11 Bit Studios Pioneers the "Secret Preorder"

11 Bit Studios Pioneers the "Secret Preorder"

11 Bit Studios is offering a half-price preorder deal on its next game, but there's a catch: you have to lay your money down before it actually announces the game.

11 Bit Studios, the indie outfit behind Anomaly: Warzone Earth and Funky Smugglers, has a deal for you. Preorder its next game - its biggest game ever! - before February 28 and you can have it for 50 percent off the regular price. And then it gets a little weird, because the game won't actually be announced until February 28 and if you haven't preordered by then, you can't get the deal.

The studio is saying nothing about the game except that it will be "totally awesome" and is expected to be finished in the second quarter of this year. Those who preorder will also get access to a multiplayer beta that's expected to start sometime in late March, plus a "gaming gift" the studio insists is "cool," and also very secret.

The whole thing is quite obviously a publicity stunt by a small, independent game developer looking to draw some attention to itself, and it's clearly working - here we are, after all. But ridiculous though it may be, it's also a legitimate preorder offer for people who don't mind throwing a few bucks into the darkness to support a small game studio, and 11 Bit actually discouraged less-than-certain supporters from getting involved.

"If you're not sure whether you're willing to pay for the game, we ask that you please just wait until we actually announce it," the studio wrote. "Sure, you'll pay full price, but this deal is for those brave souls who are willing to jump into the abyss with us and take a chance on a mystery."

It's silly, yes, but admit it: You're intrigued, aren't you?

Source: 11 Bit Studios

Permalink

If you want to gamble your disposable income...well, you only have yourself to blame if you aren't happy with the outcome.

I like the secrecy, not the mention I enjoy the style in how that video looks. Hopefully that's what the game actually looks like.

I can probably not have lunch a day and throw some money at this before the 28th.

It's 15 bucks. With no gameplay shown, I'll wait.

Andy Chalk:

It's silly, yes, but admit it: You're intrigued, aren't you?

No.

I can just about deal with things like Kickstarter, or Planetside 2's "Alpha Squad" package, because in both cases you have information about the product, but this? Anyone who buys into this is a chump, frankly.

Yeah, no. without at least knowing what type of game it is I wont put down money on it.

Umm... No? I barely preorder games I know are going to be good. At least one of those two games made it's way to steam, so if it turns out to be good I'll wait for a steam sale, and if it's not, or not on steam, oh well.

This isn't for the brave, it's for the flush. People with an abundance of money and confidence.

Mcoffey:
This isn't for the brave, it's for the flush. People with an abundance of money and confidence.

Or a lack of basic logic.

Magichead:
Anyone who buys into this is a chump, frankly.

I think that's the target market. And if you think it's bad now, wait until EA decides to do it. Then you'll really see people with more money than sense come out of the woodwork.

You only have to look at what happened with Aliens: Colonial Marines to see how preordering can go horribly wrong. Trust me.

Eh, I'm intrigued. Anomaly was decent fun, nothing spectacular but good for a few nights' entertainment. I could see it being an okay gamble for people with a little cash to spare. Plus, you only have to wait a few months for your payoff, unlike a lot of video game kickstarters where you're asked to pay now for a game that may or may not be any good AND that you won't even get to play for a year.

Bad timing for me, though, since this is happening at the same time as the GOG release of System Shock 2 plus some tempting Steam sales. I didn't budget much for games this month and what I have is probably too strained for me to throw money after a completely unknown quantity, even if it's a relatively inexpensive $7.50.

Maybe if you were another developer (Telltale? Retro Studios?) I'd be interested. But nothing you've produced so far has really grabbed me, and I have no reason to think this will either.

P.S. Thanks

I don't see why people are being so negative for, considering this is practically a GIFT from a developer. It's like being offered the two brief-cases on "Deal or No Deal". There is a 50-50 chance of getting a good prize, or walking away with nothing. You don't know what's inside and if you walk away and it turns out to be AMAZING, you'll just regret it.

Plus they're not shoving it in anyone's face saying "YOU MUST TAKE THIS OFFER!". They're being pretty polite and going "Hey, we have a neat idea for anyone who'd like to take a blind 'Leap of Faith' and buy a game they have never seen. You could walk away and end up kicking yourself in the ass for not taking the deal, or you'll be glad you didn't buy it. But regardless it's fully your choice".

