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Ten ways the games industry is shafting you

Our corporate overlords have just one goal in mind: sell us crap. That's just how it is. A typical meeting probably goes something like this:

Marketing Guy: How can we sell this crap?
Marketing Guy 2: Can you say, "Greatest Hits?"
Marketing Guy: BOOYAH!
High-fives, chest-bumps, and company cars all around.

Okay, that might be a little exaggerated, but it doesn't negate the fact that shafting consumers is a steadfast tradition. The following are ten ways games industry leaders are trying to siphon away your cash, and how to tell them to megabyte your ass.

Above: Om nom nom nom

Downloadable content isn't a bad thing per se, but when the content is already on the disk and we're paying for a "key" to unlock it, well, that's a pile of barn animal excrement (hear that, Beautiful Katamari?).

There's also the question of pricing. Does it make sense that to buy all of the downloadable songs for Rock Band would cost nearly as much as the game itself? Not unless you eat piles of money for breakfast, in which case you should probably be more worried about that bowel obstruction.

The only way to avoid being duped into paying extra for a complete product is research. Know what you're buying before you buy it, and don't go downloading all willy-nillyuntil you've evaluated the actual worth of your purchase.

Above: GTA IV exclusive downloadable content? That's a damn double shaft!

The entire concept of the exclusive is built to breed fanboyism. Turns out, most of the time an exclusive isn't really an exclusive ("timed exclusive" anyone?). And why should it be? The publishers want to make more money, so releasing a game on only one platform is counterproductive.

These "console rivalries" are manufactured by the console makers and propagated by blindly loyal fans to do nothing else but sell consoles. Don't buy into it. Sony doesn't "have your back." Neither do Microsoft or Nintendo. They just want to eat your delicious cash.

If there's a game you want on a console you don't own, make an educated decision. You can suck it up and buy a new console, borrow it from a friend, play the entire game in a store kiosk - it's up to you, but don't get caught up in blind brand loyalty, that's what they want.

On the next page: "shortages" and fake hype...