Oblivion horse armor now available

Pony protection posted at a price--$2.50; cost of downloadable content has some bucking and braying.

Downloadable in-game content is a main focus of Microsoft's strategy heading into the next-gen console war. These microtransactions, as they are called, let gamers expand their experience, sometimes for a nominal fee.

Xbox Live Arcade games have been a huge success for Microsoft, as have picture packs and themes for gamers' profiles and Xbox 360 dashboards. However, in-game content hasn't exactly exploded onto Xbox Live Marketplace. Kameo was given a winter-themed costume for $2.50, some free cars are available for Ridge Racer 6, and new content for Perfect Dark Zero and Project Gotham Racing 3 has been announced, but little else has shown up.

Today adds one more to the mix. As promised earlier, horse armor for use in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is now available for download. The file adds some protection for characters' mounts, as well as makes them look pimped out like a medieval version of a customized 1975 Impala. The download costs 200 Marketplace points, or $2.50.

Those shocked at the horse armor's sticker price aren't alone. The debate over the pricing of microtransactions has heated up and is in full swing on Internet message boards. While many think that paying for downloadable content is a good idea, gamers are divided by the item's value versus its cost.

Says "Mtpgamer," a GameSpot forum poster, "I agree that small stuff like that SHOULD be free, but in this day and age it's unlikely that we'll get a lot of 'free' content. If you are into the game as much as I am, you're going to shell out the $ for downloads. Microsoft knows this...so the best we can hope for is that it will be free (unlikely) or inexpensive (as is the case here)."

"ReverieDLM" finds the price insulting. "This is not a matter of it being expensive in the grand scheme of things. This is not a matter of it being a requirement to buy. It's a matter of basically spitting in the consumer's collective face. Something like horse armor is a trivial addition to the game. Xbox 360 owners already paid more for the game than PC owners, charging [Xbox 360 owners] for something that is then free on the PC is an absolutely disgusting disregard for the consumer. Bethesda should be ashamed of it."

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Discussion

204 comments
shadow580
shadow580

The funny thing is (or sad), now in the year 2011, this is TOTALLY acceptable. In fact, horse armor could sell for twice as much and still be popular.

Decrate
Decrate

horse armor has the be the best DLC ever released im so happy with the direction games are taking

TheHH
TheHH

who cares after 130 hours of game play i only use the horse twice that is like 15 minutes......

kelsie2
kelsie2

horses can die and its f***ing stupid that we even need the microsoft points for the 360.

AkrappA
AkrappA

It is not only horse armour that cost's money, Frostcrige sparg (the wizzard palace in high mountains near Bruma) wich you heritage and all the other player houses wich came in pc version. This is outrageous indeed! i think microsoft is the one to blame. my friend bought this game at the full price, (that is one issue too, oblivion costs 12 bucs in store) but if you want all the addons you have to pay 70 bucks? WTF is that all about unless greed for more money. **** that ****

themidgethotel
themidgethotel

Here is what I say. If you're not going to charge cash for PC content packs, don't charge cash for versions on the XBox Marketplace.

josh868
josh868

You know keeping a service like live working that good isn't free so yes we pay for live via subscription now who pays for live silver? and where does the money come from to offer additions to games? The basic point of it is everything costs money and nothing in this world is free.

mikethemonkey
mikethemonkey

They need to sell a full-auto shotgun for $2.50 Hell, I would buy it! :)

90caliber
90caliber

It's kinda like selling someone a chicken, and then coming back and saying that the bones would be extra.

eskimo_pie89
eskimo_pie89

Awesome though Oblivion is, there's no way I'm spending ANY money for something as petty as horse armour. If it were a new quest then maybe... just maybe I'd spend money on it, but these things should be free, as they were for Morrowind. And most people seem to think it's free on the PC, which isn't true, we have to pay too. Damn you Bethseda!

BEGameAngel
BEGameAngel

Ive bought the game and i'm gonna buy all the content because Oblivion rocks. Have to spendt my gamerpoints on something.

