This is the era of exploitative monetization in video games. Subscription fees, DLC, season passes, used game passes, microtransactions, pre-order bonuses, arbitrarily locked and exclusive content, loot crates… it’s the era where publishers are resorting to more and more underhanded means of monetizing their existing fanbase, and that fanbase is speaking out against them.
Just this week, we have seen a furore over lootboxes, and their inclusion in several high profile games, including Star Wars Battlefront 2. All of which is to say, you would have to be really tone deaf to flaunt something like retailer exclusive content for a game, almost tauntingly.
And yet, that is exactly what a new GameStop ad (spotted on NeoGAF) does. Apparently, GameStop has managed to secure retailer exclusive content for Assassin’s Creed Origins– and a new ad for the game by GameStop shows Bayek running down the pyramid, before gameplay freezes and a popup shows up, informing the player they need the GameStop exclusive content to continue playing.
At the best of times, this would be distasteful. In the present context, this is pretty bad- almost bad enough to make me want to say that if you end up getting Origins, don’t get it from GameStop.
Assassin’s Creed Origins launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 27.