Epic has drastically revised its distribution plan for the upcoming Dark Corners add-on for Gears of War 2, lowering the price for the downloadable content and completely scrapping plans to release a retail-only compilation of all Gears 2 DLC.
Last month Epic announced "Dark Corners," an add-on for Gears of War 2 which would represent the biggest post-release content for the game yet: seven new maps and a new chapter for the campaign mode. It was then planned to be released in two varieties: over Xbox Live for 1600 Microsoft Points ($20) and as part of a retail package that would include all Gears DLC, including Dark Corners, as well as some bonus goodies all for the same price.
Epic has now drastically revised their release plan for Dark Corners and the retail compilation, All Fronts. Dark Corners is now priced 1200 Microsoft Points, and All Fronts will now be available only on Xbox Live, and will cost 1600 Points. Both will be available on July 28th.
The original pricing scheme didn't go over well with fans, some of whom, according to Gears producers Rod Fergusson, thought of the retail compilation as "a plan to get...fans to 'pay twice' for content they'd already bought on Xbox Live." Furthermore, there was the worry that the retail comp wouldn't be carried by retailers worldwide, and that fans would be "left out of the deal."
Despite this significant response to fan outcry, Fergusson emphasized that confusing or alienating fans was never their intent - in fact it was quite the opposite. All Fronts, he told IGN, was "designed as a limited promotion to bring new players into the fold, it also upset some of the fans who've been loyal to Gears of War for a long time, which was certainly not our intention."
Fergusson also spoke at length about the nature of the new campaign chapter that will be a part of Dark Corners. Titled "Road to Ruins," the chapter takes place (spoilers) immediately after the death of Dom's wife, Maria, and has two paths: you can don Locust armor and play it stealth-style, or just get raged up and go in guns blazing. Fergusson said there are "some great gameplay moments in there, and even an old friend to find along the way." Old friend, huh? Carmine, maybe?