7. Konami sells mafia-like "protection" for Metal Gear Solid V
After all the hubbub around the departure of creator and madman Hideo Kojima leaving the project, Metal Gear Solid V still turned out pretty great. The mixture of Metal Gear's tight stealth mechanics with vast open worlds and an array of unique (and silly) tools came together to make a game experience unlike any other. It seemed like a lot of the hand-wringing leading up to the release of the game was basically for nothing, since the end product was such a triumph. And then Konami had to come along and fuck it up.
See, one of the major features in the game is called the Forward Operating Base. It's an extension of your oceanbound headquarters, in that the FOB is also a badass outpost in the middle of the ocean. As the FOB grows, so do your capabilities in open world. You have more soldiers to send on side missions and you also have more resources to do vital research on cardboard boxes. You get one FOB for free, but Konami is selling extras for 10 bucks a pop. That in itself isn't a big deal, since your main base and FOB is more than enough to get through the game in decent shape.
But here's the catch: Other players can invade your FOB and snatch your shit, including soldiers and precious resources. You can defend your territory by jumping back into your base and obliterating the intruder, and if you're so inclined you can strike back by going on an invasion mission of your own. It's a neat idea, but at the same time can be kind of a drag for people who don't want to engage with the online aspect of the game. Despite the feature being kind of funky to begin with, Konami recently announced that they would be selling "insurance" DLC that protects your FOB from attacks. It's like a mafia shakedown. "That's some nice fuel that you collected in the single-player... it would be a shame if we enabled any online player to steal it at any time."
It's hard not to notice that Konami waited six weeks after the game launched -- after its dazzling Metacritic score was set in stone -- to unleash this repugnant DLC program. Don't want your shit snatched? Pony up the dough. Want to give your invader a taste of their own medicine? Too bad, they've got insurance and your revenge is moot. There's nothing left to do but delete the game and burn your computer.
But wait, if you don't want to play their little game, you can just switch to Offline mode, right? You'd think so, but Konami's made sure to cover every base in their special brand of slippery shit. After the DLC insurance update hit, players started reporting that the game would automatically deduct a ton of money and resources from your total if you went into offline mode; the reason being that Konami made sure that a large amount of your goods are stored "online." If you want to access your hard-earned spoils, you have to connect to their servers and subject yourself to a community full of diehards and hackers that will obliterate you. Konami's fine with it because a) it encourages you to spend money on insurance and b) they're getting out of the console games business anyway, so they might as well squeeze a few more bucks out of their biggest fans.
The only way to truly escape this nonsense is by declining the Terms of Service agreement at the beginning of the game. Or you could just go back and play Metal Gear Solid 3 and pretend none of this ever happened.
6. The pervy, insanely expensive add-ons for Japanese anime games
In the decade or so since DLC has come into prominence, the general rule most have agreed upon is "If it's cosmetic, it's probably okay." Selling a silly hat in Team Fortress 2 because it's only superficial; these types of add-ons don't give any sort of in-game advantage. Is it a little gross that there were dozens of weapon skins for sale when Gears of War 3 launched? Yeah, but you're not exactly missing out by declining to pay for the pleasure of slathering your chainsaw gun with pink camoflauge.
But if there's an example of cosmetic DLC going overboard, it probably comes from Japan. Games like Idolmaster more or less involve watching young girls dance around on-screen, and primarily exist to sell new clothes and accessories to lonely men who have long lost the ability to feel anything. Taking advantage of these poor guys is kind of skirting the line, but again, it's their choice.
This, on the other hand, might be going over the line:
By using a special "Upgrade Bra" in the hostess game Dream Club Zero, you can enlarge the breasts of your "date." Manipulating the chest size of a video game female is pretty creepy as it is, but publisher developer Tamsoft didn't include it as a feature -- the Upgrade Bra is DLC that costs around six dollars. Why spend money on something so temporary like "food for lunch" when you can have big boobs forever on your immortal digital blow-up doll?
It sounds bizarre, but DCZ isn't the only game to have this feature. In Gal Gun -- an actual real game in which the player shoot girls with an orgasm gun -- you can buy a piece of DLC called "The Angel's Cutting Board," or another one called "the "Devil's Meat Buns." Go ahead and guess what they do.
Gal Gun takes the sleaze a step further with an add-on called "Pheremon Z," which lets you see through schoolgirls' clothes with X-Ray Vision.
The most fucked up part about this? Pheremon Z costs 10,000 yen, or about 90 goddamned US dollars. That's more than the game itself. And it's not even the worst thing on this list.