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Left 4 Dead 2 on Xbox 360 gets first fan-made content. But why should console gamers have to pay when it's free on PC?

Left 4 Dead 2 on PC is open to fan modification. Indeed, it's encouraged by Valve, who not only released the tools to enable gamers to do so, but even pledged to promote one user-created map each week for the foreseeable future. One such mod is 'Cold Stream' – a fan-made campaign set in a forest that's been picked up by Valve who have officially released it on PC after months in open Beta as a free download. As a first for Xbox 360, this very same fan-made content is coming to Xbox 360 on Friday.

For 560 MS Points.

Above: The Cold Stream campaign is not officially canon to the Left 4 Dead storyline, but at least it's officially being published by Valve. A seal of approval if ever there was one

560 MS Points may be a nominal amount, but it is a price 'in money' for something PC owners can already get for free. We would admittedly rather have to pay for the content than not have it at all (as Left 4 Dead is ace), but it does seem a bit unfair.

But is it? Double Fine's Tim Schafer famously went on the record to say it costs $40,000 just to release a patch for a game on Xbox Live (as well as having to jump through a load of hoops). But perhaps the most telling story is that of Valve itself, who famously said that all of their first party DLC would be free back in 2009. Left 4 Dead's first DLC was indeed free, but the second pack was not. Valve's Chet Faliszek said at the time:

"We own our platform, Steam. Microsoft owns their platform. They wanted to make sure there's an economy of value there." When pressed about whether Microsoft effectively enforced the pricing, he added: "Well, they helped us get the first one out for free. We had the one DLC out for free. And I think... they have to look and say, wow, we're kind of being unfair to everybody else if these guys can do that.

So it's more likely a case of Microsoft wanting people to pay for DLC on their service than Xbox owners getting a bum deal from Valve. Fair enough, of course - XBLA is not a charity. And besides, you won't just get the Cold Stream campaign for your money. You also get ports of four campaigns from the original Left 4 Dead – namely Crash Course, Death Toll, Dead Air and Blood Harvest, plus the ability to use all the mutations in multiplayer. 

Above: You do need to own 'The Passing' DLC if you're playing on Xbox to access Mutations

If you're still grumpy and wondering why it's also hitting 360 a week later than the PC and Mac versions, it's due to the 'title update' for L4D2 that's coming at the same time. Apparently it took longer than anticipated to get that through Microsoft's certification process, and the DLC won't work without the update. It's a whole other world that we're pleased we don't have to worry about - we can just play the results. Even if it is for 560 MS Points.

 Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: OXM

22 comments

  • RedHarlow - August 1, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Suckaaaaas
  • Crypto140 - August 1, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Most people think that we get games like Left 4 Dead on conoles because we want to. Yes there are some people who would rather get the games on the consoles than the PC, but not everyone can go out and get a $1000+ gaming PC every 5 or 6 years(or a $700 PC that you have to replace or upgrade much sooner becasue of outdated hardware). If I had a PC that could run L4D I would have gotten it for the PC, but that't not the case. I had not choice but to get it for the consoles, and that's the story for a lot of people too.
  • Fenghoang - August 1, 2012 10:06 a.m.

    This is such a dated and myopic argument. Perhaps it was true about 10 years ago, but in the current state of things, most games are developed on consoles first and then ported to PC after (to the chagrin of most PC gamers). The result is, you can use a "dated" PC to run console-level graphics for a ridiculously long time. Catering to consoles have pretty much stumped growth in hardware requirements. The push for upgrades is actually pretty weak ATM, unless you want the absolute maximum on graphics. Hell Crysis, a 5 year old game, is still probably one of the most graphically intensive games on the market (with a few exceptions like Metro 2033 etc.). I ran Left 4 Dead on my PC i built back in May of 2003 (it was a $1000 PC IIRC), that runs at 45+ FPS @ 720P with all settings max, BTW. The only games that really push the user to upgrade are some of the state-of-the-art MMORPGs (most MMOs in general are catered to average PCs because of target audience demographics and because of long development times) and certain PC-exclusive games. Pretty damn rare nowadays... but Witcher 2 & Metro 2033 are the only real games that come to mind that makes you wish you had a better computer. Besides, I was under the impression most people would buy a new computer at least once ever half decade regardless. Most people I know buy a new laptop (often overpriced Macbooks while they're at it) every 2 or 3 years. So why not just get a gaming PC when you're getting a new one regardless. Gaming PCs, BTW, are generally in the $800-1000 range, which is the same as any prebuilt PC you buy from the store. On top of that, people never seem to factor non-hardware costs. Games on PCs are cheaper - generally $10 cheaper at release at that. That's an irrefutable fact, especially with how cheap games can be found on Steam (75%+ off on games during Steam Sales?). On top of that, you don't need to pay any extra miscellaneous fees like XBox Live. There is one viable argument that I never see mentioned, however. It requires RESEARCH and effort to buy/build a gaming PC. That I can totally understand. Consoles are simply more accessible, and I don't really blame people for choosing it over PCs, but I just can't agree with people that falsely claim that extravagant costs inhibits them from PC gaming.
  • ugliergnat - August 1, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    Very well said
  • Longnuts - August 1, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    ^ | | | This
  • BadLadJon - August 1, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    you sir are wrong, why does everyone thing you have to pay 1000$ every 5-6 years? i pay maybe 50$-150$ to upgrade every 5-6 years, in fact older PCs now a days can run new xbox games much better than the xbox can.
  • gazzc - August 1, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    Ah that old argument, when you can now get yourself a pretty decent gaming pc for not even half of what you think and most likely less that what your going to have to pay for the next xbox. Sure it is going to cost you a stupid ammount if you want to always have the very latest tech but there is just no need to do that. Not only is it a lot cheaper than you think, but you also get yourself a computer out of it that can be used for a whole lot more. Oh and there's the small fact that you can get top quality games for cheap as hell, even without the steam sale (where you can get games not even a year old for under £3) new releases are generally £25 - £30 compared to £50 - £60 on console. You probably make your money back after your first 10 games purchases.
  • KnowYourPokemon - August 1, 2012 2:01 p.m.

