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The Witcher 2 DLC Won't Cost You a Dime, But Expansion Packs Will -- Er, What's the Difference?

In an era of constant downloadable content, the difference is murky. So we asked.

What is downloadable content, anyway? These days, the term is ridiculously broad. Clothes, interface themes, trailers, new quests, additional worlds--it's impossible to tell, covering basically everything.

So when CD Projekt announced during a fan question-and-answer session on GameStop's Facebook page that all downloadable content for The Witcher 2 would be free and the developer would only charge for "expansion packs," I had to dig a little deeper.

In this case, the free downlodable content will encompass shorter and smaller additions, including "half-hour side quests, etc," according to a company spokesperson.

The first piece of free content available is an additional quest called "Troll Trouble," said to include as much as "90 minutes" of additional gameplay. Bigger pieces of content would move into "expansion pack" territory, harkening to when "expansion pack" meant hours of content and often a retail product.

"The implication is that if we’re going to go ahead and charge for something, it’ll be significant content akin to the expansion packs of yesteryear," the spokesperson continued.

(I'll also take this opportunity to ask CD Project to pleasepleaseplease release this on a console.)

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

What is downloadable content, anyway? These days, the term is ridiculously broad. Clothes, interface themes, trailers, new quests, additional worlds--it's impossible to tell, covering basically everything.

So when CD Projekt announced during a fan question-and-answer session on GameStop's Facebook page that all downloadable content for The Witcher 2 would be free and the developer would only charge for "expansion packs," I had to dig a little deeper.

In this case, the free downlodable content will encompass shorter and smaller additions, including "half-hour side quests, etc," according to a company spokesperson.

The first piece of free content available is an additional quest called "Troll Trouble," said to include as much as "90 minutes" of additional gameplay. Bigger pieces of content would move into "expansion pack" territory, harkening to when "expansion pack" meant hours of content and often a retail product.

"The implication is that if we’re going to go ahead and charge for something, it’ll be significant content akin to the expansion packs of yesteryear," the spokesperson continued.

(I'll also take this opportunity to ask CD Project to pleasepleaseplease release this on a console.)

Staff
Edited by PhatSeeJay

Expansion packs are good value for your buck. That's the difference.

Only DLC's that can be seen as Expansions in my eyes are DLCs like Undead Nightmare.

Edited by RYNO9881

cool


AWWW so close

anyways, still downloading the witcher, it's taking forever.

Posted by altairre

CD Projekt is fucking awesome! Love those guys and what they´re doing.

Posted by Vorbis

I miss expansionpacks.

Posted by Scooper

This is the model I wish more developers would use. Give us cool bonuses for continuing to play your game but don't be afraid to charge for expansion packs that really give huge amounts of content. That's an honest and fair way for both consumer and developer, I think.

Posted by Vitor

How very Valve of them. Very much approve.


Game's great so far although optimisation could use a little work judging by how many people on the official GOG forums are having issues. Can see why they originally cancelled the console versions - seemed to struggle a little with the engine.

Still, even so, game is breathtakingly beautiful at times, even if the FPS gets a little choppy for me. 
Posted by Rayeth

I hope they never release it on a console.  There are too many restrictions on the mature content and they would have to compromise on the visuals.


I am perfectly happy this is on PC only.  I hope it stays that way.
Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

I don't understand what the confusion is over this. Maybe if you're 10 and don't remember what expansion packs are, but I think everyone else gets the distinction. Point Lookout is DLC, Shivering Isles is an expansion pack.

Posted by Rhaknar

having just played Dragon Age Ultimate Edition (had already played DA and Awakening on 360 but not the dlc packs), this would be a perfect example of what CD Project Red is refering to, as all the small shitty dlc packs like witch hunt, golems and leilana's song would be free, and awakening would be paid. Of course thats not what happened with DA, hopefully they come through on Witcher 2

Posted by lacke
@PhatSeeJay: That's only because DLC normally are overpriced. I have nothing against the concept of DLC because I am quite a fan of expansions.
Edited by Contro

God I love this game. The second Dragon Age has been vanquished. 


edit:

The console version is definitely happening, those dudes need to make some serious money on this, especially after stuttering with RotWW.
Posted by PhatSeeJay
@lacke: I never said I hated DLC. Just offered my reflection on what would be considered a DLC / Expansion pack. I have nothing against them either. It's more that an expansion pretty much provides a full game for half the price of the original game, while a DLC is usually just an hour of something added to the main game.
Posted by FritzDude

I hope other developers will learn from this.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

DLC seemed like a great idea, when it was first introduced.  It was supposed to be a way for developers to keep games constantly updated with smaller chunks of content, rather than waiting a year or two for a full expansion pack.  It's a shame that the market managed to twist it into something so hated..  Hopefully we see more developers returning to proper expansion packs, I'm done with (paid) DLC.

Posted by leebmx
@Rayeth said:
I hope they never release it on a console.  There are too many restrictions on the mature content and they would have to compromise on the visuals.

