Many gamers consider retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses to be a blight on the gaming landscape. The system forces those most loyal to game franchises to pick which of several digital goodies they want or else buy three or more copies of the game to get it all.
Luckily for gamers, retailer-exclusive content has, so far, remained largely pointless for most games. Weapon and character skins are the most common forms of retailer-exclusive content, though some publishers will go so far as to offer an exclusive level or mission.
Normally retailer-exclusive content stops being exclusive with game-of-the-year or anthology editions of games, which often include every piece of content ever released for a game. Today Ubisoft announced that it is instead selling all of the retailer-exclusive content for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag as a DLC bundle.
Not three months on from the release of Black Flag, Ubisoft is selling "The Illustrious Pirates" DLC pack for $7 on PlayStation and Xbox Consoles (also on PC, starting tomorrow). Season pass holders for Black Flag will receive the content as part of that deal. The content includes all the single-player missions (Black Island, Mystery Island, and Sacrifice Island), weapons, ships, ship wheels, and multiplayer items that were spread amongst various retailers at the game's launch.
Ubisoft's plan to sell Black Flag's retailer-exclusive content to everyone isn't unique in the gaming industry. Obviously, however, it makes the content not so retailer-exclusive after all. Though the move is certainly good for gamers who absolutely need every bit of Assassin's Creed they can get, it does further expose retailer pre-order exclusives for the sham that they really are.