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The Tale of the Second Expansion

In a conversation with a board game player this weekend, we discussed the phenomenon of games and their expansions, and the weird trend of game developers, both board and video, to follow the same trend with expansions.

The first expansion to a game usually fixes any major errors, adds a bit of content, and improves the multiplayer aspect. The second expansion, however, is not quite enough content for a new game, but is generally when the toolkit is released so those players who prefer sandbox play can enjoy themselves by generating their own content.

This allows the game developer to repackage the three titles together for later adopters, and gives the 15% of hardcore fans  a way to fill the time until the full sequel by creating their own content. It’s not always the second expansion, and for console games there’s little point, but usually the developer releases the devkit just before they do a complete overhaul, because the next game will use a different engine, and there’s little competition between the titles.

Posted in Monday: Legal Landscape.