I think I speak for most everyone when I say I remember the good old days. When games were capped at $50, there were no install times, and preordering games made you one of the few, the proud, the space marines; because you preordered Alien Versus Predator (see how I tied that in there).
But those days have sadly passed for now. We live in a day in age where game prices have gone up, collectors editions are never too expensive and preordering games never fail to always punch us right in the gut.
Now there are 2 sides to this tricky coin. You’ve probably gotten some amazing bonuses from your preorders; cool posters, in-game costumes, weapons, power-ups, etc. But have you ever stopped to think this would impact you or others in the future? Of course not because who saw this coming?
Here’s 3 Ways Preorders Have Hurt the Gaming Industry
1. Buying Unfinished Games
It’s tough to point fingers on this one, well, not really it’s the gaming company’s fault. Preordering has become this enticing way to pick up some more bang for your buck. A new title will be announced, a slick new in-game costume is available to all who preorder; you jump at the opportunity because you know you’re going to buy the game anyway. You pick up the game on launch day and it’s so riddled with bugs it’s unplayable (giant list of games goes here).
Companies are selling bad quality games through incentives and it’s impossible to get around if you like to preorder. You won’t know it’s broken until you take it home and play it, but your character will look amazing with that new costume. There are, ofcourse, the favorable few – Fallout 4, Witcher 3, Halo: The Master Chief Collection; these titles had buggy launches, some to be expected, but they get fixed. Others are ignored and have launches so bad we just stop preordering because we know (“shakes fist at Ubisoft”).
2. Exclusive Preorder Content
This issue goes both ways. You may be a die-hard fan and you have to have that bonus mission that comes with the preorder. Well, sadly, it was more like early access because everyone else is getting that mission in a few weeks. People are getting cheated out of their exclusive content that they feel they earned by being loyal.
Now here’s the flip side. If there is a preorder dlc bonus mission/content and it’s never made publically available even through micro transaction, you will never get to experience that part of the game or story. There could be a very important piece of lore in that mission that you will never get to experience unless you watch it on YouTube but we all know it’s not the same.
3. Store Exclusives
I always think of Street Fighter when I think of store specific exclusives. There have been others, but this one always gets me. If you want the exclusive costume for your favorite character, you must go to the retailer who has it. I personally do not support some stores like Wal-Mart, you can say what you please, but I do not support the company or how they do business. But if I want an exclusive Ryu in-game costume via preorder, that’s where I must go. And this isn’t a problem for many people, but not everyone has direct access to these stores. I have a GameStop 5 minutes from home but I have to drive 40 minutes to the nearest Best Buy. When did exclusives become an inconvenience?
Please keep an open mind when considering the above opinions. There are many grey areas when it comes to preordering and some companies do it very well. The game is great, the exclusive content is great, and they treat the players great. Some do not and it’s a shame. There are no refunds for disappointment (unless you buy it used, I do enjoy the disappointment returns at GameStop).
What’s your opinion on preorders? Have you ever felt cheated or bought a giant flop? Let us know in the comments and we’ll keep the conversation going.