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Unlockable content refers to content that is available in video games but not accessible unless something is performed by the player to get access to it. Different genres of games have different styles and options of unlockable content that is standard among their games. The unlockable content varies, and can be as little as a single weapon or enhancement, to more than doubling the playable characters available to the player.
In North America, game retailer GameStop has offered many top games, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, for presale with exclusive unlockable content. In order to get these exclusives, one must order the game through the retailer before it is available for sale, with a small deposit to guarantee the game. Once this presale is made, the buyer gets a code to use to get the unlockable content once the game is available.
Some modern games have established replayability for players through an achievements system. Once the player does unique or difficult actions in a game, such as killing a boss in a limited time, or collecting a certain number of items over the course of playing the game, the player can earn an achievement. Some achievements can unlock more content, such as additional items for the player to use or vanity items to show the player's prowess at achievements.
Especially with fighting games, defeating certain bosses or villains can unlock those characters, or other non-starting characters, as playable characters for the player. Games like Tekken and Soulcalibur offer such methods of unlocking content.
Sometimes, the only action necessary to unlock new content is internet availability. Games like Professor Layton and the Curious Village offered players additional puzzles every week by downloading the puzzles from the internet over the Nintendo WiFi Connection available in all the Nintendo DS handhelds.
Sometimes a player can unlock content by collecting hidden items found throughout the game. Some games offer a purchase system of additional content, such as images, wallpapers, music and such, great example is the .hack video game series, by collecting the hidden items and redeeming them for the unlockable content. Sometimes the player can get these unlockables based on the total amount of hidden items found.
- From ArcadeCrusade on Nov 24, 2009 8:43 am GMT (2009-11-17). "How do I get the baseball bat?". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "Battlefield Bad Company 2 for Xbox 360". GameStop. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "Tekken 5". GameSpot.com. 2005-02-24. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- by JC Fletcher on Mar 21st 2008 2:15PM (2008-03-21). "Professor Layton and the Unlocked Content [update". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-08-28.