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Frustration With Oblivion Mod Costs on Xbox Live 360

Vizionary wrote to mention the player backlash swelling out of a recent addition to Xbox Live. Major Nelson's blog made the announcement that they'd finally added the (previously announced) barding for the player mount in Oblivion. The catch is that the simple modification costs 200 points, removing a lot of the appeal of the small mods the Elder Scrolls series has thrived on. From commenter 'SW 1540' on that site: "Unquestionably, some downloadable content should cost money/points. Having said that, the cost of that content should be directly proportional to the enhancement it provides to the original game. For example, I would expect to pay $20.00 for the soon to come Perfect Dark Zero maps or new cars for Project Gotham. On the other hand, I would expect any additional costumes for PDZ to be free. I imagine there is good arguments on both sides, but one can see that the potential is there to exploit an eager fan. "
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Frustration With Oblivion Mod Costs on Xbox Live

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  • Online PC Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:37PM (#15059000) Homepage
    Remember when people used to play online games on PC, and there was thousands of Maps, Models, and complete game Mods available for free on the internet. Oh, and you could play for free, as long as you could find someone who wanted to run the server. Yeah, those were the days.
    • And do you remember (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:40PM (#15059709)
      Those simple, powerful PCs that cost around $500, were compatible with ALL PC games, didn't need upgrading until the next complete system generation... Ya, me neither.

      PCs and consoles aren't the same thing and aren't the same market. One simple, obvious difference would be price. The 360s are priced as cheap as their corrisponding graphics card for a PC. To get 360 level graphics, you need something on the order of a Radeon 1900XT. That's like $450 just for a graphics card, never mind the system needed to support it.

      What it basically comes down to is the PC is a totally open environment. You set your hardware up as you like, you run the software you like, you mod it as you like, etc. That's how I like it and why I'll spend the money to play games on a PC (well that and I'd have a pwoerful PC regardless of games). However let's not pretend like it's always easy. Just last night I was fighting with an older game (KOTOR) to make it work well on my modern hardware which is way more than it needs.

      Consoles are a more managed environment. The console maker supplies you with one, fixed system that you use and you don't tinker with it. All games work because they are certified and they know the platform they are writing for. There's no unexpected compatiblity problems with new hardware or software. They have a simple interface and do only one thing.

      Well the whole pay-for X-box live service is really an extension of that model. Everything is centrally managed and controlled. It means you can't just go and run your own service but also means you don't have to rely on people who do. I can say form the Quake days there was a wide varity of servers out there. Some were top notch speed and stability wise (and usually hard to get a spot on) some played like they were being run on a 486 in some guy's bedroom... PRobably because they were being run on a 486 in some guy's bedroom.

      I don't particularly think either PC or console gaming is superior, just different. I own a powerful PC anyhow, like PC games better, and value the ablity to hack around on my games so I do PC gaming. However I can see the appeal of the console system. Buy one, cheaper unit that will not be outdated for a number of years, then pay a service fee for someone to run the whole online aspect. It's simpler, and even after years of playing would add up to what the core of my current computer cost me.
      • To get 360 level graphics, you need something on the order of a Radeon 1900XT. That's like $450 just for a graphics card,

        While I totally agree with the rest of your comment, this is very incorrect. To get XBox-level graphics you don't need an X1900XT, not even close. As example, a 7800GT for itself is a *lot* faster, which has now been superseded by the new 7900GT, which you can easily find for $300-$320. So in reality, a regular $200 to $250 graphics card will do fine. Take that $250 value, add $100 fo
        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @04:02PM (#15061019)
          No, not so much. I have a 7800GT. It's a wonderful card, money well spent in my book, but I'm not fooling myself in to thinking it's the same thig as a 360. It's the same general class, in terms of features, but it's not as fast. A 360's graphics is most closely on par with a X1900XT, and would also be comparable to a 7900GTX. It's a fast grpahics chip, and gains some advnatages from having access to the same memory as the CPUs.

