For a long time now in the games industry, pre-orders have been crucial to how both publishers and retailers operate. From their perspective it makes sense, not least in helping gauge demand before printing a few million discs. For prospective purchasers, the benefits aren't quite so clear-cut — especially when it comes to pre-order 'bonuses'.
These are framed as those who order something earliest being rewarded with extra content, rather than every other player of that particular game being locked out. Kotaku UK wouldn't normally pay much attention to an American retail chain, but this week GameStop flipped that script and flat-out told shoppers that content is locked unless they pre-order from the right shop. The advert that follows for Assassin's Creed: Origins is real (I had to double- and triple-check this because it seems so incredible), and to say the least tone deaf.
This is not a parody. This is an actual Gamestop ad. Repeat: This is not a parody. This is an actual advertisement. pic.twitter.com/iXtBypjujY
— Rags (@YourPalRags) October 10, 2017
Spare a thought, please, for the nameless marketing designer. The problem is simply that they've been too honest, and shown this particular sales tactic as what it is; not a reward so much as an implicit punishment of every Origins player who doesn't buy it from Gamestop.
At least there's a sense of humour here. We salute the comic genius who, at the end of the ad, made sure to add Gamestop's slogan: power to the players! Well, the rich ones anyway.