What’s one of the most worrisome trends in gaming? When a
publisher deliberately scales back game content. Lately, there has been
some speculation that some of the larger industry companies have not included
levels, weapons, car, planes and skins in their final retail boxes. Within a week,
or even a few days of launch, content conveniently appears on the Marketplace for
five or ten dollars. Namco offered extra levels within a few days of launching
Beautiful Katamari. EA had music ready for download just as Rock Band hit
retail. Ace Combat 6 had additional planes for sale on the same day as release.
What is incredibly aggravating is revealed by the size of this content; some
downloads are a miniscule 100K. This indicates that additional information is already
on the disk, and the downloaded data actually only ‘unlocks’ this content. So, you’re paying for information you already own.
Now, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements is offering “Exclusive
Maps, Classes, and Weapons” via the Marketplace for 400 points. The problem? The
game won’t even be released until Wednesday. Since DMM: Elements is a port of a
year-old PC title, we’re assuming publisher Ubisoft had time to squeeze this
onto the disk. Instead, they’d rather milk the consumer out of an additional
Gamers didn’t blink when next-gen games premiered at sixty
dollars. Such was the price of pretty graphics. Then publishers offered
collector’s editions for ten to twenty dollars more. Now, they are intentionally
excluding content, only to sell it back to us. I’d like to see all gamers band
together and refuse to participate in these ‘micro-transactions’. Let’s send a
message to publishers that we are intelligent, thoughtful consumers, and not the moronic, impulsive fools the media like to suggest.