Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Release Date Announced Alongside Absurd Pre-Order Scheme
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is already shaping up to be one of 2016's most anticipated titles, and now we finally have a release date for Eidos Montreal's franchise sequel. Set for February 23rd 2016, Mankind Divided role as a benckmark next-generation title could be cemented due to being the first AAA release to include significant support for DirectX 12 rendering.
Unfortunately the sublime has quickly descended into the ridiculous. Alongside the release date announcement came details of the pre-order bonus, and it really has to be seen to be believed.
Deus Ex fans aren't exactly enamoured of the announcement if the like/dislike ratio on that video are anything to go by. In dispensing with the distasteful but at least easy to understand retailer exclusives and straightforward pre-order bonuses, Mankind Divided treads new ground in offering tiered rewards based on the number of people who sign up to the scheme. The somewhat nefarious result is that pre-ordering is framed as a community-minded activity, not a purely commercial one.
The formula Square Enix have chosen bears a more than passing resemblance to Kickstarter's combination of stretch goals and tiered rewards for underfunded projects. You pre-order once, and as the total number of pre-orders increases new 'Tier' rewards are unlocked. When the game launches you will be able to pick rewards within Tiers 1, 2 and 4; if the full five are unlocked the game will also release four days early.
Rewards for participating in the pre-order promotion range from one of three cosmetic skins, in-game weapons and praxis points (i.e. pts for your skill tree) through to a graphic novel or novella. It's not clear if these rewards will be available post-launch to those who didn't pre-purchase, but if the past is an indication they may all form part of a GOTY edition much later down the line.
Needless to say, this promotion doesn't exactly get our endorsement. Pre-ordering hardware or software is in general unwise, and in the case of modern games there's no guarantee or quality or compatibility with your PC. Steam refunds have only partially mitigated against the risk, and they address the opportunity cost of spending $60/£45 now for an unknown product fours months down the line.
Anyway, if you're compelled to reward Square Enix and really need that 'iconic trench-coat' skin, you can check out the details at the Augment Your Preorder microsite. The game is now available to pre-order from Steam for £39.99 or your regional equivalent.