Player Investment in Multiplayer: A Necessary Evil?

gears of war 3 beta unlocks

The Gears of War 3 beta is coming out next Tuesday, and I get to partake in it thanks to my holding onto the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm. As I was checking out the Gears of War 3 Beta Featurette that Eddy posted a few days ago, I noticed that Epic Games has taken a cue from their fellow developers and added a bit of player customization into the game, namely the ability to paint your weapons with a variety of colors (and a few other treats as well, I’m sure).

In an age where the game trade in business cleans up and publishers are trying to get people to hang onto their games, player investment in multiplayer has become a predictable addition to any big budget title. While Battlefield 2 was the first game I can think of that pioneered this (and I’m holding to that), Call of Duty 4 brought this out in a huge way. Even Halo has had a bit of that with the different armor pieces in Halo 3, and went whole hog with it in Reach.
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