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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Microsoft won't let you release your maps for free?

    I just listened to the 1up Yours Podcast for Friday 04.06.07 and I got pretty upset when Mark Rein and Tim Sweeney said that FOUR Gears of War maps have been ready for MONTHS, but Epic won't let the maps release because Microsoft wants them to be released at a premium fee.

    Okay, so Mark, I want a clarification...a more "full" story to this.

    1. Will you allow the maps to be released at a premium fee?
    2. What are the chances that we'll see these for free, if at all?
    3. If PR wasn't involved in the interview, how can you and Tim attempt to justify this big F-U finger to the community that made your game a success?
    4. Is it possible that we can see these maps in a vidoc titled "The maps you won't see because Microsoft won't let you have them?" or something affective in that manner?

    I am a supporter of free content. I believe that all content should be free, even if it's just for a short period of time.

    Also, Microsoft said that developers are to release content on their own stipulations. How could you seem so calm and unaffected by that blatant lie?

    It was a great interview, and I'm very proud of Epic for standing their ground and not releasing the content for a fee, even if it's making the community wait. I would rather wait and see free content than paying.

    Also, knowing this, it shouldn't be a surprise knowing that Halo 2's new maps (to quote Bungie, "the gift to the community") are a fee.....and it's 100% Microsoft's fault. Yeah, a premium gift....it's funny.

  2. #2
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    Wasnt this podcast linked on the forum yesterday? what thread was it in?

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    the last thread about this was Deleted yes not closed DELETED -
    is it true that the Puplisher of GoW isnt Epic its M$ !!
    is this GoW forum also runned by M$ .
    that would explain something to me ..
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  4. #4
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    its all business baby!

    I'm amazed at the amount of knowledge regarding business decisions taken by MS and Epic there is out there.

    Think about it, MS are the publisher therefore have a financial interest in GOW. They will realise that due to the popularity of the game that there is a potential fortune to be made by charging for new material.
    For every 1 person there is against the idea of charging there will be 2 that don't have an opinion, so MS will be trying to get the most amount of money they can and who can blame them.

    It seems Epic have a different business stance and therefore, if there any new maps, we won't see them until a deal can be made.

    You have to remember that we are not entitled to free "extras". The patches will be free but any new stuff we may have to pay for.

    I'm a business man and can see both sides of the argument. Which ever side of the wall the decision falls i'll be happy.
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    wow thats pretty crappy, i wonder if microsoft has been taking PR tips from sony latley.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFC Rockjaw View Post
    its all business baby!

    I'm amazed at the amount of knowledge regarding business decisions taken by MS and Epic there is out there.

    Think about it, MS are the publisher therefore have a financial interest in GOW. They will realise that due to the popularity of the game that there is a potential fortune to be made by charging for new material.
    For every 1 person there is against the idea of charging there will be 2 that don't have an opinion, so MS will be trying to get the most amount of money they can and who can blame them.

    It seems Epic have a different business stance and therefore, if there any new maps, we won't see them until a deal can be made.

    You have to remember that we are not entitled to free "extras". The patches will be free but any new stuff we may have to pay for.

    I'm a business man and can see both sides of the argument. Which ever side of the wall the decision falls i'll be happy.
    To be honest i woldnt be oppsed to a small fee for maps. I mean as long as it was only small. People pay for gamerpics themes so why not maps. Its just with the first 2 being free due to the sponsor i think people see it as the set standard now.

  7. #7
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    I think it's crap, I pay £45+ for a game then I have to pay for additional content that comes out for it?

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    No people expect it as a standard because Epic said the content would be free but M$ is trying to force them into going back on their word honestly if it was Epic's decision to charge for the maps i wouldn't be as mad but M$ doing what they're doing is wrong especially because they've already made hundreds of millions on the game itself they shouldn't be forcing Epic to charge for the content they developed themselves.