CounterZeus
CounterZeus

I never liked charging for additional content. Luckily I got this game for pc. btw, I got the Elven armor, it's so cool :-) You get it free the first time, but after that you need to pay 500 gold :-(

crobar
crobar

Do horses even need protection do they even die?

crobar
crobar

They will just bring out a game of the year edition like on morrowind and that will have it and other stuff in it.

evilfate
evilfate

glad i can mode armor on my horse... PC FTW!

Calydonne
Calydonne

I think this is RIDICULOUS! Why does everything have to be about scraping another dollar from a consumer. Look at Stardock and Galactic Civilizations II for a GOOD example of quality marketing approaches. IT all just gets a bit much. I agree with JFrosty. Don't be fooled folks they make MILLIONS just off the title. (And they should by the way, I just think things are getting out of hand)

ryan72
ryan72

Sad... consider this was a multiplayer type game such as UT2k4 and Epic 'charged' money for the Redeemer(basically a mini-nuke). So you spawn with a pistol and the other guy has a friggin Tactical Nuke strapped to his shoulder cause he 'paid' for it , so no matter how well you play your always outgunned . Now The Elder Scrolls is SP so that's not a consideration...but its still really sad. This 'armor' should be a bonus item you earn through quests,or puchase with Elder Scrolls game money, PERIOD. This is so sad I can't believe I'm commenting on this... Great marketing ploy though for gullible people who MUST acquire 'shiny stuff' :lol:

LordOfMorning
LordOfMorning

Good lord. Having people say, "Can't blame them, they are just making more profits, blah balh" is kind of scary. People should understand if they get away with this, they will start subtracting key things from games just to make you pay for it later. Truthfully, if you allow this, you deserve this. We are not talking about massive games that need on-going expenses to maintain it. They will just make these add ons when making the game, then sell it later. Come on people think further then a "consumer" (sheep) view on it.

35mmfilm
35mmfilm

Meh its just 2 bucks, FOR LEGIT GG GEAR HORSE ARMOR = WIN

JFrosty
JFrosty

Morrowind extra downloads were free. Oblivion's should be, really. Or make us pay 2,50$ for more stuff than an armor for a horse that won't die anyway.

jackoff_man
jackoff_man

I guess beating the game with a certain high score to recieve a prize or exploring every inch of the game to get a secret bonus was "so yesterday", and spending money on things game developers know darn well there shouldn't be a price tag on became the new trend. Thanks Microsoft. For creating this trend.

SadisticSid
SadisticSid

It's a rip off. Hell yes. But do you see people slagging off Alienware for slapping 50% on top of a PC's hardware value just for an hour's work assembling it all? Just because Bethesda are overcharging for something that's cost them time to create doesn't mean they deserve all the flak they're getting. Overpriced stuff exists. Get over it, morons.

deepdreamer256
deepdreamer256

Nfw us PC users can download all the mods we want for free.

Gorge-a-Maniac
Gorge-a-Maniac

Well ReverieDLM doesnt know what they're on about. Us PC users have to pay it too. But yeh, $2.50 = almost $5 bucks for me - and tehres no way in hell i'll pay for friggin horse armour when it should have been added in the first place. I mean, whats a medieval-esque world with unarmoured horses!?.

Sikok93453
Sikok93453

At least it's not $10 just to keep playing... It's only $2.50 to get extra content...

RZArectah1073
RZArectah1073

I don't see that much harm in a price for the armor. The Gamespot article says that instead of paying $2.50, you can instead use up 200 Marketplace points if you really want to do so. (Whether or not, that in itself is worth it is up to you). People who really want to get the armor can do so if they feel like it. It isn't mandatory in order to play the game and I don't see it making that big of a difference in gameplay.

kaumi108
kaumi108

cheap nintendo?? what does nintendo have to do with the game?