Plus SERIOUSLY, it's only $7.49 and it's not like I'll go broke if I end up spending a FRACTION of what I'd toss at a possibly SH*TTY tittle like Colonial Marines.

Edit: (Also after reading some of the comments, and how people talk about money/the game. It's pretty fair to say that hardly ANYONE is reading beyond the article itself. So they're assuming it's a costly venture, which is completely stupid.)

SteewpidZombie:
I don't see why people are being so negative for, considering this is practically a GIFT from a developer. It's like being offered the two brief-cases on "Deal or No Deal". There is a 50-50 chance of getting a good prize, or walking away with nothing. You don't know what's inside and if you walk away and it turns out to be AMAZING, you'll just regret it.

Plus they're not shoving it in anyone's face saying "YOU MUST TAKE THIS OFFER!". They're being pretty polite and going "Hey, we have a neat idea for anyone who'd like to take a blind 'Leap of Faith' and buy a game they have never seen. You could walk away and end up kicking yourself in the ass for not taking the deal, or you'll be glad you didn't buy it. But regardless it's fully your choice".

Plus SERIOUSLY, it's only $7.49 and it's not like I'll go broke if I end up spending a FRACTION of what I'd toss at a possibly SH*TTY tittle like Colonial Marines.

Edit: (Also after reading some of the comments, and how people talk about money/the game. It's pretty fair to say that hardly ANYONE is reading beyond the article itself. So they're assuming it's a costly venture, which is completely stupid.)

From my experience I've found that many gamers are not the gambling type, which when it comes down to it, is pretty much what this is. That being said, the frankly jaded attitude that many people seem to be having toward this offer is a bit disappointing. They're an Indie studio trying to get the word out about their new game, let them have their moment. If you don't want to support them, fine, but don't act like you're better than the people who do.

Zachary Amaranth:

Magichead:
Anyone who buys into this is a chump, frankly.

I think that's the target market. And if you think it's bad now, wait until EA decides to do it. Then you'll really see people with more money than sense come out of the woodwork.

Hahah, no sir. Target market for this is certainly fans of 11 bit's past work. It's all just a fun option for the company's fans to take a chance on it, and get the game cheaper. At the end of the day, it's still only a $15 game if you wait (we'll announce it formally in two weeks or so)... If you're not ready to plop down the $7.49 at this point, totally fine... just wait until you can make a buying decision you're comfortable with.

Covarr:
Maybe if you were another developer (Telltale? Retro Studios?) I'd be interested. But nothing you've produced so far has really grabbed me, and I have no reason to think this will either.

P.S. Thanks

Thank YOU! :) (I'm the PR guy here)... but this is really what we thought the reaction would be from those who didn't really want to buy in... If you're not a fan of their past work, then we're not really giving you a reason to pre-order the game. If you are a fan of their work, maybe this is enough... or not. So yes, vote with your wallet. The same should be said any time you pre-order a game or, indeed, buy anything :)

This sounds like the result of a marketing department on uppers. I can imagine it being sold as: "I know it sounds dumb and no-one has ever tried it before, but kickstarter is huge, lets cash in on the idea of people buying things that don't exist."

I dunno, even if it was a company I really, really liked I am not going to toss money away on an empty marketing gambit. The kickstarter has the benefit of making people feel involved in a project at it's roots and they are contributing to an exciting idea they want to see made, this just feels like an empty gamble It's like selling a sandwich but you don't tell someone whats in it when it could be literally anything, even shit. I like surprises but I also like to enjoy my sandwich. This just stinks of desperation from the marketing team.

Right.....just when a whole shitload of people got burned preordering Colonial Marines, this company wants to take a leap of faith on a game that, for all we know, could be Super Bicycle Repair Turbo X, Bus Timetable Trivia Warrior Championship edition or any such shite.

Ofc i guess it could be an RPG set in Richard Morgans Altered Carbon Universe(if only), but i sincerely doubt it. So yeah, thanks but not this time.

Not really intrigued to be honest. More like a little curious.

