When glancing through the multiplayer beta for Electronic Arts' upcoming Xbox 360 shooter Battlefield: Bad Company last night I noticed something odd in the title's "Unlocks" section: Ten of the unlockable weapons are tagged with notes saying "Buy this weapon on Xbox Live Marketplace."
According to the statistics graph, the for-cash weaponry doesn't seem to be more any powerful than the other high-end guns. But the beta won't be playable until later this month, so we can't be sure.
Assuming EA's own chart isn't lying to me, it's good to know the game won't let players literally buy an advantage. But does EA really need to pull down even more cash for a weapon that is most likely already going to be contained on the disc?
It's evident that the model for the gun exists in the beta already, as the screen pictured gives you the option to zoom in and around the weapon. So what you would be paying for would be the few bytes necessary to tell the game that you've handed over enough cash to earn the right to play with EA's shiniest toys.
I sorta admire the capitalist intent behind this, but the teenage anarchist in me wants to get a lip ring and throw a brick through my Xbox 360.
Screenshot: Bad Company