Remedy Entertainment's long-awaited "psychological action thriller" Alan Wake
is the latest title to attempt to combat used game sales by offering free downloadable content with new retail copies.
Publisher Microsoft said today that all standard and collector's editions of the game, which launches next month, will include an Xbox Live voucher for DLC -- but the company gave no details as to the nature of the vaguely-named "game add-on." Neither did it say when buyers will be able to redeem their codes, beyond the timeframe of "later this year."
The tactic of adding digital value to new copies of retail games has been gaining traction in the last year. Following an early example of the practice employed by Epic Games and Microsoft for Gears of War 2
, BioWare and Electronic Arts adopted it more extensively with Dragon Age: Origins
and Mass Effect 2
. The latter game even marketed the strategy under the name "Cerberus Network," connecting it to the in-game fiction.
's narrative is known to be presented in an episodic format. Although the main game will ship on a single Xbox 360 disc, it is possible further downloadable content will also be presented in single-player episodic form, particularly since no multiplayer component has been announced for the game.