          Also your upgrade analogy is extremely flawed. You are totally neglecting the value of the rest of the system. Money had to go to buy that, espically if it's new enough to support a 7800 GT. I was in just such a situation a month ago or so when I did get my 7800. I had an AGP system, but all the AGP offerings were unattractive. Too slow for the money. I wanted a PCIe card, specificly a 7800 GT. Ok so now to the graphics card, add a motherboard, that's about $150 for one with features I liked. Ahh but now there's a new problem, RAM. My old RAM was DDR, new system needs DDR2. RAM's cheap, but still another $150 or so for 2GB. Then there's a biggie: The CPU. Had to go with a new socket factor to get PCIe. So that's $300 for a nice dual core one. Not done yet though, turns out these new graphics cards and mobos need power my PSU doesn't handle, I need a new one of those. Decided I'd like it to be quiet and efficient so $100 there.

          All tolled it was about $1100 for the core upgrade and that doesn't count sound, harddrives, case, display, input or any of that, I kept all those things.

          Money well spent in my book, but it doesn't get the graphics up to 360 levels. It gets them around it, but does not match it.
    • Remember when people used to play online games on PC, and there was thousands of Maps, Models, and complete game Mods available for free on the internet. Oh, and you could play for free, as long as you could find someone who wanted to run the server. Yeah, those were the days.

      They still are the least for people who have enough sense not to buy an Xbox.
    • Re:Online PC Games (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ford Prefect ( 8777 )
      Remember when people used to play online games on PC, and there was thousands of Maps, Models, and complete game Mods available for free on the internet. ... And such free downloads would only exist because some people actually enjoyed building them.

      Probably 90% of my enjoyment as a PC gamer comes from building stuff myself. I don't buy that many games (I don't play very many; I'm not pirating anything) but can get many hundreds of hours of fun out of constructing my own maps, textures and worlds.

      I kind of
    • Re:Online PC Games (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @02:59PM (#15060499)
      Of course on the PC there is Starforce copy protection, installing a rootkit if you want to play a game... or worrying about games that are shipped as beta because there is no quality control requirements, and not being able to play it until a month later and they release a patch. Or having to reinstall drivers on a machine because the current drivers are incompatible with a game. Or not being able to sell a game back to the store for nearly half of what I paid for it! Or buying a game that runs like crap because they totally underestimated what the minimum game specs should be! Or having to run Windows, even though OSX or Linux would be better, because a lot of games are Windows only. Or having to buy a desktop computer instead of a laptop so you can upgrade your graphics card every 6 months.

      I used to be a hardcore PC gamer, but now I will never buy a PC game again (unless Infocom starts releasing text adventures again :) ). Consoles are now powerful enough to have very fun games, and they save you all kinds of hassle and trouble.
  • by kentyman ( 568826 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:37PM (#15059009)
    Christ. It's pronounced "horse armor".
  • by Krach42 ( 227798 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:37PM (#15059010) Homepage Journal
    How much money is 200 points? Not everyone plays X-Box Live you know.
    • by misfit13b ( 572861 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:41PM (#15059046)
      $2.50. 80 points = US$1
      • It looks like most retailers discount 1600 point cards to $20, but the list price is $25.

        64 points = US $1 + tax
        200 points = US $3.13 + tax

        and whats even more fun is that the point cards are region locked so you can't buy a japanese/european point card and use it on your US XBox and they can charge different regions different prices.
      • Dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

        by billybob ( 18401 )
        That's retarded. Why don't they just make 100 points = $1, aka 1 point = 1 cent. That would make it a lot easier to gauge the actual value or things. Maybe that's the point, I guess..
        • Re:Dumb (Score:2, Insightful)

          by misfit13b ( 572861 )
          I don't like it much either. Tries to make things "look" cheaper, "400 points? Must be four bucks!" (No, it's $5.)

          They also have to sell them globally, across different currencies, which might reflect in the regional pricing [].

          Damn this lameness filter...

        • by Malor ( 3658 )
          They do it that way, and then charge weird amounts of points for things in an attempt to either:

          A) Have the use of your money for free as long as you have unspent points, or;
          B) Sell you something completely useless at an insane profit margin, so that you've spent all your points.

          Both benefit Microsoft enormously. I'm sure I will buy very, very few things off XBL.
        • Not dumb, smart. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nekojin ( 855341 )
          It's not dumb at all. By making the amount different than 1 pt = 1 ct, Microsoft has made it harder to recognize the amount of money you're spending, so you're more likely to spend over your limit.

