Revolutionary Rant: Preorder Penalties
Posted on Friday, February 25 @ 00:34:22 PST by Daniel BischoffOn the radar tracking games due in the next few months, few titles light up as much as LA Noire. Rockstar and Team BONDI's 1940s marriage of Grand Theft Auto and Phoenix Wright seems to hit on all cylinders.
Rockstar's penchant for amazing games is unstoppable, no matter how many wives you throw at it. Team BONDI is an unknown, but pairing up with a legacy house like Rockstar only means fresh talent with great ideas. As a bonus, there's an awesome piece of new technology backing up the fantastic RAGE engine. We gamers love new tech.
Continuing their slow drip marketing plan, Rockstar and Team BONDI have announced the preorder incentives for retailers across America. The line up includes all the usual suspects:
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not objecting to extra content. Anything that means more gameplay guarantees my money. Buying used copies of Bioware games now automatically brands you as a complete moron. As happy as "bonus missions" or "extra challenges" makes me, I've got an issue with Rockstar.
You've taken your game, chopped off little tiny pieces, and thrown them around like sand. You've lowered the consumers to the status of dogs. You're the asshole pet-owner who breaks up a treat into several pieces and demands a different trick for every pitiful morsel.
Ubisoft surprised me last year. At Gamestop they offered Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood buyers a Harlequin multiplayer skin. At Best Buy they gave a different multiplayer skin to consumers. I was disappointed. Forced to choose between bonuses, I bought a copy at Gamestop.
When I got home and finally input the key code from my Collector's Edition of Brotherhood, I was surprised! The code unlocked ALL preorder bonuses, regardless of the retailer. If this was detailed in some prerelease marketing materials, I missed it.
It was a gamble. One I'm not willing to make with every single game. I afford myself one absurd special edition of a game each year. I can't have piles of plastic shit everywhere. That would be stupid. I'm not willing to roll the dice with LA Noire. No special edition has been detailed, and I'm not about to buy multiple copies for preorder bonuses.
How cruel you publishers have gotten! Gamers obsess. We covet our games. Achievements and trophies pray directly on our completionist natures. You assholes give us nervous breakdowns with these marketing campaigns.
More than anything else, these preorder bonuses don't accomplish anything for the consumers or the developers and publishers. They line the pockets of retailers with cash. Gamestop's collective executive board already bathes in gold debloons.
Developers, publishers: stop playing mind games with the retailers. You're only hurting us. Fuck those guys. I may be overlooking the fact that they're probably all paying you for these bonuses, but that really shouldn't matter. If you can't keep yourselves from the preorder bonuses, at least pack them all in together like Ubisoft, but tell us about it! If it's all about the dough, take a page from Capcom's playbook and offer the far and away best edition at your online store. Make it easy on us. God forbid we start voting with our dollars.
The Revolutionary Rant turns a cynical eye to the gaming industry. Every Thursday (the angriest day of the week) you can find Game Revolution's take on any particularly outrageous event, news item, or person in the gaming industry. Got a bone to pick with gaming? Leave a comment or send an e-mail suggesting a rant-worthy topic to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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