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The concept of paying real money for in-game cosmetic items is not new. It started back in 2006 when Bethesda released the infamous Horse Armour pack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for a cheap price. The DLC wasn’t substantial, but it added eight different sets of equine armour that increased the health of any horse they were applied to. Horse Armour may have been laughed at in 2006, but it was a significant contribution to the aftermarket monetisation of single-player games. Today, almost every game release is linked to some form of live-service with a set of premium currencies and a battle pass. Horse Armour paved the way for this trend.
This week, Diablo 4 has reintroduced the premium micro-DLCs with a price of more than some new games. The price has sparked a discussion on the future of in-game monetisation in video games. However, the fact remains that gamers still find value in purchasing these cosmetic bundles. Back in 2006, Bethesda made a lot of money from Horse Armour despite the initial backlash. Today’s digital distribution and microtransactions allow for even greater potential returns and expenditures. Figureheads like Todd Howard use this to experiment with new ideas, but the community’s response ultimately shapes the future development of the gaming industry.
Best Games Ever is a 30-minute panel show where panellists debate the best games in specific categories. In one episode, panellists were asked which is the best game with Horse Armour, but aside from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which game got the vote? Find out by watching the video or listening to the podcast.
Watch the video version here:
Listen to The Best Games Ever Show for more debates on the best games out there. New episodes come out every week.
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