          Also, as soneone else mentioned, by making the exchange less than 100, they can post amounts that look like less than they really are.
        • Re:Dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

          Its a smart move not to tie the in-game points to any one currency. It means that at some later date they can start charging more or (unlikely) less for each point, effectively raising prices without having to change the point system.
          Lots of online game systems do this, for instance Magic:The Gathering Online with "ticks".
    • I think it depends upon the bulk you buy your points in but from what I've heard they are around a penny to a penny and a half. So your looking at around $2-$3 depending upon who you bought your points.
    • Apparently it's $2.50. Seems ridiculously high to me. I could see paying like 1-5c for something like this, maybe.
  • by Godeke ( 32895 ) * on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:39PM (#15059035)
    While the armor is pretty, I can see how a "skin" (even if it adds armor points to the horse) at $2.50 does seem to be nickel and dimeing the player. Especially for people who were used to Morrowinds free mods that completely revamped the world.

    I guess this is an experiment with the micro content that Microsoft was looking to build an "ecosystem" of. Bah, I hate that marketoid term. Apparently the ecosystem complains loudly; wonder what that bodes for sustaining such prices for such small add-ons.
    • I'm not much into MMORPGs, but don't most of the Sims/Everquest expansion packs cost ~$20? And for that you get a whole new section of the map, maybe a new class or skills, weapons, armour and monsters.
    • I guess this is an experiment with the micro content that Microsoft was looking to build an "ecosystem" of. Bah, I hate that marketoid term

      Don't you meant eecosystem?

    • When I was reading previews for Oblivion, I distinctly remember reading that barding (or "horse armor") was included and thinking, "oh, that's a nice touch." While someone somewhere may have reported that it was content not included with the retail game, I certainly have no recollection of it in the coverage I read. Finding out after I bought the game at retail that not all features were included was a disappointment, but one I took philosophically, since I figured BethSoft would make good, right? Wrong.
      • When I was reading previews for Oblivion, I distinctly remember reading that barding (or "horse armor") was included and thinking, "oh, that's a nice touch." While someone somewhere may have reported that it was content not included with the retail game, I certainly have no recollection of it in the coverage I read.

        I saw it mentioned in a number of previews. Part of the reason I bought the PC version instead of 360 was so I could get player-made mods instead of wasting my money on things like horse armour.

  • Buyer's Remorse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:47PM (#15059123)
    I hate to say it, but I'm one of the tools that just egged them on yesterday by buying the download. I felt awful about it afterwards because:

    A - It wasn't worth $2.50.
    B - They really shouldn't be rewarded for charging for something that used to be free and probably should've been free considering the 360 owners already paid more than the PC people.

    You may now "crucificate" me.
    • B - They really shouldn't be rewarded for charging for something that used to be free and probably should've been free considering the 360 owners already paid more than the PC people.

      360 Owners paid more than PC people? Do you know how much a PC that can play Oblivion costs? Certainly more than the $460 360 owners doled out for their hardware and software. To play at the same rez as a 360 you'd have to spend almost that much on a video card alone. Plus, there was no subsidy from MS like there is on the cons
      • You're kidding me right?

        Firstly, I'm sure that when comapring the cost of the game the poster was trying to point out that the PC version is typically $49 while the XBox360 version is $59. (Check out EBWorld and Amazon to compare)

        Secondly, comparing the cost of my PC to the cost of an XBOX360 is ludicrous. I use my PC for all kinds of things, gaming being one of them. As such the 'cost' of the gaming component of my PC is weighted in with the other uses. Its not like the only thing I do with my PC is Obl
        • Simply because you do more with your PC doesn't mean it costs any less. I agree, the PC is a much more versatile device, so the value is there, but that says nothing of the actual price. If you can play Oblivion at 720p (1280x720) with full graphics on the system you described... well... I'd have to see it before I'd say you were right, because frankly I don't think you could.

          • So if you are including the price of the entire PC no matter its other uses in the total cost of playing Oblivion, you are certainly including the cost of the HD TV in the cost of the game for the XBox, right? ;)
  • "Ha Ha!" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:53PM (#15059190) Homepage
    Must feel nice for 360 owners to pay more for the game, then get the privilege of paying for stuff that PC gamers can simply download (or make) for free.

