The Problem With Pre-Orders

Pre-order offers for video games range from the ludicrous to the downright maddening.

But how does it all work behind the scenes? Why do pre-order offers exist? How are they negotiated? We spoke to some of the major players in the Australian retail space in an attempt to shed some light on a process some believe is strangling video games as a stand alone product.


Kotaku US ran the story under the headline ‘Video Games, 2014’. We called it the ‘worst/best pre-order bonus’ in video game history. Either way it felt like a zeitgeist moment.

At the very least it was a ‘moment’. A moment to bear witness to. This is how ludicrous the video game pre-order bonus had become. This is how low it had sunk.

Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Get an additional pair of pants that make you move faster.

Pre-order pants.

Pre-order pants.

It was an offer so stupendously silly it bordered on parody. People laughed, but people also complained. Some people got angry. Perhaps rightly so.

Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Get an additional pair of pants that make you move faster.

Rewind. A month previously. A brand new pre-order bonus for the highly anticipated Alien: Isolation. Back then Alien: Isolation was being marketed as a sequel set years after the original Alien movie, featuring a brand new set of characters in the same universe. Yet Alien: Isolation’s newly revealed pre-order bonus was different, it was tantalisingly worthwhile: a short series of additional missions featuring the original cast of Alien. It played directly to hardcore fans of the series. And they went ballistic.

The pre-order bonus was perfect, almost too perfect, to the point where it played negatively to an increasing crowd of consumers rallying against the pre-order and its negative influence on the industry at large. This wasn’t your bog standard useless piece of DLC kit; this was not pre-order pants. This was a must-have, clearly high-budget, piece of content that would only be available to players if they walked into a store and put money down before the game was released. Before reviews, before word of mouth, before anyone had a chance to create some sort of consensus on whether this game was actually worth paying for.

Again, people got angry. Again, perhaps rightly so.

In the face of the backlash, Sega quickly relented, revealing there would be other avenues for consumers to download and play this content, but the issue had already been raised: why pre-order video games? Who are pre-orders for? Are they anti-consumer? Why are we being asked to pay for video games in advance? Why are we allowing ourselves to be dictated to in this way?


“It’s just retail,” explains Chris Wright. “That’s the sales process. And it is a process.”

Nowadays Chris Wright runs Surprise Attack, a specialist games marketing firm. Once upon a time he was Director of Marketing in Australia at THQ. Chris spent close to a decade marketing AAA video games to a broad audience. He says that pre-order offers were part of every single marketing campaign he ever worked on.

Pre-orders. They were initially sold to consumers as a way to avoid ‘missing out’, to ensure we reserved our copies of highly anticipated consoles or video games. But according to Chris, pre-orders have always worked as a communication tool between retail and publishing. For retail it’s a way of predicting how much a video game will sell; for publishers it’s an avenue used to convince retail that their new video game will sell.

“Pre-orders inform the retailer,” explains Chris. “Orders to the publishers are often heavily based on that.”

“Publishers want to get pre-orders up, that helps you sell more stock. That’s why so many of these offers are about pre-orders for specialist games. It’s basically money in the bank.”

Pre-orders have never been about making sure customers secure a copy of a game that could potentially run out of stock. Ironically an increased amount of pre-orders help retail predict the potential success of a game hence making it less likely the publisher will undersupply (“it’s rare that game will sell out now,” says Chris, citing Dark Souls as a rare example of a game that retail underestimated). The pre-order has always been about moving stock, and moving the right amount of stock to the right places.

And Chris argues even consumers have a general understanding of that pact between publisher and retail. Consumers are well aware that games will not sell out, he says. That makes it even more difficult to convince customers to put their money down early.

“Everyone is having to incentivise it a bit more,” he says. “ Since I started it’s gotten a lot more complex.”

“Everyone is having to incentivise it a bit more,” he says. “ Since I started it’s gotten a lot more complex.”

Complex means moving from the “$20 down $20 off” standard that was in place when Chris started at THQ, to the wide and increasingly confusing array of pre-order options available to consumers today. Nowadays it’s common for a single game to have multiple different pre-order bonuses at multiple different specialist retailers. Ubisoft is arguably the worst offender, putting together a mind-boggling 10 different editions of Watch Dogs this year, each featuring different types of content.

It can be confusing.

“It’s a fine line to walk,” says Chris. “You want to keep your messaging simple.

“I think having multiple different editions, you can create that paralysis of choice. ‘I don’t know which one I’m going to pick, so I won’t choose any of them’. But the thing is publishers are constantly trying to figure what works, constantly trying different things. Multiple editions have been around for a while so they must be working on some level otherwise they would stop doing them.”

But why so many? And why have multiple different editions exclusive to different retailers? JB Hi-Fi needs an exclusive, EB Games needs an exclusive. The end result is this: video games become incomplete packages. There’s essentially no way to get the ‘complete’ package unless you buy more than one copy of the same game. Surely that represents an absolute breakdown of the pre-order as a consumer incentive? Surely that’s representative of some sort of collective madness?

