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Batman: Arkham City's Pre-Order Bonus Scheme Is Like Some Terrible, Labyrinthine Nightmare

Players who pre-order Rocksteady's latest Batman adventure have so many pre-order options that the company had to post an online guide to sort it all out.

Few topics rankle the feathers of the video game enthusiast these days quite like that of pre-order bonus content. Whether it's lamenting the excising of content from a game for the sake of releasing it later as a bonus (or paid DLC), offering unlocks for content that's already on the disc, or tossing so many confusing, bizarre options out there that invariably, everyone is going to end up disappointed, there isn't an awful lot to like about pre-ordering games these days.

One of the more extreme examples of pre-ordering insanity comes from WB Games and developer Rocksteady's upcoming Batman sequel, Arkham City. We've heard over the last few weeks about a variety of different pre-order options coming our way, including everything from various Batman character skins, to Joker-oriented challenge maps and even the boy wonder himself. Robin, as a playable character. But between all these different pieces of content, as well as the various retailer exclusivity deals attached to them, figuring out where, how, and why to pre-order has apparently been something of a headache for would-be players.

We know this, because a moderator on the official Arkham City forums actually went to the trouble of creating a pre-ordering guide for anyone trying to figure out where to get the content they want. Yes, that's right: a guide to pre-ordering a game. I'm not completely certain if this is the last sign of the apocalypse before the Horsemen come down and start inflicting plague, pestilence and pre-order bonuses on the screaming, writhing masses, but it certainly looks like it.

The list is especially confusing because different regions have different retailers, and thus the exclusivity deals change depending on which portion of the planet you dwell within. Take a look at this list, and do your best not to go boss-eyed.

The pre-order Robin model.

ROBIN

  • GERMANY -AMAZON
  • FRANCE- MICROMANIA
  • HOLLAND - GAMEMANIA
  • BELGUIM - GAMEMANIA AND SMARTOYS
  • ITALY - GAMESTOP
  • NORDICS- GAMESTOP
  • NORTH AMERICA - BESTBUY
  • CANADA - BEST BUY
  • AUSTRALIA - JB HIFI
  • MEXICO - GAMERUSH

BATMAN 1970S SKIN

  • UK- SHOPTONET
  • FRANCE- AMAZON
  • ITALY- FNAC
  • AUSTRALIA - EB GAMES

JOKER DLC MAP (CARNIVAL)

  • GERMANY - MEDIA MARKT
  • FRANCE - GAME
  • HOLLAND AND BELGIUM - FREE RECORD SHOP
  • ITALY - MEDIA MARKET
  • US - GAMESTOP
  • AUSTRALIA - EB GAMES
  • CANADA- GAMESTOP

ANIMATED SERIES SKIN

  • GERMANY - SATURN
  • FRANCE- CASINO
  • HOLLAND- BART SMIT
  • BELGIUM - FNAC
  • ITALY- FELTRINELLI
  • AUSTRALIA - JB HIFI

BATMAN BEYOND SKIN

  • UK - GAMESTOP
  • GERMANY - MULLER GE PLAYART AUSTRIA
  • FRANCE- AUCHAN
  • HOLLAND- MICROMEDIA
  • BELIGUM - HORELEC
  • ITALY- OPENGAMES
  • AUSTRALIA - GAME
  • MEXICO - GAMERS RETAIL

BATMAN YEAR ONE SKIN

  • GERMANY - EXPERT
  • FRANCE - FNAC
  • BELGIUM - DREAMLAND COLRUYT
  • ITALY- BLOCKBUSTER
Pre-order costumes

BATMAN EARTH ONE SKIN

  • GERMANY- GAMESTOP
  • FRANCE- JEUX VIDEO & CO
  • HOLLAND- GAMEWORLD
  • BELGIUM- BEMS
  • ITALY - CIDIVERTE
  • AUSTRALIA - JB HIFI

US

  • AMAZON - $10 Amazon credit and Arkham City Comic (print version of the 5 digital comics)
  • WALMART- $ 10 egift card

Congratulations. If you managed to get through all of that and make it to the other side unscathed, you get your baby brother back and David Bowie will sing you a nice ballad.

The worst part of all of this? It isn't even the complete list. Several territories and retailers aren't even finalized yet, meaning that more layers of obfuscation will be added to the process before we even get within punching distance of playing this game. We've reached out to WB Games for any info as to whether these pieces of content will become paid DLC in the foreseeable future or not, but as of yet have not received a response. I'll update this story if they get back to us.

(Thanks to whatisdelicious for sending this in!)

Alex Navarro on Google+
296 Comments
Posted by Alex

Few topics rankle the feathers of the video game enthusiast these days quite like that of pre-order bonus content. Whether it's lamenting the excising of content from a game for the sake of releasing it later as a bonus (or paid DLC), offering unlocks for content that's already on the disc, or tossing so many confusing, bizarre options out there that invariably, everyone is going to end up disappointed, there isn't an awful lot to like about pre-ordering games these days.