    Seriously, $2.50 for horse armor? At that rate, I can only imagine what actual content would cost.
  • Several Oblivion players have been getting dirty disc errors when playing the game on the 360. It's not the disc, either - I got another brand new copy from the rental store and still no joy. The game crashed out with these errors once every few hours of play. Other users did similar and still got the errors with the game (and with no other games). Still, give how much of a bugged trainwreck the original Morrowind on X-Box was, it's not all that surprising. It's dissapointing though, since Oblivion's much m
  • just the beginning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rabbot ( 740825 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:01PM (#15059284)
    You're going to see a lot of developers holding back content so they can make you pay more through XBox Live. Here's hoping Nintendo and Sony take full advantage of the mistakes that are being made with Live. This is a great example of what *not* to do with an online service. Micropayments will be their downfall.
    • by JayDoggy ( 200317 )
      Nice dream, but Sony is banking on micropayments as well. Check out the coverage of Phil Harrison's GDC 06 presentation and you'll see that is one of the ticks on his "circle of revenue" for online.
    • a "micro" payment to me would be cool looking horse armor for 25 cents. Still, while there may be some backlash here, I'd expect real outrage if and when they start selling more powerful items that alter competitiveness in multiplayer games.
    • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @06:00PM (#15061779) Homepage
      "You're going to see a lot of developers holding back content so they can make you pay more through XBox Live."

      You think this is just for XBox Live? I got news for you...this kind of bullshit has already been pulled, quite successfully, by EA with BF2.

      First, they started with their regular expansions. You know the drill...some cool new gameplay elements (like rocketpack, etc), a slew of items, and MANY new maps. Then we had the bullshit that was Special Forces. Now, by itself, it was pretty cool. However, what was utterly unexceptable was that EA allowed people who purchased that expansion to use their new uber-weapons in the regular BF2 game. And the only way players who didn't have the expansion could obtain those weapons was to pick them up off the corpses of people carrying them. In essence, EA enabled players to pay to upgrade their weapons in the game.

      Then it progressed to crap like the Euro forces expansion, which is basically $10 for 3 maps, 4 vehicles and 7 weapons. Now, many have said it was a good value...I personally feel it was an over-priced money grab. And they are continually trying to crank out mini-expansion packs at an inflated cost.

      The other great example is Valve with their "episodic gaming" vision. While normally you'd pay roughly half of the price of the retail game for approx. 1/2 the value of the content of the full game for an expansion, they've now shifted that by charging you $20, or roughly 1/3 the price for what amounts to 1/5 the content.

      The overall trend here is that all of these game companies are drooling over the success of the monthly revenue stream provided by subscriptions from MMO's and such while at the same time salivating over the potential to sell things on a per-item basis with next to zero distribution costs in the way that cell-phone companies sell ringtones etc.

      Everybody ignores this slippery slope, but I'm glad players are standing up for this for once, even though its just because of the issue of Xbox players got charged while PC gamers didn't. The reality is that NEITHER should have been charged for something that insignificant.

      Whatever happened to free patches that gave great new content? Nowadays the only free patches are those that fix horrendous bugs which the game shouldn't have even been released with in the first place.

      End result: You pay $60 for the original game + what amounts to a monthly fee for as many "episodic expansions" as they can cram down your throat + whatever nickle & dime upgrades they can make you buy in order to even remain competitive with your fellow gamers.

      It is utterly disgusting and unfortunately I see no hope of this situation improving at all.

  • by rain9441 ( 959621 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:03PM (#15059310)
    In an MMORPG, its against policy to sell in-game items to other players. In single player RPGs, its policy to sell in-game items to players. Now I'm confused.
    • Restricting the aftermarket in games has always been about companies seeing an opportunity to profit for themselves. Even if they can't deliver in this generation of games, they don't want you getting used to the notion that you can buy and sell from other players. I remember this being a big discussion in the development of diablo 2 ... people spent a long time talking about how to have a real cash aftermarket for items controlled by blizzard, but in the end we didn't have the resources to do it.
      • Restricting the aftermarket in games has always been about companies seeing an opportunity to profit for themselves.

        Except that's a load of crap in MMORPGs...

