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Return To Monkey Island Takes A Hilarious Shot At Elder Scrolls

The impact of gaming's most infamous DLC continues to be felt in the industry. During Gamescom's Opening Night Live showcase, viewers got a brief look at "Return to Monkey Island," the first new experience in the point-and-click series in over a decade. The game, which developers promise will clear up the controversial ending of "Monkey Island 2," will follow series protagonist Guybrush Threepwood as he once again journeys to uncover the secret of Monkey Island. Threepwood will reunite with old friends and meet a new generation of pirates during this fresh adventure.

The newest trailer, narrated by salesperson Stan S. Stanman, shows off more of the sense of humor the franchise has been known for. That includes a not-so-subtle jab at "The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion" and one of the industry's earliest DLC-related disputes. Stanman reveals that preorders for "Return to Monkey Island" will come with free horse armor. At the end of the trailer, he clarifies that the armor will have no actual function and will not impact the gameplay experience whatsoever.

The Horse Armor DLC started gaming's microtransaction movement

Shortly after the release of "Oblivion" in 2006, Bethesda dropped the Horse Armor Pack. The pack, priced at $2.50 on Xbox and $1.99 on PC, included two pieces of armor that could be equipped on any horse the player owned. Like the armor in "Return to Monkey Island," the armor was entirely cosmetic and offered no in-game benefits.

Despite the armor not giving players any advantage in the game, the community was outraged by the idea (via Engadget). At the time, microtransactions were a novel concept and players expected all aspects of a title to be available the moment it shipped. The idea was initially created by Microsoft (per USgamer), which envisioned a new revenue stream for players wanting to download specific items for a few dollars as opposed to large packs for $5 or more. Bethesda was the first third-party publisher to utilize the approach.

Despite the outrage, the DLC sold well and resulted in Bethesda releasing additional homes, a new dungeon, and even new spells in "Oblivion." Now the thought of ponying up a few bucks for a cosmetic item has become much more commonplace, though players continue to shame some games for more extreme microtransactions. Horse armor remains an easy target in an industry getting more expensive by the day.