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Sort of following up this article: Idiotic publicity/media departments at gaming companies, I may as well offer up a few words about the stupidity of charging customers for images from the games they want to play.
Several games come to mind, or should I say several developers. For example, how about Activision/Treyarch - developers of Call of Duty 3. Want some nice themes or gamer-pics to use on Xbox Live that would show other folks you are a fan of the game Call of Duty 3? Congratulations, now pay up. Not a ton of money, actually not money at all really, but Microsoft Points (which translate back into money, so we're back to nickels and dimes).
How about Electronic Arts and their partners the NCAA or NFL? Want a nice image from your favorite team's logo, mascot or other images? Again, pay up. $1.25, $2.50, or something in that range will be payable upon downloading.
2KSports also joins the fun, again partnering with major sports partner (Major League Baseball) is just as guilty.
The greed of these developers and their partners never seems to end. I could go off a little bit about product placement and blatant in-game advertising which most of these companies have started using for additional revenue, but that's a rant for another day. I'll try to stick to the main point here for now: that these companies and their partners need to ease up on the nickel and diming and give away more of the small things that encourage gamers to make a positive connection with the companies products. Let gamers have these themes and images for free and make it easier to show some esprit de corp for the games.