Borderlands 3 will have loot chance and experience gain boosts based on what edition a player buys. Considering these are gameplay-related incentives, a controversy was bound to happen and 2K partially revealed the extent of the advantages.
Gearbox Software and 2K are going through a lot of backlash for Borderlands 3 which was supposed to be a sure ace in the hole for both the developer and publisher. There are several reasons for this, with one being the timed Epic Games Store exclusivity while the latest are pre-order and different edition bonuses.
It is important to understand that the bonuses are not simply applied to Deluxe and Super Deluxe copies of Borderlands 3, but are rather in-game mods that will increase a character's experience gain rate or drop chances.
According to an inquiry from PC Gamer, a 2K spokesperson stated they are well aware Borderlands 3 will not be a competitive multiplayer title so the bonuses will not provide a pay to win option for those who purchase the more expensive editions.
Still, in order not to make the bonuses egregious, the developers decided to make the bonuses tied to certain gear and level cap them, so they will not passively provide bonus throughout the entire game as they will likely become obsolete at some point.
Borderlands 2 editions also featured gameplay-altering pre-order and edition bonuses such as Vault Hunter's Relic, so if you are used to those, the loot and experience mods shouldn't make much difference.
On the other hand, if you prefer to be on level terms with others or are afraid this could be a gateway to Gearbox altering gameplay further in the future in order to monetise such boosts, the bonuses might be a bit egregious for you.
Selling gameplay-altering elements is frowned upon in gaming community but it didn't seem to stop Borderlands sales so far. Furthermore, Ubisoft sold similar boosts in an offline, singleplayer Assassin's Creed: Odyssey and the game turned out to be a major success.
It appears that outrages don't really matter as much as cold hard cash. Who would have thought?