Why Are Gamers Being Charged For The “Ultimate” Last Light Experience?
Metro: Last Light will finally see dawn this week after some turmoil over at THQ delayed the sequels release. A lot of people are eager to dive into post-apocalyptic Russia once more, but a few are asking a rather important question: Why’s is the title’s “Ranger Mode” a pre-order exclusive and not in the game in the first place.
Ranger Mode was a feature released for free for the first Metro title, 2033, after the hardcore gaming community demanded it. It removes the HUD, makes enemies for powerful and decreases the amount of bullets you find, which is rather extreme in a game where bullets serve as currency as well. It was a treat for those who enjoy punishment, but now it’s being offered as DLC for the sequel, and fans aren’t happy.
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Huw Beynon, global brand manager at Metro: Last Light’s publisher, Koch Media, explained why the mode was turned into a separate pre-order and DLC bonus.
“Game makers and publishers now live in a world where offering game content as a pre-order exclusive is a requirement by retail, and Ranger Mode seemed like the best choice since it was a mode for hardcore fans who would most likely pre-order the game, or purchase it at launch in any case. We rejected requests to make story content or additional missions exclusive. We also rejected requests to make this a timed exclusive.”
You know what, that actually makes sense. Because of the gaming market today, Koch Media have been forced to offer some form of pre-order bonus, but instead of taking out a chunk of the game that everyone should enjoy, they’ve taken out a feature that only the most hardcore fans of Metro will enjoy. And essentially, they are the people most likely to pre-order in the first place.
“We do not recommend Ranger Mode for a first playthrough, and this is made very clear both in-game. We expect Metro fans will want to try Ranger Mode for a subsequent playthrough, and we think that for this hardcore player, Ranger Mode offers a richer experience – but only once you’ve clocked the game at least once.”
“We took all the steps we could to ensure that, while still offering retailers a pre-order incentive that met their needs, we did not force players to pre-order, or make them wait to get this content.”
I think it’s a fair move considering some of the anxiety around the title, taking into consideration the trouble it had to endure during a publisher change near the end of the development cycle. So if you’re a hardcore Metro fan (like me) you’ve probably already pre-ordered the title. And if you’re not sure yet, the pre-order incentive isn’t exactly forcing you to make a decision, as Ranger Mode will be made available as a separate purchase after release. Kock Media explains that the mode will cost $5, as this is the lowest price they are permitted to charge.
And trust me; Ranger Mode really isn’t for everyone. Metro: Last light releases this Friday on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.