If you’re anything like me when you go into a store to buy a game you will probably utter the same curse as I do. Games are expensive and while a lot of games will give you adequate returns on your investment there are some that will try bleed you dry. This is a list of my top ten Cash-cow “cons” in the gaming industry.

No. 10

Limited Editions


Ok so before anyone misunderstands, I’m not talking about games where you get figurines, artbooks, comics or anything that a collector may actually collect. No, my issue with “Limited Edition” is that there have been more and more games released over the years that don’t have a standard copy. It will start at a “Limited” edition then a “Collector’s” edition, an “Ultimate Badass Super Hell Yeah” edition but absolutely no standard version. What the hell makes it limited in this case?





No. 9

“Not actual gameplay”


This horse has been flogged before but I think it plays a massive part in the consumer process. When we as gamers see trailers that look phenomenal, run smoothly and blow us away it is often pretty easy to miss the “Not Actual Gameplay” message that will undoubtedly show up in the bottom corner of the screen.



No. 8



I hate micro-transactions, there’s not one redeemable factor in my mind that would save these from the scrapheap if I had any choice. The specific type of micro-transaction that I hold with the utmost disdain is buying in-game currency or power ups. It takes the skill and challenge out of a game. These transactions tend to be for small amounts, after all, at 79p a pop you probably won’t miss it that much but it’ll soon add up.




No. 7

HD Collections


If ever there was a cash cow this is it. You remember that game you loved as a kid? Do you remember playing the game on the Sega Mega Drive or original PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 or Xbox? Hell you can buy a “definitive” edition of the Tomb Raider remake on next gen consoles and the only real difference is they have changed Lara’s hairstyle. Well now you can buy the exact same thing again for a new console! Never has there been a more blatant grab for money than releasing an old game, with no new or unique content and expecting gamers to pay for it again.

And yes, I do have the Metal gear HD collection and Halo Anniversary. I feel dirty.




No. 6

Texture, Character and Weapon DLC

While I accept that DLC can increase a game’s longevity I don’t like a great deal about how DLC is made. DLC is usually in production before the game is even finished, so why do the developers hold back the content? The worst of DLC, in my opinion, are the weapon packs and the character skins. £3.99 for a new gun? No thanks.



No. 5

Free to play (Pay to win)


I like free to play games, most of them tend to be MMO’s and it’s a lovely way to spend an afternoon. What I don’t like about them are the pay walls. You can play the game for free but to increase your backpack, to sprint or even have an extra UI bar, well that’ll cost you. It’s easier and often cheaper to just pay the subscription. Sneaky, sneaky, free-to-play games!



No. 4


What’s wrong with pre-orders? Well nothing really, it’s more about how certain retailers promote them. A recent example of the absurd way some companies go about this would be Amazon with “Halo 5”. Halo 5: Guardians was officially announced on May 15th 2014 but Amazon have had “Halo 5” available for pre order since the Halo franchise was teased at E3 2013. We all knew a new Halo game was coming but I think it’s wrong that people will offer pre-orders before the game is even announced.

No. 3

Season Pass

Technically this is more DLC however I thought the “Season Pass” deserves special mention. Almost any game that is released these days will have a Season Pass to go along with it. My feelings on DLC aside (I don’t like to think when I buy a game I’m only buying HALF the game), developers offer the Season Pass and in a lot of cases don’t state exactly what it will include. Titanfall is a perfect example of this; the Titanfall Season Pass has been available since the game launched however Respawn Entertainment didn’t say what we would get with it.

It seems that gamers simply have to have faith that the DLC that is included in the Season Pass is worth it.

No. 2

Online only

With the new generation of consoles we have seen an explosion of games that focus on connectivity. While this is a good feature we are starting to see games that have no offline or single player function, Titanfall, PvZ: Garden Warfare, Warface and Need for Speed Rivals to name but a few. It’s bad enough when you go to play a game and something as trivial as server maintenance stops you from playing with your friends but at least we had the option of playing the game offline. I fear that this paints a very bleak vision of the future and with the closure of Gamespy we can see that games that have a focus of online play have an expiration date.

No. 1

Annualized games


I can’t be alone in thinking that annualized games are the biggest cash cow for developers. Just look at the Call of Duty franchise, the one-time titan of the FPS genre is now often dismissed rather than applauded. With games coming out every year and no real innovation, it is inevitable that people’s interest will wane. The same can be said about the Fifa franchise, in fact almost any sports game faces the same issue. That being said every year, we still line up to get the new entry, even if we do piss and moan about it a week later.





Okay so there’s my list of the top ten cash cow cons in gaming. I’ll be honest and say it is probably pretty hypocritical of me as I have paid for everything on the list. It makes me think though, if we stop buying them will developers put more innovation and effort into their products or would they just find another way to meet their bottom line?