Ever since video games were first introduced to the masses well over one hundred years ago, the people working behind the scenes on them have been tasked with a never ending mission to make those games even more amazing than anyone ever thought possible.
And so far, they've done a pretty great job at that. But the people behind the scenes of the behind the scenes people? They seem to hate you but love your money, and will stop at nothing to take it from you.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some games released in the last decade that could end up costing you a fortune in the event that you wanted to own the full game for some reason. But who really wants that?
Team Fortress 2
Surely this will protect me from snipers.
In development for nearly a decade, Team Fortress 2 finally saw it's release in 2007 with it's inclusion in Valve's Orange Box bundle. The game saw a constant stream of updates over the years that added new weapons, levels, the ability to craft items and most importantly, hats. While normal players are able to craft most hats with enough time and effort, there are special hats known as Unusuals. The only way to get an unusual is to pay actual money to get a key which is then used to open a randomly dropped box to have an extremely slim chance at getting one.
These unusual hats are identical to normal hats, except for the fact that they're given one random visual effect. These can range from smiley faces to flames shooting from your character's head. Some of these effects are rarer than others and make them even more desired. Why is all of this so important? Well, Valve released a store where you can use real money to buy these unusual hats from other people instead of going through hundreds of keys looking for your own random drop. These hats can range in price from about fifty dollars up to a few thousand each. If you wanted to own every single hat in the game, you could either drop the cost of a house on the virtual market, or gamble it all on keys that cost $2 a piece and just hope you get them before you run out of money.
Dead or Alive 5
Hey, I'm not happy about this either.
Now, I've got no problem with fan service. If you want your character running around in a bikini or loincloth, then so be it. But there comes a point where people start to realize that you're really milking it, and that can't be more obvious than with the game Dead or Alive 5. In the old times before downloadable content you would have more than twenty costumes waiting on the disc for the playable characters. Of course, that wasn't always the case, but the fact is that they came included with no strings attached.
With Dead or Alive 5, this changed drastically. The average character had about seven costumes in the newest release of the series which was understandable due to the new engine being used and all of the assets being remade. But then came the DLC costumes. Just around $115 worth the first time around. Including the cost of the game, that is $175 altogether. Then Team Ninja went and released Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate. The same game with added costumes and game balancing tweaks. Instead of making this an addon or DLC pack in itself, it was considered a totally new game. So if you bought that $60 version, you officially no longer mattered.
To get access to the rest of the game, you now needed to spend an extra $40 for stuff you already bought with a few extras thrown in. Then began the second round of DLC costumes. It is difficult to add up just how much these new ones cost because of different bundles containing the same costumes multiple times and as of yet unreleased DLC, but the number is already over $250. That is after buying what was supposed to be the ultimate version of the game that included everything!
NOTE: These prices were obtained by going through the PlayStation 3's digital store and adding the cost together manually.
EA still thinks this is something to strive for.
Back in the 90's, Bullfrog was a niche studio that pumped out some of the best city management games ever created. Theme Hospital, Startopia, and of course, Dungeon Keeper. Electronic Arts saw this company of plucky do-gooders and promptly destroyed them for no reason at all. Thanks a lot for ruining everything as always, EA. But there was a glimmer in this story of death and destruction. Dungeon Keeper actually got it's long awaited sequel in Dungeon Keeper 2!
Only, it was on iOS devices and terrible in every single conceivable way. Garnering an impressive zero out of a possible ten on it's review, I've never seen a fanbase react so poorly to a game before, not even a truly awful game like Big Rigs is as hated as the new Dungeon Keeper, and for good reason. At least Big Rigs understood it was one of the worst games ever and embraced it's fate. EA is just covering it's ears and ignoring everyone's criticisms. And what criticisms are those?
