Electronic Arts has always been aggressive with their "Need For Speed" downloadable content, receiving flack for downloads that are essentially cheat codes.
This attitude has not changed with "Need For Speed Undercover," but for the first time, Xbox Live provides a way of gauging whether people buy the content.
"Need For Speed Undercover" has been out a week now. This morning, we wrote down what the most popular downloads currently are:
1) Launch Trailer
2) Need For Speed Undercover Concept Art Theme (150 Points)
3) TV Commercial
4) Collector's Edition Upgrade (800 Points -- +5 cars, +12 track configurations)
5) Pro Power Bundle (300 Points -- +1 car)
The content included in that "Collector's Edition Upgrade" cannot be unlocked through regular play of "Need For Speed Undercover." The "Pro Power Bundle," however, can. If you progress through the career mode of the game, the car in that bundle will naturally become available to you. The downloadable content just gives it to you early, and the content makes note of that. "This car can be unlocked without purchase by progressing through career," reads the content's descriptor.
There are 20 pieces of content available for this game. Most of these downloads are like the "Pro Power Bundle" in that they unlock content on the disc early. They are essentially paid-for cheat codes. They range in price from 800 Points to 140 Points, with a "Maggie Q Theme" breaking up the list at number 13. There is no discernible buying pattern to these purchased. The cheapest ones aren't all selling the most, for example. People appear to be buying more randomly.
With videos and retail-exclusive downloadable content holding the top spots, are people not interested in these cheat codes? Maybe they're just waiting until they get stuck. We'll keep watching, and let you know where the money goes.
Food for thought: imagine if Harmonix or Neversoft made unlocking every song in "Rock Band" or "Guitar Hero" a piece of paid downloadable content?