EA has once again started rocking the boat with their money grab. This is the 5th time (by my count) EA has gone above and beyond to get any extra cash you have from Xbox Live Marketplace.
This current issue is from the BETA of Battlefield: Bad Company. EA is offering, for purchase, 10 extra weapons. They do say that this will not impact gameplay at all but is mearly an extra “skin” if you will. The extra weapons are intended for more variety. If they are there for variety that changes balance, if its not worth it, than why are you charging for it?
This bad habit was started about two years ago. We have seen this kinda of DLC from EA in Need For Speed: Carbon, Tiger Woods ‘07 & ‘08, and in the Godfather. All of the items for “sale” were available through normal gameplay. EA was selling cheats and unlocks that when totaled up cost the same as the retail copy you bought at (insert vendor here).
As I recall, developers can not charge for content that is on the disk UNLESS you can earn it by playing the game. EA has used this loophole countless times before. It has only been magnified by the recent announcement of the Battlefield: Bad Company DLC. You have to a) Buy the “Special Edition” for an extra $10.00 B) Pay for it with Microsoft Points in the Marketplace or C) Play special events held by EA over a course of a couple of weeks.