Morning Discussion

Over the weekend I tried to pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops. Much to my chagrin, the Hardened Edition of the game is completely "pre-ordered out." (Apparently that's a thing).

The Hardened Edition comes with 4 additional co-op maps for Cod Blops. So, in order to get the "full game," I need to buy the version that retails for $84.99 (CND) rather than $64.99 (CND). Now that I've convinced myself to do it, anyway, I can't even find someone to sell me the thing.

In the future, it's possible (and likely, but it's speculation) that these additional maps will be made available for a price via DLC. Based on the Modern Warfare 2 DLC pricing model, that content will presumably set me back (at least) $15.

At that point, why even sell the standard edition? Or, since the valuable bonuses in the Hardened Edition are mostly digital--I can live without your steel book case and medal--why not allow me to purchase a "Standard Edition" upgrade and give me those extras digitally? Also, what does this mean for the PS3 version? Microsoft and Activision have an timed-exclusivity deal in place for map packs. Do these count? Basically, it's a mess.

Publishers: you can add trinkets and in-game content to enhance my experience all you want but shy away from giving some of your customers content that has the potential to keep them from playing with their friends. If you can't sell one version of your game, announce solutions to problems like these before you launch so I decide to pre-order instead of walking out of the store.

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