AC: Unity proves video game pre-ordering is out of hand

If you thought the way developers and publishers are pushing director's cut, special edition and collector's edition versions or games, or that the recent spate of pre-order freebies was ridiculous, just wait until you see this new video from Ubisoft, which is offering a weekly lottery for those that pre-order Assassin's Creed Unity.

It's called Assassin's Creed, Spin to Win and it gives those that pre-order the game five free spins of the slot machine every Friday. Those spins can win you anything from in-game items, to free DLC, models, tshirts and more. There's even a chance to win a trip to the developer's Montreal studios and a grand prize that will send you and a friend to Paris.

Are we even paying for a game at this point?

On top of that though, Assassin's Creed Unity doesn't even come out until the end of October. This is a game that's had very little shown of it, won't be released for another four months and Ubisoft wants your money now. How is it going to get it? Not by showing you what a great game it has under its belt, but by starting its own game-themed lottery.

It's bizarre and worrying. If the recent ridiculousness of the Watch Dogs pre-order and exclusive editions weren't enough, now Ubisoft is dabbling in online gambling.

If this works - and I imagine it will, since the game was going to sell well anyway - it will only get worse too. The next time we'll be pre-ordering six months before release, then eight and ten. Developers can't survive this sort of model. Double Fine showed us exactly what happens when a developer gets too much money up front, it loses control.

On top of that, we're forging ahead to a game development landscape where it's more important to offer great pre-order packages than it is to make a good game, which will come back and bite the industry in the ass, hard.

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