One of the more extreme examples of pre-ordering insanity comes from WB Games and developer Rocksteady's upcoming Batman sequel, Arkham City. We've heard over the last few weeks about a variety of different pre-order options coming our way, including everything from various Batman character skins, to Joker-oriented challenge maps and even the boy wonder himself. Robin, as a playable character. But between all these different pieces of content, as well as the various retailer exclusivity deals attached to them, figuring out where, how, and why to pre-order has apparently been something of a headache for would-be players.

We know this, because a moderator on the official Arkham City forums actually went to the trouble of creating a pre-ordering guide for anyone trying to figure out where to get the content they want. Yes, that's right: a guide to pre-ordering a game. I'm not completely certain if this is the last sign of the apocalypse before the Horsemen come down and start inflicting plague, pestilence and pre-order bonuses on the screaming, writhing masses, but it certainly looks like it.

The list is especially confusing because different regions have different retailers, and thus the exclusivity deals change depending on which portion of the planet you dwell within. Take a look at this list, and do your best not to go boss-eyed.

The pre-order Robin model.

ROBIN

  • GERMANY -AMAZON
  • FRANCE- MICROMANIA
  • HOLLAND - GAMEMANIA
  • BELGUIM - GAMEMANIA AND SMARTOYS
  • ITALY - GAMESTOP
  • NORDICS- GAMESTOP
  • NORTH AMERICA - BESTBUY
  • CANADA - BEST BUY
  • AUSTRALIA - JB HIFI
  • MEXICO - GAMERUSH

BATMAN 1970S SKIN

  • UK- SHOPTONET
  • FRANCE- AMAZON
  • ITALY- FNAC
  • AUSTRALIA - EB GAMES

JOKER DLC MAP (CARNIVAL)

  • GERMANY - MEDIA MARKT
  • FRANCE - GAME
  • HOLLAND AND BELGIUM - FREE RECORD SHOP
  • ITALY - MEDIA MARKET
  • US - GAMESTOP
  • AUSTRALIA - EB GAMES
  • CANADA- GAMESTOP

ANIMATED SERIES SKIN

  • GERMANY - SATURN
  • FRANCE- CASINO
  • HOLLAND- BART SMIT
  • BELGIUM - FNAC
  • ITALY- FELTRINELLI
  • AUSTRALIA - JB HIFI

BATMAN BEYOND SKIN

  • UK - GAMESTOP
  • GERMANY - MULLER GE PLAYART AUSTRIA
  • FRANCE- AUCHAN
  • HOLLAND- MICROMEDIA
  • BELIGUM - HORELEC
  • ITALY- OPENGAMES
  • AUSTRALIA - GAME
  • MEXICO - GAMERS RETAIL

BATMAN YEAR ONE SKIN

  • GERMANY - EXPERT
  • FRANCE - FNAC
  • BELGIUM - DREAMLAND COLRUYT
  • ITALY- BLOCKBUSTER
Pre-order costumes

BATMAN EARTH ONE SKIN

  • GERMANY- GAMESTOP
  • FRANCE- JEUX VIDEO & CO
  • HOLLAND- GAMEWORLD
  • BELGIUM- BEMS
  • ITALY - CIDIVERTE
  • AUSTRALIA - JB HIFI

US

  • AMAZON - $10 Amazon credit and Arkham City Comic (print version of the 5 digital comics)
  • WALMART- $ 10 egift card

Congratulations. If you managed to get through all of that and make it to the other side unscathed, you get your baby brother back and David Bowie will sing you a nice ballad.

The worst part of all of this? It isn't even the complete list. Several territories and retailers aren't even finalized yet, meaning that more layers of obfuscation will be added to the process before we even get within punching distance of playing this game. We've reached out to WB Games for any info as to whether these pieces of content will become paid DLC in the foreseeable future or not, but as of yet have not received a response. I'll update this story if they get back to us.

(Thanks to whatisdelicious for sending this in!)

Staff
Posted by Bestostero

I want these!

Posted by neek

classic ftw

Posted by Dany

I fucking hate shit like this.

Posted by NeutralDensity

What the heck!?

Posted by NorthSarge

BATMANBATMANBATMAN

Posted by Mus

I am blind. Would it be correct to say that the other skins would eventually be released, ala Mortal Kombat style skins. 

Posted by zombie2011

I just wanna see a larger pic of all the costumes.

Posted by khopps17

that labrynth reference... damn you navarro

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

funny thing is ... there isn't even a CE for the PC version ... at least not at my usual retailers.

Posted by nathos

They're going to sell all of these as DLC later, right? RIGHT?

Posted by Bestostero
@Mus said:
I am blind. Would it be correct to say that the other skins would eventually be released, ala Mortal Kombat style skins. 
They will be, these are just early access, someone mentioned it earlier in the Batman Arkham City forums.
Posted by benjaebe

You know when you have to run a preordering guide that there's a problem. Also extremely jealous that the UK gets the Batman Beyond skin and we don't.

Posted by Vitor

@Dany said:

I fucking hate shit like this.

This. Even if they'll be made available to everyone post launch, it's ridiculous. Especially if they then charge for it also. Post game DLC I support. Even launch day DLC - the way games are made, some of that stuff really is stuff they only started working on when the game went gold.

But costumes like this? Eurgh. Early access preorder incentive is fine as long as everyone can unlock it through normal gameplay.

Posted by Catolf

i spotted an Alex post 10 miles away, also inserting david bowie into this makes it 100% win.. but wtf is this mess with batman..ugh.

Posted by White_Silhouette

This is getting insanely stupid (more so). since it's just a matter of time before they become DLC.

That being said I wouldn't mind the Batman Beyond skin. But it's not available in my country or neighbouring countries.

Posted by buft

ok i have no idea what i will get if i preorder, is GAME doing anything?

Posted by test0r

So I'm just going to wait until this is on sale for $10 on Steam then.

Posted by Huzzabari

Looks like I'm ordering amazon, I'd love that batman beyond skin though : (

Posted by Brendan
  • NORTH AMERICA - BESTBUY
  • CANADA - BEST BUY

What is this I don't even

Posted by Tan

Wait. Does that mean Canada can't get that animated series skin? D:!

Posted by Abendlaender

Wait, where do I have to preorder to get just the main game?

I´m so confused....

Posted by Kill

UK Giant Bomb Bros: ShopTo offers free Next Day delivery as standard and 95% of the time is the cheapest option. ALWAYS USE SHOPTO.

Posted by rmanthorp

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

Hype = 110%

Moderator
Posted by Matte_G

UK has Gamestop?

I've never seen one, I know we have like 4 Best Buys though.

Posted by Maystack

Wait, UK doesn't get robin? I'm pissed.

Posted by Mesoian

The only thing I looked for was to see the status of the animated series outfit. I guess I won't be getting that day one.

Posted by monkeystick

Gotta catch 'em all!

Posted by Demoskinos

I say who cares!  These are all obviously going to be DLC in the near future.  They released all the challenge maps from the first game.   Hell... might even be worth it to wait for a GOTY edition with everything packed in and a cheaper price.

Posted by Vexxan

CHAOS.

Posted by Lazyaza
@nathos said:

They're going to sell all of these as DLC later, right? RIGHT?

This has been confirmed by Rocksteady yes.
Posted by Make_Me_Mad

Congratulations. If you managed to get through all of that and make it to the other side unscathed, you get your baby brother back and David Bowie will sing you a nice ballad.

Alex does write some great articles.  That said, I made it about halfway down the ROBIN list before my eyes tried to escape from their torment.
Posted by adoggz

If you preorder from me you can get an exclusive Russian Martian Batman skin 
 


OR Green Lantern Batman skin.
 

supplies are limited! Order Now!
Edited by Chop

This on top of the $70 price tag here? 
 
Sorry AC, I'm not buying you until you make the bargain bin. 

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN......FATMAN?

Posted by Bumpton

So, US can only get a comic, the Joker DLC, or Robin? No Batman costumes? That's lame...
Posted by MeatSim

Ugh! what a mess.

Posted by Bass

HEY, GUESS WHAT? Amazon gives you $10 for pre-ordering the game! They throw in some comics, that's cool I guess, but I get a $10 dollar gift-card to the only place I buy stuff. That sounds like the better deal by quite a margin.

Posted by BLipp18

what amount of money do i need to give WB/where do i need to preorder to get them to make the entire game look like the Animated Series skin? cause i will pay a hefty sum for that to happen

Posted by MikeydCT

cant get the animated series skin in US what BS

Posted by DarkbeatDK

Okay, so I'm from Denmark and I've ordered the collectors edition from Game.co.uk which gives me the Dark Knight Returns skin. Now, I just need to buy the game 7 more times from retailers across Europe to get the complete experience. Great!

Posted by Milkman

So, you can't even get any of the Batman skins in the US? What kind of horseshit is that?

Posted by Duffyside

@adoggz said:

If you preorder from me you can get an exclusive Russian Martian Batman skin

OR Green Lantern Batman skin.
supplies are limited! Order Now!

Shame on everyone else that I'm the first to quote this. SHAME ON YOU ALL.

Posted by HarlequinRiot
@Bumpton said:
So, US can only get a comic, the Joker DLC, or Robin? No Batman costumes? That's lame...
Totally. I was really hoping to be able to get one of them (especially the Animated Series on). Being American is hard. 
Posted by vonFlampanker

Thanks, business majors!

Posted by m0n3d4

Reminds me of the chart someone had to make for Dragon Age: Origins... 
 

Posted by mosespippy

I'd say all the skins will go up as a paid DLC pack within a month of release.

Posted by MJHAYLETT

this kind of shenanigans make me not pre-order a game and indeed not buy it new. I can wait for a good game. In six months when its cheaper and maybe even pre-owned it's still a good game. If it had one universal pre-order goody then fine - everyone gets it but this piecemeal nonsense has to stop.

Posted by Tebbit

@adoggz: Spec-tacular. Be on the lookout for my $350 in your letterbox.

Edited by PolyesterPimp

Where can I get the Batman Beyond skin? That's got my monies. 
 
ANd what is that Fat Bat Man? And who the hell would want Robin? That guys teh uber ghey.