For those of you that’re out of the loop, Square Enix have announced their preorder incentive for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It’s called “Augment Your Preorder”, and it’s kind of like the Kickstarter stretch goals system in that the more people that preorder the game, the more preorder bonuses there are to choose from, the last goal being that the game releases 4 days early.
Yeah. Screw this thing.
When are companies going to understand that divvying up content so that no (sane) person can have a fully complete version of a product, really pisses everyone off? It’s a terrible practice on a PR and customer relations level, and it just leads to degradation of the art form.
The target number of preorders for the five (!) tiers of goals are secret, which probably means that no matter how many people fall for this rubbish, Square Enix gets to come out with a press release claiming that all of the tiers have been reached, and, yes, they’re very proud of how the community has already rallied around the game. I can just picture the smug release now.
Now, there’s been a fair amount of outcry, although I’m not sure how much outrage will actually lead to a change in this kind of practice. We’ve been putting up with this blatant disregard for customers and games as an art form for years now; as anyone who remembers the absolute clustermolest that was the list of Watch Dogs editions and pre-order incentives. Pre-order incentives in general tend to lead to a system of haves and have-nots, and you really don’t want a customer paying for a full-price triple-A game feeling like a have-not.
Now, I’m not totally against pre-ordering like many people are. For instance, I myself pre-ordered the Pip-Boy edition of Fallout 4, because that is a very exclusive product that I’d probably have to resort selling my organs for had I relied on eBay scalpers down the line. But, in this case, the blatant disrespect for the consumer is such that I just cannot condone pre-ordering this game. And that makes me sad, because I love Deus Ex, and the developers probably had little to no say in Augment Your Preorder program.