In the past, gamers’ experiences with event exclusives have been like the last slot in the Pokedex – it is a spot they can never fill. “Pokémon” and other game franchises have giveaways, along with the games, as added bonuses.
It used to be that the giveaway would happen after the game had been out for multiple months. Now, the trend is enticing players to be early buyers. The Internet has allowed players to just download the exclusives with a promotion code, allowing players to receive bonuses that make the game easier.
Some question whether or not it is actually good for the game to offer bonuses that make game play easier. In this day and age, even if it is a game-launch giveaway, there is an issue of it spreading all over the Internet. Additional problems with game giveaways are that it doesn’t work, it’s unfair and it makes the game too easy.
Though there are not many examples of giveaways not working, the same cannot be said for add-ons – a big concern of gamers.
Clyde Dopheide, sophomore in computer science, said he has a skeptical view of event exclusives.
“I’m fine with them as long as they are cosmetic and don’t affect other players by being given an unfair advantage,” Dopheide said. “Say it’s a multiplayer game. People who show up for the new ‘Battlefield’ get an item or weapon that skews the game in their favor. There is no way for the other players to get that game breaking bonus.”
Jacob Case, sophomore in computer science, said he agreed with Dopheide, adding that add-ons are not for him and not the way these add-ons should go.
“It’s good for developers to try new things,” Case said. “I’m just not that big on cosmetic features. Along with that, I don’t mind things that show off how good of a player you are. If you have a piece of equipment that is a boss trophy, you had to beat that boss to get it. You’ve earned that. That’s how I play, but that is my personal style. I still think companies should try thing to help themselves and make games fun.”
Game Hounds co-owner Rusty Schroll said though such giveaways have draw backs, the concept wouldn’t work if they didn’t have draw backs.
“These giveaways are tools to drive customers to stores,” Schroll said. “It’s unfortunate that some of these events are regional to the United States or to Japan or just from certain stores. But, there are a lot of things to consider along with those promotions.”
One of those is proximity. Proximity can effect when or where a promotion, add-on or bonus is given out, which is something people may not consider in the information age of the Internet.
“Nintendo is a Japanese company, so when they have Japan-exclusive giveaways, it is because they have to consider their domestic market,” Schroll said. “It’s the same for Activision over here in the U.S. Different retailers are going to do different things to bring in customers. If everyone had the same giveaway, customers would go just to the closest retailer. There would be no differentiation. What every store wants is for customers to come to their store and their store only.”
Pokémon actually has a way of dealing with these region locked exclusive giveaways.
“In ‘Pokémon,’ they have the trading system,” Dopheide said. “In that sense, you can barter for Pokémon you want but couldn’t get being outside of those giveaways.”
In a perfect Hollywood twist, it is a commonly held house rule that legendary Pokémon are not to be used in battles, whether that is between friends or in official tournaments. If these giveaways were more widespread, that may not have to be a rule.
But in the meantime, there is still the trading system for your favorites in that game.
So, when considering game exclusives, there are both benefits and hinderances to them – as with many other things. What you should consider is whether or not the event exclusive is worth it or not and, if it is, how you would get it.