This is a tough one, it really is. On one side, I feel immediately disgusted by the very idea. But on the other, I can almost understand the reasoning behind the gouging. At least, with this latest release of “premium content”. The first round was just plain despicable.

Yes, I’ve got my EA hate on again. Actually, I’m not sure if it ever left. If you’re an Xbox 360 owner you’re probably aware of the latest round of downloadable content released by EA for the new Tiger Woods game. For those that aren’t and those that are upset by this, let’s discuss…

This morning, EA released a round (no pun intended) of “premium content” for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 that is nothing more than a handful of cheats. No big deal, right? Cheat codes have been around for ever! Right… but we’ve never had to pay for them, until now. Here are the 5 cheats that are now available from $2.50-$4.00…

  • Unlock golfers (200 points)
    Unlock all golfers in the game
  • Own everything in the pro shop (300 points)
    Save time by unlocking and owning all items in the pro shop
  • Maxed out player (200 points)
    All skills will be set to 110 percent
  • Sunday Tiger (240 points)
    Play Tiger at his Sunday best.
  • Unlock courses (200 points)
    Save time and unlock all locked courses.

descriptions via Destructiod

Now, this could be totally harmless. But it could also be a sign of horrible things to come. I’ll let your imagination run wild for a second and think of all the possibilities of how they could ruin gaming if these tactics are taken in the wrong direction.

DickMcVengeance over at Destructiod was able to get an EA rep on the phone to answer some questions this afternoon. I encourage you to head over there and check out their discussion. I was glad to see some questions answered with “No, certainly not.” and the like. But we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out. I can’t say I have any faith in EA that they’ll do the “right thing”. After all, they believe they’re doing gamers a favor already.

Oh, but one instance of evil isn’t enough to warrant a post like this. Less than 2 weeks ago, EA released 4 Madden “video strategy guides” on the Marketplace for 160 points a pop. You know, the kind of stuff you can find just about anywhere online for free. Just like cheats… the things we’re used to having at our finger-tips are soon to come at a price. Or so it seems.

Well, what do you think? Is this bullshit, or is it acceptible? Like I said, I still have mixed emotions about the cheats. I can understand where they’re coming from – wanting to make the bonuses you get for actually playing the game available to those that don’t have endless hours to put into games. But still, it just doesn’t sit right. I really hope this doesn’t go down the other path. Paying for required content to finish games, paying to save your progress, paying to finish the game! (!!!) Gah! I’ll stop there.

10 Comments

Well like my dad always says.. its only worth what someone is willing to pay for.

Just like how people want to buy top level WoW characters.. there may be a small % of people that will want to do the same for this.

It’s low cost for EA to do this, and its not like its what they are doing with Gran Tursimo 3 for the PS3 (you actually have to BUY the content), they are just giving shortcuts to the less hardcore.

And you know what — I’d consider to pay to get my gamer score past yours, just to rub it in your face:)

What happend to good old ↑ ↑ â†â€Å" â†â€Å" â†? → â†? → B A? I say bring on the old school.

I agree with everyones comments. It is something that doesn’t quite site right with me either. But I put forth this hypothesis â€â€ÂÂ? If they released the cheats and video strategy guides on the market place for free would we be having this discussion?

Having said that, you can buy magazines that include game saves, so is that the same or a different matter to being able to pay for and download a key that will unlock all levels?

I totally agree! EA is ruining everything they get their hands on!!! Lately they buyed DICE, one of my favorite devs. So now they killed all my hope that they ever do a new Midtown Madness Game for the XBOX 🙁

Even the Burnout Series get worse since EA buyed Criterion some time ago.

What will be next? EA will surely buye some other great devs in the future. In my opinion, EA is the worst thing ever happened to the gaming industry.

I certainly understand your hate Matt 🙂

@BPAndrew: That’s where I draw the line – if it compromises authenticity of achievements. I mean, if there’s one for unlocking all the clothes in the pro shop and you can simply "buy" that content, I will be wicked pissed.

@Jer.: I can’t wait for Contra to hit the Marketplace to try that out. You know it’ll work!

@Gavin: No sir, we definitely would not. The big problem here is that they’ve put a price tag on content that is normally free and has been freely available for years upon years.

I don’t think the magazine comparison is quite the same thing. Or maybe it’s exactly the same thing and the reason we have an issue with this now is because it’s the first of its kind?

@Georges: You sound all bitter at EA, like me! Have you heard the latest? Hehe…

I have to ask you… how did the Burnout series get worse over time? Burnout 3 blew my away and I’m still playing Burnout Revenge and it (along with GRAW) was the first game I bought for the 360.

Yes I heard that about Battlefield. It starts looking like EA is some sort of Sony 🙂

I love Burnout but EA ruined the online experience in Burnout 3. The latest one is awesome like all the Burnout games. I maybe just hate EA too much to appreciate the good work Criterion did here 🙂

Personally I have absolutely no problem with any of that.

I’m pretty sure there was never a cheat code you could put in to Tiger Woods to just automatically unlock stuff or get a ton of money to buy all the extras in the game or whatever.

Remember when someone would pay 70 dollars for a Game Genie?

It’s the same thing pretty much.

I see no problem, whatsoever, with this. If people are willing to front money for unlocking all the golfers in a game, then by all means – let them pony up. It doesn’t take anything away from my gaming experience, nor would I ever personally consider shelling out for something like that.

The real issue is the future; borders are crossed all the time, progress never stops. Right now EA is charging for "cheats" and unlockables. 10 or 20 years from now, they might be charging for something thats fundamental for gameplay. When that day comes, I hope we can all agree that we wont buy their product in the first place.

"Well, what do you think? Is this bullshit, or is it acceptible?"

For the sake of saying something rude: Bullshit!

People pay tons of money to play a game and now they have to pay more? I thought of getting TW:PGA..now I don’t think I will. Now will I be getting NFS Carbon, it’s also EA.

By the way, not to be a pest, but Firefox (Mac version) says that you need to spell acceptible like this: acceptable. 😛

Unfortunately it is not only EA who works like this.

Look at the new Lumines Live on the Marketplace. For 1200 Points you get the game. But after a while you need to spend 600 more just to enjoy that the new version of Lumines supports new tracks and backgrounds and stuff. The full version just lets you play it with the standard content which is quite lame when you think of all the publicity the game got just because it has such a huge amount of new tracks and images.

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