Square Enix have revealed that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will arrive on February 23rd, 2016.
They also announced a fascinating but frankly disturbing pre-order system dubbed “Augment your Pre-order,” which combines pretty much everything bad about the current pre-order culture into a single, irritating idea. Pre-ordering is inherently anti-consumer, and has only become worse over the years with developers and publishers offering things like exclusive missions, meaning they’re essentially selling an incomplete product in order to get people to commit to purchasing something they really know very little about, or if it will even work properly at launch. The very act of pre-ordering alone, research has pointed out, makes you more likely to commit to going through with the transaction, and also more likely to search for positive feedback to reinforce your own decision.
Square Enix’s system is divided into five tiers of rewards, with a new tier being unlocked each time enough global pre-orders are logged. From each tier you can select one pre-order bonus, meaning you can get a total of five rewards. So what’s the final tier? Well, if enough people pre-order the game then Square Enix will launch it four days early. If there is any good news to be taken away from this it’s that the early launch will be for everyone, and indeed even the bonus mission will appearently be given to absolutely everyone.
Still, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s just no reason for this to even exist except for the publisher wanting to shore up their numbers ahead of launch. Hopefully reviews won’t be held back until it’s too damn late for anyone to cancel their pre-orders. At least Steam’s new refund system helps combat some of the problem, but console owners are left at the mercy of an unmerciful industry.
Amusingly the trailer for the pre-order system (why do we have to have trailers for them as well? Is any pre-order bonus actually worth a trailer?) has, at the time of my writing this, 11,106 dislikes vs a mere 163 likes. Meanwhile TotalBiscuit has already published a scathing video, while Jim Sterling has posted a quick response on Youtube and stated that this will likely be the topic of his next JimQuisition show.
A collector’s edition for the game was also revealed and will include everything in the Augment your Pre-order system (well, except the early launch, I assume), plusa 48-page art book, 9-inch Adam Jensen statue and steel book.
We never asked for this.