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    You guy's remember back in the day, All game producers created games in full with all the maps and most of the flaws cleaned out. Now the gaming industry has gone to ____ and these game makers release games half done with growing problems.
    No I don't have a problem with patches being released to fix stuff, but it should not have been released in the first place.
    And as for the DLC it is the biggest rip off, will I keep buying whatever it is? yeh if I see fit to. (Including the game I've spent over $140.00 for Oblivion.)
    How much is too much, when purchasing entertainment?

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    dont buy it...thats the only message ms understand...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZRoboto View Post
    I just listened to the 1up Yours Podcast for Friday 04.06.07 and I got pretty upset when Mark Rein and Tim Sweeney said that FOUR Gears of War maps have been ready for MONTHS, but Epic won't let the maps release because Microsoft wants them to be released at a premium fee.

    Okay, so Mark, I want a clarification...a more "full" story to this.

    1. Will you allow the maps to be released at a premium fee?
    2. What are the chances that we'll see these for free, if at all?
    3. If PR wasn't involved in the interview, how can you and Tim attempt to justify this big F-U finger to the community that made your game a success?
    4. Is it possible that we can see these maps in a vidoc titled "The maps you won't see because Microsoft won't let you have them?" or something affective in that manner?

    I am a supporter of free content. I believe that all content should be free, even if it's just for a short period of time.

    Also, Microsoft said that developers are to release content on their own stipulations. How could you seem so calm and unaffected by that blatant lie?

    It was a great interview, and I'm very proud of Epic for standing their ground and not releasing the content for a fee, even if it's making the community wait. I would rather wait and see free content than paying.

    Also, knowing this, it shouldn't be a surprise knowing that Halo 2's new maps (to quote Bungie, "the gift to the community") are a fee.....and it's 100% Microsoft's fault. Yeah, a premium gift....it's funny.


    You want what? who are you? Oh yeah some whiney tool on a forum. You will get content when THEY release it. Whoever THEY are, you know with the huge market of video game mass conspiracy.


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  12. #12
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    Here is a response to a thread over at EvilAvatar that I posted this morning. You can download the podcast at 1UPYours.com - this is the April 6th edition. The interview with Epic CEO and founder, Tim Sweeney, and myself starts a little bit after 38 minutes into the podcast.

    Folks,

    I think you guys are blowing this up into something bigger than it is. Please listen to the entire podcast before jumping to conclusions.

    What we have here is simply a difference of opinion on how to maximize the return on Gears of War - something both Epic and Microsoft want to do. While we create products like Gears because we love games, and we have a passion for making them, at the end of the day this is a business for both companies and how we earn our living.

    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. 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.

    Why does Epic not have control over this even though we created this content on our own time and our own dime? Quite frankly Xbox Live Marketplace isn’t our store. It’s Microsoft’s store. Like any retailer they have the right to figure out what goes on the shelves of their store and what price they sell it at. They spend the money to operate the store and deliver the content. They’ve also spent billions of dollars to create and build Xbox and subsidize it’s the price so you can afford it and we can make games for it. As our publisher, they also invested tens of millions of dollars marketing Gears of War, and have done an awesome job for us, so they have a right to a good return on that investment.

    As Tim Sweeney and I said in the podcast, we want the download economy to work – it is something the industry needs, something we hope to use in the future, something that will help bring more variety to end-users and ultimately could help bring prices down for end-users. If we had to put this map pack on a disc and sell it in retail it would be more expensive to end-users and maybe we wouldn't have done it because of all the extra work and cost involved.

    In the mean time we are planning to bring out an awesome new Gears of War multi-player gametype called Annex that works will all of the existing multi-player maps and the new pack we're talking about here. The 1UP guys who got to play it a few weeks ago left the office raving about how it could be our best Gears gametype yet and I think a lot of people will enjoy it. Best of all, it is totally FREE and will come in the new Gears update that we expect to see released this week.

