Rockstar Games trotted out a downloadable expansion to Red Dead Redemption, its epic Wild West-set action game. What’s remarkable is that the download, which lets players partake in online co-op missions and adds Xbox 360 achievements and PlayStation 3 trophies, is free. And not for only those who bought the game new.
The DLC is a rare example of a game publisher using it for good rather than evil. Companies like EA have started to use downloadable unlocks that grant the ability to online play in sports games as a whip to lash gamers for buying used copies. In other cases, EA has given free downloadable expansions to those who bought games new, as was the case with Mass Effect 2.
Other publishers hold back content from the final game just to charge for it later.
Rockstar cleverly made this piece of DLC free, buying goodwill and grabbing some headlines for the game a month after its release.