First off, let’s check out the recent promos, just to catch up and remind any folks who might have missed them. The latest game from renowned game designer Eric Chahi (the man behind the incredible Another World), From Dust, has just had a cross-game promotion with TF2. Pre-purchasing From Dust on Steam before its release date on the 17th of August will get you a lovely Genuine Mask of the Shaman.
The next recent TF2 promo is for Red Orchestra 2, to be more precise, its Digital Deluxe Edition. Buying it on the 30th of August will get you two TF2 hats: the Stahlhelm and the Pilotka. Pre-purchasing it before its release date will score you these two hats, in Vintage quality. Currently, all awarded hats are Genuine quality only. Could be an intentional effect, could be a mix-up. Now, what I’m really hoping for is that the quality will actually be “Vintage Genuine”. And Valve could start using this for all their promos – pre-purchasing would get you Vintage Genuine and purchasing would get you plain Genuine. Would certainly work better than the current system. Keep in mind that these are only available for the Digital Deluxe Edition. The standard edition offers no bonuses whatsoever, though users who also own the original Red Orchestra will be awarded a number of in-game RO2 items and -10% off on their RO2 purchase.
But that’s not all. In yesterday’s game update, fans found files for a number of new promotional items: the Original, a rocket launcher inspired by Quake 1′s rocket launcher, which also made an appearance in the original Team Fortress and Deathmatch Classic. No clue as to how this one could be distributed, unless id happens to announce Quake 5 any time soon. Perhaps as part of a deal for the Quake anthology. Next is the Tamrielic Relic, a steel helmet with two ram horns on each side, from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Then there’s the Anger, a hood with a menacing brown veil, from Brink. We’ve also got the PIP-Boy, to be more precise, the 3000A model, from Fallout 3. This is a Misc item for the Engineer. It even changes the style of his pop-up HUD when using his PDA, though the Engineer doesn’t actually bring the PIP-Boy up to his eyes instead of the PDA. And last, but not least is the Wingstick, another Misc item for the Engineer, taken from the game RAGE.
So what do all of these games have in common? They’re all produced by parent company ZeniMax Media, which was founded by Bethesda founder Christopher Weaver and Robert Altman. As such, ZeniMax owns Bethesda, and they acquired id Software in June of 2009. So what could all these items be for? Well, the most straight-forward hypothesis is that they’re all for separate titles, although it is possible that items these may be offered as part of some sort of QuakeCon game pack. Why QuakeCon, you ask? Why, it starts today! Who knows what id and ZeniMax will unveil during QuakeCon?
All we do know is our wallets will most certainly not be pleased.