Downloadable content matters

By now, this point should be drilled into game makers' skulls. The games industry has morphed into a service-based business. Downloadable content matters. Not only does it increase the longevity of titles both on and off the retail shelf--driving new game sales and preventing trade-ins--it is also an easy way to squeeze out some extra cash from that big-budget boxed product. Hell. A lot of cash.

Activision has announced that the first chunk of downloadable content for Call of Duty World At War, Map Pack 1, has now sold 2 million units. That $9.99 pack of four maps has generated nearly $20 million.

Some game players may grimace at the thought of spending extra cash for new maps, but it's a good thing for the industry as it's another revenue model it can turn to "boxed product" business begins to dwindle.

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