Video gamers have to put up with a lot from developers. Increased costs for additional content and hidden fees have become the norm. While developers can—and will—defend practices like extra downloadable maps, loot boxes, and microtransactions in addition to a game’s original $60 asking price, there have been things video game developers have charged players that make no sense.
Fortunately, your uncle Geekly is good at nonsense, so here are some crazy things video game developers have charged their customers and hoped their customers wouldn’t notice. Buckle up; this’ll be a bumpy ride.
Mortal Kombat (Easy Fatalities)
Mortal Kombat is known for one thing: gore. The gore doesn’t get more gruesome than when it comes in the form of fatalities.
Usually, players input a series of buttons to execute a fatality after their opponent is weak enough. We’re talking about your opponent swaying back and forth on wobbly knees, but Mortal Kombat X sold the aptly named “Easy Fatalities” as downloadable content. Developer NetherRealm Studios insisted that it was to help players experience every part of the game, but it’s just a cash grab.
Fighting games center around pressing the right combination of buttons. If someone is playing Mortal Kombat X and doesn’t remember a button combination, they shouldn’t be given the opportunity to pull off a fatality. You’d still win the game; you just wouldn’t have the extra animation. Learn the controls.
Metal Gear Survive (Extra Save File)
What? Someone had the grapes to charge players for an extra save space of a game they bought? Yes. Yes, they did. Screw you, Konami.
This scrapes the top of a very ugly iceberg for Konami. They’ve produced some terrible add-on content before and charged folks full price for unfinished games that were nothing but extended demos—we’re looking at you Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes—but the worst thing Konami has charged players for is the privilege of occupying more space on their hard drives.
We’re not talking about one of the better Metal Gears either. Metal Gear Survive must be the worst thing with Metal Gear in its title. Ugh!
Asura’s Wrath (The True Ending)
Unlike a lot of other games on this list Asura’s Wrath is very good—I recommend it as it’s a sort of interactive anime that blends mythology and sci-fi—but it’s on this list because of an unsavory practice that many other games have duplicated: teasing a better and different ending. The game does more than suggest that there will be a sequel—we’re still waiting—and instead of doing that, Capcom added new downloadable content entitled “The True Ending.”
While it didn’t cost that much, this true ending proved the first in the line of game developers screwing over their customers with unnecessary content. I don’t care about a slightly different ending. Where’s “the true sequel?”
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest (Buy Randomized Characters)
Remember how I said that Metal Gear Survive was the worst thing with Metal Gear in its title? Final Fantasy: All the Bravest may be the worst thing with Final Fantasy in its title. Square Enix marketed this game as a mobile game for Final Fantasy fans, but it’s nothing like a typical Final Fantasy game and the developer pumped the game with so many microtransactions that it’s made as much, or more money than, a typical Final Fantasy release, even though it’s free to play.
The worst of these microtransactions comes from buying characters ($0.99 apiece). It’s bad enough that players can’t unlock characters, but All the Bravest adds another level of shade by making these characters random when players buy them. That means that you can purchase the same character you already have. And let’s face it, Final Fantasy has been around so long that there are as many bad characters as good ones. Who wants fifty Snows and no Tifas or Clouds?
Street Fighter X Tekken (Fighters Already on the Disc)
Street Fighter X Tekken is another case of a game pioneering some bad industry practices. Many games allow the player to unlock additional characters through downloadable content. If a gamer’s lucky, the absence of these characters won’t matter. In others the character in question could fill plot holes—ahem, Mass Effect 3–but Street Fighter X Tekken makes this list because Capcom didn’t do a good enough job of hiding this extra content.
Several additional characters existed at the game’s launch, but players had to purchase a code to download them onto their copy. This reeks of greed. Since these characters were fully developed at the game’s launch, it felt like Capcom gave players a partial game. Again, many developers have copied this practice or have taken it to new heights of low—Star Wars Battlefront 2—but Street Fighter X Tekken started a dirty precedent.
Tales of Vesperia (Character Experience)
JRPG fans are used to a few things: androgynous protagonists with big hair, scantily clad females with large assets, and grinding—the process of fighting previously conquered areas for experience and levels for your characters. Tales of Vesperia takes the idea of grinding and flips it on its head.
For about $5 players can buy experience points. Okay, that’s bad enough. But that’s only for five levels or so. For another $10 players can purchase more experience that’ll afford them more levels. Great. It might seem silly to put this gaffe on the list. NBA2K and other sports games have charged players for in-game experience points, but players can ignore this offering. Heck, JRPG fans shouldn’t fall victim to this avarice because they’re used to playing long hours to raise levels. The issue is that Namco doles out too little experience in Tales of Vesperia.
The only way to level up any of your characters in a meaningful way is to pay for it. Foul!
The Saboteur (Nipples)
To understand why nipples in a video game would be something someone would pay for, one must understand the video game rating system. A protagonist can blow people’s brains out of their eye sockets. A game can even zoom in on said brains oozing out of an eye hole in slow motion and the worst a game will get is a Mature rating. But no one can show nipples.
That’s fair. Children see brains flying out of orifices all the time; they don’t ever see nipples. Filth! Filthy little boob hats.
To avoid a higher rating (Adults Only), Electronic Arts omitted every nipple in The Saboteur and allowed players to pay for DLC that returned the omitted nipples to their breasts.
Why? Not that I’m a prude, but why would anyone pay to have digital nipples placed on virtual breasts? And why would Electronic Arts omit nipples to avoid a higher game rating? No one looks at those ratings. Put the nipples on the breasts.
Full disclosure: I just wanted to say nipple and breast several times and drop a boob hat reference in this write up. Mission accomplished.
Maybe you like microtransactions for random characters or you like paying for characters who are already in a game. Maybe there are other examples of DLC and microtransactions that you don’t like. Feel free to share them with us in the comments.