Siege of Mirkwood Release Date

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hayo! We got a launch date for the Siege of Mirkwood digital expansion. And it is *drum roll* December 1st. This is actually a bit later than I predicted. I would have figured on a pre-Thanksgiving release. However, in hindsight the Thanksgiving shopping rush isn't as important to a digital only product as it would be to something in retail outlets. Black Friday is very much a traditional shopping event and digital distribution tends to even the field when it comes to when something is purchased. Indeed, if Christmas were earlier in the year, Turbine might have even passed up that holiday - gifts residing solely in a computer is hard to put under the tree. Really, the supreme guiding force for this was to stay in Fall (Winter beginning Dec 21st) and in 2009. December 1st is a perfect fit.

Now, here's where things get a little chaotic. If you check out Turbine's official press release, you'll find a host of pre-order options. Yay for pre-orders! But what the heck is an Adventure Pack and how is it different from the Siege of Mirkwood expansion? Seriously, could they have made this any more complicated? Don't even bother trying to figure it out from Turbine's release. Check out A Casual Stroll to Mordor's overview of the whole thing; they do an excellent job of cutting through the marketing BS.

And that's what it is. They're selling the Adventure Pack, which is basically the bonus goodies normally included with a pre-order and offering SoM for "Free"... if you buy the AP under certain conditions. Now, the AP is 19.99, the price-point previously stated for SoM. And that little similarity can lead to the question: is the AP the same thing as the expansion? Nope. It's not. And what if you don't want to pre-order (in other words, by the AP) but want to buy the Siege of Mirkwood when it releases? Well, apparently they'll now throw in the AP (minus one of the bonus perks) but tack on another 20 bucks.

So really, the Siege of Mirkwood expansion is 39.99, not 19.99. What this should have looked like is this: Pre-order the Siege of Mirkwood now for a 20 dollar discount and a bonus item. Regular price is 39.99. The whole reason this Adventure Pack thing exists is so they can use the word "Free" in their advertising. We all like free. We jump at free.

Seriously? Selling us the bonus stuff? And "lying" about the price? Cut the crap, Turbine marketing.

And just because I hate ending good news on a bad note, I've got to say "Yay! We have a release date! And pre-order goodies!"

3 Responses to "Siege of Mirkwood Release Date"

Green Armadillo Says:

I think you're still confused. The only physical connection between the AP and the expansion is for lifetime subscribers. For everyone else, the AP is an OPTIONAL additional transaction that does NOT get you the expansion.

If you were to pre-order the AP but not remain subscribed (e.g. why play until the expansion comes out), you would come back on December 1st to find yourself with just the AP.

On the flip side, if you don't think that the "bonus goodies" (in EQ2, shared storage is available as part of the base game for no additional fee, while WoW permits you to mail items to your alts for no additional fee) are worth doubling the price of the expansion, there's no reason why you need to spend the extra $20. Effectively, non-lifetime subscribers do not pre-order the expansion - they simply get it free if they remain subscribed to a multi-month plan from Oct 31-Dec 1.

I can't help but think that they're hoping people will pay the extra $20 out of confusion, and/or decide that it's perfectly reasonable to spend $40 on an expansion without thinking that it's a $20 expansion with $20 in additional charges for one big feature and some preorder bonuses.

Jaxom92 Says:

I'm not confused. I know it's not connected to the Siege of Mirkwood except as a lifetime subscriber. I state outright the AP is *not* the expansion. My point was that disconnectedness is what makes the whole thing bothersome. And that we all were expecting a 20 dollar price point for the *expansion*. Some of us get that because we take Turbine up on the lifetime sub or other long-term sub plan deal. But the few of us who don't will get a higher price. That will piss a some people off I'm sure.

Azz Says:

I don't think they had the intention of "confusing" people into paying $40 for the XP. It seems clear to me that they are using that as a selling point to get more subs. "If you want both why pay $40 when you can sign up for a lifetime, or cheaper monthly plan and get it all for $20." Though I will say that the presentation was rather confusing. Being a lifetime subscriber it was easy for me.