The free Gears of War 2 map pack included in the box was downloaded by less than 30% of people who actually bought the game. Word comes from Senior Gameplay Designer on Gears of War 3, Lee Perry, and Lead Multiplayer Level Designer Jim Brown in an interview with us.
"It's interesting because DLC does well but the numbers of DLC are never going to compare to the number of people who purchased the game. Our Flashback Map Pack, we gave away five or six maps completely free when you bought the game and I think it was less than 30% of people downloaded it," Brown told us.
He went on to question why they were having trouble literally giving content away. "It was free, in the box, they just never bothered to do it. So again, why? Is it a matter of accessibility? Is it people don't like typing in a 16-digit code? What's the reason? It's a weird numbers game."
Perry informed us that the most played Gears 2 maps online tended to be the brighter, more open areas, with this informing their decisions when making maps for Gears of War 3.
"You can almost rank how much [maps are] played by how bright they are. The darker, dreary, more depressing maps tend to be on the bottom," Perry stated, going on to reveal that they "came out swinging on that front in Gears 3 because we have a whole new lighting model and a lot of our maps are brighter, so we try to take that into account. Even the maps that are 'dark', they're movie dark. It just means they're more blue than dark."
We'll have the full interview up for you to peruse later in the week.