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GameStop wants you to pre-order DLC

Remember when pre-ordering a game used to mean you were worried it would sell out and you wanted to guarantee a copy?Well, the term "pre-order" has now lost every lastbit ofmeaningas GameStop has started pushing pre-orders for products that don't even exist in physical form.

Pre-ordering has evolved into a marketing push from game publishers and retailers, which often pack in some sort of incentive item in exchange for a deposit. And now, thanks to GameStop, you'll be encouraged to do the same thing for DLC.

Beginning today, if you go to your local GameStop and pre-order the Noble Map DLC add-on for Halo: Reach, you'll get an exclusive Mark V Spartan Flaming Helmet avatar itemfor free. Customers must put down the full $10 ahead of time to get the bonus item.

But wait, there's more. You also need to sign up for the retailer's customer loyalty program, PowerUp Rewards. Then, you mustactivate your membership online, and when the DLC becomes available, you'll receive a codeon your PowerUp Rewards account page, which you'll need to sign in to get, and theninput into yourXbox 360 to receive your content. This kind of awesome cumbersome-ness is obviously exactly what DLC is for. It's so much easier than just going into the Xbox Live Marketplace and clicking "buy."

Clearly, this is a sign of great things to come. Imagine a future where every time you buy a new game, you're pressured to pre-order upcoming DLC for it. We can't wait.

Nov 24, 2010

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