Epic Edition Fail?

During late December 2010, Epic Games and EA announced that there would be two special editions of the upcoming first person shooter, Bulletstorm. A ‘Limited Edition’ for Playstation 3 and PC owners and an ‘Epic Edition’ for Xbox 360 owners which would come with the added bonus of an invite to the Gears of War 3 Beta

The best news – If you pre-ordered Bulletstorm, you would automatically be upgraded to Epic Edition for 360 and Limited Edition for PS3 and PC. In an even more shocking move for European gamers, who have become accustom to missing out on the best offers, it was revealed that “this program is worldwide”

As posted here: http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=754904

As a huge fan of the Gears of War series, this was great news and reminded me of when Crackdown launched in early 2007 with the Halo 3 Beta. If I’m being honest, Crackdown sounded good but I really bought the game for the Halo 3 Beta. It turned out that Crackdown was an utterly brilliant game in its own right and one I still play over three years later (I will find those last 2 green orbs dammit!). If Bulletstorm turned out to be half as good as Crackdown then it would be a bargain purchase and, fortunately, the hugely fun Bulletstorm demo has already put any concerns to rest on that front

So I pre-ordered from Shopto.net. Not the cheapest, for once, but the most reliable supplier that I’ve used for getting games on release day

However, over the past few days news has started to appear on various forums that UK retailers including Amazon, The Hut and Blockbusters have had to remove the Epic Edition from their websites because it is now exclusive to 1 retailer – Game

Even worse news is that Game appear to be charging a premium for the Epic Edition, charging £44.99 (and £39.99 for the standard edition which, according to Gamestracker, is the 21st most expensive price currently – http://www.gamestracker.com/buy-bulletstorm-compare-prices-xbox-360.htm)

It appears that the contents of the PS3 and PC ‘Limited Edition’ and Xbox 360 ‘Epic Edition’ are, with the exception of the Gears of War 3 beta, exactly the same containing:

25,000 Experience Points
Visual Upgrades for the Iconic Leash
Deadly Peace Maker Carbine
Additional Boots and Armor

So, are Game seriously trying to charge an extra £5 for access to the Gears of War 3 Beta – for what is, for all intents and purposes, a demo?

What’s concerning is how completely this goes against the announcement from EPIC and EA

(Click to Enlarge)

In that in the original announcement, they stated that:
“Both the Standard and Limited/Epic Editions are available at the same MSRP/RRP (Recommended Retail Price)” – If this is the case why are Game charging more for the Epic Edition?
“All Bulletstorm pre-orders, no matter where you order(ed) from, will be the Epic Edition (Xbox 360) or Limited Edition (PC and PS3)!” – so, why are major retailers like Amazon removing their listings?

The big question is “are UK gamers going to get shafted again after all?”

I understand that EPIC are looking onto this now. Hopefully this is all some down to some very poor communication and not some underhanded profiteering on Game’s behalf and, as originally promised, all Xbox 360 orders will be fulfilled as the Epic Edition.

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