Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Release Date Held To Ransom

One Deus Ex: Human Revolution mission centred around an old friend from the Deus Ex universe, Tracer Tong, was locked off in pre-order DLC (and later sold seperately). It was a bit of a gross move. Apparently not learning from their mistakes – a pretty Deus Ex-y theme, to be fair – publishers Square Enix have announced all the pre-order guff for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site].

It’s a big mess, of course, and includes the unpleasant step of saying they’ll release the game four days early if enough people pre-order. How about we not pre-order games any more and Squeenix simply release it when it’s ready, eh?

Saying to “augment your pre-order“, Square Enix are doing the relatively common tiered pre-order bonus thing of offering more as more folks pre-order. It’s more irritating than usual, though, as they won’t give you everything in each tier. When it comes to packs with starting items and special outfits, for example, you’ll need to choose one of three. It’s the irritation of retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses without even having the excuse of retailer exclusivity.

Likewise, in higher tiers you can choose a digital art book or a soundtrack sampler, and a novella or a digital comic book. Why not both? Because reasons.

Normally I wouldn’t even mention this pre-order guff, let alone dedicate an entire post to it, but the highest tier takes the biscuit. If enough folks pre-order, Square Enix will release the game four days early. Which is to say, Square Enix are purposely holding the release back by four days to make people part with their cash early. Bless ’em, they do try to make good-looking games undesirable.

Developed by Eidos Montreal, Deus Ex: Mankind might be released on February 23rd. Or maybe February 19th. Who could say?


  1. turth says:

    This is fucking daft

  2. Crusoe says:

    Way to encourage people to pirate your game.

    • GernauMorat says:

      Another example of a pirated version being better than a paid one.

  3. amcathlan says:

    Congratulations Square Anusx, I was planning on buying your next cash venture straight outta the gate. Now, I’ll buy it at the earliest 4 weeks after release, or not at all (depending on how menstrual I feel about this at the time).
    You’re twats for vomitting up such a shitty highway-robbery scheme. May you learn from your mistakes, for I wish to liketh thee.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Hmmm. I pre-ordered Human Revolution, then bought the DLC in a sale. Before I had a change to play it, I bought it again in the director’s cut.

      I’m really keen to play this game, but perhaps I should learn from my mistakes, and just hold off for a year or so, like I do with every other game.

      That’s what Squeenix is talking me into, certainly.

      • kevinspell says:

        Yeah, I’ll just wait for the 15-25€ GOTY/Director’s Edition

  4. Beernut says:

    The announcement-video has 284 likes compared to 21627 dislikes at the point of writing. I wonder, if there will be some kind of “augmentation” of this pre-order-structure to alleviate some of the backlash they’re getting. I could imagine, that they’ll swallow the choice-component and give the full contents of every tier to every pre-orderer. That would still be abysmal, but not much worse than other pre-order-schemes by big publishers.

  5. Kaeoschassis says:

    Holy balls. It’s a sad day indeed when even I can’t defend squeenix.

  6. Turkey says:

    Desperate electronic old men, running the company.

  7. El_MUERkO says:

    i’ll augment mine to a CD Keys website a month after launch :)

  8. Philopoemen says:

    GOTY edition, I await you.

    • Legion23 says:

      Just a reminder that even GOTY versions do not even have all the content for a game bundled anymore sometimes. For example Saints Row: The Third and Borderlands 2.

      • Siimon says:

        BL2 GotY contained all the DLC released up until that point though, didn’t it? While I feel that a GotY/”Complete” version should include all future DLC, or at least all future minor DLC, I understand if they don’t.
        At least BL2 included all current DLC afaik…

  9. dorobo says:


  10. kud13 says:

    aaaand, insta-relegated to a “summer Steam Sale purchase”.

    Thanks, Squeenix marketing department! I was probably gonna buy Day 1-3, after reading some reviews, at full price. But this kind of BS really doesn’t deserve any support.

  11. biggergun says:

    So apparently my comment promising a copyright violation was deleted, because it was a horrible thing to say? Not mad or anything, just surprised.

