We’ve been hearing it for a while. Hell, when we started to see game retailers get exclusive in-game stuff like skins for specific chapters in Warhammer 40,000: Ultramarines depending on who you pre-ordered from, writers and bloggers began to get nervous of how far this could go. Today, their reason for worrying has been justified.
Right now, there are a lot of AAA games that as they are released, offer extras through Gamestop that usually become DLC after several months for per-ordering. Things like the Presidential gun in Saint’s Row 4 or two of the Seeker Decepticons for multiplayer in Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. But they are usually small things that ultimately no one gives a shit about beyond the Gamestop who gets a boost of pre-orders through it.
Now, however, in an interview with VentureBeat, they have made official plans to get involved with game development earlier in the process, allowing them to “offer more lucrative exclusives:”
“We are working with our [development] partners to build in a longer lead time,” GameStop public-relations spokesperson Jackie Smith told GamesBeat. “And we are working with them to get both physical and digital exclusives for our customers.”
If you read that as I and most of the internet did, this means we could seriously be looking at content cut away from anyone who doesn’t buy from Gamestop and for a longer time (if not permanent). This is unacceptable in my personal opinion. For all the shit publishers took in their war with Gamestop over used games and making gamers buy codes to unlock content if the game wasn’t new, imagine how much uproar is going to happen when you need a “Gamestop” edition title in order to be sure you are actually playing all of it… and then take it to it’s logical conclusion when in order to compete, every retailer is playing this game, making an actual complete version impossible to get at launch.
We could well be looking at this in the near future.