If you pre-order Assassin's Creed Origins from GameStop, you'll be entitled to some exclusive mission content that you can't find anywhere else. This shouldn't surprise you; pre-orders have been incentivized this way for years to the chagrin of players everywhere.
We've come to accept these practices as the norm with time, but that doesn't mean we like it rubbed in our faces. GameStop has issued a new animated ad for Origins that players found extremely distasteful. Chalk this up as another degrading, tone-deaf approach to marketing.
The ad in question can be seen below. This is a banner ad found on several gaming and shopping websites that shows the protagonist of the new Assassin's Creed sliding down the face of a giant pyramid. After a few seconds, a giant camel slides into the frame, blocking the action from view. We compiled all three frames side by side:
"Sorry," the ad reads. "The bonus mission is blocked. Unless you pre-order Assassin's Creed Origins."
Obviously, when you click on the ad, you're swept away to GameStop's pre-order page for Assassin's Creed Origins, and it swept many players and YouTubers into rage-filled fits of retaliation and backlash.
Reactions to this tasteless ad have ranged from the nonchalant shrugs, to dramatic YouTube videos filled with hyperbole. The general sentiment is this: No one likes the fact that coughing up $60 no longer gets you a full game these days. In order to get the "full" experience, you're asked to pre-order; asked to purchase the season pass; asked to purchase the year-two season pass; asked to buy a few loot boxes.
No one feels great about the industry telos at the moment, but here we have an ad that basically assumes our worst fears have already come to pass. The ad takes for granted that gamers have accepted that exciting in-game content is going to be locked away unless we commit our money early; or offer it up in bulk.
"power to the players" nice one there Gamestop— iSpooky hawk (@Hawkout75) October 10, 2017
Hey, at least they’re actually giving us a middle finger this time.— MrCyberBully (@MrCyberBully) October 10, 2017
As an advertising student I’m glad I see this stuff on my TL to know what I should avoid— NILOW (@Niloosy) October 11, 2017
Do you find the ad tasteless, or should we just accept our pre-order DLC overlords already?