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Downloadable content revives old games

When you sell used video games back to the store where you bought them, the publishers don’t make any money. So they want you to hold onto games after you’ve finished them — and perhaps even spend a few more bucks to download some add-on material.

Most downloadable content (aka DLC) is fairly simple: new weapons or armor for characters, or new maps for multiplayer action. But more companies are looking at ways to lengthen the single-player adventure. Rockstar Games has announced the first downloadable chapter for “Grand Theft Auto IV,” and some of the fall’s hottest titles have more ambitious DLC in the works.

This month, fans of Microsoft’s “Fable II” will get a new story in a new setting, the mysterious Knothole Island. Bethesda Softworks has three chunky add-ons coming for the Xbox version of the postapocalypse thriller “Fallout 3”; the first, “Operation: Anchorage,” recounts the liberation of the Alaska city from the Chinese. And Square Enix is offering a pair of “challenge packs” for “The Last Remnant.”

Nifty DLC isn’t confined to the Xbox. Fans of the PlayStation 3 version of 2K Games’ “BioShock” can now download a collection of “challenge rooms” set in previously unseen parts of the undersea city Rapture.

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