Many gamers were shocked and disappointed late last night as it was revealed by the developers that a new VR game named Arizona Sunshine would be arbitrarily locking some game modes behind owning specific CPUs from Intel. Namely, to access the "Single Player Horde Mode" and "Apocalyptic Mode," one must be using a 5th generation or newer "Core i7" CPU from Intel. Everyone else will have to wait until March 7th before being able to play these game modes, as of the time of writing that's a painful three months away.
What's especially notable is this isn't a lock on content for players who are using CPUs simply not powerful enough, as the modes are solely locked for exclusivity, and "Core i5" processors as well as plenty of CPUs in AMD's lineup are more than powerful enough to run these extra modes, which also don't actually stress the player's system more than the base game modes they currently have access to. "Apocalyptic Mode" isn't even a special kind of zombie mode where physics would be more of an issue in performance, it's just a difficulty tweak.
Lastly, the developers and publishers also completely failed to mention this content lock anywhere on the Steam store page. This kind of information is very important to alert the consumer to beforehand, as it means they're not getting the full experience they paid for unless they have CPUs that are traditionally much more powerful than necessary for gaming, and thus less commonly used than higher end and/or more powerful CPUs from the "Core i5" line.
The developers explained in a forum post that Intel funding allowed these extra modes to be created in the first place as a reason for why this exclusivity exists, but as many others have pointed out on the Steam forums among other places, this illogical and arbitrary content lock only serves to sow distrust of the developer and Intel themselves, as well as scare off users who may have been interested in the title in the first place, not to mention the aggravation it causes for people who purchased the title only to find a lock on it without any information beforehand.
It's not our place to judge one way or another, but regardless of how one looks at this from a business perspective, handling the situation in the way they did, with no warning beforehand of the lock and only explaining after, is unquestionably bad for them in terms of public relations. It remains to be seen if the developers will consider any kind of alternative, or if consumers will be left to avoid and refund the title until March, as many have been doing since the reveal of the content lock.
Arizona Sunshine is available on Steam for $39.99 with a 15% launch week discount.