With any exciting and new industry, there are all sorts of previously unheard-of ways to screw the customer. Video games are no different. As the technology changes, the rules start to get blurry, and publishers are eager to see just how much they can get away with.
These five brazen attempts to screw over gamers gives us a glimpse of what could be a very annoying future:
5Battlefield: Bad Company Sells Upgrades For Real-World Money
The Battlefield games have, for several years now, been known for the massive scale and depth of their multiplayer action. In non-nerdspeak: There are lots of people online, that have to use teamwork to get anything done.
Oh, one minor thing. There's a regular version of the game, and a "gold" version that isn't made of gold, but does have some extra guns available.
So what's the problem?
It shouldn't come as a surprise that people start to get angry when you can pay actual money to make yourself more powerful than your penniless opponents. Suddenly, our online fantasy world starts to look a whole lot like the real one.
But, hey, that's capitalism, right? And after all, on the regular version if you reach the highest level the new guns open up anyway.
Wait a second ... that means the guns you have to pay extra for are already on the disk. In other words, you paid for everything available in the game when you first bought it. You just aren't allowed to use everything you paid for unless you shell out even more money. Think about that for just one minute and see if your mind doesn't implode. Buying something. That you paid for. And own. That you can hold in your hand. And yes, early testers say that people who pay to unlock these guns will supposedly have a very distinct advantage over the people who use the default guns.
You pay more for the ridiculous box
To call this an ominous development is a huge understatement. EA has said this is a marketing experiment that they will continue, should they find it profitable. Fans aren't happy:
Buying a car that comes with air conditioning, then finding out you have to pay extra to have it activated.