        If I go out and farm a ton of high quality weaponry in Guild Wars, then sell it on e-bay for real money, I'm actively skirting the in-game economy. Now, the in-game currency is de-valued as there's more of it doing less, and anybody who is unable or unwilling to purchase fake items for real money is experiencing degraded gameplay because people aren't
        • You don't get to rewrite other people's rules just because you want to do something that benefits you.

          To play devil's advocate, my game is reality, and I play to make money. In my reality, I can sell items from a game online for real money. Just because you introduce a game and want to play it a certain way, don't think that you get to rewrite my rules just for your benefit.
          • Yes, and? I could hit you in the fact with a shovel and steal your wallet. What's your point? I'd still be punished, and I'd still deserve it, even though I "could" do it.
            • Yes, but only one of us would have broken the kind of law that gets police officers involved.
              • You're talking gibberish and I don't understand it. You're not breaking any laws by selling in-game items for real money. You're breaking the contract you made with the company when you agreed to use their services. The punishment comes from them, not the judicial system. Unless you did something truly egregious and they sue you. The point is, it doesn't matter what silly rules you set for yourself. You're only one party in the deal, and you're not the party that controls access to the service, and if you g
    • Not Anymore ... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by everphilski ( 877346 )
      In an MMORPG, its against policy to sell in-game items to other players.

      SOE changed that. There are authorized servers where this is allowed through official means. This allows the game creators to monitor the traffic and make sure no one gets ripped off. (they do take a cut, I believe.) EQ and EQ2.

      In single player RPGs, its policy to sell in-game items to players. Now I'm confused.

      These are external mods. Downloading one for your game doesn't affect the gameplay of others.
  • My character runs faster than the horse. That's not taking into account sitting there watching the mount/dismount animations.
  • by Watter ( 966037 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:04PM (#15059320)
    but one can see that the potential is there to exploit an eager fan.
    That's called a free market. The only time "exploit" can be used to describe letting free markets work is in situations like price gouging during a hurricane something like that. Good grief, folks. If they think it's an unfair price, then by golly, take the 'drastic' step of not buying it. If enough folks buy it at the price offered, then I guess it wasn't too high after all.
    • Agreed. It's insane how MMORPG players think nothing of content that takes hundreds of hours of mind-numbing boredom to get, yet whine, bitch and moan when someone gets pixel crack in a way they think is "unfair".

      None of these players care about $2.50, it's just a matter of not wanting others to have it without putting in the "work".
  • Give me a Break (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Covetous Knight ( 957894 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:22PM (#15059516)
    It's really mind-boggling that Bethesda thinks it's okay to sell a CD full of actual content for $50-70, and still thinking it's okay to sell a couple of extra skins for $1.99-$2.50.

    Why didn't they follow the same pricing model when selling their game? Surely if 2 skins are worth $2.50, then an entire CD filled with thousands of skins, logic, sprawling maps, etc would be worth several thousands of dollars per disc.

    Bethesda should be ashamed.
    • Oblivion is on a DVD, not a CD. I don't think I would of had enough money to buy it using your pricing model...
    • They will not be Ashamed till we call them on their bullshit.

      Bethesda Softworks LLC
      a ZeniMax Media company
      1370 Piccard Drive, Suite 120
      Rockville, MD 20850
      Phone: (301) 926-8300
      Fax: (301) 926-8010
  • by mwsmith824 ( 638640 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:24PM (#15059533)
    Looks like they're charging for the PC addons as well. And have a couple more than just horse armor. I don't know that they're worth the $2 they're selling them for after all the free goodies the community created for Morrowwind but it'll be interesting to see if any other game devs follow their lead.
  • by DanthemaninVA1 ( 750886 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:33PM (#15059641)
    This is Bethesda's doing, and not Microsoft's. Apparently, if you want the official Bethesda horse armor mod on the PC, you still have to pay $2.50, which is roughly the equivalent of 200 MS points.

    I honestly don't see why everyone is freaking out about this; message boards seem to have exploded in rage all over the internet since yesterday, and it's really not that big a deal. I don't feel like $2.50 is worth a mod that doesn't actually do anything (the "armor" doesn't actually increase the horse's armor class, it just makes it look nice), and I feel like a lot of people are thinking the same thing. When Bethesda finds out that people aren't willing to pay that amount for so little, I'm guessing that future content will be priced more in line with the value it gives players. All in all, this really has nothing to do with Microsoft or how horrible the 360 is, but with why Bethesda chose that price for this particular content.
    • Excellent point! I did not realize that Bethesda was also providing (and charging) for the offical PC mod. Shame on you, Bethesda! ;)

      In my earlier post, I pointed out that, on the Xbox 360, there are no player mods available. However, for contrast, I should have linked to one of the mod lists for the PC version. Note: these are unofficial, but are also free.

