This is an interesting development, on top of the news earlier in the week that the Cataclysm digital download is available for pre-orders. Apparently, when you download the digital copy of the full game (and it seems this includes all game files, not just Cataclysm), you won’t get the pre-rendered cinematics. This strikes me as a bit odd, because some of the most poignant parts of Wrath of the Lich King was the Wrathgate quest, as well as the cinematic that everyone can view now in Dalaran of Arthas being defeated upon the Frozen Throne. This may include all or part of the cinematics for all the races, as well, including the new gnome, troll, worgen and goblin intros, but it’s unclear. We’re most definitely assured to have plenty in Cataclysm content, as well, if this continues on to the digital download of the expansion.
I wonder what the reason is for this? Why would they purposefully withhold those cinematics when they’re such a huge part of certain epic story lines? And, this begs the question, why are they charging full price for a game that is confirmed to lack the full experience?
Here’s the original quote from Blizzard, which is in a thread that starts off with someone asking why they weren’t getting cinematics when they used the digital download service to re-install the entire game, including Wrath of the Lich King:
“Alright, so we’ve completed the investigation and it appears that from this point forward, the digital download will no longer include the game Pre-rendered Cinematics/Cutscenes as part of the download. As such the Wrath loading cinematic, Wrathgate, etc… will no longer be installed with the game when using the digital streaming download. This may change in the future(no promises, heh) however for right now they are not part of the digital download.”
[Thanks to Heidi for the tip.]