  13. #13
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    thanks for the thorough response Mark, I for one am very impressed that people at Epic take the time to even visit this forum, nevermind reply to our concerns.

    i think that it is more than fair to pay for map packs if you want them immediately and then offer them for free several months later. that should be a good comprimise that everyone can live with. keep up the good work with continuing to take this game to the next level!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rein View Post
    Here is a response to a thread over at EvilAvatar that I posted this morning. You can download the podcast at 1UPYours.com - this is the April 6th edition. The interview with Epic CEO and founder, Tim Sweeney, and myself starts a little bit after 38 minutes into the podcast.

    Folks,

    I think you guys are blowing this up into something bigger than it is. Please listen to the entire podcast before jumping to conclusions.

    What we have here is simply a difference of opinion on how to maximize the return on Gears of War - something both Epic and Microsoft want to do. While we create products like Gears because we love games, and we have a passion for making them, at the end of the day this is a business for both companies and how we earn our living.

    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. 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.

    Why does Epic not have control over this even though we created this content on our own time and our own dime? Quite frankly Xbox Live Marketplace isn’t our store. It’s Microsoft’s store. Like any retailer they have the right to figure out what goes on the shelves of their store and what price they sell it at. They spend the money to operate the store and deliver the content. They’ve also spent billions of dollars to create and build Xbox and subsidize it’s the price so you can afford it and we can make games for it. As our publisher, they also invested tens of millions of dollars marketing Gears of War, and have done an awesome job for us, so they have a right to a good return on that investment.

    As Tim Sweeney and I said in the podcast, we want the download economy to work – it is something the industry needs, something we hope to use in the future, something that will help bring more variety to end-users and ultimately could help bring prices down for end-users. If we had to put this map pack on a disc and sell it in retail it would be more expensive to end-users and maybe we wouldn't have done it because of all the extra work and cost involved.

    In the mean time we are planning to bring out an awesome new Gears of War multi-player gametype called Annex that works will all of the existing multi-player maps and the new pack we're talking about here. The 1UP guys who got to play it a few weeks ago left the office raving about how it could be our best Gears gametype yet and I think a lot of people will enjoy it. Best of all, it is totally FREE and will come in the new Gears update that we expect to see released this week.
    I hate how it seems like everyone think MS is just doing the **** the do just to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oneiztoomany View Post
    i think that it is more than fair to pay for map packs if you want them immediately and then offer them for free several months later. that should be a good comprimise that everyone can live with. keep up the good work with continuing to take this game to the next level!
    I think so too and these maps are definitely worth the money - they're great maps! We just wanted to ensure that largest number of Gears players possible are able to enjoy them so they'll keep playing and enjoying the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I Ag3nt 47 I View Post
    I hate how it seems like everyone think MS is just doing the **** the do just to do it.
    aren't you the same person that just called them microdick?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rein View Post
    I think so too and these maps are definitely worth the money - they're great maps! We just wanted to ensure that largest number of Gears players possible are able to enjoy them so they'll keep playing and enjoying the game.
    i have no doubt the new maps will be sick, gears of war is the only game i have played since getting it months ago. i am hooked!!!

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    @ Mark - Even though it is good to compromise with MS and release the maps at a good price, do you not think that this is unfair to the 1000's of people who will buy them (as I will undoubtedly) only to have them for free a few months later? I know its business and that what happens in order to keep the product going but now that you have mentioned the fact that they will be free at some point is going to cause even more kick offs about the game particularly here!!!
    after playing for over 5 hours on public MP matches, im actually starting to get annoyed at how poor the Gears 2 MP really is.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grub View Post
    @ Mark - Even though it is good to compromise with MS and release the maps at a good price, do you not think that this is unfair to the 1000's of people who will buy them (as I will undoubtedly) only to have them for free a few months later? I know its business and that what happens in order to keep the product going but now that you have mentioned the fact that they will be free at some point is going to cause even more kick offs about the game particularly here!!!
    no one will force you to buy them when they first come out so how is that unfair?