      Oblivion Mods []
    • Yes this is Bethesda, but it's Microsoft's distribution system and the Xbox 360 platform will be hurt by this in the longrun if they keep allowing developers to ship stripped-down games in hopes of selling content later.
    • The outcry is because Bethesda long-ago announced that mount armour would be forthcoming in a mod. Naturally, they forgot to mention that this extra bit of content would cost an extra $2.50.

      It just send the wrong message to gamers, namely: we're going to be as deceptive as possible in order to maximize our revenue. That includes charging you for content that might be in the box, and then charging you again if you really want the content that actually wasn't in the box in the firstplace.

      It sets a terrible pr
  • by Vizionary ( 782725 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:40PM (#15059716)
    Thanks Zonk! I'm glad this submission was accepted, but feel the original "tone" was lost in translation, so I'm posting it here just "for the record". Note: I was quite angry when I submitted it.

    Micro$oft's marketing droids have fired the first salvo in the latest round of Digital Restrictions Management Warfare. Oblivion, by Bethesda, widely believed to be the strongest candidate for 2006 Game Of The Year, has begun providing downloadable content via XBOX Live. This could be great news, but at roughly $2.50 for downloadable Horse Armor a mere two weeks after the game shipped, we all know this was carved from the game to be sold separately. Bethesda is also to blame here, with other similarly priced content on the way. How long until "essential" game content is withheld from a game release, only to be downloaded in Pay-Per-Play chunks?

    Please note that I'm definitely not against pay-per-play as a viable model, however, for these guys to charge $2.50 for what basically amounts to a few texture maps and a mesh is a big step over the edge onto a slippery slope that could (will?) lead to more egregious violations of player trust. And, before everyone says "if you don't like it, don't buy it"...believe me, I won't. However, it's important to understand that without public backlash over this, the folks behind these machinations will continue forward, "innovating" online gaming to the point where you won't be able to complete a $60 game you purchased until you've spent another $40 on pseudo-essential add-ons. (Not picking on you, Bethesda, we love you guys!!!)

    Why did I mention Digital Restrictions Management? Glad you asked. If player contributed content were available via XBOX Live, the "power" of this type of marketing ploy would be diffused against other, more affordable (even free in some cases) mods. Why no player contributed content? Well, first you need Micro$oft's permission to provide anything via Live. And, well, we'll just leave the DRM issue right's just beating a dead horse with armor.

    But, I digress...

    Thank You, Bethesda, for Oblivion! You've restored my faith in immersive, interactive storytelling! Please use your amazing success with this game to help protect the future of downloadable content. I suppose that one way to do that would be to ensure that the price of content is in-line with the value of the content. And, it would be really nice if it were also tied to the actual "cost" of the content...but, hey, we can always dream.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @02:56PM (#15060470) Homepage
      Wait, a long and fuming rant about a $2.50 skin for a game, and the editors actually edited it down to a fairly reasonable story intro? If I didn't know better, I'd say the editors are doing their job. Careful guys, you're scaring me... ;)
    • Two points:

      Why is this a violation of trust? I could agree with that in a situation where players have invested lots of time in a game and the system changed to require cash to stay competitive. This is a new game and the item, as far as I can tell, is just pixel crack. If someone's prepared to pay $2.50 or $2,500 for a shirt of slightly different color, what does it matter?

      Point two: What's wrong with the restrictions here? Few commercial online games allow player made graphics into the game. If they s
    • However, it's important to understand that without public backlash over this, the folks behind these machinations will continue forward

      Backlash or no, if the idea tanks in the maket, it will go away. As far as I can tell, this is nothing more than a lot of people (or maybe only one?) making a mountain out of a molehill. This $2.50 add-on doesn't change the gameplay in anyway whatsoever. Yeah, go ahead, scream "slippery slope" all you want. If nobody buys this, then the publishers are looking at a decide
  • Even though everyone is complaining about this the fact is that if people buy it then the experiment worked.

