Marketing bullshit gamers should stop being a part of

Pointless crap you do that PR suits love you for

But the fact is, there are much worse practices around, and we ourselves promote them. They're the sly hype-spreading, sales-boosting tricks that turn a simple game into a full-blownevent, and worst of all, they exist only because we make them happen, either by buying into them over and over, or even by actually accepting them into our gaming culture.

Watch out folks. This is the marketing crap thatwe are responsible for.

Special editions

Those video games, eh? With their cool dudes on their madcap adventures and their bright colours and their crazy critters and their big robots that go "BOOM!". Oh boy they're awesome. Yessir, they're pretteee awesome. And with all that awesome happening in all those pixels, it's understandable that you'd think it'd be cool to bring some of it into the real world, right? Big robots! They go "BOOM!"

Above: And are worth $130, without doubt

And look! That new game you thought looked quitekind of okayjust became 300% more soul-haemorrhagingly transcendent by including a FRIKKIN' PLASTIC TOY OF ONE OF ITS LESSER MONSTERS IN THE BOX!!! AND AN UNUSED DRAWING! Buy that shit and you'll spontaneously evolve! And even better than that, you'll prove what a death-defyingly loyal, cast-iron hardcore bastard you are to that faceless, unfeeling corporation that doesn't even know your name.

Perhaps we're cynical though. Age of Conan's special edition did at least come with free beer. Free, fake, digital in-game beer. No, we're not being cynical at all, are we?

Let's face it. This is the same marketing model as putting toys in cereal boxes to make sugar-rabid 3 year olds choose one shape of reconsitituted corn shaving over another. Except that you're paying an extra £15 for the toy.

Pre-order bonuses

See above, except that you're paying for the toy a year before you even know what the cereal tastes like.


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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