Hypothetical situation: you’re in charge of a once illustrious fighting franchise that used to make millions and headlines, yet has hit upon some hard times in recent years. Despite the latest installments being not that shabby, they’ve still performed piss poorly, almost entirely due to the fact that the general public is sick of your cast of characters and wacky bag of tricks. The poorly attempted take on the competition’s mishmash didn’t help matters much either. Almost to the point of extinction, but lo and behold, whether it be due to the magical power of nostalgia or simply the stars lining up just right, everyone is all of a sudden interested in your magic once again.
So with all this newfound momentum and interest, what’s the next best course of action? Screw it up of course, by pulling off one of the more lamer publicity stunts to encourage multiple purchases to come down a marketing department’s pipeline. Pre-order bonuses that amount to multiple versions of the same game but with different features is hardly new… it’s already been established that those with both the PS3 and Xbox 360 must make a decision; either get the PS3 edition to get Kratos from God of War included, or the 360 SKU to get… well, no bonus fighter has been announced for that version thus far, but trust me, they’re working on it.
But now it’s been revealed, via Kotaku, that both Scorpion and Sub Zero will have their original finishing moves, a la MK1, but to enjoy the former’s spine ripping finale, you’ll have to nab the game at Best Buy, and to net the latter’s full arsenal, you need to buy your copy at GameStop. Oh, and to get Reptile’s, you need to make a purchase via Amazon. What? Exactly?
There’s no beating around the bush over how the reasons why such multiple versions exist is to ensure multiple purchases of the same damn game. And in some instances, it at least makes sense… Soul Calibur was the first to forge such territory, and the most recent example being Yoda being exclusive on the MS box, and Vader on Sony’s machine. But this is just ridiculous, having already a difference in roster to consider but also move-set that’s entirely dependent on what place one choses to put our hard money down on the counter.
This wouldn’t be such a big deal if not for the fact that most of us have no “allegiance” to what retail outfit we chose to frequent, just whatever is most convenient at the time. I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who abhors dealing with the clerk monkeys at GameStop, but because they get all those neat pre-order bonuses, it’s patented brand of b.s. is therefore endured.
And perhaps I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, and maybe all the moves will eventually be released across each platform… via DLC, cuz we all love paying $5 for a code to activate crap that’s already on the damn disc all along. Yet given the track record of those behind Mortal Kombat, its somewhat safe to assume that there’s a good chance that this new game might not have enough legs to reach that point, and this stupid stunt is enough for me at least to say no thanks all together.