by The Rook
There is an increasing trend happening with games that I’m not too happy about. I seem to have been more annoyed about it with past occurrences so I’m either getting used to this fiasco or have given up caring; I’m referring to the so called exclusive offers that games come with nowadays.
There are a few different ways these so called exclusives can happen and more and more it’s how the games are sold in shops. If you look at the current Pre Order thread in this forum, you will see a number of offers that both HMV and GAME have for us consumers whenever you pre-order your copy of a game within those stores. Obviously they are arranging such offers to entice you to place your order with them so that they can sell more copies and make as much profit as possible and, as a business plan, this makes sense for the retailers but games aren’t created for the retailer, they are created for gamers to play and enjoy.
Yet with this ‘arrangement’ of exclusive offers it means that we, the consumers, have to pick one bonus over another. I don’t know about you but I would like to have all the extras available in a game and not have to be excluded from anything just because the retailers want to make profit. Some special editions however are tied to one retailer as well; if you wanted Splinter Cell Conviction with the Sam Fisher statue you had to go to GAME, if you wanted the Modern Warfare 2 Prestige edition with night vision goggles you had to buy it from HMV and if you want the upcoming Fallout New Vegas special edition you have to go to GAME or GameStop.
Fallout New Vegas also has a different bonus pack containing armour, weapon and accessories depending on where you get your copy of the game from, with different items available from GAME, Gamestation, Play or Amazon. I’m sure you will be able to get the other items in the game eventually, but that’s not the point.
One example of a bonus only being exclusive to one version of the game is with Batman Arkham Asylum where it was only the PS3 version that came with the ability to play as The Joker in the challenge maps. Or how about Soul Calibur IV with the additional character available depending on which format you bought the game for, with Yoda in the Xbox 360 version and Darth Vader in the PS3 version. Now I’m not a big fan of the fighting genre of games so this didn’t affect me, but the thought of not being able to play as all the characters available in the game is crazy. As it turned out, these extra characters were only exclusive to the relevant console for a period of time and are now available for the other console BUT you have to pay for them, so Darth Vader will cost you 400 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360 while Yoda will cost £3.19 on PS3. I’d be fine with the games having exclusive characters at launch, but if the characters are already included in the game’s code then why should you pay for the characters after the timed exclusivity period is up.
It just seems to me that us gamers are having to choose to sacrifice one offer in favour of another whereas I would like to have access to all content especially if I am a fan of a specific game. When Fallout 3 came out, I had to choose whether I wanted the special edition with the Brotherhood Of Steel figure or the Lunchbox and Bobblehead edition unless I wanted to buy two copies of the game and so I chose the figurine but I would still like the bobblehead. There’s also a danger that you could miss out on a particular exclusive because you weren’t aware that you could only get a specific extra if you picked up your copy of a game from a certain retailer.
Perhaps I’m making more of this than necessary but I would like to be able to buy a game and get all the extra features from any store, rather than having to pick and choose or possibly miss out because I haven‘t checked every shop or online site. I wouldn’t object if the additional bonuses were exclusive to pre ordering your copy of the game but was the same in every shop so at least the retailers would have an idea of how many copies of a game they think they would need to order in, customers would learn that pre ordering gets you a bonus and it would hopefully encourage more people to do so.
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