“Portal 2” Gets Free DLC This Summer

“Portal 2” Gets Free DLC This Summer (photo)

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The rise of post-release downloadable content for video games often ges driven by mercenary motives. Thinking goes that if a consumer loves your game enough, he’ll either (1) buy whatever add-ons come out for it to prolong the experience or (2) not trade in the game with the hope that DLC’s on the way. The latter consideration is an important one, because games that gets sold back to retailers go on to make another profit as second-hand goods. The used-games racket is a revenue stream that game developers and publishers don’t see any portion of. And often DLC for a game is a way of keeping people engaged so that there are less $25 copies of a game, forcing people who still want it to buy it at the full $60 price.

Valve’s one company that’s bucked this trend. All of their PC games get robust support after launch, mostly in the form of free DLC. Yet, while they’ve done these freebies for the PC versions of “Left 4 Dead,” for example, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game games have required a purchase.

But, the Seattle genius collective is switching things up this time. They recently divulged that “Portal 2” will be getting DLC Pack #1, which augments the on-disc offering with additional challenge rooms, online leaderboards and more new puzzles for single-player, too.

Now, it may seem like poor business sense to give something away for free when you’ve got millions of potential buyers. But, Valve’s Gabe Newell speaks often about how games can be examples of entertainment-as-a-service. Continually refreshing the experience can go a long way towards creating a real relationship with people who would’ve otherwise put a game or movies on the DVD shelf.

There’s no word as to how the new content will affect the excellent story of “Portal 2” but seeing how “Portal 2” improves on the already nearly-perfect “Portal,” there’s probably no cause for alarm. Part of Valve’s success comes from being a big, well-respected developer/publisher that still manages to think and react with the flexibility of an indie. Free DLC for a game that players made a hit says thank you and keeps those players on the hook for more o the good stuff. Well-played, Valve.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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