Pre-orders are a hotly contested topic. Some find no harm in them at all, while others seem to see them as cheap gimmicks to draw in early buyers before the reviews roll in. But even those in the latter have to admit that, as far as gimmicks go, getting your name shot into space for buying a video game is pretty sweet. And that is what Paradox Interactive's Stellaris is banking on. The upcoming grand strategy game is reminiscent of Paradox's Europa Universalis title, but now set in space. The player travels throughout an expansive universe, encountering alien races and learning more about the universe, while also carving out their empire.
Recently, Paradox opened up the May release for pre-orders, including some small perks. Included is a cosmetic DLC (which will be available some time after the actual released) which will include additional alien races recommended by the community, sound effects and ringtones from the game, and a forum avatar. The most peculiar (and awesome) perk though is that Paradox will shoot the names of those who pre-order, and connect their Paradox and Steam accounts, into space on a weather balloon. They will also film the launch and post it, so you can watch your name float into the stars.
Stellaris is set to be released on Steam on May 9th. Players can also pre-order the Nova Edition which includes the game soundtrack, a forum icon, and another exclusive alien race of what appear to be spider-pedes; or the Galaxy Edition which includes all of that plus a science fiction eBook based on the games universe, a digital collectors book, a forum avatar, and a signed wallpaper. Stellaris is the first science fiction title ever released by Paradox.