31/31 Day 14: The Unlockable Content In My New Game Purchase - TOGNick Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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31/31 Day 14: The Unlockable Content In My New Game Purchase

Unfortunately day 14 of my 31/31 is a tad late, I picked up Darksiders 2 yesterday and passed out at my computer last night while writing this blog. Also unfortunately was that my computer took it upon itself to update in my sleep and erase my progress. I am le sigh. However that doesn't change what I wanted to talk about, and it may actually make this better than the previous blog I had written.

I was a good consumer yesterday, as I'm sure others were as well, and I purchased Darksiders 2 after waiting for my preordered copy to arrive. Driving home after an early day of work with my Limited Edition in hand I unwrapped my prize and inserted the disc into the Playstation 3. After being told at Gamestop that my bonus for reserving a copy wouldn't be available until 5pm EST I figured why not just jump right in, after a system update and what I was hoping wouldn't be an extremely long loading time. The system update took little time, and nor was there much in terms of loading, but I hit a brick wall immediately. THQ wanted me to sign up for their community and told me that I would receive exclusive weapons for doing so. Since I didn't feel like this was an online pass, and two weapons are better than no weapons, I figured why not. Although then an online pass was required but again not a terrible deal in this day and age.

After creating the account I received an email explaining to me how to gain access to my weapons and thus my adventure with frustration began. For Van Der Shmasch I did what was necessary and for the mace as well, each time I received a message that just utterly frustrates someone. "SUCCESS your code is below and saved onto your profile" Well low and behold there was no code, so naturally I had to then travel to my profile where in my redeemed codes section I found the following message. "We will send out the code when it becomes available." No further deadline or information whenever it becomes available. I was merely frustrated, but seeing as how I was never entitled to extra content it was just promised as a way to entice me to signing up I figured patience is in order.

That patience lasted until I put in the code for Argul's Tomb, although slightly different this time. At least the fine print had mentioned that after inputting a code for redemption to receive a code at a later time to redeem content, that I would at least have to wait for it to be available. However low and behold the code didn't work, I inputted the code four times once with the - and once without, I even changed O to 0 to make sure that my own poor eyesight hadn't mislead me in anyway. After receiving a failure message each of the four times it was time to take my frustration to customer service, where I received a form letter. Yes the complaints had apparently been so numerous that a form letter was sent to my email, essentially telling me naught but "hey something screwed up."

I'm usually not one to complain about access to extra content or even day one DLC if it's free for new game purchases, but when I'm told about receiving weapons as incentive for signing up, only to then be told "yeah it's not ready yet." My level rises, especially since I had to spend almost an hour figuring out just what in the world had happened to what I signed up for. I could have been playing Darksiders 2 for an hour and instead wound up tracking down codes after inputting codes to receive codes. I get that most people aren't capable of handling this extremely complicated task of purchasing a game and inputting codes on their console's store area, but stop promising things that you can't deliver on.

These incentives for purchasing new are fine and well but if you want me to do so, then don't make it a convoluted mess of code inputs. We gamers are smart, we even saw an industry survive in a day and age when you were more likely to receive nothing on Day 1 then have to put a bunch of codes into a game to unlock bonus incentive content. I wonder how many people buy games just to receive some stupid trinket in that game on day one because of that trinket. My guess is very few. Developers have to stop treating the consumer like we're their worst enemy. We are not, and in fact we are the reason the industry has become what it is today. Rather than infuse us with this Pavlovian existence of having to buy new or suffer the consequences, why not make us games that are exciting to purchase on Day One. We have the ability to tell a complete story, create genre defining gameplay, and blow gamers minds, so why do we need 8,000 codes to input on Day One to access content that will become available for purchase later on anyway?

I think the most egregious act has been this THQ Darksiders 2 game promising content to then be told that it isn't available yet. If this is the new trend then I'll simply purchase games used, because preorder bonuses are hardly gamebreaking nor do they add enough to make me squeal with joy. If all this extra content that they want to entice us with doesn't actually arrive on Day One then why should I sit here and reserve a precious copy for a game that I'm sure many will be able to find on store shelves next week, even this week. Developers this is a warning, if you're going to provide content as incentive than give us that content, and make it easy to obtain, otherwise I can't promise that I'll be purchasing on Day One again, I know for a fact that as of now THQ has already been chopped off as a Day One developer for this little endeavor, but it's time to vote with my wallet, and I'm sorry for your fiscal troubles THQ but customer service goes a long way to restoring consumer faith in a product.

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