“Batman: Arkham Knight” just came out and I’m dying to play it. It looks amazing! But I won’t. Not for another six months at least, because look at all this bonus content. I’m saving my sixty bucks as a protest.
Warner Bros. Interactive won’t miss my $60, they’ll have everyone else’s. But it’s on principle: I refuse to buy what is essentially an incomplete game at full price.
Pre-order bonuses are an incentive for gamers to pre-order at retail. It’s nothing more than a gauge to measure how well a game may perform and to guarantee a sale against negative reviews that scare off potential customers.
Just check out the laundry list of pre-order exclusives and DLC that are a part of the game, except if you buy only the game:
Harley Quinn Prequel: Play as The Joker’s mistress (and fan-favorite) in a story that takes place before the events of Arkham Knight.
Future Skins Pack: Dress Batman in two costumes based on wildly popular Batman iterations: Frank Miller’s iconic The Dark Knight Returns and the animated series Batman Beyond. Available only on Steam.
Red Hood Story Pack: You can play as the vigilante the Red Hood, a former Batman ally that turns rogue. He is the favorite comics character of all Slipknot fans who live in red states.
First Appearance Skin Pack: Gives you the Batman costume from his very first issue from 1939. Available only on Amazon.
WayneTech Booster Pack: This one is kind of a doozy. You get early access to some tools that you could unlock later in the game. I guess someone thought this was kind of a ridiculous pack and coupled together the Harley Quinn Pack too. Available only at Best Buy.
Prototype Batmobile: You can use a different version of the Batmobile in the game with new features. Available only at Walmart, also comes with Harley Quinn Pack and a $5 VUDU movie credit. VUDU is actually kinda useful.
Scarecrow Nightmare Pack A PlayStation 4 timed exclusive, this DLC contains missions taking place in a Gotham torn apart by Scarecrow’s fear toxin. The city has become a hellish wasteland, forcing Batman to fix it, somehow. Because he’s Batman.
There were two more editions, both which contained “three unique skins” from the DC New 52. The Batmobile Edition ($200), which came with a collectible Batmobile figure/paperweight thing, and the Limited Edition ($100) which came with a Batman statue. Due to production errors, the Batmobile edition has been cancelled, so if you want those skins you’ll have to shell out for the Limited Edition.
But that’s not all. There is still MORE upcoming DLC, like an entire Batgirl pack that lets you play as Barbara Gordon in a prequel storyline and other missions.
According to GameSpot, there is a way to obtain all the bonuses eventually, and it’s exactly what my strategy is: to wait. Posted by Warner Bros. Interactive’s Community Manager on the “Arkham Knight” official forums:
Throughout the 6 months of additional Batman: Arkham Knight content, Premium and Season Pass owners will also receive the in-game content that is offered through various retail pre-order incentives. This includes the Harley Quinn and Red Hood Story Packs, and the Prototype Batmobile. For those who did not receive the content with their game, these items will become available when their respective exclusivity windows expire in August/September.
The tl;dr version of this is: Premium Edition & Season Pass owners will receive all retail exclusive DLC after their respective early access periods expire.
Better yet, stay put for the Game of the Year Edition that will come out sooner than you think. It’ll be like $20 and will come with everything, just like last time.