Never Pre-Order: Anno 2205 Pre-order Bonus Beta Canned

“Never pre-order” is something we say a lot around here, along with “Who am I?” and “How did I get here?” and “Are these your guts or mine?” But really, never pre-order. (Well, what I mean is “the risk of a game not living up to its marketing is rarely worth the trinkets and discounts offered as pre-order perks” but that’s less catchy.) Even those tempting offers of getting to play a game early might be pulled; that’s what Ubisoft have done with Anno 2205 [official site].

Ubisoft have scrapped plans for a closed beta for pre-orders, and are instead offering an exclusive command ship (in the game) and emblem. Never pre-order.

“We are indeed very excited to put the game in the players’ hands and we will look forward to receiving feedback at this occasion. However, we won’t be able to hold the previously announced closed beta,” Ubisoft announced in a forum post. “Still, we can’t wait to take you to the moon on November 3rd.” No apology. Whatever the reason it was scrapped (time and resources, probably), Ubi had said people would get to play before launch.

Ubisoft opened pre-orders alongside announcing Anno 2205 at E3 in June, saying “Starting now, fans can pre-order any version of the game to gain guaranteed access to the closed beta phase ahead of launch.” Some guarantee that was. A page about the closed beta implored players to “pre-order & secure your access to the beta.” Hrmph!

Anno 2205, if you missed the memo, takes Blue Byte’s city-building-economy-o-strategy game into the future with fancy tech and moon bases. Here’s a new trailer fresh out of Gamescom, but for goodness’ sake don’t pre-order after watching it:

Ta to the folks who dropped us e-mails about this.


  1. Pharos says:

    Do they still want £50 for it? Forget pre-ordering, at that price, I’m not buying the damn thing even when it comes out.

    • realworld666 says:

      Don’t worry. It’ll be £15 in the Steam Christmas sale

      • Lex says:

        Yeah … 2016/17 maybe…

        • Bruwin says:

          Is there any reason you need to play the game when it first comes out to enjoy it? Is it going to be a better experience playing that first day? Judging by a lot of Ubisoft releases, waiting is actually better anyway because then you’ve got the benefit of them backing off from any dumb mistakes they’ve made and all of the patches the game has gotten.

          If it’s a good game when it comes out, it’ll be a good game a year later and 75% cheaper.

          • stonetoes says:

            You miss out on a lot of the social aspect, even with single player games. I wait to play a lot of games and it’s dispiriting having to spend months avoiding spoilers and not being able to get the full enjoyment out of seeing clips and reading about other people’s experiences. It’s nice to feel like you’re a part of things when everyone’s super excited about the latest release.

          • Malagate says:

            Sorry stonetoes, I’m with Bruwin on this – however I will specify that is only in relation to Ubisoft products! I remember the first time I was burned by them back when I pre-ordered Dark Messiah, I did not feel that being “a part of things” was enjoyable when that part was a lot of kerfuffle about it being a buggy mess! I do not feel like I’m missing out on much when the releases from such a company are notorious for stuff going wrong in major/hilarious ways, I appreciate being part of the zeitgeist more when the experience is a positive one.

            …although saying that, I have not found it particularly hard to wait for releases from non-Ubisoft companies to go on sale at a later date, but then I am very patient and I am capable of willful ignorance if it is a game I am interested in. For example, Dishonoured was a game I was incredibly interested in as I love Arkane studios and I loved the premise, however after seeing that there will be DLC and pre-order bonuses and what-not…I figured I’d wait, as I knew from experience (re: Bethseda, the publisher in this case) that there will be a game-of-the-year edition (or whatever it’s called) that will include almost all of that content in one package and for significantly cheaper than eating it up one at a time. And I was right, got all of it for dirt cheap through Steam, none of my experience was diminished by what I had picked up of it through media, on top of that I am quite glad I didn’t pay full price as I kind of didn’t get along with it in the end! I was enjoying it at first and then realised the morality/choice system of high/low chaos was bothering me too much to play it in a fun manner, in the end I’ve only put 5 hours in to it – imagine if I had payed full whack for that! Might have regretted it if I had put down hard coin for the premium-season-pass-extra-golden-rat-exclusive-mega-content-pre-order bundle.

            BTW, golden rat pre-order, not hyperbole, and if you check the wiki you will note that in the end it was not exclusive to pre-orders. Also, I don’t belong to a group of peers which value playing the newest games at any given moment, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out by waiting – if you have the disposable income and have associates who do the same, then I’m sure you and buds will have fun even if the pre-ordered game turns out to be the worst ever because it’s not about the game really – it’s about sharing time and stories with friends. Each to their own, eh?

    • ralphs says:

      Anno games are the best games of its type (city-building logistics games), so I’ll probably pay any amount for the base game. Somehow, they have a level of depth and polish that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. (and yes, I’ve played Factorio, Train Fever, Tropico, etc)

    • Premium User Badge

      Mikemcn says:

      To clarify, what starting price would you prefer??

      In USD 50 pounds is like 77 bucks, which is 17 dollars more than a triple A call of Duty game would be sold new for. So obviously that is an absurd price and i’m sorry they’re charging that, but what’s the price you are used to paying for brand new games? I’m curious.

      • Seafort says:

        Normally £30-35 is perfectly fine but I try to find a good deal for £25. Lately most big publishers charge £50+ and I just won’t even touch them if I can’t find a good deal somewhere else.

        They are pricing themselves out of the market especially in EU/UK.