  12. Emeraude says:

    Not going to complain about any negative publicity to that kind of publisher endeavor – it’s sorely needed – nut I do wonder why some of those horrible schemes raise a storm while others equally bad don’t.

    I guess the “Embrace what you’ve become” line hit too close to home.

    • pepperfez says:

      It seems like the novelty of the ripoff is the most important factor in how much criticism it generates. So I guess we can look forward to release ransoms being standard behavior going forward.

      • nearly says:

        But this isn’t new. Valve had that whole potato ARG back in 2012, which while sometimes fun, was almost completely predicated on owning or buying entirely different non-Portal games and had an ultimate goal of releasing Portal 2 earlier.

        The main difference I’m seeing here is you buy a game that you want and maybe get some other extra goodies in that game (or the game itself earlier) depending on how many other people buy it before release. This is no more ransom than any other example of retailer exclusive DLC and it’s at least all contingent on buying a game that you theoretically want and/or were going to buy in the first place.

  13. Deadly Sinner says:

    Meh. All of the tiers will be unlocked no matter how many people preorder, simply because they will look bad if they don’t. The same thing happened with XCOM and Tomb Raider did the exact same thing and no one cared.

    • Der Zeitgeist says:

      Sure. There are no actual “Tiers” there, anyway. No one is counting an arbitrary number of preorders. It’s just a marketing fantasy. The tiers will stay pretty low this year to provide maximum incentive to preorder. After Christmas, we will probably reach tier 3 or so, and tier 5 (4 days early release) will only be reached just before release.

  14. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    If the bonus mission includes Tracer Tong again, could they instead not include it if enough people preorder?


  15. Wulfram says:

    So if we don’t pre-order, the games gets 4 extra days of development? Sounds like a plan…

    • Der Zeitgeist says:

      It doesn’t matter how many actual preorders they get, no one will count them anyway, it’s just marketing.

      Actual release date will be Friday, February 19. Of course, official release will still be on Tuesday, so the publisher will effectively extend the review embargo by four days.

      That’s the mayor point behind the whole system, that is providing an effective protection against negative reviews impacting sales.

      • Samuel. R says:

        What a good point. I hadn’t even thought of that.

      • Siimon says:

        You’re a smart one!

      • Carra says:

        I hadn’t thought of that but it makes sense. Brilliant but evil!

      • nearly says:

        I really don’t think that’s the way industries on this scale work. I honestly would guess that absolutely nothing is going to happen differently based on the number of pre-orders other than that people might get access to the game earlier than originally planned. I would guess that it’s business as usual on the part of anyone else (other than maybe online retailers with release day guarantees who are likely just shipping copies early regardless or else fretting terribly and quite possibly very annoyed).

        The big mistake is thinking that games are actually released when they are “finished” and not at a time that the publisher has decided is best for business. Day 1 patches exist because they can: if release gets moved up four days, they’ll release the major fixes then and add other stuff in subsequent updates, just like everyone already does.

        Retail boxes of The Witcher 3 didn’t include mandatory files but that was explicitly stated to be protection from people playing before official release. The first patch had things they probably fixed immediately after the game went gold and all of the subsequent patches we’ve been downloading have had other minor fixes that they likely had been working on but which weren’t ready for the first patch, along with a few things that only showed up when a large enough player pool revealed the issue.

        More recently, copies of The Phantom Pain have been hitting the streets as much as a week early but official release is today: they easily could have just said “okay, we’ve changed the date we originally agreed upon, you can give folks their copies now” without any major changes (and probably only a few people not getting copies immediately) for most games that have gone gold, been printed, and were shipped on an appropriate timeline (as opposed to doing everything at literally the last possible moment).

    • Mrice says:

      No. It would have gone gold weeks before that. They dont go straight from finished to shelved. They have to actually ship the game first.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Yes, the opposite would make more sense: “Preorder this game now to fund four additional days of bugfixing and polish!”

      That’s a Kickstarter pitch waiting to happen.

  16. DedlySpyder says:

    This worked so well in the past too, anyone remember the potato sack meta-game for Portal 2? I actually got the game an hour past midnight, because I am on the east coast (US).

