Locking key game features behind paywalls feels very 2024. This is the move Sega appears to be taking with Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth. PC Gamer has spotted that the game’s New Game Plus mode is listed as limited to premium versions of the game, which cost at least $15 more than the Digital Standard edition.
It’s no cheap standard edition, either, at $70 for what turns out to be an artificially restricted version of the enormous game. To get a version that comes with “New Game+” listed as included, you’ll apparently need to pick up the $85 Deluxe Edition, or the $110 Ultimate Version. Good lord.
But the same information is entirely absent on the game’s Steam or PlayStation Store page. You’d imagine the logical solution here would be that the official site is mistaken, given such a core feature isn’t mentioned as paywalled anywhere else. However—and again, all kudos to Mollie Taylor at PC Gamer here—last month a Redditor contacted Sega to ask about this, and was told it was accurate.
“I would just like to ask for clarification if the implied teasers on Infinite Wealth mean that we need the Deluxe Edition with the Master Vacation Pack to play New Game+?” asked Megasomark.
“I have checked back,” says Anna of Sega Support in reply, “and can confirm that the New Game+ function is indeed only available with the Master Vacation pack.”
Which seems pretty conclusive. However, we have of course reached out to Sega to get their official word, and indeed to ask why this decision may have been made.
Many companies have realized recently that where there’s the ability to remotely update software, there’s the ability to lock more features behind paywalls. The car industry is in a total mess with this right now, with manufacturers restricting not just pampering features like seat warmers behind subscription payments, but even how efficiently your new car’s battery operates, how fast the car speeds up, or maintains its ability to self-drive. So it’s not too surprising that publishers will be looking for ways to get people to fork out for those ridiculously overpriced “special” editions, beyond the promise of a few different imaginary outfits and a couple of extra missions. That said, this move could backfire spectacularly.
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