Though many fans initially thought that Rage 2's BFG 9000 would be part of the base game, Bethesda has announced that it won't be - at least not at launch.
Bethesda, the once-beloved publisher behind such massive franchises as Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, and Doom, has fallen quite drastically from grace over the last six months. Beginning with the launch of the notoriously-underwhelming Fallout 76, it’s been one misstep after another for the Maryland-based organization. Now, with the long-awaited launch of Rage 2 right around the corner, it finds itself embroiled in yet another controversy as it has recently confirmed that, despite fan suspicions, the BFG 9000 will be exclusive to the deluxe and collector versions of the game.
This is nothing new to those familiar with major triple-A video game releases; launching multiple editions and jamming pre-order incentives down the throats of customers has long stood as an industry norm. The issue, however, is that Bethesda didn’t do an adequate job of conveying to customers that this crossover weapon wouldn’t be available in the base game.
According to a Reddit thread on the topic, Doom’s BFG 9000 was at one point confirmed to be in every version of the game, though a community manager later stepped in and stated that the opposite was true and that it would only be present in premium versions of the game.
Naturally, this spawned some outrage in the Rage 2 community, and the subreddit was awash with frustrated consumers announcing that they intended to cancel their pre-orders if the bonus weapon didn’t make its way into the standard edition of the upcoming game. It may seem like a major overreaction, but in truth, players are essentially being asked to pay up for something that was previously marketed as a pack-in feature of the base experience.
That said, this squabble pales in comparison to other things Bethesda has been up to in recent months. Fallout 76 has, as previously mentioned, yet to take even slightest step toward atoning for past transgressions, and the studio’s recently-released mobile endeavor The Elder Scrolls: Blades has become the subject of communal ire after it was revealed to be little more than a pay-to-win grind-fest.
It is important to note, however, that Bethesda is merely acting as the publisher for Rage 2. While it will be able to dictate which editions of the game get which kind of content, it didn’t develop the game. Rage 2 was actually helmed by Id Software and Avalanche Studios, and, while they may be subsidiaries of Bethesda, the chances of them releasing a disappointing mess of a game akin to Bethesda Game Studios’ recent output seems to be fairly low. While the original Rage didn’t exactly light the world on fire, if the sequel manages to be even half as good as Id’s 2016 outing Doom, then it’s still likely to be a relative success.
Bethesda has been a bit cagey on specifics, but it has stated in the past that Rage 2 won’t feature any loot box mechanics, and it seems to be suggesting that the microtransactions in the upcoming shooter will be fairly low-key. It’s hard to know exactly what the situation surrounding the game will be when it finally drops next week, but, if the controversy surrounding the inclusion of the BFG is the worst thing that happens to Rage 2, it will likely still be seen as a smashing success.