      • Zaxwerks says:

        Well I love the Anno games, I have 1701, 1404 and 2070, all with all their expansions, but even I’m not paying £50 for 2205 – ridiculous price. £40 would be my maximum for a AAA game that I simply couldn’t wait to come out and had to buy when it’s first released, otherwise if it’s too expensive then I just forget about the game whilst I play the hundreds of Steam games I still haven’t played and by the time I come back to it in a few months time it’s down to around £20-£25 and then I’ll buy it and the company has lost approx £15 from me because they overpriced it (at least in my opinion) at release… of course some games totally slip through my net and I pick them up in a Steam sale for practically nothing.

  2. Wulfram says:

    If they offered an exclusive command ship in real life, I might pre-order

    • James says:

      The offer of a real boat may tempt me as well. But a digital dingy and an emblem that might as well say ‘dunce’ on it – I’ll pass.

    • Yglorba says:

      Dammit, you beat me to this comment.

  3. James says:

    Wait ’til the Office of Fair Trading hears about this. They’ll… do nothing, probably.

  4. w0bbl3r says:

    How many people will be cancelling their pre-order now?
    I bet not many people will cancel, although they should just to vote with their wallet on how they don’t like when a publisher moves the goalposts without warning.

    • Doubler says:

      To be fair, I think 4 months before release is quite a bit of warning. I think anyone who pre-ordered for the beta has plenty of time to reconsider.
      That said, it would be very nice if Ubisoft would do more to inform people that their pre-orders have changed. A forum post is not going to reach very many people <<

  5. Kollega says:

    I’m willing to bet that with this, the people at Ubisoft tried to shoot the moon, but couldn’t organize the necessary logistical chains and gave up.

  6. Cross says:

    I wonder what this game will do to compensate for the fact that it took out the interesting mechanic of ecobalance. The moon is practically just the seafloor again, with less water, and i don’t think their whole SimCity MMO thing of having multiple cities running at once will make it any less tedious compared to 2077.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Aren’t the multiple cities just a different look for the island system that the series always had?

      • Awesomeclaw says:

        I think the difference here is that the different cities and moon are on completely different maps, rather than being multiple islands and settlements on the same map. This might not necessarily be a bad thing if there’s more interesting economic management to do within a single settlement, but my understanding is that Ubisoft are also trying to make the game more ‘approachable’ which to me implies that they’re dumbing that down rather than making it more complex.

  7. Sarfrin says:

    Guaranteeing something then reneging on it pretty much leads me to discount anything they might promise in future. Not that I preorder things anyway.

  8. fuggles says:

    Seems like it might be a better deal to me – temporary early access vs permanent exclusive content. Sort of ominous, is there a press NDA in place as well?

    • Archonsod says:

      Well yeah. It’s now a case of “give us money and we’ll give you something” rather than “give us money and we’ll make you do something people usually expect to be paid for”.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Early access-like launches aren’t for everyone, but comparing that to the mind-numbing slog that is paid testing is shamefully dishonest or laughably ignorant.

        You’re also leaving out the part where a good number of people really do enjoy playing games before the come out, and enjoy being a part of development in even this small way. It’s called “satisfaction.”

        Granted, THIS game is probably a poor example of it, but keep your “we’re unpaid testers!” bullshit to yourself.

  9. crazyd says:

    The “Never Preorder” mantra makes no sense in the age of Steam refunds. Preorder all you want! We’re safe now, the bad men can’t hurt us anymore.

    • Minglefingler says:

      Only if you buy from Steam. Frontier Developments are asking for £30 or £40 for a “season” of expansions. Details as to what these expansions may be are sketchy to say the least (we know the first involves landing on rocky planets and going for a drive and that looting and crafting will be joing us for a jog) but judging from the official forum people are flocking to give them more money. Imagine trying to get a refund if the first one is buggy travesty when it’s released. I’ve even seen people post that they want to buy a second lifetime pass (£130) because they feel guilty about paying less than that (£35 I believe) when it was first offered. I mention this not to prove any point but because it makes me feel sad.

  10. Mungrul says:

    By the way, this may be something you might want to make people aware of via an article or something, but I’ve just found out you can filter out pre-order and early access games from the Steam store.
    If you hover over an element such as the carousel, you should see a “Customise” option appear. Clicking this reveals options for hiding or revealing certain categories.
    I for one have been using Steam less and less recently, as it felt like every time I started it I was confronted with pile after pile of Early Access shovelware. Many times I’d click through something that looked interesting only to find it was still in development.
    No more!
    I reckon if you’re really against pre-orders RPS, you should do your best to make your readers aware of this functionality.

    • Philopoemen says:

      Thanks! I too have been avoiding Steam lately (though my game time atm is largely SWTOR based), mainly because I’m not an Early access gamer, I just want a finished product, and it’s difficult to find one sometimes…

  11. xyzzy frobozz says:

    No way!

    I’m shocked!

    Ubisoft? Ubisoft fucking over its customers?

    Who’da thunk it?

  12. Jovian09 says:

    Kind of a shame. I loved 2070’s unique twist on strategy and am looking forward to 2205. Not that I was going to pre-order it before.

  13. j5mello says:

    Honestly I’m more annoyed that this is single player only. Co-oping in 2070 was fun. Though it probably doesn’t mesh with their multi-location city thing they are trying in 2205…

  14. iviv says:

    Call me cynical, but why would there be canceling the beta? I’m thinking that the lack of beta implies that the game wouldn’t be in condition for a public beta when they intended it to be, but they are still pushing for the same release date.