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Update: It appears that pricing for PC downloads for the game will be less affected by the exclusive content, and Sega made a big announcement about availability. Check out the full update below.As we've reported before, video game preorders are typically a quick way to save a few bucks on upcoming releases. But retailers are shaking things up with game developer Creative Assembly's upcoming title, Alien: Isolation. Rather than offer preorder discounts, which typically range between 10% to 25% off, select retailers will offer bonus missions starring the original cast from Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien film.
Titled "Crew Expendable," the bonus missions will feature characters and voice overs from the original cast members including Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, Veronica Cartwright as Lambert, Harry Dean Stanton as Brett, Tom Skerritt as Dallas, and Yaphet Kotto as Parker. In the bonus missions, Brett and Kane are dead and it's up to you as Dallas, Parker, or Ripley, to trap the Alien and lure it into the airlock.
In addition to reuniting the original film crew, the movie missions will also let gamers explore the Nostromo spaceship from its habitation deck down to engineering.
However, at the moment only Amazon and GameStop are offering preorders with the bonus content. Best Buy, for example, doesn't have rights. This means there's little incentive for Amazon and GameStop to offer any preorder discounts, as they typically tend to do with popular titles.
But if you're interested in the exclusive content, you might not have to necessarily opt for one of these preorders. There's a fairly good chance that the bonus content will be included in later expanded "deluxe" editions of the game, like a Game of the Year version. Therefore, early adopters would essentially sacrifice any preorder savings to get first dibs on the extra content, while patient fans who want a deal would have to wait until it appears on a deluxe edition. That said, the latter group will be waiting for awhile, since it could be another three to six months until that edition is released, and fans would then have to wait until it's on shelves for several months before discounts come along.
Alien: Isolation, which is slated for an October 7 release, has won press accolades across the Internet. It's too early to tell whether we'll see similar early-release exclusives in the future or whether this will inspire other retailers, like Best Buy, to offer better discounts of their own, to keep gamers from preordering at Amazon and GameStop.
But as a gamer, would you give up an early preorder discount in exchange for bonus material? Sound off below.Update: Sega recently confirmed that the pre-order bonus missions will be available to all gamers at a later date, perhaps as a special edition as we originally posted. Although Sega didn't mention pricing or an exact date, it appears the extra content will not be exclusive to pre-orders.
In addition, a DealNews reader points out that Green Man Gaming is offering the Alien: Isolation PC download for $37.50 via coupon code "ALIENI-SOLATI-ON25PC". That's 25% cheaper than the pre-order price found on Amazon and GameStop. However, this discount only applies to the PC version of the game, which could see more discounts if additional retailers buy the Steam keys to the game and offer their own discounts. The Xbox and PlayStation pre-orders will likely not see discounts if Amazon and GameStop remain the only sellers of these titles.