  20. #20
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    Thanks Mark, It seems like a very reasonable compromise that Epic made with Microsoft.
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    Just for the record I have no problem paying for extra game content. As Tim said in the podcast we totally support a mix of free and paid-for content. I picked up Guitar Hero II this week for 360 and I've been totally loving it. I am checking Xbox Live Marketplace every day to looking to buy songs for it! I would happily pay to get some more songs for it and I imagine some of those song packs are going to be more expensive than our Gears maps I'm used to buying songs and albums on iTunes and I never feel it represents bad value. So if the value is there, and I certainly thinks these Gears maps will represent great value, I'm happy to buy additional content this way.

    BTW, I know this is off topic but, cheers to Apple for offering DRM-free songs on iTune! I'm actually going to buy MORE music now because of this. Typically I buy CDs and rip them in iTunes because I want them in a format I can use on devices other than just my iPod.

  22. #22
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    It's a fascinating insight to how things work behind the scenes.

    I have to admit though that my attention span is kind of stuck on the question of when these bad boys will be available.

    I'm more than content with the scenario of buying now and them being free later. It is my choice to buy or wait.

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    I understand what Mark is saying it's just that I've spent out quite abit of money to get the game that's all. I think the issue is though that Epic would like it to be free but Microsoft is actually stopping them. Ok, fair enough I'll buy content if it's worth it. But look at COD3 for example, there is a map pack that you have to buy but guess what, hardly anyone pays and plays those maps. It's not money well spent.

  24. #24

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    Hi Mark;

    Thanks for addressing these questions, great to hear that Annex is coming this week. What day? Is it still coming the 9th?

    Also those maps, do you have a ballpark eta for those as well?

    Thanks in advance.

  25. #25

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    Thanks for clarifying things.....we will all be buying these maps....and I dont think its the point of putting DLC out at a FEE...thats an awesome thing to do and adds tremendous replay value to any game.

    The problem is that M$ should not have a say in what you guys do with your creations.

    there should be a way to download the maps off the web to your hard drive or something to circumvent the damn marketplace.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zankou 666 View Post
    You guy's remember back in the day, All game producers created games in full with all the maps and most of the flaws cleaned out. Now the gaming industry has gone to ____ and these game makers release games half done with growing problems.
    No I don't have a problem with patches being released to fix stuff, but it should not have been released in the first place.
    And as for the DLC it is the biggest rip off, will I keep buying whatever it is? yeh if I see fit to. (Including the game I've spent over $140.00 for Oblivion.)
    How much is too much, when purchasing entertainment?
    I see your point on glitches, but downloadable content i disagree. They might have some ideas for a game taht would take them a few more months to release it, or even a whole year or something. That is a long time to wait. And if the game might not be sucessful they might not want to put that much of an investment into it. Id rather pay a small fee for more content down the road for the game to continue to feel fresh than to have it all at once down the road. Of course the price of the fees is a whole nother issue.
    roar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by oneiztoomany View Post
    no one will force you to buy them when they first come out so how is that unfair?
    No I know this, but come on this is like the worlds best game ever, everyone will buy these maps the minute they are released. Yet they are free in a few months. Therefore people who buy the game or just start playing will get everything for free and I feel this is unfair. Its like me selling you a car for 20 grand and then a week later selling your neighbour the same car for 10 grand, I think you would be knocking on my door very soon after you found out!

    I dont see why the maps cannot be released as an update rather than DLC on xbl?
    after playing for over 5 hours on public MP matches, im actually starting to get annoyed at how poor the Gears 2 MP really is.

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    well, at least we know microsoft is the price control nazis. But anyway, I can't wait for these supposed new maps. Raven down is killer. Also annex will be fun. Thanks Mark.

