Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Valve Wants TF2 Maps to be Free

It was just about a year ago that Epic was fighting with Microsoft over Gears of War's Hidden Fronts Map Pack. Epic wanted to give it away for free, while the big M (their publisher) wanted to charge for it. They "compromised", charging $10 before making the pack free last September (long after everyone had stopped caring about Gears of War).

Well, here we are once again, but this time it's Valve who wants to give away maps for its Orange Box FPS, Team Fortress 2. Problem is, according to Valve's Doug Lombardi, they "don't have full say over that". Eurogamer's article isn't clear on whether Lombardi is referring to Microsoft, or EA (the publisher of The Orange Box). EA has been one of the biggest proponents of premium DLC on Xbox Live, stirring up controversy by charging for all sorts of stupid things from cars you can unlock for free just by playing Need for Speed Carbon, or outright selling in-game currency in The Godfather.

Maps for Team Fortress 2 on PC have already been made available for free through Valve's Steam service though, so the stumbling block would seem to be Microsoft and not EA in this case. Sony has proven to be much more lax about this kind of thing, Epic's Unreal Tournament III, for example, already supports downloadable user modifications, including maps and game modes. If it's the case that Team Fortress 2's maps are made available for free on PS3, hopefully Microsoft will follow suit.

Are we really paying $50 a year for Xbox Live for the privilege of having to pay for content that has been available for free on the PC for weeks?

[via Eurogamer]

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