Mostly curious about what genre it's going to be, my guess is FPS because it looks like it's going to be a little visceral.

Interesting publicity stunt, but with the shitstorm that's going on right now, with thousands of people who preordered ACM and got burned asking for refunds, all I can say is, that is some absolutely terrible timing on 11 Bit Studios' part. As for me, I never preorder games, unless I know everything about them, have played a demo to see how they run on my system and have 100% confidence in the end result. I didn't even preorder Heart of the Swarm, which is guarranteed to be good, because I don't know exactly how long the campaign is.

Uh... I'm not putting my money down if I don't have the slightest clue what it is. Info first, then we'll bargain.

Both the opinions expressed in the posts and the facts about ACM are totally true.

But I bought it. Funky smugglers was a decent game for phones/tablets. And Anomaly was a pretty nice and super well done take on a burned out game archetype, if they're hyping it to be their biggest game yet for 7.5$ on a small studio I'll put my wallet behind it. I see it being extremely like a kickstarter (but you don't have to wait for the development time).

I would have never made this type of commitment for a AAA game. I'd much rather make a mistake for a small studio's worth than for a AAA game pumping factory. I find smaller studios actually try to please their customers for the joy of making games rather than aiming straight for their wallets.

tl;dr: Sucker here, bought it.

For the people comparing this to A:CM, I think a lot less people would be complaining if they had paid $7.50 for their pre order and not (for AU instance) 10x that. These are entirely different situations and risk levels. I think whining about A:CM here is a bit much, there's just no relation, and let's be honest, there was plenty of hint that A:CM would be a clusterfrak, and that didn't actually stop people from pre-ordering at full price.

I like a bit of intrigue, and I think this classes as a nice little mystery. But I wouldn't do it with any large game because as we all know, it's liable to be a shitty game. Small studios are exempt from making shitty games, thankfully. And of course...$7.50.

goddamn copy cats!
image
speak to the hand, baby.

mistwolf:
For the people comparing this to A:CM, I think a lot less people would be complaining if they had paid $7.50 for their pre order and not (for AU instance) 10x that. These are entirely different situations and risk levels. I think whining about A:CM here is a bit much, there's just no relation, and let's be honest, there was plenty of hint that A:CM would be a clusterfrak, and that didn't actually stop people from pre-ordering at full price.

That's a fair point but money is still money and for me it's as much the principle behind this shallow marketing trick that bothers me. I do feel bad for people who ordered colonial marines though. I played it for a few minutes and I was amazed at how clunky and dated it actually is. On the other hand I am a massive Aliens fan and considered pre-booking so I could get that release day rush but I started getting worried when I saw the new trailers. I still planned to buy it after launch until I read the reviews. Between it and War Z last year, it's kinda a watershed moment for pre-booking games. Who cares if you unlock super overpowered starting weapon DLC when you will never play the game?

I can't be the only one who finds this downright insulting. I mean, if you were walking on a street, and a man offered to sell you what he had under his box for $7.50, but the price would double as soon as you knew what it was, there'd be no way you'd buy it. You have no idea what you're getting and you have no reason to trust him (one pretty decent game is not enough to inspire the kind of blind trust this would require; only Valve and maybe a 1st person Nintendo game could actually justify this kind of mystery, but that's it. See Gearbox and the difference between Alien: Colonial Marines and Borderlands 2 for proof of how vastly different in quality games from the same developer can be).

Preorders are already ridiculous to some extent because there's no guarantee in quality, but if there's at least SOMETHING to draw you in, I can appreciate it. There's nothing here. This is bullshit, and 11 Bit Studios should be ashamed for offering it.

Oh pre-orders, how much sillier are you going to get?

Your an investement, investements only make sense when there is a complete information given. Game developers/publishers
are 'selective' with their information at best, and outright fraudulent at worse (hello WarZ, hello A:CM).

Of course, busyness investements do generaly go in numbers bigger than $60.

Still $60 is not a number many can afford to throw in the dark, 7.50 probabaly is if you liked 11bits previous work. I personaly wont do it. 'Vote with your wallet' only works if your voting for the game, instead of its marketing.

 
In other news, I got the captcha wrong. Happens stragnely often.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here