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    Im stupid or did Mark said the update is expected to come this week ??
    becaquse its sunday and the week is over tomorrow ..
    anyway --
    if i get billed for maps that are allready on the disc im a llil bit mad (i dont mean GoW)
    on the other hand there are 10 MAPS and a wholed campain (wich i cound as another 10 maps)on the disc and it costs 60 bucks so whats a new map worth ??
    60 : 20= 3 bucks a Map?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzs Awez0me View Post
    becaquse its sunday and the week is over tomorrow ..
    anyway --
    I always thought sunday started the week... "Sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday saturday then we start again"... thats the song i learned in pre-school.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skynyrd Fan View Post
    I always thought sunday started the week... "Sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday saturday then we start again". thats the song i learned in pre-school.
    hmm ok here sunday is the last day of the week , monday is the first day of te new week ..
    im happy that the upadate is comin soon LOL
    Sorry for all spelling and grammar errors ill patch them later.
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    So, ultimately, us gamers are the ones who get the raw end of the deal out of all this. No new maps. MS and Epic going back and forth in discussions. Thanks!

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    I'm fine paying for it as long as we get something worth paying for. 4 maps is not a download I want to pay for. But, if they gave me a new gametype, 4 new maps, new skins for MP, and a new weapon I'd consider that like a mini-expansion.

    Money makes the world go round. Although I think it's admirable that Epic is taking a stance against this sort of thing, in the end we will end up paying for content because XBL is MS's baby, and it's a gold mine. New maps, and a new gametype for free is more than I've gotten for any other title on XBL. Honestly, I expected to be paying for content by now.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rein View Post
    Just for the record I have no problem paying for extra game content. As Tim said in the podcast we totally support a mix of free and paid-for content. I picked up Guitar Hero II this week for 360 and I've been totally loving it. I am checking Xbox Live Marketplace every day to looking to buy songs for it! I would happily pay to get some more songs for it and I imagine some of those song packs are going to be more expensive than our Gears maps I'm used to buying songs and albums on iTunes and I never feel it represents bad value. So if the value is there, and I certainly thinks these Gears maps will represent great value, I'm happy to buy additional content this way.
    I think that's the problem most people have with paying. Buying songs is a personal experience. Not everyone will download the same songs. Downloading Shivering Isle for Oblivion adds to your personal gaming experience. I'd have no problem paying for a download that adds new campaigns, missions, etc.

    When it comes to multiplayer maps it becomes a problem of haves and have nots. If the host bought the new maps, but others in his game didn't pay for new maps, they get dropped out of the game. It creates a community of unequal balance. If it's free, the percentage of people owning the new maps greatly increases.
    Last edited by Schisma; 04-08-2007 at 12:39 PM.

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    ah compromise, thats great news.

    Like i said earlier id be willing to pay a small fee for a map. and this way if i feel its too much i'll hang on until the maps are free.

    lookin forward to this.

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    the maps will never be free if there is a set price on them it will stay set

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    The problem Mark, is this has never happened in the PC arena. It's funny but I could have always get maps for free before, now all of sudden it cost mega money to make the maps. I have made maps, but to be frank, I am just not the artist some people are. The point being, I never paid for MP maps on the PC, I can see no reason why it cost hardly any money at all for MS in this deal. They didn't spend any time nor energy making them. If all this were the case, I would not be able to go out on the internet and get 1000s of free CounterStrike MP maps. If you look at what Valve is doing, they even provide a way for customer to get free mods via Steam, most of the Valve content is free, either huge array of maps, mods, etc.

    The problem in this equation is MS, they have a lock down system and they are doing what they want with it. Well, if you have been a gamer as long as I have you are not happy where they direction of this is going. Not only can you not get MP maps or you get very little of them, but you get charged for them as well. You get no user created content at all.

    If you look at what they are doing with Halo2, it is ashame for a company to do this to kids. If you don't buy the new MP maps for H2 you cannot use the matchmaking system, and since they never built a host search in H2, if you don't buy the maps you can only play custom games. Of course, if you have no friends on, you can't play at all. They are charging you to play on your own servers, on an internet connection you bought, yet you can play when you friends are on. This is just insane.

    Mark, please don't defend this company and these terrible practices. I for one am about to go back to PC gaming all together. This is horrible what MS is doing. Like someone mentioned on another board, what is MS going to do next charge you a Drivers License fee to drive the WartHog in H3 MP.

