Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has been one of the most popular games thus far to embrace micropayments, selling additional game content to players for small sums of money after the initial purchase. The company has already released seven content packs for its PC and Xbox 360 role-playing game, charging $.99 to $2.99 for add-ons that range from horse armor to new dungeons, locations, and side quests.
In addition to being somewhat controversial among gamers, the add-ons have raised questions about how Bethesda would handle possible expansion packs to its game. With The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the company released a pair of expansion packs for the PC version of the game, Tribunal and Bloodmoon, and later on compiled them with the original game for the Morrowind Game of the Year edition on Xbox.
A product listing spotted on GameStop.com today (pictured above) only raises more questions, as the online retailer is accepting preorders for the Knights of the White Stallion Expansion Pack for the PC version of the game. Or was, at any rate. Shortly after GameSpot sent a request for comment to Bethesda, the listing disappeared from the retailer's site. GameStop was asking $19.99 for the expansion, and listed it with a November 21 shipping date. The page included no other information on the pack, and a search for an Xbox 360 counterpart page yielded no results.
Still up on the site (as of press time, at least) are limited edition premium packages for Splinter Cell: Double Agent on the Xbox 360 and Bully on the PlayStation 2. The limited edition of Rockstar Games' controversial schoolyard action game is advertised as a GameStop/EB Games exclusive, and includes an official Bullworth Academy dodgeball and a Bully comic book with the game for $49.99. For Sam Fischer's latest exploits, GameStop lists the $69.99 collector's edition as including special packaging and a bonus DVD featuring a documentary titled True Life of a Cover Operative, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the game, interviews with series voice actor Michael Ironside, tips and tricks, mini-Web films, and more.
Finally, for gamers with anger-management issues prone to hurling controllers across the room, help could be on the way. GameStop is listing a NERF-branded PS2 controller for release later this year from peripheral manufacturer Pelican. Frustrated gamers are still advised to keep their tempers in check, however, as nothing hurts quite like NERF in the eye.
Please note, while retailer listings frequently jump the gun on publishers' product announcements, they should not be taken as final confirmation of a game's existence, nor should the absence of a listing be considered as proof that a game isn't coming to a given platform.