Launching a new IP is hard stuff. Need proof? Look at the sales numbers for the past few years; they're populated by sequels, spinoffs, and annual follow-ups. There was not one new IP (not bundled in with hardware) in the top 10 sales for games in 2011
, and you need to go all the way down to #34 to find http://www.trueachievements.com/LA-Noire-xbox-360.htm
(the next on the list was http://www.trueachievements.com/Dead-Island-xbox-360.htm
at #69). Needless to say, there are easier things to do than find an audience for a new IP.
Bucking the trend however are 38 Studios and Big Huge Games who, in two weeks time, will be launching http://www.trueachievements.com/Kingdoms-of-Amalur-Reck....htm
. To incentivize gamers to purchase their game early, the developers are throwing in bonus content to be included in new copies of the game.
The "House of Valor" quest line will include seven additional missions.
Now I know what some of you are thinking:
obj, that's crap! They've created an Online Pass for a single-player game!
Well, concerned gamer, much like Obi-Wan said to Luke, it all depends on a certain point of view.
Curt Schilling, chairman and founder of 38 Studios (and bloody sock aficionado), took to the game's forums
to explain the position. It is a rather lengthy response, and I suggest all concerned gamers read it, but I'll try to sum it up with a few choice quotes.
DAY 1 DLC, to be extremely and VIVIDLY clear, is FREE, 100% totally FREE, to anyone that buys a new copy of Reckoning, ANYONE.
If you don't buy new games you buy them used, and in that case you will have to pay for the Day 1 free DLC content the new copy buyers got for free.
It's clear the intent right? To promote early adopters and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO ME, REWARD fans and gamers who commit to us with their time and money when it benefits the company.
Every single person on the planet could wait and not buy Reckoning, the game would hit the bargain bin at some point and you could get it cheaper. 38 Studios would likely go away.
That's just how business works. We MUST make a profit to become what we want to become. THE ONLY way we do that is to make games you CANNOT WAIT TO BUY! If we do that, and you do that, we want to reward you with some cool free stuff as a thank you.
Furthermore, 38 Studios community manager "Muse" posted
the following statement:
We wanted to post a quick clarification for something we've seen a few comments about. For what it's worth, the House of Valor content was not in the finished game/disc at one point, then removed. It isn't there and we're locking you out of it. The House of Valor was created as stand-alone content, and was always intended to be the first DLC. Instead of holding onto it and charging for it later, we opted to give it to everyone who purchases the game new, for free, on launch day. We hope that helps clarify that point, at least.
So there you have it, RPG gamers. Buying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
new will net you some free, Day 1 DLC. Is it enough to get you to purchase the game when it hits shelves on February 7th in North America, February 9th in Australasia and February 10th in Europe?