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Many big games now have two release dates, and the earlier one will cost you

By Julio Franco · 21 replies
Sep 19, 2018
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  1. The new Tomb Raider sells for $60 and theoretically came out on Friday the 14th, but people who bought $70 or $90 special editions could play it two days early.

    NBA 2K19 sells for $60 and had a release date of September 11, unless you paid $100. Then you could play it four days early.

    The special editions of Tomb Raider and NBA 2K both offered more than early access, but that was a major drawing card. You could argue that Tomb Raider was putting the price of about $5 a day on playing early, NBA 2K putting it closer to $10.

    It’s not just them.

    If you pre-order any of the various special versions of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey that cost $100 or more you will be able to play the game three early. You can play Hitman 2 four days early if you pre-order the Gold Edition of the game for $100. The lone major Xbox One exclusive for the fall, Forza Horizon 4, gives four day early access for its $100 ultimate edition. Battlefield V will also let you play three days early if you pre-order the $80 Deluxe edition.

    Battlefield comes from EA, which has been doing the play-early thing for a while. The company’s EA Access subscription service has offered early access to its games as a selling point, though that early access has usually been limited to a set number of hours of play time. They also will just let people pay more to play the whole thing early. FIFA 19, Madden 19 and NHL 19 offer early access if you pre-order the more expensive editions, starting at $80 for all games.

    Some of this has happened before. Last year’s FIFA 18 and NHL 18 games, for example, had Play Early deals, too.

    MMOs have been offering early access to games for years. If you pre-ordered Guild Wars 2 in 2012, you’d get the game three days earlier than other players. If you pre-ordered The Elder Scrolls Online in 2015, you’d get the game five days early. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood also offered the game five days earlier if you pre-ordered.

    Not every big game this season is letting people pay more to play early. We’re unaware of such deals for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2, for example. Fallout 76 doesn’t seem to have one but it does have a beta in October, the month before its official release.

    None of the major upcoming games from Nintendo will be available early if you pre-order, though the standalone Xenoblade Chronicles 2 expansion, Torna, is currently available only for people who bought the season pass for that game. It’s exclusive to those people for one week before everyone else can buy it.

    Although there are a handful of big releases that aren’t going to let you play early, many upcoming games effectively have two release dates. There’s the release date for people who only want to pay $60, and an earlier release date for people who are willing to pay more, or pay early. These publishers and developers are banking on your impatience to persuade you to give them, sometimes, an additional $40.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 656   +633

    For single player games I think this is fine. If you're that desperate and have the money, why not? It's a bit dumb to me, but who am I to tell anyone what they can do with their money?

    For multiplayer games, particularly with any that have progression or upgrades, it's a bit more of a grey area as it's edging towards pay-to-win. Get a few levels under your belt and some better gear, and be able to stomp *actual* Day 1 people coming into the game.

    Either way, I'd rather see this than in-game purchases.
    Stark, Godel, Reehahs and 3 others like this.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,528   +1,738

    Meh. They're video games, they're not going anywhere. You want to spend twice as much for 3 more days of playtime, go ahead. But I wouldnt waste my money on something like that.
  4. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,802   +394

    Becoming worth less and less, I can tell you that!

    And another thing!
    I sure as hell don't get this whole skin and fancy looks thing. Sure, it's nice feature... but to pay extra just for that? New generation of gamers is ruining it! XD (oh yea that means I'm old now lol)
    Stark likes this.
  5. ShObiT

    ShObiT TS Maniac Posts: 172   +162

    I feel Old too, but I started playing a Free game (Brawlhalla) and I did happily pay for skins... Many skins, BUT as today I have 826 hours into the game.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    This actually puts me off in a big way, even if it's a really expected title I won't bite and it may even lead me to not get it at all.

    If I read "get the X items with your pre-purchase" or pay for the "deluxe version that comes with exclusive..." and it's online, I pre-ban it in my library :)
    cuerdc and BSim500 like this.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,499   +514

    Skins are a way to give revenue to F2P games without adding in P2Win.