T_U_M_E_G
T_U_M_E_G

thank you cheap little nintendo :D

kaumi108
kaumi108

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kaumi108
kaumi108

for those who are crying over a 2.50 charge, stfu. you buy the content or not. some dont realize the huge profit potential for non-tangible goods (goods you can see but cant physically own, like a CD). Those who play WoW know what i am talking about the so called "chinese farmers." in china there is a huge potantial for the natives to play the game horde all the gold they can get thier hands on and sell for a profit. thats why you see many unscrupled players "cheating" by buying gold from these sites. and the gold they sell is absurd but you buy it regardless b/c it progresses your through the game easier. as for the horse armor thats just BS for cosmetics... i wouldnt pay regardless if it was flamming hot pink aura much like the epic paladin mount in WoW (though its gold). the companies that offer this kind of content is only doing it to cut production costs and crap if they can swindle a few bucks from you then so be it. you have the choice to decide. if MS is selling like extra character missions or whatever that will help you progress better or for better replay value, i dont see the harm. yes you all might have paid over 50$ for it but thats been the norm for many years. and now with the 60$ tag it will be the new norm, until companies find a way to cut production and other costs. as you might have read, its all about profit, and thats capitalism. no way around it.

Rudy25
Rudy25

Its not the fact about money. $2.50 can buy you a soda now a days. But what does this mean for the future? Weapons upgrade for Gears of War would cost ya how much? When does it stop? This is just not right. We should get all patches udgrades for free if we pay for the suggested retail price. Now pay 60 again for an Oblivian 2 now we're talking. But to charge money for Armor!? Where is XBOX going? I hope this is not the beginning of a really really bad idea.

jeff_taliah
jeff_taliah

Good for Microsoft. I hope they make a ton of money from microtransactions. The more we spend, the more they will develop the resource for sucking more money from us. Then hopefully we will start seeing some quality downloadable content as someone in the higher echelon of Microsoft starts seeing dollar signs. Buy the armor folks, it's not that expensive and it may lead to additional R&D for future content.

UntoldDreams
UntoldDreams

Most of you kids don't realize it because it looks small but the entire game industry is being setup to be screwed here. Bethesda might be a fine company but the people in marketing (like stupid game analysts) will eventually go to the dark side of the force to make money. I bet each GOOD GAME (with downloads) will eventually cost $100 each. Example: What if they sold special weapon upgrades for more money in a game like HALO X DEATHMATCH? Whoever does not pay the money will get his clock cleaned in a fight. Developers and engineers might not want to do this but the BUSINESS jerks up top in a company will eventually want more money. That's why this is a crying shame... Microsoft, by the way, does this all the time with their WIndows Licenses. Their Software Assurance program is nearly blackmail.

Legir
Legir

Wow. I guess some people realy enjoy getting milked. I hope developers purposly leave out extras just because some people will pay for those things that should of been there.

jester_gcr
jester_gcr

So, are we going to have to buy patches next? "So you game doesn't work right? Give us $5 and we will patch it. Did we mention that we will be coming out with 30 patches?" 2.50 wouldn't be to bad if there was a lot more to it than just 1 item.

Kaldoran
Kaldoran

Look at the below detail of a mod created by a player, free to everyone. Now this is not small mod adding one little piece of armour, thismod contains not only the ability to change the weather, but a new home, a tower, a new quest, new items, voice acting, etc. Now how can Bethesda think that we will pay money for a measly little download with one piece of added content, when the players themselves will provide such works of art as this, for free. Bethesda, if you want us to buy added content at least make it worth our while. Then we will only think of you as cheap, not stupid as well. [--- INTRODUCTION ---] Huzzah! It's finally here. After a few hectic weeks of non-stop frustration from learning the CS, being plagued by bugs and issues and of course, trying to get this mod to live upto everyone's expectations, it's finally here! This, I believe, is the first mod that adds a detailed quest chain (of about 200 lines of dialogue, 90% voice acted, scripted and detailed quest journal entries). This mod really was just designed with the idea of utilising the SetWeather script command that exists within the game and building a "Weather Tower" that was capable of changing the weather. From there, I decided to play around with how the quests work to allow the player to simply not just "acquire" the tower, but actually go on a little bit of a storyline. [--- FEATURES ---] * Whole new quest-arc surrounding a mystical "mage" tower with powerful abilities! * New player-ownable house designed with mages in mind (a mage tower!) * The power to control the weather of Skingrad using the tower's magical power. * A dangerous battle between you and a powerful wizard with only a few metres to move! * 10 minutes of beautifully performed voice acting! * Detailed quest with quest journal entries, dialogue choices and much more! * Couple of new items (nothing spectacular, the main reward is the tower!)