I am perfectly happy this is on PC only.  I hope it stays that way.
I don't know what your problem is with Witcher getting a console release. PC owners always complain about their experiences being diluted by being developed alongside consoles. However here you have the perfect scenario - you get your superior PC version first and then later on consoles get a port for you to sneer at. 
 Everyone's a winner.
Posted by Luck3ySe7en

Hearing this almost makes me want to wait for an "ultimate edition" that has everything in the package.  Thats what i did with the first Witcher... i should probably finish the first Witcher >.<

Posted by Cybexx

Despite the wording this makes sense.


I played some Witcher 2 last night and I am totally blown away. I had not really seen any coverage on the game before I launched it and wow Skyrim has some serious hurdles to try and beat this for RPG of the year. So I would be happy to pay for an expansion pack's worth of content.
Posted by Undeadpool

No DRM, free DLC...I really, really hope those habitual pirates who complain about those things put their money where their mouth is and support this small developer who are putting an AWFUL lot of trust in their PC-only game.

Posted by xxNBxx
@Luck3ySe7en: yes you probably should, do both, first finish Witcher 1 and wait to the "enhanced" version comes out.  It will probably fix what ever bugs and other issues it will most likely have.
Posted by AhmadMetallic

Get yourself a PC Patrick 

Posted by NickLott

The difference is that nowadays single player DLC addons last a few hours at best and cost anywhere from 5-10 dollars and generally leave a lot a to be desired. CDProject is referring to the time when Expansion packs were actually a full length game, just reusing the engine (obviously) and some of the assets from the original games which I'm very stoked for. Aside from the Shadow Broker, Mass Effect 2 dlc and many others have really left a bad taste in my mouth over the nickel-and-dime era of addon content. Even Civ5 is disappointing. 

Posted by Jeffsekai
@Undeadpool said:
No DRM, free DLC...I really, really hope those habitual pirates who complain about those things put their money where their mouth is and support this small developer who are putting an AWFUL lot of trust in their PC-only game.
bahahahahaha, please.

Pirates are going to steal this game just like any other.
Edited by DonPixel
@leebmx said:

@Rayeth said:

I hope they never release it on a console.  There are too many restrictions on the mature content and they would have to compromise on the visuals.
I am perfectly happy this is on PC only.  I hope it stays that way.

I don't know what your problem is with Witcher getting a console release. PC owners always complain about their experiences being diluted by being developed alongside consoles. However here you have the perfect scenario - you get your superior PC version first and then later on consoles get a port for you to sneer at.   Everyone's a winner.
Duders I honestly think dear Patrick is just doing a little bit of Trolling for us PC gamers..  

Needless to say that´s a shitty idea.. Gaming diversity it´s alright.. not everything needs to be standardized for all consoles, There is still room for games that build around the specifics characteristics of a particular platform... crazy I know they could be doing more dollar$. 

Posted by csl316

Get me on the line with CD Projekt and I'll get em to release this on consoles, with my mad Polish talking skills.

Posted by MaFoLu

Considering how much it feels like the controls were designed with a controller in mind, I would be very surprised if this game didn't come to consoles some day.


Free content is always great, and for me it feels like spending money on an expansion pack rather than DLC is somehow more worth it, don't really know why that is...
Posted by TerraMantis

Nowadays basically an entire game can be downloaded. The term really does need to be changed, but DLC and an expansion are fairly different concepts. DLCs are just usually small tidbits of extra content of the same exact game. Whereas, Xpax are usually further additions to the same game, but usually more mechanics, more levels to gain, new skills, actually important story development (where DLCs are not very important), and so on. They should start calling expansions DECs or something, if not to clarify since everything is basically downloadable nowadays.

Posted by eulogize_my_baked_goods

@PK: We'll allow you to have this on console if you can get them to make LA Noire for PC.

A fair swap I think! ;)

Posted by eznark

Translation: that shit BioWare charges you $10 for? Ya, we're giving that away because it's just cutting room floor stuff with little value but it will keep you in our cool world for a bit longer if you'd like. Unlike BioWare, we won't nickel and dime you via in-camp NPC. However, you guys who have been playing games since way back when, before Halo invented video games, you guys remember a real expansion pack right? Ya? We'll be charging for those.

Posted by jmic75

No DRM? Ouch this is going to be pirated to high hell; the pirates can pretend they have standards...but really all they have are justifications. 


Pirate: Oh yeah I wouldn't have pirated the Witcher 2 because it didn't have DRM, but I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so I pirated it.

I have to laugh at this juvenile reasoning whenever I see it. Pretty cool about the DLC, hopefully enough people legitimately buy it so that CD Projekt can afford to create a sizable amount of it. 
Posted by TheChaos

I am on chapter 4 of The Witcher and I am loving it. Can't wait till I carry my save over to 2.

Posted by soralapio
@jmic75 said:
No DRM? Ouch this is going to be pirated to high hell; the pirates can pretend they have standards...but really all they have are justifications. 

