EA to give Palpatine a run for his money at evil

EAvil While Activision may be the new company to ‘exploit‘ their own franchises on a yearly basis, Electronic Arts still takes the cake for ‘Evilest Company of the Year,’ three years running, for exploiting their own customers.

The very day Need for Speed: Pro Street was on retail shelves downloadable progress enhancing content was also available, totaling 2000 MS points; that’s $25.00 in real money. Every single one of these DLC bundles unlocks things you are entitled to get by simply playing through the game.

EA’s response to this exploit? "We want to give gamers the choice." Choice is good. And if EA truly wanted to give gamers choice all the cars would be unlocked on the opening menu. I don’t like it but at the same time you don’t necessarily have to pay for this content, because working for it will get you all those cars anyway.

It seems that was just phase one. I would like to turn your attention to Battlefield: Bad Company, now in beta. EA will now offer ten exclusive weapons found in two places. Five are only available through their online store and five by purchasing the Gold Edition of the game. This is where I draw the line.

Allowing people to use cold hard cash to make their character better is just plain wrong. Earning weapon upgrades shows that a player really enjoys the game and has put the time into it and should therefore be rewarded. What was wrong with this model? Not lucrative enough for EA.

You want a new sniper riffle? 200 MS points. Better sub machine gun? 200 MS points. All the twelve year olds are better than you at this game? Buy a rocket launcher for 200 MS points.

All of a sudden there is a stark divide between people willing to pay an extra twenty or thirty dollars for content, and those that aren’t. It’s sick. This is exactly the kind of thing that the XBL Marketplace should not be used for. It will suck the lifeblood out of everything that makes Live a community.

Since this news broke EA has responded to an inquiry placed by Kotaku’s Brian Crecente about the fees. The official response is: "All weapons are balanced for gameplay. More weapons offer players more choices but do not create an advantage/disadvantage for players who do not opt to buy new items."

I call it shenanigans. Why even make new weapons if they are just as balanced as the packed in ones? And if they’re so balanced and don’t add anything, then you should probably just make them free. But then again, if it was free how would EA make 3 billion dollars in profit like last year.


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Author: Creighton DeSimone View all posts by

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