    Holding off a release date to purposely squeeze a little extra cash out of your customer is shady.
    Reehahs and Kibaruk like this.
  8. mls067

    mls067 TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +30

    And then there's me, I wait for the sale before I buy ;-) But if I had the money, I'd still wait. I can't justify paying that kind of money for a video game--unless it comes with a giant statue or something I can actually touch
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,113   +1,588

    I'm a sucker for collectibles, so I pre-ordered the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Spartan edition to get the cool figurine. It had better be cool for $170!

    But I could care less about the 3-day early play. I would never pay extra money for that alone.
  10. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 141   +96

    This seems to be either a new outlet for publisher to cash in on extra income after the lootbox debacle or a new scapegoat to steer attention away from lootboxes. Sadly, people will latch onto something and suffer from tunnel vision while another problem sneaks its way in/back in. I know this is not really new but as trends follow, once some get away with it, everyone else will try to do the same and that seems to be the case this year.
  11. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 688   +527

    I see it the other way. They want to squeeze more out of the gamers with addictions? They want normal people (not game addiction) to wait a few days? That few days will give the rest of us time to know if the game is descent and help avoid us buying it. Easier on our wallets. Thanks.

    This is basically like the gamers that wait until everything goes in the bargain bin - except this is an accelerated rate.
    hahahanoobs and Godel like this.
  12. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 602   +1,211

    Then they're going to be sorely disappointed. If anything, patronising "tiered pre-order" begging gimmicks combined with the 6-18 months it typically takes to patch out the huge amount of bugs, are more likely to convince me to just wait for the GOTY at half the price. Assuming it's even worth playing given "must have" over-hype and AAA "quality" rarely go hand in hand anymore...
    Reehahs likes this.
  13. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +471

    GOTY or no thanks, indeed.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,266   +4,935

    I'm with you. If I can't buy three games for $60, I don't see the value.
  15. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 754   +372

    It isn't true for all games that have 2 dates. I will be playing Forza a week early, but I didn't pay for that. I paid for 2 DLC which will allow me to have more play time.
  16. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +205

    Contrary to other commenters on here I think this is good for multiplayer games as it means the servers won’t get hit quite so hard on day 1. Sure it might give the most die hard of fans an extra couple of days to level up or whatever but if you cared that much about 2 days progress in a game you would probably cough up for the premium.

    Personally I won’t pay the premium, I like to give a title a week or two at least, see some let’s plays, some reviews, wait for the first round of patches to come out before buying. I don’t find much logic to waiting for a game to come out on sale, the best games can take months or even years to hit significantly cheaper prices.

    And I definitely prefer all this to waiting in line at my local games retailer at midnight to pick up a hard copy of my favourite game. Something I haven’t done since last decade at this point. Do console gamers even still do this?
  17. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,806   +665

    I like PC games. Just don't buy any new ones or old ones, maybe I will again but I can't see it.
  18. cuerdc

    cuerdc TS Booster Posts: 177   +41

    Game prices are shocking considering you can get free games with great playability, I for one refuse to pay these daft prices, probably why fortnite is so popular.

    As one who did play destiny1/2 from time to time has bought season packs, dlc etc.. along with few friends due to rising and constant dlc packs at silly prices now all have lost interest poor show from developers looking to line their pockets...

    Down with pre order, down with dlc and down with pay to win..... fine with store for cosmetic stuff plenty of tools out there willing spend small fortune on a hat.
  19. Mithan

    Mithan TS Enthusiast Posts: 70   +44

    Games used to be released on tuesdays, now they are being pushed back to friday, so if anything, you are getting the game "later", not earlier.

    I pre-ordered ACOdyssey Gold, so I get it on the Tuesday, which is fine, however it played zero factor in me pre-ordering the game. If AC Origins had sucked, I wouldn't have pre-ordered.

    I only got the Season Pass because I found the Season Pass for Odyssey to be good, plus I like the AC3 pack in that will eventually come with owning the Season Pass.

    So it depends.
  20. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 520   +252

    I never buy anything on release day anyway, I dont care. Those pay to play people are suckers IMO.

    Also think these games are becoming forma of gambling.
  21. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,448   +865

    Publishers need to make money somehow since we stood up to them in regards to P2W practices, lootboxes and DLC splitting communities.

    Let the little bosstids play the game a few days early I say.
  22. Tom01

    Tom01 TS Rookie Posts: 26   +9

    Exteme Stupidity has to be punished.

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