The Anti-Awards 2009

OK, we complain about this every year, but for the most part, developers have gotten pretty fair with aftermarket additions. Nevertheless, 2009 saw more than its fair share of high profile digital grifts. Prince of Persia kickstarted the gouge with DLC exclusive ending, brazenly entitled Epilogue. Capcom released a $5, less than 2 MB download for Resident Evil 5 about 45 minutes after the game hit store shelves, then proceeded to shake Street Fighter IV fans by the ankles over five character costume packs of questionable worth that could not be purchased individually. Madden 10’s “Elite Status” demanded an extra Abe Lincoln for the privilege of playing online in All-Madden difficulty, even though that’d always been possible offline free of charge.

Above: Parts of your favorite games most never got to see

But one of the biggest offenders for us was a clandestinely underhanded measure that used DLC to lure gamers back to retail. The Force Unleashed rewarded Star Wars fans - admittedly, a small audience - with a handful of timely, reasonably priced DLC… then turned the tables on broadbanders by making the final expansion exclusive to the retail-only TFU: Ultimate Sith Edition. While it’s nice new players could purchase the whole shebang at a reduced cost, DLC users, those who arguably made the investment worthwhile, were left in the cold unless they wanted to re-buy a bunch of content they already owned just to complete the story.