First they charged for horse armor. Then they announced plans to sell one-time use "consumables." Now, even additional levels for a puzzle games will need to be purchased on Xbox Live.
A review in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine reveals that the $15 (1200 MS points) purchase price for Lumines Live on Xbox Live Arcade will not include the entire game. Advancing past a certain point in the game's Mission and Vs. CPU modes will require the purchase of additional level packs for $5 (400 MS points) and $3.75 (300 MS points), respectively. Regular readers may remember rumors back in June that Lumines Live multiplayer would require an additional purchase. While those rumors were denied, these single-player packs may have been the source of confusion.
In a way, this is nothing new -- multiplayer maps for game like Call of Duty 2, Ghost Recon and The Outfit have always cost money on Xbox Live, and players have had to pay for new missions in Oblivion and new cars in Project Gotham Racing 3. But charging to progress in a puzzle game seems different somehow. Success in classic puzzle games of the past was limited only by the player's skill. Now, it seems, it may also be limited by the player's pockets.