Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be released on February 23, 2016, Square Enix has announced.
In addition to announcing the release date for the open ended sci-fi RPG, Square Enix has also introduced a rather peculiar preorder reward system for the game.
Anyone who preorders Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is given the option to “Augment their preorder.” Essentially, you get to choose what preorder bonuses you want included with your purchase. Moreover, the more people pre-order the game, the more reward “tiers” are unlocked. There are a total of five tiers, the final one being that the game will be released four days ahead of its intended release date.
The preorder system has not been well-received, to put it mildly. In the announcement video below for example, the amount of dislikes far exceeds any likes, and most comments are extremely critical of the offer.
One criticism has been that it unnecessarily limits the options of what customers get when they preorder. As Paul Tassi over at Forbes pointed out, even if the reward pre-order goals are met, players won’t be able to access all of the bonuses within each tier because some of them require you to choose only one option. That is unless you pony up $150 for the collector’s edition, which includes all the extra content for a higher price.
In addition to the limited choices, critics are also taking offense to the fact that Square Enix is asking for more people to preorder in order for the game’s release date to get pushed forward, as opposed to, you know, just pushing the release date forward. Effectively, Square Enix is holding the game’s release date to ransom.
There was a time when preorders made sense; back in the day before digital downloadable games were a regular thing, it was hard for people to get their hands on really popular games around release time unless they reserved their copy in advance. However, in this day and age the incentive to preorder games has become increasingly unpopular, as more and more publishers use it as a means to lock off content only to sell it later, or push consumers into purchasing from a particular retailer.In a more digital age, there’s no genuine need for preorder schemes like this to exist – it’s just another revenue stream.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was first announced back in April after Game Informer confirmed that the cover for their then most recent issue featured the game with an exclusive look at the upcoming title. Though there’s a lot of hype behind the game, Square Enix Montreal’s second trip into the world of Deus Ex, this whole pre-order fiasco is already putting a dampener on some people’s enthusiasm for the title. Whether it’ll be enough to affect game sales, is remained to be seen.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is due for release February 23, 2016 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.