Much of the video game industry it rests its foundations on the hype machine: aggressive marketing, invasive advertising and shows aimed at making fans and gamers stunned are the basis for being able to sell consoles and software. There is nothing wrong with that, but Focus Home Interactive’s latest move could definitely be way beyond the normal ad we are used to and risks setting a precedent not just a little.
Yesterday evening, the French publisher announced the opening of pre-orders for the Collector’s Edition of A Plague Tale: Requiem, sequel to that first chapter that several years ago won over many players who love single player stories. The special package is truly rich: for just 189.99 Euros, in fact, it will be possible to take home the game, a statue of Amicia and Hugo and a series of objects for collectors. A Collector’s Edition like many others, but it’s a pity for a very small detail: the game does not yet have a release date.
Announced during E3 2021, A Plague Tale: Requiem is expected, at least on paper, in 2022, yet it does not yet have a certain release date. And now Focus Home Entertainment is asking players and fans who loved the first chapter to book and immediately pay just under 200 Euros for a Collector’s Edition, of a game that as far as we know could be postponed at any moment. And it would not be the first time: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the normal difficulties in development, several video games they have already undergone quite heavy postponements.
Is this really the new frontier of video game marketing? A swallow usually does not make spring, but a similar case has already happened with Starfield. Although pre-orders are not yet officially open, we have seen practically nothing of the new Bethesda game (exclusive Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and PC), but its edition for collectors, which should also include a smartwatch, is already was unveiled by a price list that appeared on the Internet. A paradoxical situation, considering that the new title developed by Todd Howard and associates is in fact the first original IP of the US developer in over twenty years: ten years ago (or maybe less), we would have been more anxious to see the gameplay, compared to to one probably exorbitant cost smartwatch.
Perhaps there is a problem if publishers find themselves forced to sell a game earlier in such an expensive version. Or maybe it’s just the evolution of the marketing of an industry that is now it is losing its points of reference and is forced to innovate much faster than others to be able to sustain itself. We cannot know if these maneuvers will become a standard, but as of today there is a precedent. And often this alone is enough to guide the industry.
You can buy Horizon Forbidden West (standard edition of course) on Amazon.