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Published on April 11th, 2007 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder

Guitar Hero II DLC Available – At A Cost

Guitar Hero II has launched on the Xbox 360 with MUCH fanfare, and has already started dishing out the goods on Xbox Live Marketplace with themes, picture packs, and even track packs.

Are they what the public’s looking for? You decide:

  • Guitar Hero II Picture Pack 1: 100 MSP, Not available in Asia.
    Dash Details: Assume the identity of your favorite Guitar Heroes Axel, Clive, Johnny, Judy, and Pandora or display the Guitar Hero II logo.
  • Guitar Hero II Picture Pack 2: 100 MSP, Not available in Asia.
    Dash Details: Assume the identity of your favorite Guitar Heroes Casey, Eddie, Grim, Izzy, Lars, and Xavier.
  • Guitar Hero II Theme: 150 MSP, Not available in Asia.
    Dash Details: Amp up your system with four Guitar Hero II wallpapers featuring your favorite characters Casey, Johnny, Pandora, and Xavier
  • Guitar Hero Track Pack 1: 500 MSP, Not available in Asia.
    Dash Details: Bark at the Moon as made famous by Ozzy Osbourne, Hey You as made famous by The Exies, Ace of Spades as made famous by Motorhead, For all song credits please visit www.redoctane.com.
  • Guitar Hero Track Pack 2: 500 MSP, Not available in Asia.
    Dash Details: Killer Queen as made famous by Queen, Take it Off as made famous by The Donnas, Frankenstein as made famous by The Edgar Winter Group, For all song credits please visit www.redoctane.com.
  • Guitar Hero Track Pack 3: 500 MSP, Not available in Asia.
    Dash Details: Higher Ground as made famous by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Infected as made famous by Bad Religon, Stellar as made famous by Incubus, For all song credits please visit www.redoctane.com.

Wow.

Some readers might be privy to the fact that I say “Wow” a decent amount when I find out something awesome, but this time it’s a mixture of odd feelings.

I’m amazed and happy that there are already downloads for Guitar Hero II available within two weeks of it hitting the market, but I’m equally astonished at the cost to carry over songs from the original Guitar Hero. The total of the GH II downloads altogether: 1850 MS Points, or $23.12. This is where my happiness starts to subside though, because I now have two conflicting arguments in my head about said content.

The rational part of me figures this to be a fair deal. $1.25 for the picture packs with six gamer pics each, $1.87 for the theme, and $6.25 per song pack – each pack with three songs from the original Guitar Hero. Rationally, it’s not a bad pricing system for a couple songs considering the price of music in iTunes. Right?

That’s about when my inner gamer starts to add up the numbers… It costs $2.50 to get all 12 gamer pics that are very likely snippets of artwork that have been made long ago, $1.87 for a theme that consists of screenshots from the game, and $6.25 per track pack when each pack consists of three songs each. Already, an interested gamer would have to spend $23.12 to continue their GHII love, but the thing that bothers me most is the price of the track packs. At 500 MSP – $6.25 US – per three songs, it would cost $62.50 to download Guitar Hero’s original tracks. Oh, and I almost forgot – that price doesn’t include the Bonus tracks. Now can you see how I’m a bit bothered by the current outlook?

The rationalist in me says that it makes sense to pay $60 for the content of another game. My inner gamer forces me to admit that this is content from a game that’s a year and a half old, that to even utilize said content you have to already have paid the $90 for Guitar Hero 2, and that there are no packaging/distribution/retailer fees to recoup, so why should it cost this much?

Why the powers that be couldn’t have priced the content just a bit lower is beyond me. What’s wrong with charging $5 a pack when each pack could contain a level of play (Opening Licks, Axe-Grinders, etc) and three or four bonus tracks? Not only would that balance out a $30 price tag for the content of the previous game – instantly making the original Guitar Hero more of an Expansion – but it would also garner a large amount of love from 360 gamers. Those who owned the original on PS2 could get the content of the original on the new and updated game, and those gamers who didn’t own the previous title could get what they’ve been missing from the original for less than the original. All of this while garnering extra income for all companies involved.

The thing that bothers me most about all this? I’m absolutely stoked about Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360. I haven’t been able to go out and pick it up yet, and I’m well aware that it’s an awesome game, but if this is what the Marketplace is going to offer us on a regular basis, I might have to sit out on Xbox Live Marketplace.

When I heard about the Marketplace, I envisioned a place that I could download reasonably priced accessories for games that I already own. I’ve been defending the Marketplace since it’s launch. Even when I noticed how much themes and gamer pics cost, I defended it because I thought “They’ll start releasing a couple of free themes and gamer pic packs per game – it’ll pass.” With that phase still not passing and the current pricing model of the Marketplace, it’s getting a bit more difficult to defend.

I’ll end this rant with a simple question for those that will inevitably defend the Marketplace by reminding me that this content is optional:

When a game you love finally has downloadable content on Xbox Live Marketplace and the price just happens to be a bit much to stomach, will it still be as easy to defend?


About the Author

Deejay has been a gamer since the Atari 2600, has wrestled–and defeated–alligators with only his toes, and once aligned all the planets in the Solar System by uttering the words "Coo Coo Ka-Choo". In his sleep. He currently bides his time behind the scenes here at GAMINGtruth.com, streaming at http://www.twitch.tv/deejayknight and teaching.



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