Sharp-eyed DLC watchers today spotted the month-early upload of more than 90 player attribute enhancements for NHL 11, offering three tiers of created-player boosts ranging from 80 to 160 Microsoft points. Update: There are now 156 boosts on Xbox Live.
It's further evidence of EA Sports' aggressive microtransaction strategy, in addition to the one-use "Online Pass" code that enables multiplayer for free if you bought the retail game yourself but costs $10 if you snagged a used version.
July's NCAA Football 11 and next week's Madden NFL 11 all feature a menu of accelerators, principally for dynasty or franchise modes, that let you cut corners or get a leg up. They're all for singleplayer modes. In NHL 11's case, these are attribute gooses for created players, probably most useful for giving you a super-rookie right out of the gate in Be a Pro mode.
I covered the ethical dilemma of using performance enhancers in sports games back in this column. MLB 10 The Show would sell you "training points" but you were free to apply them as you liked. These are direct skill increases.
The DLC is available as I type this, so, I guess you can go preorder it if you want? The boosts cover attributes like "skater acceleration," power and accuracy for two types of shots, deking and faceoff boosts, boosts for five varieties of goalie saves, and plenty more. Or, I guess, you could just drive down the game difficulty and tune up the sliders to give you that easy win, for free.
EA Adds 93 Create-a-Player Paid Boosts for NHL 11 [Multiplayergames.com]