Life is Strange: Double Exposure PS5 PlayStation

A few days of early access for anticipated games, single-player and multiplayer, is something we're seeing publishers increasingly try, and we've been guilty of coughing up extra for the privilege ourselves in certain select cases. Square Enix, always a trailblazer, has taken this concept the furthest we've yet seen, offering a $30 digital upgrade to play the narrative-heavy Life is Strange: Double Exposure a fortnight early.

As detailed by Eurogamer, the base game is priced at $50 (or your local equivalent). But if you opt for the $80 Ultimate Edition, you will receive "advanced access to Chapters 1 and 2" a full two weeks before the game's scheduled release date of 29 October. The Ultimate Edition also includes an array of cosmetic options for protagonist Max Caulfield and an additional side quest concerned with cats if you were still on the fence.

Our initial impression is that this, while grubby, would always be the logical direction in which corps would take paid early access. Enough gamers are willing to pay extra to play early, or companies like Square Enix would avoid the reputational hit (and articles like this one) such moves inevitably result in.

Still, for a story and spoiler-filled episodic series like Life is Strange, it seems especially egregious, a considerable step up from the two to three days we've become Stockholm-Syndromed into accepting. It might be the most extended period of paid early access we've ever heard of. Fans are furious about the potential for spoilers, even if it is only the first two episodes. As video game localiser Steven Korkowsky memorably put it on Twitter: "Hella f*** off!"

Will you pony up the extra $30 to see how Max has been getting on with things before the other punters? What's next, paid demos? A month's early access that costs more than the game itself? Let us know how far you will go in the comments section below.