GameStop's Preorder Plans Sound Like Bad News

GameStop's Preorder Plans Sound Like Bad News

Of all the things wrong with big, blockbuster video games, few are as shitty as the obsession with preordering. So you'll be just thrilled to know that GameStop's plans for the future of the practice are, should they ever come to fruition, pretty much a nightmare scenario.

According to a report on GamesBeat, the retail giant recently met with investment company R.W. Baird to talk about the company's future, and one of Baird's analysts has revealed some of the things that they spoke about.

"[GamesStop] indicated that software publishers are more enthusiastic about partnering with it," Baird's Colin Sebastian wrote. "For example, by offering exclusive content on each major game release, and longer term, future models may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay."

GamesBeat asked him to clarify what exactly that "future model" meant, and Sebastian added the retailer is thinking about "getting involved at the time of game development where there could be some content exclusive to [the retailer] included in the game."

So if you thought it was stupid that peripheral content like skins and maps was split up between retailers, just wait until GameStop can offer actual parts of a game you can't get anywhere else. Then wait for Walmart and Best Buy and Amazon to catch on. It will be great.

We've contacted GameStop for comment, and will update if we hear back.

GameStop's next step for preorder exclusives: Getting into a big game's development process [GamesBeat]


    Anyone remember when you just bought a game, and you got a game that you could play?

    There is a lot of good in how today's games are sold, steam sales for example and user generated content but by god there is some rubbish practices and pre-ordering seems to be where it is all centered around.

      November 10, 2011, Skyrim.

        Wo...Skyrim is three years old?

          I thought the same thing when I wrote it.

        Except I bought it for PS3 (as my PC at the time couldn't handle it). I wouldn't exactly describe the experience at the time as 'playing'. Several patches later it's not much better, but I now have a PC that can run Skyrim fine :)

          True, true. But seriously, it's the last game I bought that I remember that didn't have a bunch of pre-order exclusive in game garbage. There was a standard and special edition but the game was identical either way.

      I guess we only need to look at the 500 different editions watch dogs had on release...

    Oh... this is absolutely amazing, in case we didn't have enough reason to dislike EB. They will just follow in the footsteps of their parent company.

    offer actual parts of a game you can’t get anywhere else. mean like what they've been doing in games like Assassins Creed where they remove portions of the game and hide it behind a pre-order wall?

      That's exactly what I was thinking, this isn't new.

        And why I didn't buy the last 2 Assassin's Creed games. Games with this kind of shenanigans I try and wait for the bargain bin or the GOTY edition if they're a must play.

    This is just insane, it's bad enough we have Cross Platform games giving you extra maps or things on one system and not the other and now to get the full game you have to buy 3 copies to get all the codes to get all the extra content?

    Firstly there's exclusive content for pre-orders, then there's exclusive content depending on the platform (steam, origin, ps3, ps4, x360, xbone, wii u etc...) and now they're having exclusive content for individual retailers as well (eb, jb hifi, kmart, dick smith etc..). This is absurd, the amount of different content being put out that will hardly be experienced by anyone just does not seem worth the effort to release it, let alone the effort for anyone to own more than one piece of exclusive content.

    Oh well, I'm happy to see this fail.

    "Unique Content" could be a simple as custom skins on objects. See that shopping mall you run through, shooting at zombies? Now imagine the shops being a K-Mart, Walmart, Harvey Norman, Grace Jones, Myer, Harris Scarfe, etc.
    Presto! Custom content, that does sweet F--k all for the actual game.

      Getting in on the ground floor during game development is what they are talking about. They already do skins and stuff. This is going to be bigger... like, 10-20% of a game's non-core content will be locked off by retailer.

      I'm thinking something like a game with 50 side missions as a whole, but each retailer sells a game with 30. 20 of them are common among all three and the last 10 are split up by Gamestop/Walmart/Amazon.

      Then they'll release a special edition with an extra 5 missions... per retailer. So now we have a game with 6 major SKUs, 65 missions in all, but only 30 or 35 available to any one player. Except, 6 months after release, you can probably buy all the other retailer content for $5-10 per 'pack'.

      Fucking gross.

    Oh well, that just means that all game developers and publishers that participate in this bullshit will not be getting a cent out of me.

    Ill buy all those games pre owned and not from the retailer that did the bullshit deal in the first place.

    Pre-order exclusives should be either an early unlock or something purely cosmetic, In games which have a random prize box than maybe a ton of extra prizeboxes.

    But you know what would be a great Pre-order bonus? $10 off.

    Devil's Advocate time!

    The 'exclusive content' was just one example the analyst came up with to demonstrate the partnership from the point of view of an investment company.

    Here's the thing. The 'us and them' standoff between retailers and publishers has already led to some fairly bad things. The escalating war of new vs. preowned, Project $10 - the true tipping point for the DLC rush, these things have not been good.

    Any sort of announcement where they put aside their differences and work together to create sustainable business practices for both sides can't be all bad. It won't just be a nastier escalation of retailer exclusive bits of the game being lopped off.
    Perhaps, by retailers stumping up the cash and shouldering more of the risk, this might drive more investment into quality games better suited to their target markets, since who better to know who will likely buy the game?

    So, so glad to know that Nintendo will not get involved in this BS.

      Yeah, but 3rd party games on their console still suffer. Which version of ACIV should I get for example? There were heaps of options. And we don't have a lot of the different retailers down here so we miss out.

      I like my Nintendo 3DS but when was the last time they even offered a significant discount. There are games that are 6 years old on the DS still costing over $50.

    Don't tell EBs this: they leave the manual and DLC in the boxes on the shelf. A lot (in the stores I visit)

      Pretty sure this is why my "new in box" copy of Dawn of War 2: Collection had the Retribution key already used.

    This is the most convoluted thing since $15 DLC's containing skins to hit the gaming market.

    If this comes to fruition I'll be giving up on pre-orders completely and just wait a few months after release where the dev releases a full DLC pack that contains all the various editions together.

    Meh, modders will unlock the gameplay for all anyway

    I never really cared about this, the few times I did pre order a few favourite titles, or even got special edition that came with this sort of "exclusive" content it all pretty much boiled down to having a different coloured jacket (infamous) or literally 5 mins of an extra mission or something that added absolutely nothing to the game. Black Flag, (and AC2 if I remember correctly came with something like this). What I think is a bigger evil are the season passes/premium services dlc for certain games. Battlefield 4 (most of the others) are downright better games with whole dlc map pack. they release the original content for 70-80 bucks give you a quarter of the maps and vehicles. Then ask you for another 70 to be "premium" and get the rest. Imagine a world where battlefield was released as a massive 6 disc beast of a game, maybe charge 120 for it, but it came out the gate with 20+ different maps and all vehicles unlocked. I think it would be worth the extra wait on release because could you imagine how strong the Online community behind a game like that would be? Someone gifted me a season pass for cod:ghosts once they saw I had 70+ hours on steam. So I played on the release dates for all the new maps being staggered. I'd like the new maps but within two weeks it became impossible to get game on the dlc servers. Even on the vanilla version of the game players were few and far between. The companies are obviously creating the content (and in a timely fashion post release), I just hate to see it go wasted being watered down with fragmented on-line communities

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