When it comes to marketing their games and gearing up to release new titles, one thing that is especially important to games publishers are their pre-order numbers. On the one hand, pre-orders are seen as guaranteed sales to a customer, which helps a publisher take the guesswork out of sales and profit forecasts. On the other hand, pre-orders can also help a publisher make sure that it has enough physical copies of a game to ship out to retailers, and that fans won’t be up in arms when a game they really want has already gone out of stock.
However, over the past few years, pre-orders have been declining. Not only do gamers not find it necessary to pre-order a game in order to guarantee that they’ll be able to play it (thanks to downloadable versions), but recent quality controversies such as Batman: Arkham Knight and Assassin’s Creed Unity mean that some prefer to wait before they lock in their purchase. As a result, publishers have been trying hard to get people to pre-order their games again, like with the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Nuk3town map unlock and the Just Cause 3 Win an Island competition.
With Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Square Enix launched a program called ‘augment your pre-order’, which would use the input of fans in order to unlock extra goodies such as a digital art book, an in-game mission, and even the early release of the game. Unfortunately for Square Enix, fans response was overwhelmingly negative as not only was the program confusing but it also meant that fans could miss out just because someone else hadn’t pre-ordered the game. As a result, Square Enix has now cancelled the program altogether.
In a statement, David Anfossi, Studio Head at Eidos-Montréal, explained that “we really understand and appreciate the passion for Deus Ex that the fans have shown here. Know that all of us, both at Square Enix and Eidos-Montreal, share that passion for this franchise.” As a result of this understanding, augment your pre-order will instead be replaced by the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Day 1 edition, which can be pre-ordered or purchased on the game’s release day. It comes with all of the extras promised with the now-cancelled pre-order program: three loadouts, digital art book, digital soundtrack sampler, in-game mission (Desperate Measures), digital comic book, and a digital novella. Square Enix also says that the game will no longer be released early as a result of pre-order numbers and it will be available to everyone on February 23, 2016.
Fans of the Deus Ex series will no doubt be overjoyed that Square Enix has listened to them and has addressed the backlash rather than ignoring it, but those outside of the Deus Ex fandom will be pleased with this too. The controversy surrounding augment your pre-order will likely turn other publishers off the idea of offering a similar program.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is set to release on February 23, 2016, for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
Source: Deus Ex