Halo 2 Expands

I posted this submitted this earlier today to Evil Avatar but I haven’t posted here since I’ve been watching March Madness all evening. So I’ll just quote myself from EA’s site:

Bungie.net’s weekly update gives us the lowdown on the upcoming “expansion” pack. From the update:

  • We’re releasing a total of nine new multiplayer maps.
  • All nine maps will eventually be available as Live downloads and as a normal boxed game disc – available at retail for $19.99 (US).
  • The release on Live will be staggered, some paid, some free!
    The first two maps are free and coming in a few short weeks. (late April)
  • The same day the 2 free maps are released, 2 additional maps will be available for purchase.
  • The remaining 5 maps will be made available as a paid download on the same day the retail package goes on sale.
  • The retail disc will contain extras, including a documentary, a cool project from our cinematic and animation team, every Halo 2 update released so far and possily one or two other little treats.
  • By late summer, ALL the maps will be available for free.

It goes on to describe some of the new maps and includes a FAQ for all your questions. I was a tad disappointed that there won’t be a Hang ’em High translation but the new stuff definitely looks spiffy. I’m holding judgement on the whole “purchase the new maps now” vs. “wait until late summer”. I think it’s gonna cause major headaches for match making. Get used to playing with the same people who will pay for the new maps.

I said originally I was holding judgement. The more I’ve thought about this, the less I like it. Halo 2 sold millions of copies of Halo 2. Let’s just say 5 million copies. At 50 bucks a pop, that’s a quarter of a billion dollars. Now, from my previous findings, the publisher and developer get about 20 bucks a pop. (MS and Bungie in this case). That works out 100 million dollars. Wrap your brain around that number a little bit before we move on. Good. Now, let’s pretend it cost Bungie and Microsoft 30 million dollars to develop, test, market, and produce Halo 2. Let’s say it has cost Bungie a million bucks to keep Bungie.net (and all the terrific stats they maintain) up and running. That leaves sixty-nine million dollars in their collective coffers. That is a lot of scratch. I would think they could dip into those reserves and throw us a bone with new maps. Do they really have to charge for this? I also see this as giving game developers a “safety net” for delivering games missing vital elements, knowing they can always go back and patch them, but that’s a different topic all together. What I’m trying to say is Halo 2 earned Bungie and Microsoft a HEALTHY little profit. Isn’t 19.99 a little steep to ask for an update that will eventually be freely available? And what about buying the maps on Live? How much will they cost us? I don’t want to have to pay to get things I initially thought would be free.

“But,” you might counter, “if you’re patient, all the maps will eventually be available for free.” Ahh, but there’s an interesting tid-bit in the FAQ for the upcoming expansion:

By late Summer, with the support of Mountain Dew, all the maps will be completely free.

So it’s not even Bungie fronting this offering, it’s Mountain Dew. One of the maps not highlighted, but was mentioned in the update, is named “Backwash”. Will this map contain some form of a Moutain, covered with a Dew? Some Mountain Dew ads, perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.


  1. I think product placement on the maps would be a great idea….

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