Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Godfather Goes to the Xbox Live Mattresses

Russ Pitts | 25 Oct 2006 11:13
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EA's gangster movie tie-in makes an offer you can't refuse. Literally.

Major Nelson announced yesterday that EA is now offering a slew of in-game content and weapon upgrades for The Godfather over Xbox Live. The catch? Only a couple of them are free, and the ones that aren't feature previously unavailable, high-powered weapon mods.

In other words, that game we've all been waiting for which would finally give you the chance to spend actual money to purchase game-breaking, over-powered weapons and accessories with which you could dominate your lesser-funded fellow players has finally arrived and it's perhaps no surprise whatsoever that it came from EA.

What they're also offering, aside from hints-for-cash, cheats-for-cash and prestige-for-cash is cash for cash. For 40 Microsoft points ($.050), you can get the "In-Game Money" upgrade, adding $50,000 to your character's wallet. Fiddy for fiddyK. What's not to love? Well, the fact that EA, the largest console game distributor, is taking advantage of Microsoft's so-far excellent Live service to establish a gold farming firm.

Actual, real money for in-game currency folks. It's not just for PC MMOGs anymore. If The Godfather were a half-way compelling game without the hype this announcement is sure to generate, I'd be worried.

For now, let's call the threat level orange for "concerned." I think that anyone who falls for this blatantly obvious money trap (how about charging you twice for the same thing?) deserves that sad, empty feeling in their wallet pocket, and I don't see a lot of people going in for this one.

Sooner or later, though, someone is going to come up with an offer we really can't refuse. Halo 3 I'm looking at you. If any upcoming game is in a position to demand premium process for add-on content, that one is it. Not to mention practically everything available for Sony's PS3 console. You think they went to the trouble of establishing an "integrated" online service just for your enjoyment? Look at the numbers and think again.

We'll be back to this debate by the end of the year. Have no doubt. And if you haven't chosen a side by then, prepare to get fleeced. But for now leave the downloadable guns, take the canoli.

The list.

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