Just Cause 2 developer criticizes DLC and forced multiplayer in games

Avalanche studio head believes DLC and monetization strategies are ruining game creation

Christofer Sundberg, Avalanche Studio head, is not a fan of DLC. He is certainly not a fan of 'forced' multiplayer either, and he believes that these schemes are getting in the way of developing true games. To Sundberg, publishers and developers are simply approaching the problem of making a profit in the wrong way, and that DLC is definitely not the way to go in the future.

"DLC is not needed to keep players engaged if the game is well executed," said Sundberg to Eurogamer. "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."

Commenting on DLC, one cannot forget that Just Cause 2 was also a title to feature additional content. To this, Sundberg replies that said DLC was not added on to make gamers pay for content already within the game; he says that it was the merit of Just Cause 2 that got gamers to pick up the title, not the DLC. While DLC is certainly a problem, Sundberg also lashes out against the necessity of multiplayer for some games that is meant to slow down 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."

Perhaps some games fit this description, as many fans were rather critical of hearing Mass Effect 3 and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood adding multiplayer into franchises that were perceived not to need them. While critical reception of many titles' multiplayer aspects has been positive, many others have not. Sundberg adds that Just Cause 2 stands up as a positive game where DLC and multiplayer were not a contributing factor in the games' success. Even two years after launch, the game still sees over 100,000 unique players a week with over 200 hours of gameplay time recorded.

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Latest comments (5)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Nice to see there's some common sense out there. Just MAKE GOOD GAMES, people. Hell, I'll pay full price for a boxed game that has a ton of replay value over a digital game that's easily replaced by the next clone and even more easily forgotten a few months or years down the road once it vanishes off the internet.
That and hell, another monetizing scheme isn't adding anything to the gaming experience (even if everyone else is doing it because they say it's where things are going).
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert8 years ago
At first I hated the multiplayer in Mass Effect 3. I thought there's definetly no way getting a good story or even co-op missions that can compete with the main game. And there's is no way it could compete.
But EA has developed a solid Horde-mode that is challenging and fun to play. Not to forget that every multiplayer-addon was for free ever since and always introduced new characters weapons and maps.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 8 years ago
"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,"
It's a shame that many developers/publishers have come to hate the mod scene. Yes, every mod that comes out could (conceivably) be a paid-for DLC, but mods do so much to help the long-tail of a game's sales, as well as disrupting second-hand sales. Look at DayZ's immense popularity - if it weren't for mods, ARMA 2 wouldn't have sold even half as many as it has. I do think publisher's have tried to become the be-all and end-all when it comes to games - producing so much DLC and forcing multi - and that it's counter-productive.

As a final thought, there's a Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod in the works. If the reality of it is half as good as the pre-release hype, it'll do for JC2 what DayZ has done for ARMA 2. And that means Avalanche and Eidos are going to earn a vast amount from a free-from-developer-costs fan-made mod.
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Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 8 years ago
I was thinking a while back that it might be time publishers / a retail chain to try a different sales model. Namely, for the retailer to give publishers a slice of their 2nd-hand game sales, in exchange for lower wholesale prices on new games.
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Danik Junivic7 years ago
But no multiplayer in Just Cause 2 was a big let down on top of being non compatible with older versions of Windows OSes.
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