    I have no problem in paying you and your company for campaign style content, I know you are taking risks everyday and you should be rewarded for it, but to pay for freaking maps. This would never work on the PC, they only reason they do it on the 360 is because they have you hostage.

    First, MS charges to play online, I have yet to figure exactly why? They basically have a voice, im, messaging client... whoppy do. Like we don't already have those for free on the PC. This crap is just getting stupid with MS.

    I respect Epic for taking a stance, I hope you continue, I can tell you I am not paying for MP maps for any game, that is just crazy. I will gladly pay for certain campaign, mission style content from games I like but MP maps. I do not think this is overblown, it's should be exposed for what it is. It is horrible business practices, no wonder the EU is fining them billions, good.
    Last edited by SureDude; 04-08-2007 at 12:29 PM.

  38. #38
    Banned
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    totally agree, suredude.

    @mark
    thx for the info and thx for the compromisse.

  39. #39

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    if you guys are so mad just play on a computer, then when you are done steaming through your head and understanding enough, come back to playing a console. Yes, some of these things are unfair, but that's the way it is, we just have to get used to it. Maybe in Utopia things will be this way, but not now. MS has its policies, and since Epic is working for MS(correct me if im wrong), they have to do what they say.

    As Mr. Rein said:

    "Why does Epic not have control over this even though we created this content on our own time and our own dime? Quite frankly Xbox Live Marketplace isn’t our store. It’s Microsoft’s store. Like any retailer they have the right to figure out what goes on the shelves of their store and what price they sell it at. They spend the money to operate the store and deliver the content. They’ve also spent billions of dollars to create and build Xbox and subsidize it’s the price so you can afford it and we can make games for it. As our publisher, they also invested tens of millions of dollars marketing Gears of War, and have done an awesome job for us, so they have a right to a good return on that investment."
    Epic wants to release things for free, but MS and Epic just have a disagreement, and have resolved the issue. to sell the DLC for a small price, then free for later on. I personally like the way Epic is going along with this.
    Yep I'm back.

  40. #40
    MSgt. Shooter Person
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    Epic hasn't done anything wrong that I can see. I would rather them just not release the MP maps, Epic is in charge of this not MS. What is MS is doing with gaming is just evil. I think it's time for me to go back to PC gaming completely.

    I hope the EU keeps on fining these guys, they are horrible.

    I think I am going to go get my extra long monitor cable today, hook my PC up to my front projector on my ceiling today. Sick of this stuff, most of my friends are ready to go back to PC. No user content, paying to play on the internet, paying for MP maps, pay for a subscription with XBL (ie Halo2), what they hell can those greedy bastards think of next.

    Quote Originally Posted by DS Kristoba View Post
    if you guys are so mad just play on a computer, then when you are done steaming through your head and understanding enough, come back to playing a console. Yes, some of these things are unfair, but that's the way it is, we just have to get used to it. Maybe in Utopia things will be this way, but not now. MS has its policies, and since Epic is working for MS(correct me if im wrong), they have to do what they say.

    As Mr. Rein said:

    "Why does Epic not have control over this even though we created this content on our own time and our own dime? Quite frankly Xbox Live Marketplace isn’t our store. It’s Microsoft’s store. Like any retailer they have the right to figure out what goes on the shelves of their store and what price they sell it at. They spend the money to operate the store and deliver the content. They’ve also spent billions of dollars to create and build Xbox and subsidize it’s the price so you can afford it and we can make games for it. As our publisher, they also invested tens of millions of dollars marketing Gears of War, and have done an awesome job for us, so they have a right to a good return on that investment."
    Epic wants to release things for free, but MS and Epic just have a disagreement, and have resolved the issue. to sell the DLC for a small price, then free for later on. I personally like the way Epic is going along with this.
    Last edited by SureDude; 04-08-2007 at 12:47 PM.


 
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