About Downloadable Game Content

A couple of new landscapes for the XBLA game Worms were released this week. I liked playing that game a lot. And wrote about it numerous times earlier this spring. The thing is though (and I really hate myself for saying this) but as much fun as playing Worms was, once I got the 200 Achievement points I moved onto other games and hadn't looked back. Other landscapes have been released in the last month or two and I had no desire to download them either, even though I find nothing wrong with the price. It's just that other really fun games are constantly being released and those games have Achievements I've not yet unlocked.

Neither Worms nor any other game for that matter has a monopoly on fun. And since earning Achievements has been a welcome value-added feature to Xbox 360 ownership, they need to be included in all downloadable content. If you're to succesfully lure many players back to a game they already moved on from -- and get them to pay for extra content -- then that extra content *HAS* to include an extra Achievement or two. I know it kind of screws up the whole 200/1000 points continuum for arcade and retail games, but other games have already eschewed those rules anyway, such as Gears of War.

I did not buy the extra landscapes that were released for Worms earlier and will not buy these either. However, if they each came with an additional Achievement for, say, "Win 5 Ranked Matches on Retro Desert" for an extra 10 Gamer Points, I would totally buy them. Not only would it give more incentive to play them (and to not play other games), but that's the only way we could guarantee that enough people would buy them so that of us wanting to use them online don't have to search forever to find other gamers with those maps. And that's the real issue here; too few people actually buy the additional downloadable content. This not only makes it harder to find others to play with, but it also in turn pisses us gamers off and turns us off to downloadable content in general.

Like I said, I really enjoyed playing Worms and will still play a quick game from time to time, but in order for me to pay for extra content and risk the frustration of finding people to play this new content with, I have to see some Achievements added. There's enough people out there for whom adding even just a single Achievement would be enough of a carrot to get them to plunk down the money for new content. And that wouldn't only be better for the game in question, but would help soften people's attitudes towards downloadable content in general and make it better for future content providers as well.

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