There’s no reason to force everyone to keep paying for content in order to play with friends
It’s shocking to see how quickly this has become a sort of industry tradition. Games, especially multiplayer first-person shooters, have a tendency of releasing multiple expansion packs post-release that include new maps. From the developer’s point of view, the move is to give their players new content to absorb. However, the community is ultimately forced to purchase the onslaught of map packs in order to keep playing with their friends or on their favorite servers.
Servers keep on adding the new maps into their rotations, booting players who have yet to purchase the new DLC. This becomes an annoyance, as one player will not be able to enjoy a specific map with his friend, if one of them has yet to purchase it.
Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb has expressed concern over the same matter in IGN’s latest Podcast Unlocked episode. Dubbing the consequences of such a tradition as “really dangerous,” he said that this way of selling DLC can only help in splitting up a community. He further called it “fracturing the community,” and praised the way 343 Industries has moved around this obstacle for Halo 5: Guardians.
The developer of the latest installment in the iconic Master Chief’s franchise has made a commitment to give away free DLC maps to everyone on a monthly basis. This week, it announced the next free update in this freebie initiative, called Hammer Storm. It features a new Arena map, multiple new game modes (Grifball returns), and a whole line of REQs. 343 Industries is currently prepared to keep on continuing this stream of content until summer 2016.
Hryb explained that most publishers are concerned with post-release revenue generation, which they think can only be fulfilled through releasing map packs. However, in the case of Halo 5, 343 Industries is making it up through microtransactions – REQ packs – which so far have already generated more than $1.5 million. In fact, that figure will most probably hit the $2 million figure by the end of March.