Cord Smith, a marketing director working at publisher Square Enix, says his own company would like to see all retailer specific pre-order bonus offers eliminated in order to make sure that all players have the exact same game experience.The executive tells GamesIndustry.biz that, “It’s a sensitive game, but it’s one I think we can play. The retailers have been very receptive to the fact that something channel-wide doesn’t really take anything away from them.”
According to Smith, pre-order incentives that apply to all retail channels are a good idea because gamers will no longer miss content by simply choosing a company to do business with, while publishers would also have a simpler manufacturing and shipping process for their game.
Retailers would benefit from a better competitive environment.
The Square Enix marketing executive adds, “It kind of puts the ball in their court. The more they can do to bring awareness to their particular customer base about the offer, the better they’ll do. As long as it’s a good incentive, it’s not so bad that’s it’s not fully exclusive.”
Smith also says that channel level bonuses are linked to the new Lara Croft-powered game, which is supposed to arrive during 2013.
The problem with the statements is that they are not supported in any way by reality, with retailers like Amazon and Gamestop having already announced that they are offering exclusive pre-order bonuses for those willing to pay in advance for the rebooted Tomb Raider.
It will be interesting to see whether Square Enix is able to make it simpler for players to pre-order their games and offer the same kind of content for all those interested.
The new Tomb Raider will be offered on the PlayStation 3 from Sony, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and the PC on March 5 of next year.