Horse armor. It's a phrase that – if you were around back in DLC's formative days – probably dredges up memories of a time when the digital space was a lawless land, and people would drop precious coin on, well, a pair of glorified horse pajamas. Seriously. The craziest part, though? It's still happening. As in, right now – in the year 2011.
For those in need of a refresher, horse armor was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's first piece of official DLC. It originally ran players $2.50 and nabbed them a piece of suave equine chic. The immediate reaction, of course, was an eruption of outrage that could very nearly be described as volcanic. Evidently, however, that hasn't stopped players from continuing to purchase the infamous cosmetic upgrade to this very day.
"In one respect everything we've done has done well, including the much maligned horse armour," Bethesda vice president Pete Hines told OXM. “I swear to you I don't have the report in front of me, but multiple people bought horse armour yesterday! For some inexplicable reason. It happened, I promise.”
"So that sold, and Shivering Isles sold, and everything we did for Fallout 3 sold, so it's clear to us that what matters most is value - and whether it's value at the 10 dollar or 10 pound price point, or five pounds, or whatever it is, so long as it's good value, people will like it and buy it.”
Which is absolutely true, and Bethesda's robust support for both Oblivion and Fallout 3 exemplified that. But that still doesn't explain why gamers keep on willingly allowing horse armor to leave its ugly hoof-prints all over their wallets. Do you really like dressing up your horses that much? Because if so, we're about to blow your minds: Barbie Horse Adventures. Boom. Your life is now complete.