A TikTok video of a Tesla being upgraded

modelyflex/TikTok Mikael Thalen

Tesla compared to predatory video games after TikToker reveals you can pay for an ‘acceleration boost

'Did you just pay for something the car was already capable of?'

Published Apr 30, 2021   Updated May 3, 2021, 10:41 am CDT

Tech

 

Mikael Thalen

Tesla is being compared to predatory video game companies after a TikTok user with one of the automaker’s vehicles purchased an unimpressive “acceleration boost.”

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A user known as @modelyflex, who, as his name suggests, owns a Tesla Model Y, shared video this week of himself spending $2,000 in order to increase his car’s speed.

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https://www.tiktok.com/@modelyflex/video/6955620679005850885?lang=en&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6909886577028482566

After making the purchase, the dual motor electric vehicle, which accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds, increased its speed by 0.6 seconds.

TikTok users responded by comparing the upgrade to a DLC, a term that refers to “downloadable content” that can be added on top of a complete video game.

DLCs, or microtransactions, according to critics, offer a way for video game companies to charge users for upgrades that many believe should have been available from the beginning.

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“And I immediately lost all interest in buying a Tesla,” a TikTok user named Matt said. “I’m not going to pay extra if the car was already capable of going that fast.”

The video also went viral on Twitter, where users likewise criticized the electric car producer. Frequent references to EA and Activision were also made, two video game makers regularly accused of predatory behavior.

“If EA or Activision made cars they would be Tesla,” @HornyNooting wrote. “Giving you half the product for full price, making you unlock the rest for a premium. Just pathetic shit.”

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But supporters of Tesla were quick to defend the company, arguing that such practices have been commonplace in the auto industry for years.

“This isn’t new guys,” @TKOIII_ said. “Auto manufacturers for decades have been putting out gas cars with detuned engines and offering a faster version for more money even though the faster versions costs them the same amount to make.”

Still, the vast majority of commenters appeared to oppose Tesla’s business model.

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“Tesla is what happens when desperately credulous nerds meet torrents of surplus capital desperate for a crumb of profit and the two do an awkward slow dance on the edge of a yawning precipice called the American economy,” @as_a_worker added.

The Daily Dot reached out to Tesla to inquire about the acceleration boost feature but did not receive a reply by press time.

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*First Published: Apr 30, 2021, 12:28 pm CDT