Expansion pack

From Academic Kids

For the Nintendo 64 add-on, see Expansion Pak

An expansion pack is an addition to an existing game. Expansion packs are most commonly released for computer games, although with the popularity of console online services such as Xbox Live they are also becoming increasingly prevelant for console video games.

These add-ons mostly add new game areas, weapons, objects, and/or an extended storyline to a complete an already released game. The original developer may contract out development of the expansion pack to third-party company, or it may choose to develop the expansion itself (see Hellfire for Diablo and Lords of Destruction for Diablo II).

The price of an expansion pack is usually much less than that of the original game. As additions, most expansion packs require the original game in order to play. If a game has had older expansions, new expansion packs often feature all or some of the game's previous expansions. Games with many expansions sometimes begin selling the original game with the oldest expansions, such as The Sims Mega Deluxe (The Sims with The Sims: Livin' Large, The Sims: House Party, and The Sims: Hot Date). These collections make the game more accessible to new players, but publishers are careful to not make them compete with their own expansions that are still selling.

Some expansion packs do not require the original game in order to use the new content, as is the case with Blue Shift for Half-Life or Rainbow Six: Covert Operations Essentials for Rainbow Six. This type of expansion pack is often termed a "stand-alone expansion pack".

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