Yes, ‘The Callisto Protocol’ is charging players for a new difficulty mode and death animations

'The Callisto Protocol' Review
Image via Striking Distance Studios

Since the advent of online gaming, downloadable content has become an established part of the industry’s business model, for better or worse. While there have been many post-release content packs that have added substantial value to the core experience of games over the years, Krafton and Striking Distance Studios’ monetization effort for The Callisto Protocol is questionable at best.

Being able to access every difficulty level a game offers is something rightfully taken for granted by the gaming community at large. Yet, Krafton has locked The Callisto Protocol’s highest difficulty setting behind the recently-released “Contagion Bundle,” which carries a $9.99 price tag.

Another inclusion in the bundle is 14 additional death animations for the game’s protagonist, Jacob, whenever he meets his demise. This is also pretty iffy, considering it doesn’t do all that much to add value for the player beyond the core experience they already paid for. It reeks of gatekeeping for the sake of a quick buck.

Rounding out the Contagion Bundle is 14 new UJC-themed player and weapon skins. Sure, cosmetics are pretty much a given paid extra in just about any game nowadays. If you want to pay for that, to each their own. However, the key point of contention remains the “Contagion” difficulty mode and the death animations.

For a game that we considered to be a little incomplete without the above inclusions in mind, which went on to reportedly underperform in its launch window, perhaps Krafton should rethink their approach to monetizing a game. Seeing as The Callisto Protocol fell short of its potential, the publisher should probably start considering winning back some goodwill from folks who supported Striking Distance Studios’ maiden title.

The Callisto Protocol is available on all major platforms. The aforementioned Contagion Bundle is lumped into the game’s season pass, if you were inclined to bite the bullet for all future content coming to the game.