EA Games: Challenge My Patience

Gamestop was running one of their ever more-often occurring “Buy 2 Get One” on used games, which I am ever more-often taking advantage of. The selection was less than stellar and I found myself struggling to make a decision on my third game to accompany Resident Evil 5 and F.E.A.R. 2. I finally decided on EA’s game “The Saboteur”.

This particular article is not regarding whether or not this game was any good. A forthcoming review will actually inform you that I enjoyed this game enough to platinum it.

The first thing I noticed booting up this game was a prompt to enter a code from a voucher packed with the game. This would result in a free download from the Playstation Store that enabled nudity in the gentleman’s club that served as your headquarters for a portion of the game. Without the voucher, the download was $1.99. This wasn’t exactly vital to the gameplay of the game, and if one was extremely desperate, $1.99 isn’t a huge chunk of change. To be honest, fishing for video game nudity is pretty creepy.

This was more ominous than frustrating. It ushered in a movement by EA Games to deter the sale of used games by packing bonus content with their games if purchased new.

I was not greatly effected by this until I signed up for a Gamefly free trial. I got Dead Rising 2 and Mass Effect 2 on the Playstation. The thing one must understand about Mass Effect 2, and EA game, on Playstation, is that the first one was never released on PS3. On Xbox, the saved data from the first Mass Effect could be carried into Mass Effect 2. The owners of the PS3 version would be missing out on both the story from the first one and the experience of loading up their old character and seeing the effects of their decisions.

In an effort to counter this hole in the Mass Effect universe for the Sony loyal, EA issued an interactive novel of sorts that covered the story in which one could make similar decisions to the one’s from Mass Effect to replicate the effect Xbox users were getting.

The code for this was included with new copies of Mass Effect 2. Those of us renting or buying used are missing out on this huge opportunity! Additionally, if one wished to purchase this comic, it was bundled with numerous other unnecessary things for $20.00 that I had no desire to spend!

It’s one thing to deprive the player of in-game nudity, but to actually detract from the game experience is a sin as a game developer. In a pursuit of profit, EA is hurting the people they have set out to serve as a game developer.

This is also seen in Game of the Year editions of games, but some have since been rectified. To wit: Borderlands released a game of the year edition with a voucher for all the add-on content. Gamers were furious, and since that point, the data has been included on the disc as opposed to a voucher so that gamers buying it used and renting it can gain the experience.

I’m certain I’m not the only person out there frustrated by such business schemes. If scores of other development companies can stay afloat despite their games being purchased used, enough games are obviously being sold new that it isn’t necessary to deter the used game shopper, and EA, a game development giant, can surely afford to pay their due to their fans.

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