As you might expect from the Star Wars Battlefront blowout coverage today, the game is up for pre-order right now. I came across something interesting today courtesy of a friend: EA is offering a “deluxe” digital edition of its upcoming multiplayer title.
Included in the “deluxe” edition (you’ll understand the quotes in a moment) are the following items:
- DL44 blaster – as made famous by Han Solo
- Ion Grenade
- Ion Torpedo
- Ion Shock (exclusive emote)
- Victory (exclusive emote)
The first three items on the list (the blaster, the grenade, and the torpedo) aren’t exclusive. They are listed as “instant access,” indicating that you can unlock them through normal play (confirmed to us by EA).
That leaves two purely cosmetic items separating the standard edition from the “deluxe” version. Instead of simply including these things for pre-orders (as has become common), EA is charging $ 10 for them.
As someone who has purchased a number of special editions in the past, I can’t help but look at this and shake my head. EA is clearly banking on the power of the Star Wars license to hook gullible fans.
And lest you think I am judging too harshly, I looked at some of the other upgraded digital versions available as a point of comparison. Looking at EA's past entries reveals the Battlefront offering to be the weakest of the bunch.
Battlefield Hardline offers three different themed battlepacks (precision, versatility, and suppression) along with an additional 10 gold battlepacks, which may include weapons and gear (or just cosmetic customizations). Dragon Age: Inquisition gave players a special throne, two mounts, a number of multiplayer chests (similar to battlepacks in Battlefield), and the digital soundtrack. Both of these cost players an additional $ 10.
EA was vastly outshined by Sony, which offered an "Anniversary" edition for MLB The Show 15. According to Sony's own valuation, the $ 10 up-charge on this version offered more than $ 25 in in-game currency and item packs (combined value). This doesn't include the cost of the included 30 MLB dynamic themes and the MLB 15 dynamic theme.
While I’m not sold on Battlefront yet (I’ll wait to see gameplay before making my decision), I can’t fault fans who pre-order. You’ll get The Force Awakens map (Jakku) one week early, so at least there’s benefit to committing prior to release (though maybe not so early).
Save your $ 10 on the “deluxe” edition. Hide it in a drawer and forget about it until the inevitable season pass or “premium” offering is put on sale and put it toward that. There’s only one emote that this more expensive bundle deserves and it isn’t a thumb’s up.
I’m not opposed to cosmetic DLC, but hiding it behind the absurd “deluxe” label insults the audience. If you want to sell emotes, EA (and that’s pretty much what you’re doing here), just do it honestly.