If EA Made a Shooter, Would They Charge You $1 per Bullet?
from the nickel-and-dimed dept
Electronic Arts is seen by many gamers as a lumbering monstrosity, a company that long ago gave up on innovation and now only exists to corner markets and crank out yearly sports franchises like Madden in order to nurse revenue streams. That reputation hasn’t been aided lately by their decisions to try and charge gamers for everything and anything via Microsoft’s Xbox Live broadband gaming network. The recent push has included charging for cheat codes, how-to video tutorials, and extra in game goodies. Next generation games now cost $60 a pop, and if a gamer wants all related game content, they can sometimes face shelling out nearly $100.
EA’s microtransactions have clearly annoyed gamers, who say they’re being nickel and dimed to death. For instance EA charged gamers $1.25 for a virtual gun that won’t work unless you pony up in-game virtual cash to buy it. If you lack the virtual funds, EA will gladly charge you real world money to get more. Defending these kind of dizzying double transactions this week, EA’s CEO insists that the cost of game development these days requires such tactics. While charging extra for worthwhile content is fine, double charging gamers or charging them for services that have been traditionally free is obnoxious and sleazy. Where does it end? Sony recently tried to pitch the idea of a carless racing game where you were forced to buy each individual car. Are we heading for a future where massive gaming companies try to charge gamers for bug-fixing patches and other necessary upgrades?