    • gunny1993 says:

      Yeah but in that case far as I recall the game only released like 6 hour earlier and it was also a brilliant bit of marketing for a bunch of great indie games along with a bunch of cryptic stuff for people to unlock, also the unlock was based on people playing those indie game I believe, not purchasing the bundle.

      Basically Valve knows how to do good marketing, square enix … not so much

      (Plus lets not forget this was like 4 years ago, pre ordering has got a lot more bad press since)

  17. peterako1989 says:

    this is despicable to the fullest extend.

  18. Bagpuss says:

    I still despise that boring ass committee designed GUI. Black and white with a boring ass font.

    When I play a cyberpunk game, I want the game to say “Cyberpunk” with ALL of it’s design. I don’t want it to say “We couldn’t be fucking arsed putting any thought into fun design.”


  19. Samuel. R says:

    Ridiculous. Really a shame, because I absolutely adored Human Revolution (I even liked it more than the original Deus Ex in plenty of ways) and am really liking the look of Mankind Divided.

    The fact there’s no actual outlining of how many pre-orders it will take to reach the tiers make’s it absolutely clear that it’s all arbitrary anyway, and they’ll just move them up whenever it works best for hype and marketing.

  20. Samuel. R says:

    Also, it really bugs me because it means that pirates will absolutely be getting the best product possible – they don’t have to choose between the three skins, the soundtrack or artbook, or the novella or comic. *They get it all*. And legitimate purchases *don’t*.

    I’m not a pirate, and I’ll be buying the game because it’s the law, it’s the right thing to do, I like the developers (though definitely not the publishers), and it really bugs me that I’ll be getting a WORSE experience because of that.

    • Carra says:

      I remember buying Dragon Age. And then downloading the torrent so that I could also get all the pre-order bonuses such as the golemn addon.

    • wyrm4701 says:

      In this case, I believe buying the game is exactly the wrong thing to do. Not that piracy is justifiable here, just that giving the publisher money is going to positively reinforce their behaviour. I think the best thing to do is wait until there’s a sale with all the DLC. If you absolutely have to play it when it comes out, and insist on paying for it, the next release will be even less fair to you.

  21. lizzardborn says:

    And that kids is why the pirated version is almost always superior. All of the DLC on day 1, no DRM, install and play :( Sometimes the cracked executable even has minipatches in it (Portal 2 mass crashings)

    Will the publishers ever learn.

  22. Nereus says:

    Seems like I’m finding reasons around every corner not to bother buying games from major publishers. The good news is that these games are always available to play through illegal networks. Always. Because they spend so much on marketing the games never slip under the radar of the warez scene and if thats where the best experience can be found the fact it’s practically free is just a huge bonus.

  23. MajorManiac says:

    “a CON!”

  24. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    I was originally going to make a snide remark about some marketing tool at the weekly meeting having the brilliant idea to make preordering just like playing the game with those choices, but I decided I had better watch the video before commenting, juuust in case I misunderstood something.

    I don’t think I’ve ever felt so uncomfortable from being correct before.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Actually, poo on me for the name-calling. Sorry about that, RPS.

      To be more fair, the marketing folks probably get locked in a room until an exec says, “Yes, that right there. Christmas bonus. People, this will garner us loads of attention. It will be bad at first, but by launch time, we’ll have many more eyeballs on our product, and the vitriol will have moved on. Make it happen.”

      Meanwhile, the Internet gets some new demotivational images and whatnot.

  25. unraveler says:

    Congratulations Square Enix, you ruined Pizza!!! I mean – Deus Ex!

  26. melnificent says:

    Lets not forget that Deus Ex: Human Revolution had a paid for patch called the directors cut.

    Squeenix seem to love making deus Ex fans hurt for no particular reason.

  27. heliotropecrowe says:

    Stuff like this really makes me wonder am I too old to play games.

  28. geldonyetich says:

    I didn’t ask for this.

  29. grrrz says:

    so if I get this right, this kind of practice is not even a probleme of getting fresh cash, like any indie release, but just a kind of poll to get how many people would buy the game, just for the purpose of letting know their bean counters where they’re at?