GedByrne
GedByrne

My comment (2nd down at http://www.gamespot.com/pages/news/story.php?sid=6147013&page=3) was to point out that the download is an optional download. You don't NEED it, if you don't download it your family will not be harmed, your life will not be incomplete and you will have broken no laws. If you have a problem with paying $2.50 for something that is pseudo useless, go to a pawn shop and sell your jewelery, your top spec sneakers, for favourite branded clothes etc.... Point is, if you don't want it - don't buy it.

geckosprouch
geckosprouch

Too many people complaining. Don't buy it if you don't want it. Personally, I love my new horse armour too.

gsamarok
gsamarok

I appreciate the fact that the developers should get paid for the work they put down on creating new content. Somehow, I feel it would be better to release expansion sets every now and then than to make the buyer go to small transactions like this. I'm also afraid that if this new business model really becomes a success, the games we get to buy in the stores from now on will be little more than engines to which the actual content must be purchased as upgrades later on.

jingwa
jingwa

20 to 30 minor $2.50 downloads latter, what have u achieved? u basically bought another game which is 5% finished, probably not even expansion worthy. It may seem a pitiful sum of money, but it adds up and its simply a means to make more money then normally possible, u imagine if in world of warcraft u were charged $2.50 per patch which normally includes some extras, 6 million subscriptions and whats 2.50 times that and even if it was not required atleast 50% will pay for it...easy money as they say. In the end your talking big bucks in the wallet for the people recieving the money, while spendin pitiful amounts of development time to bring u....um horse armor....

JoeyHawk
JoeyHawk

I love my new horse armor... :)

thepyrethatburn
thepyrethatburn

I will repeat what others have said. They are not forcing you to buy it. Putting aside the issue of just modding/hacking the game to get it, this isn't a precedent so much as it is a natural outgrowth of games like Diablo and Everquest as well as things like Ringtones. Microsoft saw what people were paying in online auctions for boots (I use boots because one of my friends actually paid 10 dollars on Ebay for boots in Diablo) and they're seeing what they can charge for what is non-essential game content.

The key here is non-essential. Microsoft knows that they couldn't pull this with essential content because people wouldn't buy the game. Non-essential content, on the other hand, is easier because you can still play the game without it but people, for whatever reason, feel this need to get every little trinket for these games. Thus, Microsoft can make some extra money with this. Honestly, this is no different from people selling their Everquest/Diablo gear online (a practice that most of you supported) except it is the company doing it instead of the players now.

If you don't like it, don't buy it. These trinkets are really not essential to the game. Only people who waste their money on things like Ringtones will buy this sort of thing anyway.

lewser5
lewser5

Paying $2.50 for horse armor is crazy. For something so small it should be cheaper or add more value to it than just one item.

Bombed420
Bombed420

I can understand 2.50 for armor, a couple new quests, some more weapons, etc. You know simple stuff that takes hardly any time to add in. But this right here eventhough its 2.50 many people are gonna shy away from buying it, except for the hardcore fans. If they made it like 25 cents they would probably double the overall earnings. Besides why pay money when the people on PC are designing this kind of stuff for free.

MetalHead150
MetalHead150

What happened to all the free user created mods. I'm sure someone would have created a horse armor mod. In an age where free (and far more substantial) mods are readily availible, I think its ridiculous to charge for something as trivial as this. If on the other hand, it added a new meticulously crafted city complete with dialogue quests etc. then there might be a legitimate arguement for charging.

darfvader
darfvader

I think it's fair, you don't want it don't buy it.