Thursday, November 02, 2006

Take my money, please

I'm going to move away from software development a bit and talk about something that is also near and dear to my heart.

I'm a gamer. You can see my GamerCard on the side there. I bought a launch day Xbox 360 (which was actually my wife's idea) and camped out a full day with my brother and the Imes for the second shipment last year. I consider myself a part of the "hardcore" gamer crowd - except for that I'm not very good. But I do spend a lot of money on the stuff.

That's why things like this really get to me. EA as a games publisher is like the dirty uncle that when he says inappropriate things at the dinner table, everyone gets upset, but no one ever does anything about it because "oh, that's EA. He's just like that. Don't worry dear, he didn't really mean those things that he said about you and your cat."

Need For Speed: Carbon was released on October 31, 2006. Content for this game went up Xbox Live Marketplace on October 31, 2006. Let's count the dollar value of all those "additions." Wait, this is a blog and you've got NADD. I'll do it for you - I was a math major, after all.

49.25. Dollars. Of extras. For a 60 dollar game that doesn't sound super impressive to begin with. I know, some of these downloads would result in duplicates. One of the 10 dollar ones gets you 3 of the 5 dollar ones. I'm lazy, and don't feel like figuring it out.

And it's not as if these were done after the game has been out for a while - this is from Day 1. At least Bethesda has released content after the game had been out for a while. And, they charged the right amout, after a bad first try. (I know, that link is for the PC downloads. I own the 360 version - my PC can barely run Half-Life 2 at a paltry 800x600 resolution. The prices for the PC and 360 downloads are the same.) I've been very satisfied with my Oblivion expansion purchases.

Major Nelson's comment board for this content is flooded with angry comments demanding that Microsoft step up and stop this kind of behavior from EA. Some have suggested a petition, others have suggested a boycott of EA's games. While I wasn't going to buy this game (and certainly not now), I think that's a great idea.

We know EA has dropped the ball several times in the past. (I could come up with several more, but again. I'm lazy.)

Microsoft's Xbox team claims they listen to the community. I believe the community has spoken.

Let's hope they do listen. And more importantly, let's hope they do something about it.

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