    If people feel that it's a horrible thing by the developers to do and protest by not buying it then things like this wont happen, but, if people complain and buy it anyway then we'll see more and more things like this. Bitching on a message board wont change a thing if they profit off of the idea.
  • id10t Error (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:46PM (#15059789) Journal
    No one forces you to buy a 360, no one forces you to buy Oblivion, no one forces you to buy Horse armor, no one forces you to buy Xbox live.

    You buy it because you choose to do so. You buy it because it works, because you enjoy it and because you don't mind paying for someones hard work.

    Sure horse armor for 2.50 is a joke. I don't dispute that. However the 360, xbox live and the game are all worth every penny i paid and then some. I'll choose not to buy the horse armor because..

    you may guess it

    i don't freaking HAVE to.

    Thanks for blowing this way out of proportion and making yourselves look like idiots. Move along.
    • Re:id10t Error (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MeanMF ( 631837 )
      Sure you don't NEED to buy horse armor for $2.50, but watch what happens then with games like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. It shipped with 10 multiplayer maps. Previous Ghost Recon games all came with at least twice as many. What do you want to bet that they have a bunch more maps sitting around that they could have put on the game disc, but are now waiting to sell online instead?
  • The irony... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Daze-wan ( 965333 )
    it is interesting that the time it would have taken to set up the system to take and process payments for downloading the mods for the PC probably cost more and took more time than producing the actual if they released it for nothing it likely would have cost them less...
  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @02:14PM (#15060052)
    Months ago, MS sold an alternate outfit for Kameo (main character in the game Kameo) for the same price I believe.

    I didn't pay and I encourage others not to pay either.

    I'm not against micropayments, but I lets make MS work for their money, make them develop good additional content. Like Geometry Wars.

    When additional tracks/cars become available for PGR3, I don't know what I will do. I would like the content, but the problem is if we pay them, they'll leave stuff out of the next PGR3 on purpose, just so they can sell it to you later.
  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @02:17PM (#15060083)
    So much for the good old days where this kind of content was free. I would never even imagined I would have to pay for this sort of thing.

    I can expect to pay something for a substantial mod that introduces a new storyline or something to that effect. But to be charged for something as simple as a new texture and maybe a new model is pathetic.

    It's not like an MMO where we're playing on their servers. But here they are charging for an object that at best some employee threw together in an afternoon, at worst was originally created with the game but left out for the release. They apply a few stats to it and they're done.

    If Bethesda are finding themselves in a situation where Oblivion isn't as profitable as they'd like because of what they've invested in it's development then they should be addressing the issue differently.

    The first option is not to make the game so overwrought that they spend a fortune just creating the game. Focus on the gameplay. Don't get obsessed in the latest eye candy that doesn't add directly to gameplay and that even struggles to run on fairly recent video cards.

    The second option is simply to charge a bit more for the game. That's not a pleasant option, but if the game is more expensive to produce then charge accordingly. Of course, then I wouldn't expect to have to pay for anything for these mods.

    The problem is that the power is in the hands of the consumer. Unfortunately, too many consumers dont think. They're quick to defend these companies and readily pay for anything. The more these people happily accept this sort of the nonsense the more the rest of us are forced into these extortionist pricing models.

    In a way I think MMOs have been a bad for the gaming industry. It's shown these companies that not only can they charge full price for a game, but convince people to pay a monthly fee to continue playing. And on top of that most of these games dont even provide significantly more content than a single player but instead are heavily padded with repetitive gameplay. Consumers seem to be more than willing to part with their money, so why not make things easy for them?
  • I would expect any additional costumes for PDZ to be free.

    Ha! From your lips to Mattel's ears. Tell THEM that, every time my daughter wants an "upgrade" to her Barbi's accessories collection!

  • by yum ( 24177 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @02:30PM (#15060219) Homepage
    Pete Hines from Bethesda Software was kind enough to answer a few question and shed some light on the whole Horse Armor Spectacle. Click here [].
    • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @03:22PM (#15060693) Homepage
      Took a few tries to get that link to come up, here's the text:

      Pete Hines from Bethesda Software was kind enough to answer a few question and shed some light on the whole Horse Armor Spectacle.

      bapenguin: It seems there's been quite a bit of backlash from the $2.50 horse armor skins. What's your take on it?