Once again micro-transactions rears its ugly head. In an effort to squeeze every bit of dollar out of players, it takes actual real life hours for you to complete even the most simple task, and the only way around this time barrier is to spend gems. Gems of course cost real money, and the cost of about 100 actions is $60. Don't want to spend $60 for an hour or two of gameplay? Then just the act of clearing out eight blocks will take you as long as 48 hours. That is before you even start building the room. Do yourself a favor and just buy the original Dungeon Keeper games. They're less than $12 combined and hours of fun.
The Sim 3
Sims 2 Pets? Sims 3 Pets?! Its the same thing! I invented the piano key necktie! I invented it!
Have you ever wanted complete control over someone else's life, but didn't want to have to deal with all that stalking and law breaking stuff? Well then, The Sims series is absolutely for you. In the span of a few hours you can raise an entire family and then laugh as you lock one of your eighteen sons in a windowless room so Death can't take him from you. Or you can go to college, there's that too. At least if you're willing to pay, that is.
The Sims series has been no stranger to add-ons and expansions. Going all the way back to the year 2000, the original Sims saw seven expansion packs before The Sims 2 released. The Sims 2 was then followed by eight expansions. The Sims 3, however, has seen a whopping eleven expansion packs so far, and it is currently unknown if it will get more before The Sims 4 releases with it's own series of expansions that will end up being nearly identical to the expansions released for the last Sims game. Now, just how much do all these expansions end up costing the average gamer?
Try an amazing total of $370. All money spent to watch your fake family go to new towns and do new things. Money that could have easily been spent doing new and cool things with your real family. Of course I'm not one to judge, seeing as I have most of those expansions myself... but you get the point. It is a lot to spend on just making your ants happy.
A fake guitar made to look like another fake guitar.
If you have a closet filled with tiny plastic instruments, then you probably know about the music game fad that hit in the mid 2000's with games like Guitar Hero and, of course, Rock Band. While you probably hung up your guitar years ago, the genre is still going strong and new DLC was released on a weekly basis for the games up until a short while ago. Remember, I said that this fad started in the mid 2000's. That's a lot of weeks passing by with new songs coming out. Just how many songs can you buy?!
While the Rock Band series has stopped releasing DLC, they left behind a list of DLC that numbers in the thousands. And with each song averaging a price of $2 each you can see why this is going to get expensive, very very quickly. Of course, you also have to buy the instruments that come with each iteration of the game and pay a fee to get the songs you already bought for the previous game into the new one so the price you have to pay is rising all the time. Thankfully, you don't have to buy all these songs, but if you want the full Rock Band experience, be ready to shell out close to three thousand dollars on songs alone. At that point I'd suggest just buying a real guitar and getting lessons.
We're all having so much fun!
Let's raise the stakes, shall we? EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game that puts you in the seat of your very own ship to do whatever you want to do in the galaxy. What this means is that you'll be mining a whole lot and hoping that pirates don't wipe you off the Galactic map because, of course, there are pirates. It's space we're talking about here. The special thing about EVE Online, however, is the fact that it has a real money system. The profits you make in the game can be converted to real world funds and vice versa, though the exchange rate of in-game funds is obviously far less than USD worth. But if you do well enough in the game, you can actually make yourself wealthy in the real world as well.
While that sounds great, it also means that things in the game can have real world prices as well. Say, a heavily guarded ship filled with supplies could be worth more than fifteen thousand dollars. If it gets blown up, that is $15,000 down the drain with no way of getting it back. Things like this happen a lot in the game of EVE Online, and just recently a very large war broke out. The game's stock market momentarily nose dived as two factions fought it out in the cold dark reaches of space.
At the moment, their battle has cost the two sides the insanely high sum of nearly $300,000 in real money. This is due to all of the supplies and ships being sent out to battle. Each ship has a real cost, and the most powerful can get into the tens of thousands of dollars. When one of those goes, its a big deal. And quite a few have been lost already. There is no other game in existence that can boast that wars actually have an impact on the userbase in the same way that EVE does, and that is why it is so fantastic. Do you want to become an intergalactic spice baron? Then be prepared to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm sure it'll be worth it. As always, thanks for reading.