Stop the Premium Pre-Order Pickpockets!

Stop the Premium Pre-Order Pickpockets!

Either gamers are the richest group of people in the world and I need a new hobby, or we’re sending some really self-destructive messages to developers and studios with the way we’re spending our money. Lately it seems – and correct me if I’m wrong – that we rarely get an exciting game announcement without some kind of immediate appeal for us to follow up through a Kickstarter campaign or pre-order bonus system.

If you want to, you can go spend $30 right now on Fallout 4 DLC. Bethesda is still working on it, and they can’t tell you what you’re buying, but they say it’ll be worth it. And we all heard about Square-Enix forcing players to pick and choose what gameplay elements they were willing to forfeit through their pre-ordering system for the new Deus Ex . This has got to stop! Wouldn’t you rather wait 4 more months for a game with all of the content included for 60 bucks?

Let’s use our imaginations for a moment and envision Square-Enix as they pitch a multi-tiered pre-ordering system for the original Final Fantasy VII :

Tier 1: $49.99 (Standard Edition)
Your pre-order will guarantee you a day-one copy of this cinematic RPG masterpiece!

Tier 2: $59.99 (Summoner’s Edition)
In addition to receiving your game on release day, you now have access to exclusive ‘Summoning Materia.’ The legendary summoning magic of Final Fantasy is back, and now for the first time in three glorious dimensions. With this pre-order upgrade, keep an eye open for special red materia which will enable you to unleash the wrath of Shiva, Odin, an enormous chocobo and others upon your tougher foes!

Tier 3: $89.99 (Golden Edition)
Not only will you be a powerful summoner on day one, with the Golden Edition you now have access to an exclusive in-game area known as the ‘Golden Saucer!’ Kindle some romance under a shower of fireworks, play a variety of mini-games to unlock prizes, and recruit the mysterious Cait Sith to your party (only available through this bonus)! This edition also unlocks chocobo breeding. See if you can master the art of breeding to hatch a special golden chocobo, able to traverse any kind of terrain on the world map (you might need him to access a very special summoning materia).

Tier 4: $99.99 (Ultimate Edition)
The ultimate Final Fantasy VII experience. Enjoy all of the previously mentioned content as well as exclusive missions to unlock an ultimate weapon for every member of your party. Also included is a special flashback mission that will shine a revealing light on the mysterious origins of Sephiroth and Cloud Strife. What was it like when Cloud was in SOLDIER? What is his connection to Sephiroth? Who is Zack? Find out in these premium missions that aren’t included in the standard game.

Stop the Premium Pre-Order Pickpockets!

For anyone who has played through FF VII , you know that these are integral pieces of a larger experience that shouldn’t be denied to anyone unwilling to pay a premium price. Square poured its heart and soul into this game in order to make it truly epic and esoteric. It’s esoteric in the sense that every time you come back and replay it, you find something new: a deeper layer to the story; a subtle hint about a character’s past; another charming side quest. Modernity rarely sees that level of depth and content, and when we do it’s locked behind DLC packs or NFC toys. If we want this to change, we have to make better decisions with our money.

We as consumers and gamers deserve to be heard. Square-Enix canceling their isolating, multi-tiered pre-ordering system for the new Deus Ex is proof that when we come together to express our opinions, publishers take notice. We have to celebrate the games that reward gamers for being more than just an open wallet; games like Yacht Clubs Games’ Shovel Knight . Plague of Shadows is a great, free addition to an already lovingly crafted and enjoyable game. They could have half-assed this add-on, but they chose to reward the fans who purchased their game with solid content. Support the developers who love you for supporting their creativity and their craft, and send a message to these close-fisted suits who want to reward only the highest paying among us.

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