      Pete Hines: Honestly there's not a lot of info out there for us to go on. We tried to find a spot for it that fit with what other things were out there. A Theme costs 150 points. The Kameo thing was 200. We're trying to find the right spot that fits. How much is something you can use in the game worth versus a gamer picture pack, or a theme, and so on.

      bapenguin: Any chance that we'll see a change in the price structure because of this? Or has it been selling well enough at the current price point that you guys are happy?

      Pete Hines: Will they all be priced the same? I don't know. We're not even a day into this right now. We've got a couple more we're working on finishing and testings and will release in the next couple of weeks. We want to put some different things out there and find out what folks want and what they don't want. These are optional things, not requirements, so if you don't want to get them you don't have to.

      bapenguin: What about free mods on the 360? Will we be seeing any of the popular PC mods from the user community showing up on Live?

      Pete Hines: Right now we don't have plans to do any free mods. We don't ever get involved with fan-created content, on any platform, so taking some of that and releasing it on Live is not something we'd ever do.

      Pete brings up a good point relating to content already out there. I completely forgot about the Kameo "winter pack" thing which was the same price. That "content" is pretty much the same as what Bethesda is offering. It's good to hear that a variety of stuff is in the works.
  • Look guys I was going to moderate this, but I think is "reality check time" I have a PC (I dont have a Xbox 360) I know Oblivion for PC costs less than the 360 version and I would LOVE to play it, but I CANT you know why? Because I dont have the Cash to upgrade to a 3.0 HT CPU with a 7200 rpm 120 gb Speed Drive, ATI xt 9800 (or whatever $200+ 3d card) and 2.0 gb of RAM _recommended_ to play the game, THATS WHY! (I have a crappy 1.5, 80 gb (almost FULL), 512 ram and a 9600 ati card ) I can buy the entire
  • The PC version of this download is available now too. The cost is $1.99, which is less than the $2.50 that the Xbox 360 version costs.

    [] List.aspx?SubCategoryId=1 []
    or the Coral cache link as the site seems to be getting hammered already: []
  • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @02:43PM (#15060335)
    A company charges extra money, for giving you an extra benifit!? The next thing you know, they will be charging people extra to give them bigger seats and better service on airplanes. The next thing you know, they will be charging people extra when they buy a car for luxuries like XM radio, or a more powerful engine! Where will it end? I am afraid it won't end until people who purchase a $2.50 combo meal at McDonalds do not get the same service or quality that they would spending $300 at a top resterant! WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!!!!???????

    People have a basic human right to have armor on their hourses in video games! It is time we nationalize the gaming industry, like we do health care, education, and all vital industries, so we make sure this kind of oppression is eliminated. The government certainly wouldn't exploit us like this!
  • Older Gamers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rapter09 ( 866502 )
    I think gamers from the older school of thinking will have a major negative reaction to this kind of thing. For me (even though i'm not "old", but i've been playing games long enough to remember freeware\shareware) paying for something like this is laughable. Perhaps to a newer generation of gamers it may be something worth considering - regardless of the value per dollar. For me, paying for content outside of a full-blown expansion pack for a game is ridiculous. Stuff like that should be free for download
    • I gave up on gaming a number of years ago. Nothing seemed very interesting and ended up being the same old gameplay concepts with a prettier face. Sounds like it was a smart move. The idea of pay-to-play and now paying for simplistic little mods; in addition to the stolid gameplay - well there are more interesting things out there to spend money on. Plus I can step off the never ending graphic card upgrade treadmill.

      Wake me up when the game industry has imploded and then rediscovered originality from the

  • This is what M$ has been moving towards for many years - subscription services. They've voiced their "concern" that people don't pay continuously several times. They've tried projects with M$ Office of that kind. Now they found their prey: Gamers.

    Expect more of the same. Billy and Balmer have been having wet dreams about this for at least 10 years - pay for everything. I wouldn't be surprised if you'd have to pay for your save-game slots in a year or two.
  • On the PC, this mod costs a wallet-shattering $1.99. [] That seems excessive. You could buy half an Oblivion key ring [] with that much money!

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein