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Sega Pleases, Enrages Alien Fans With Isolation's Pre-Order DLC [UPDATED]

Most pre-order DLC has been garbage, but Alien: Isolation's reunites the cast of Ridley Scott's Alien. Shouldn't fans be happy with that?

UPDATE: We've since learned, via Facebook, the DLC will be available for everyone after launch. No word on pricing.

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Sega's made its latest attempt to bring the xenomorph to video games, Alien: Isolation, all the more appealing with news it's roping in cast members from Ridley Scott's Alien for two bonus missions...as pre-order DLC.

Try to look at this image and remember most Alien games haven't been very good. But also remember I've loved what I've played of Isolation.
Try to look at this image and remember most Alien games haven't been very good. But also remember I've loved what I've played of Isolation.

Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Ripley), Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), and Yaphet Kotto (Parker) have brought both their likeness and voice to these newly announced Alien tie-ins. Ian Holm (Ash) is, however, only a lookalike and soundalike. Fitting for a cyborg, no?

Developer Creative Assembly has built two missions plucked from two harrowing scenarios in Alien. Crew Expendable has players assuming the role of Ellen, Dallas, or Parker after the death of Brett, as they try to lure the xenomorph into the airlock. Last Survivor, however, has Ripley activating the self-destruct on the Nostromo before escaping on the Narcissus.

This sounds awesome, right? What's to be upset about? A couple of things.

One, it's pre-order DLC, which means Sega's asking players to gamble on Alien: Isolation's quality after the company pulled a bait-and-switch with Aliens: Colonial Marines that series fans are still licking their wounds over. (The Alien cycle is much like the Sonic cycle.) From Sega's perspective, it's brilliant, since it taps into the very same nostalgia Alien: Isolation is built around, even if it forgets Colonial Marines wasn't that long ago.

People have a right to be cynical about pre-order DLC, but isn't that because pre-order DLC has been mostly garbage? It's typically a useless extra weapon or a set of subpar missions clearly meant to serve only as a way to poke the other platform holder in the eye. With Aliens: Colonial Marines, Sega did exactly that, offering special weapons and customization. We can't be sure Crew Expendable or Last Survivor will be any good, but if we're to judge Sega's efforts by the efforts of other game companies, at least Sega's making a hell of a pre-order pitch. Pre-order DLC isn't going away, and it'd be nice if companies tried to make me mildly interested.

(For the record, pre-ordering in 2014 seems silly. You can buy almost any game digitally, which means scarcity is no longer a reason to pre-order. So companies ought to be to trying harder.)

Some of the reactions are, so far, pretty understandable.

That last tweet is exactly what Sega wants to hear. That's pre-order DLC working.

Even if you're okay with gambling on this latest attempt, you can't just load up Alien: Isolation on Amazon and call it a day. Last Survivor is exclusive to GameStop. It's not available at any other retailer. Pre-ordering Alien: Isolation at any retailer guarantees you an upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which comes with Crew Expendable, but only GameStop pre-orders are upgraded to the even more special Nostromo Edition that comes with both Crew Expendable and Last Survivor. It's better than Batman: Arkham City, I guess?

Granted, if we're to take previous pre-order DLC as evidence, both Crew Expendable and Last Survivor will become available as paid downloadable content in the future. It makes sense. Sega can drive pre-orders now, rightly figuring some fans won't take the risk of this DLC truly being a pre-order exclusive, and those inevitably late to the party will pay something like $5 per mission. That's having your cake and eating it, too.

It's like clockwork. Sad, cynical clockwork. Sega, sadly, has not yet responded to my request for clarification on whether the pre-order DLC will eventually be available outside of pre-orders. I'd take that bet, though.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
233 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for laugurinn
Posted By laugurinn

The effect of this: Piracy.

Avatar image for gatob
Edited By gatob

I honesty just completely disregard Pre-order DLC. I always order from Amazon. I don't care what I do or don't get, because I am ordering for the retail game.

It's still dumb though.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
Posted By ripelivejam

So I guess the inherent differences between doc and expansion packs are still amount of content and pricing? Cause in all honesty they'rd similar, if you consider dlc that adds gameplay content. It's just writ on a smaller scale.

Avatar image for zolroyce
Posted By ZolRoyce

@humanity said:

Like I wrote earlier in this thread - this sort of DLC almost always becomes available later on for purchase - which is now confirmed. I'm not sure why this was even worthy of being a news item. Of course they're going to try to bait people into pre-ordering with timed exclusive content. This has been a standard business practice for quite a few years now.

Indeed it has, I think perhaps after the failure of the last Aliens game that people are just jumpy around this one right now. I forget who it was but I heard recently the quote "You are only as good as your last game." The last Alien game was such shit out of something that looked promising that when people see this game they are just crossing their fingers and going "please don't be shit" so when they see something like this it makes them go "Oh no! It's being shit!"
Even if it has been done a hundred times before.

Avatar image for tryptophan
Posted By Tryptophan

I do not understand why the concept of DLC became an accepted thing. This is a marketing strategy with only money in mind and the companies who do it should feel guilty for preying on impulsive minds and tendencies. I thought DLC would die out years ago, it should have died out with the "horse armor" bullshit. For my own part, Artorias of the Abyss was the first and still the only DLC I have ever purchased. Do not get me started on the bizarre idea of these pre-order dog-and-pony-show trinket items and maps they tack on to lure gamers into an unnecessary, early purchase that only serves to fuel a marketing team's idea of what they can get away with on gamers' dimes. Pisses-Me-Off: is the only message they should read.

Avatar image for corwag
Posted By Corwag

How long do you guys think this game is? Long enough to justify a $60 price tag? Have they indicated any kind of price point yet? Just curious.

Avatar image for rekt_hed
Posted By Rekt_Hed

Well I don't give a shit if no one else will but I will be voting with my wallet and staying well away from this title until there is a GOTY bundle type deal. I'm getting so sick and tired of all this DLC BULLSHIT!

Its a real shame as well because I was legitimately excited for this game until this news broke.

Thanks Obama!

Avatar image for mr402
Posted By Mr402

Bought Colonial Marines because of Gearbox's supposed involvement. I'm usually pretty good about sniffing out a turd but I'm a huge fan of the franchise and learned a lesson big time. No way I'm touching this at launch. I'll wait for it to go on sale during a slow time for releases.

Avatar image for sander
Edited By Sander

I don't keep up with pre release news and glancing at all this Nostromo Edition, Last Survivor, Expendable Crew, retailer exclusives, pre order DLC is all a hassle and major fucken turn off.

See you in 2yrs at the bottom of the bargain bin when it's all sorted.

Avatar image for monkeyking1969
Posted By MonkeyKing1969

Ripley looks a little like Summer Glau in that render.

And, I have no complaints about that...at all.

Avatar image for humanity
Posted By Humanity

Like I wrote earlier in this thread - this sort of DLC almost always becomes available later on for purchase - which is now confirmed. I'm not sure why this was even worthy of being a news item. Of course they're going to try to bait people into pre-ordering with timed exclusive content. This has been a standard business practice for quite a few years now.

Avatar image for i_game_i_taught_i_conquered
Posted By I_Game_I_Taught_I_Conquered

I pre-ordered anyway, on Amazon. Works better for me because the package is on the door step when I get home from work. I don't do it for the DLC, I'll play the game regardless of whether Ripley is in it or not.

However, I do think the DLC crap is exactly that, crap. AND, like all fads, it will go away in time. Like he said, it's 2014, games are digital now, when more and more realize this, DLC will no longer be pre-order qualifying.

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
Edited By spraynardtatum

@dedbeet said:

I know exactly how I feel about this: I don't care! People, you don't like something don't pay for it, it's really just that simple. This incessant internet bitching about everything in the games industry these days has become beyond tedious. Vote with your wallets; it's the strongest power consumers possess. Oh, and ignore most, if not all, games journalist as they seem to have forgotten why they got into this business in the first place.

The problem with this statement is that you specifically say that you don't care. Why should someone that does care listen to you?

Avatar image for dedbeet
Posted By DedBeet

I know exactly how I feel about this: I don't care! People, you don't like something don't pay for it, it's really just that simple. This incessant internet bitching about everything in the games industry these days has become beyond tedious. Vote with your wallets; it's the strongest power consumers possess. Oh, and ignore most, if not all, games journalist as they seem to have forgotten why they got into this business in the first place.

Avatar image for bishopren
Posted By BishopRen

@bishopren: I know about the demo but that stuff looked so much like a canned fake thing that I don't know how anyone could've fell for it. Especially after watching that horrible trailer.

Again like I said I never saw that horrible trailer. Its not so much falling for the demo as thinking that they have some idea of how to execute an aliens game, no one thought that the demo given would be 100% representative but it gave the impression that gearbox knew what they were doing.

Avatar image for pyrodactyl
Posted By pyrodactyl

@bishopren: I know about the demo but that stuff looked so much like a canned fake thing that I don't know how anyone could've fell for it. Especially after watching that horrible trailer.

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
Posted By spraynardtatum

I hate preorder DLC and I want to punish publishers who use it. Which makes me hate myself even more because I preordered. Still... I've done so on Amazon and won't hesitate to cancel it if either previews come up short or the DLC is announced as available at a reasonable price.

The only reasonable price is free in my opinion. The only thing exclusive about retail pre-order DLC should be timing. Even that is lame though.

Avatar image for blacklab
Edited By blacklab

That image is awesome and terrifying.

Avatar image for extintor
Edited By Extintor

I hate preorder DLC and I want to punish publishers who use it. Which makes me hate myself even more because I preordered. Still... I've done so on Amazon and won't hesitate to cancel it if either previews come up short or the DLC is announced as available at a reasonable price.

Avatar image for discoman
Posted By Discoman

@madman356647: It is the internet version of 'The Man on The Street'. I'd be more interested people in the industry's reactions, but they'd probably have to tow the line on this issue. Unless they're a cool studio like CDRP.

Avatar image for xrayzwei
Posted By xrayzwei

@patrickklepek Ash was a cyborg?!? Geez give us a spoiler warning next time.

Kidding, but one of the most horrifying things ever though? Him rolling up that magazine and trying to shove it down Ripley's throat.

Avatar image for madman356647
Posted By madman356647

@seismicshock: like I said its ok here because its a couple. I just want to avoid more than that.

Avatar image for agony
Posted By agony

TESTKOMMENTAR?????????????????????????????????????????

Avatar image for seismicshock
Posted By seismicshock

And now Sega has announced that the DLC will be available for everyone after release, so crisis adverted?

That said, I know Patrick is experimenting with different article types, but I'd like to say one thing. Please avoid "Twitter reacts to stuffs" articles. This one used it as kind of a cool window into "what it does to players" so it works, but that's one thing I don't like that Kotaku does regularly. Twitter copy pasta just doesn't bring the same punch as a well thought out article, and it feels more like a cop out "Ehhh, I'll just toss this up and get back to playing (insert game here)". But, I like the writeup either way.

he has 3 twitter pulls, kotaku rolls with dozens, i'd say patrick pulls some representative reactions instead of spamming them.

Avatar image for superdomino
Posted By superdomino
@nmarchan said:

I hate everything about the pre-order DLC business model. There is literally zero upside for the consumer.

No but there is an upside for Sega and GameStop. Thats the point and thats the most infuriating part. Its a completely transparent cash grab

Avatar image for bombaluigi
Edited By BombaLuigi

why is sega announcing pre-order dlc news today?

Avatar image for realkman
Posted By realkman
Avatar image for madman356647
Posted By madman356647

And now Sega has announced that the DLC will be available for everyone after release, so crisis adverted?

That said, I know Patrick is experimenting with different article types, but I'd like to say one thing. Please avoid "Twitter reacts to stuffs" articles. This one used it as kind of a cool window into "what it does to players" so it works, but that's one thing I don't like that Kotaku does regularly. Twitter copy pasta just doesn't bring the same punch as a well thought out article, and it feels more like a cop out "Ehhh, I'll just toss this up and get back to playing (insert game here)". But, I like the writeup either way.

Avatar image for atwa
Edited By Atwa

I hate stuff like this, 30 years later its just pandering at this point to include the characters from the original movie.

Avatar image for jec03
Posted By JEC03

Meh to this game anyways it has good graphics and theme but basically the gameplay is just a hide and seek simulator.

Avatar image for greyfoxv1
Posted By greyfoxv1

@nmarchan said:

I hate everything about the pre-order DLC business model. There is literally zero upside for the consumer.

I wish more people understood this. We have almost no benefit besides a funny hat or some small inconsequential mission that guarantees the company $40-60 of our money on our gamble.

Avatar image for ptys
Posted By ptys

Yeah that's pretty dodgy. If you're paying full price for a game you would expect to get all the best parts with it otherwise it's an unfair deal.

Avatar image for superfriend
Posted By Superfriend

Here's my problem with this game: This should be included at launch for everybody. There is no reason to cut that content from the main game other than "we want more money". If this trend continues at this pace, no game will ship in a tolerable state anymore. It's either a mountain of bugs or cut content that would have made the game better (Mass Effect 3: From Ashes)

Isolation looks pretty cool, but after the last couple of releases from Sega and Digital Assembly, NOBODY should preorder this.

Avatar image for bishopren
Edited By BishopRen

@pyrodactyl said:

@realkman said:
@nasar7 said:

To be fair, colonial marines looked mediocre from the start. This actually has a shot at being decent.

After that trailer, it's a bit inconceivable that somehow would still be in.

Loading Video...

God, how could anyone think this game was going to be anything more than another duke nukem forever?

This demo had a lot to do with it, I never saw that trailer but I did see this demo from E3 and it looked really awesome.

(Sorry I could not find the video without some one talking over it, seems sega has scoured the original from the web. So I thought the dulcet tones of Jim Sterling would be most acceptable.)

Avatar image for aoi
Posted By Aoi

It must just be my part of the country, but I do still pre-order on occasion after things certain titles like that last Fire Emblem were impossible to find locally, and even difficult to catch in stock online at places like Amazon. I typically buy through Amazon, and put no money down, so one way or another, it doesn't really bother me either way, but even previously I have one or two stores I go to, they're in a college campus area, and tend to sell out of some things early on, and other obscure titles only get orders filled enough FOR pre-orders so... eh.

That being said, I was and still am skeptical about Isolation regardless of this stunt DLC. The idea of a game of any significant length revolving around no weapons and one monster being able to hold onto the suspense, and make the gameplay feel non-repetitive seems really really really hard to pull off. To the point where they could be holding back the last third of the game as DLC and I still wouldn't pre-order out of sheer skepticism. I hope I love it. I WANT to love it. The initial slice reviewers have gotten to look at has me hopeful, but this game... this game just feels like something that could really fall apart an hour or two in after crawling under the dozenth bed/hiding in the 100th locker. Here's hoping the make it work.

Avatar image for l4wd0g
Posted By l4wd0g

I mean, you can pre-order and either cancel you pre-order (even weeks after pre-ordiering) and put the money towards something else. Or if you pre-order from Amazon, you can just send it back. It's what I do with all my games now. After Sim City and BF4 I'm still feeling burned.

Avatar image for brodehouse
Posted By Brodehouse

WHAT THEY'RE OFFERING A SECOND, SMALLER PRODUCT AS A VALUE ADD TO AN EXISTING PRODUCT THEY'RE PLANNING AT SELLING AT 60 DOLLARS?!

DON'T THEY KNOW MY 60 DOLLARS GIVES ME THE RIGHT TO PLAY EVERYTHING THEY'VE CREATED FOR THAT GAME EVER AND NOT JUST WHATEVER I BOUGHT?!

DON'T THEY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANT PART OF A TRANSACTION IS NOT IN WHAT THEY OFFER ME IN EXCHANGE FOR WHAT I PAY, BUT WHAT I WANT TO HAVE FOR WHAT I PAY?

Avatar image for vao
Posted By Vao

It's interesting thinking back at different exclusive preorder dlc I've gotten and noting has ever been needed even adds something special to the game.

I wounder if anyone has done a post modem on some big releases in the last couple years and seen if any of the Preorder DLC added anything of interest to a game. Most that I can think of is just skins, challenge maps or comedic shit. Haven't gotten around to playing the exclusive missions i received with watchdogs cause it felt pointless

Avatar image for michiganjack
Posted By MichiganJack

Ripley looks a little like Summer Glau in that render.

Avatar image for ellboy
Posted By Ellboy

My standard procedure now is to avoid any game with pre-order DLC for at least two years. They all release GotY editions, and by the time two years have passed, the price is down to $20 or less. Plus there's a ton of info out there so I can make a much more informed buying decision. Fuck pre-orders, fuck pre-order DLC, and fuck the people perpetuating this bullshit.

Avatar image for pyrodactyl
Posted By pyrodactyl

@realkman said:
@nasar7 said:

To be fair, colonial marines looked mediocre from the start. This actually has a shot at being decent.

After that trailer, it's a bit inconceivable that somehow would still be in.

Loading Video...

God, how could anyone think this game was going to be anything more than another duke nukem forever?

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
Posted By spraynardtatum

Update Two: Sega charges for the "After Launch" pre-order content because of how badass the episodes are and makes the ballsy decision to charge $59.99 for them. Gamestop sales for pre-orders go through the roof because that's a raw deal and Sega is like "we're onto something".

Update Three: Sega unleashes Alien: Isolation: After Launch for $59.99 a year later and everyone starts jerking each other off.

Avatar image for realkman
Edited By realkman
@nasar7 said:

To be fair, colonial marines looked mediocre from the start. This actually has a shot at being decent.

After that trailer, it's a bit inconceivable that someone would still be in.

Loading Video...

Avatar image for chimpchamp
Edited By chimpchamp

This whole thing is a non-issue IMO. If companies want to do this, they can. If consumers want to buy it, they can. For me, the whole pre-order thing has led to me not buying any games at release any more. I have 20+ Xbox360 titles I bought at launch but Dark Souls was the last game I did that for. Now I get the games months/years after launch with all the DLC and I pay much less. If publishers are happy with that, so am I.

Nintendo has the right idea. No DLC and game prices are pretty solid, they go down very slowly. I'm happy to pay the asking price at launch in that case.

Avatar image for nightriff
Posted By Nightriff

Internet wins again

Avatar image for buzz_clik
Posted By buzz_clik

Pssst... Ash is an android, not a cyborg.

Moderator
Avatar image for mr_creeper
Posted By Mr_Creeper

@turambar said:
@spraynardtatum said:
@john1912 said:

@logicslayer said:

So put down $5 at GameStop and wait a week after release. While waiting, watch Twitch, read reviews, or whatever you do to make a decision as to buy a game or not. Then cancel or complete the transaction dependant on your decision. Why is this such a big deal?

^ This

^ This is dumb. Why are you preordering a game if you are then going to wait a week after it comes out to do homework? That seems like it defeats the purpose of a preorder. If you're going to wait a week you should just not preorder to begin with. Unless certain businesses are holding content ransom that you'd like to play with your $60 purchase.

Because the best way to get a grasp on how you feel about a game (aside from playing it yourself) is to see it out in the wild.

I think it is an obtuse way to buy a thing. After thinking about it, this probably is the absolute best way to go about buying a game that has 'not garbage' pre-order DLC that you're interested in but it's also mother fucking stupid that someone would have to do it.

I don't care how long pre-order DLC debates have raged and how cliche my next statement has become. They should just put it in the game!

If you're pre-ordering from GameStop just do it online and you don't even have to put that $5 down. Win/Win.

Avatar image for monkeyking1969
Posted By MonkeyKing1969

Wait... Who is blaming Sega for the complete collapse or failure of Aliens: Colonial Marines? I mean this is the first time ever I have heard anyone blame Sega for that turd. I feel most people think it was VERY VERY clear that 99% of the blame was on Gearbox Software and Randy "Snake Oil" Pitchford for that debacle.

It isn't really any skin off my nose who we blame. But come on!!! Let's give credit where credit is due, Randy Pitchford and Gearbox should take most of the blame because Sega's role in this was AT MOST trusting a con-artist like Randy. A lack of oversight with what was 'supposed to be' a well known developer is what they are guilty of commiting.