    Agreed. Every time Steam has a sale I write down what I buy for what cost and what it would have cost me if I had bought the game at that moment on a console. I've saved enough money on games I would have bought anyways to build another gaming PC -if i wanted to be wasteful- and still have money left over.
  • ParagonT - August 1, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Which is why I'm going to jump ship from Xbox to either another console or PC depending on the price and features of said console.
  • Scuffles - August 1, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Because Console users bought into the whole walled garden experience and the people running the garden are demanding money. This is what you decided to go with, this is what you get. If anything its ironic because consoles now offer all the failings of the PC market..... and they charge you for the privilege :P
  • Matt Hughes - August 1, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    I think we're lucky to have this game on consoles in the first place. Like the article says, Steam owns their platform, so they're set up to release it for free on PC. If this were any other game, we'd call 560 points for five levels and more a bargain.
  • BobsYurUncle - August 1, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    Valve has to pay Microsoft $40,000 dollars to update their game on Xbox. Valve can update their game on PC for free. There's your obvious answer.
  • ParagonT - August 1, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    One problem I do want to add. Twenty dollars equals sixteen-hundred MS Points. So five-hundred and sixty would be seven dollars. That's ridiculous. Even knowing that it supposedly (Since I don't know if there are additional costs) costs forty-thousand dollars, that means it would only take nearly fifty two- hundred paying consumers to make up that amount. So what the hell gives? At first glance it seems like nothing, but seriously, do they not expect more than that? I understand that it's an older game, so there are probably not as many copies still in their owners hands anymore, but if the count is so low... why even bother taking it to the console? Supporting your games is great, but I'm just saying on a side note. Not that it's wrong, but seems futile in my opinion.
  • KnowYourPokemon - August 1, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    You know, I don't like this. Even though my L4D2 copy is for PC. Though, I can't help but laugh a little seeing this so soon after the 360 fanboys cheering about no one else getting dawnguard yet...
  • awesomesauce - August 1, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    PC dudes hating cause they're computers are expensive. It took 7 dudes to argue that.
  • CrashmanX - August 2, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    $400 gaming rig that can run L4D2 at 60FPS constant at 1440x900 resolution. My PS3 cost $300 and then I had to buy an HDMI cord for another $20 and a controller for $50. That's $370 before tax. My PC games cost less than my PS3 games. BioShock PS3, $30. PC, $5. Oblivion GOTY, $40. PC, $20. The savings add up pretty quickly. Also mods. Mods are the best.
  • Braebat - August 4, 2012 1:23 p.m.

    While I totally agree with everything you said, I got to say you may have overpaid for that HDMI cable. You can get them as low at 7 bucks online.
  • ObliqueZombie - August 1, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    I think it's horseshit, and Microsoft should feel bad. I may be a primarly-PC gamer, but I'm not going to turn a blind eye when my counterparts get ripped off, however small.
  • talleyXIV - August 1, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    The little phrase they always put should be "Blood Will Run."
  • talleyXIV - August 1, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    PC gaming is great if you don't whine about the seriously not so ridiculous cost. I have a $600 computer and played L4D2 all the time, no problems at all. Xbox 360 was what, around $400 when it came out? With all the free stuff I get for my games and Steam having amazing prices, I think I have gotten my money back in fun and discounts.

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

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