A couple of months ago I came across an op-ed over at Game Informer in which one of their writers was lamenting how it was impossible for him to get every piece of DLC for Arkham Knight without buying multiple copies of the game. I couldn’t have been more apathetic to his plight.
He is right – sometimes you can’t have everything when it comes to retailer specific sweeteners. But the thing is, if you’re that desperate for every last morsel of content, a large proportion of which is just skins and the like, they’ve won, haven’t they? The publishers who mastermind these kinds of things have successfully brainwashed you into believing that you need anything and everything associated with a given game.
Indeed, in dumb consumerism terms, it’s right up there with pre-ordering games that are years off based on mere trailers and slapping down £150 plus on those utterly pointless special editions that come with statues and/or other assorted lumps of plastic. In the interests of balance, I will concede that occasionally something worthy of the additional outlay will make an appearance, such as the wrist mount that turns your smartphone into a real-life Pip-Boy that comes with some of editions of Fallout 4, but let’s be honest, most of it is utter pap.
Perhaps these higher priced offerings are more about committing to a percieved level of fandom rather than the value or quality of the goods themselves, but back to the topic at hand, pining for DLC you can’t have, especially when it has zero gameplay value, is pathetic.
Pre-order bonuses aren’t going anywhere. Have they influenced my own purchasing habits? I can’t remember any specific examples, but yes, probably at some point. Did I ever give it more than a couple of minutes’ thought? Absolutely not.
Simply put, this kind of attitude is part of the reason mainstream gaming is morphing into something ugly.
More on that another time.