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The Duke Nukem/Borderlands Cruelty Zoo

Noooo, etc

Or Loving, Gift-Laden Zoo, depending on whether or not you’ve already bought Gearbox’s pretty good RPG-shooter Borderlands yet. If you haven’t, you might be planning on buying its upcoming Game Of The Year edition. (I chortle whenever a re-release of a game call itself that. By whose authority, exactly? I might buy a new hat and start referring to myself as Gaming Blogger Of The Year). If you do, you will have the earliest possible access to the demo of Dukey-Nuke Nukem Not-Never-After-All, once it lands next year.

If you already own Borderlands and all its DLC… well, back of the queue, buddy.

I suspect we’re going to see some budging on this one, as it’s ludicrously mean to people who’ve already laid out a ton of cash on Borderlands. Trouble being they’re not currently ripe to increase Borderlands’ profits. But they will complain, and they will be right to. I won’t be at all surprised if the newly-announced ‘Duke Nukem First Access Club’ sees its membership remit expanded to try and fend off bad will. But we’ll see.

Demos have become curious beasts, which is why 2K are doing it. They’re no longer promotion for a game, but highly desirable event-gamettes in their own right. There’s a lot of industry talk, too, that too many gamers are thriving on demos alone, that they’re being given too much for free and thus not bothering to buy full games. . I don’t, from the position of armchair pseudo-analyst, agree with that – it’s a little too similar to the ‘every pirated copy is a lost sale’ line of thought. Yeah, some sales may be lost by people either satisfied or turned off the demo, but it’s also encouraging a whole ton of people to go spend money. Just because it doesn’t translate to 100% sales doesn’t mean the model is flawed.

At any rate, we’re seeing a lot of experimentation as to how to – ugh, I’m so sorry about the word I’m about to use – monetise demos. Capcom have done bloody well with Dead Rising 2: Case Zero on console, and the intention here is clearly to flog a load of copies of a budget/re-release version of an old game. There’s no way BOrderlands GOTY would be getting all the headlines and, presumably, pre-orders it’s getting today (in which I become complicit even whilst writing a cyncial post) if it wasn’t the price of first playable access to one of history’s most-anticipated games.

Of course, we’ll all get access to the demo eventually, and probably sooner rather than later. Patience is a virtue, and in our noble PC gaming case we’ll be swamped with bold’n’weird indie titles to fill (and spill over) any such gap. Best not to get too bothered about a bit of wait to shoot some pig-dudes, but I do miss the days when demos were demos and everyone could get excited on an equal basis.

Here’s the official release about the Duke Nukem Gotta Have It Now Whatever Club:

2K Games and Gearbox Software are challenging gamers to the ultimate video game gun-fest with the Borderlands™ Game of the Year edition. Available beginning October 12 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system for $59.99, and for PC for $49.99, this package will come complete with the entire extravasplosive Borderlands catalog and a free membership certificate for the Duke Nukem Forever® First Access Club. This certificate entitles owners who register their unique key to a wealth of goodies, including early access to a sneak peek of the legendary, long-awaited video game – Duke Nukem Forever.

Entry into this exclusive club will provide fans with the earliest possible admittance to the Duke Nukem Forever playable demo and more. When the demo releases prior to the retail launch of the game, this select group of First Access Club members will be the first to play it and experience the life of the King of All Shooters. Hail to the King, baby!

Membership for the Duke Nukem Forever® First Access Club is included with Borderlands Game of the Year edition, where customers will be able to experience the definitive, value-packed collection of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Role-Playing-Shooter that has captured the imagination and attention of single-player and cooperative gamers around the world. Borderlands Game of the Year edition customers will also receive access to all four explosive downloadable adventures including The Zombie Island or Dr. Ned*, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot*, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx*, and the latest wild adventure – Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution* – where players will join forces in an attempt to suppress the infamous Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap.

Borderlands, rated M for Mature by the ESRB, is currently available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system and PC. The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned**, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot**, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx** and Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution** add-on packs are all available separately on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 for 800 Microsoft Points and on the PlayStation Network and PC for $9.99.

Duke Nukem Forever will officially make its eagerly anticipated debut for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system and Windows PC in calendar 2011.

Bye!

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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