Good news: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment chose today to reveal how much their December 4 MOBA/DOTA-style Guardians of Middle-Earth game will cost. (The game is like League of Legends but with Lord of the Rings characters. Got it?)
Not so good news: You'll have to read very closely and will still have to be an excellent guesser to figure out what the game will really cost.
Seriously. Read the following excerpt from WBIE's press release today once through and see if you can figure out what Guardians of Middle-Earth will cost people who want to play the game in full:
The digital versions will be available for $14.99 on PlayStation Network beginning Dec. 4, 2012, and for a purchase price of 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 this fall. Post-launch, extensive downloadable content will also be available digitally, and can be purchased via Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 and PlayStation Network individually or as a Season Pass. Guardians of Middle-earth will also be available at select North American retailers for $29.99 for PlayStation®3 system beginning Dec. 4, 2012 and for Xbox 360 this fall. Included with the retail purchase of the game is pre-paid, discounted access to the digital content offered post-launch. Versions of Guardians of Middle-earth for Xbox 360 will include Microsoft Points equal in value to the full game plus the Season Pass of downloadable content, while versions of the title for PlayStation®3 system will include PSN vouchers equal in value to the full game, plus the Season Pass of downloadable content. Digital content will consist of game maps, one bonus gameplay mode and several additional good and evil characters, some of which will be based on key characters in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey motion picture, which is set for release on Dec. 14, 2012, directed by Peter Jackson and a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
So.. do you think the game is $15? $30? Some other price?
The reason this is probably all so confusing is because MOBA/DOTA-style games are often free and designed to support the sale of lots of additional content, piece by piece, microtransaction by microtransaction. Players pay for alternate characters or other expanded content, and that's where the developers make their money. Judging by the way that big pricing paragraph is written above, we can assume that there will be plenty of extra content to buy for Guardians of Middle-Earth and, if the game is true to its genre, much of it may be fun but not required. You might even be able to enjoy the game for just $15. But, hey, this sure looks like a sign of the times: How much is that game? It depends.