what I have posted, you will be looking at it from another perspective, and yes I know it's pretty long to read , but I would like your opinion after reading my response, I'm interested in  yours and HipHopBeats thoughts and feedback on this subject!

Cheers