Pirate: Oh yeah I wouldn't have pirated the Witcher 2 because it didn't have DRM, but I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so I pirated it.
Honestly I don't think DRM makes a lick of difference. A cracked version was out before the game had unlocked on GOG.com, and it would've been pirated to high hell anyway.

But it's also going to sell well. GOG reported pre-orders in the low hundreds of thousands and after the game's been receiving reviews of 90+ points, those numbers will just go up. I bought mine direct from GOG.com because they get the biggest share of the cut and the soundtrack alone would've been worth extra money, now it's free in the package.
Posted by StrikeALight

What an amazing looking game. A friend invited me around for a looksie, but I need to finish the original first!

Posted by Tennmuerti
@Jeffsekai said:
@Undeadpool said:
No DRM, free DLC...I really, really hope those habitual pirates who complain about those things put their money where their mouth is and support this small developer who are putting an AWFUL lot of trust in their PC-only game.
bahahahahaha, please.

Pirates are going to steal this game just like any other.
Considering the scope of release + GoG sales + the fact that Steam servers are screaming in pain from overload, it looks like it's a huge release on PC so far.
Yet having checked the torrents the number of seeds is not that big.
So it seems so far CDProject attitude is paying off.
Posted by dr_mantas
@eulogize_my_baked_goods said:
@PK: We'll allow you to have this on console if you can get them to make LA Noire for PC.A fair swap I think! ;)
That would be a dream come true <3
But I do find it funny how you can get scoffed at if you want something on the PC, but not on the consoles...
Edited by Brackynews

@Kpek

harkening to when "expansion pack" meant hours of content and often a retail product    

Ah. You mean like 2010's Dragon Age Origins Awakening?
Hark.
Posted by SlasherMan
@mantasradzas said:
That would be a dream come true <3But I do find it funny how you can get scoffed at if you want something on the PC, but not on the consoles...
Ah, so I wasn't the only one to notice that small habit? :P
Posted by Seii

Downloading this right now on Steam, if the game is even half as good as it looks I think i'll be in for a treat.

Posted by piderman
@Vitor said: 
Game's great so far although optimisation could use a little work judging by how many people on the official GOG forums are having issues.
Yeah they do like to complain. The game runs fine though. Since this is a PC game they included a crapload of options to tweak the engine. One of those options, 'Ubersampling' bogs the game down except on the fastest of cards. If you blindly select the Ultra preset you get this enabled and you get framerate issues. Disable SSAO and Ubersampling, scale the rest to your card and you're fine.
Posted by Quacktastic

A company that treats DLC as a reason to have someone keep playing your game, as opposed to a reason to make someone pay you again - is a company that I want to see do well.

Posted by CaLe

Get a decent PC and enjoy the game in its full glory Patrick. There's nothing quite like.

Edited by SlasherMan
@jmic75: The lack of DLC is in service of their customers, not the pirates. Pirates pirate because they pirate, they'll use any justification and when they lack one they'll just act like the freeleechers they are (i.e Why should I buy it when I can get it for free?).

The whole point here was for CDPR to treat their customers well and show appreciation for their support, nothing more nothing less. Since the addition of DRM does fuck all to prevent or reduce piracy and only ever serves to screw the legitimate buyer, I find it mind-boggling that people still assume that companies choosing to go DRM-free are somehow going out on a limb or risking more than the average developer/publisher. If anything, they're saving money that would otherwise have been spent on SecuROM licenses or some such and even more time and money to implement the software and integrate it into the game.
Posted by Andheez

I just purchased the 1st witcher for $4.99 and have to say I am totally engrossed.  I might wait a bit to get the 2nd so as not to get burnt out, but I am really, really enjoying it so far.  Best RPG Ive played in quite some time.

Posted by Klei


To me, DLC is simply additional stuff like quests, weapons and whatnot. Expansions pack are story-driven continuations of the main quest, or simply spin-offs that takes the high road of six hours and more of content.

 

I'm glad that CDProjeckt decided to treat their fanbase such as this.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Technically if it's content that is downloaded, it's downloadable content. 

Moderator
Posted by dragonzord
@MooseyMcMan said:
Technically if it's content that is downloaded, it's downloadable content. 
Technically if it expands the game, it's an expansion pack.
Posted by MooseyMcMan
@zoner said:
@MooseyMcMan said:
Technically if it's content that is downloaded, it's downloadable content. 
Technically if it expands the game, it's an expansion pack.
But if it's also downloadable, it's a DLC expansion pack. 
Moderator
Posted by spankingaddict

What's the difference? I hate them both...

Posted by NoXious

Patrick - I think they will port this to a console for sure.
I just plugged in my GamePad and started going at it - it's fucking superb with a GamePad. Stopped playing with my Keyboard and Mouse almost immediately after changing some config files so I had inverted GamePad controls!

Posted by Bats
@Luck3ySe7en
This really isn't an issue tho. They've crammed everything they could into the game, all the smaller ideas they have will be available to the game for free when released, as long as your copy is registered. Expansion Packs if they do them, will probably be separate products.
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