“It’s just the nature of retail,” claims Chris. “If you have five retailers that are significant and you have an offer, you’re going to need five different offers. Because if you only have one then all retailers have the same offer and that’s not competitive. One retailer doesn’t have the advantage over the other.

It makes a certain amount of sense, but in practice the pre-order has slowly descended into parody. It has descended into 10 different editions of the exact same game. It has descended into pre-order pants.

“But that’s just the sales process,” explains Chris. “And it is a process. There’s a lot that goes on to get a game on the shelf. Retail is so critical to the games industry — most games are still sold through retail and retail space is some of the most powerful marketing space in the industry. It’s a big part of the purchasing decision.”


EB Games sees it a little differently. To EB the pre-order is more than an information gathering tool — it benefits the consumer.

“Think more games hitting our shores and more industry events like midnight launches,” says an EB spokesperson, speaking to Kotaku.

“It’s about making a gaming experience last beyond the screen and connecting like-minded people.”

When asked about the issues that come with pre-orders, EB were keen to highlight the benefits.

“At the end of the day it’s not about the retail impact; it’s about offering the gaming community the biggest and best gameplay possible.”

Chris Wright mentioned the paralysis of choice that comes with multiple different editions of the same game, but EB Games claims there is no such issue. It claims that clear in-store marketing and well-informed staff ensure that consumers are always aware of what’s available to them.

And retail exclusive pre-orders? They’re simply a way of “thanking” customers. (“We’ll continue to work closely with publishers to score epic bonuses so our customers can jump into their favourite game knowing they’re not missing out.")

Speaking to JB Hi-Fi, it seems a little more open when it comes to discussing the relationship between publisher and retailer, and how pre-orders effect sales and the bottom line.

“[Pre-orders are] driven to a large extent by the publishers seeking to maximise their Day One result and create awareness and interest in the lead up to launch day,” explains a JB Hi-Fi spokesperson, “as well as optimise their supply chain to ensure they do not over or under supply the market.

“As a consequence consumers do derive some significant advantages with pre-order specials and this in turn does benefit retailers.”

But JB Hi-Fi confirms that consumers are rarely confused by pre-order bonuses, even ones as complex as Watch Dogs’ multiple different SKUs. In general, claims JB, the only issue it has with pre-order bonuses occurs when demand is too high and publishers can’t deliver.

“In those cases consumers do get disenfranchised,” says the JB spokesperson. “This confusion does sometimes manifest itself as a negative backlash which is generally directed towards the retailer who has little control over the situation.”


But if there is a problem, it’s a self perpetuating one. It's retailers who are demanding a point of difference on pre-orders, it’s retailers who are forcing the publisher’s hand when it comes to creating multiple SKUs. Yet the responsibility flows both ways — publishers need to dial up pre-orders to sell units, retailers need exclusives.

According to Chris, it’s all part of the negotiation process, both parties essentially want the same thing: they both want to sell copious amounts of video games.

“Fundamentally the retailer wants to sell as many units as they can,” says Chris. “The publisher also wants to sell as many units as they can. It comes down to the buyer buying the right amount of stock. That’s his job.

It’s all about competition, it’s about retailers competing for the best deal for its customers; it’s about publishers competing for shelf space.

“Sometimes the attention itself creates the story,” admits Chris. “There’s also the issue of what people complain about online, versus what real consumers do.”

Ultimately the consumer should be benefitting from this kind of competition, but that isn’t always the case. The system appears to have hit some sort of tipping point: pre-order bonuses are either so scattered and nonsensical they’re hardly worth the bother, or they’re so well put together that consumers get frustrated when they don’t have access to it.

Or is the whole situation really not a problem at all? Is it just one more meaningless issue for a core group of enthusiast players to complain about?

“Sometimes the attention itself creates the story,” admits Chris. “There’s also the issue of what people complain about online, versus what real consumers do.

“Go back to the Australia tax thing. People were complaining about Steam pricing, but the reality was that Australia was heavily over-represented in terms of Steam sales. There was a disconnect. A lot of people were really upset, but at the same time people still wanted to buy through Steam.”

In other words, until the mainstream gaming public gets sick of pre-order bonuses — or all of a sudden become impotent at retail — we’re stuck with them. Whether we like it or not.


Comments

    Am I the only one that prefers not to use the pre-order bonuses even if I get them? These days they're normally dumb extra weapons that undermine the intended difficulty, making the game less fun and when I do beat the challenge that is now too easy, I get a reward thats worse than my preorder bonus.

      Yep, I regret activating the Sleeping Dogs preorder bonuses. They've literally ruined the game. Too much XP, too much money, too much EVERYTHING.

      i dont use em. unless they are some fancy pants.

      seriously though, i thought that top photo was edited to look silly at first.

      Agreed. The Watch_Dogs preorder bonuses took away a lot of the fun that comes with earning the good weapons. Playing vanilla was much more satisfying.

    The glut of retailer-exclusive and pre-order bonuses lately, especially with Watch_Dogs, has led to me really not caring about that stuff anymore. What I hope for is a solid core experience. Magic speed pants aren't required to finish the game so if I don't get them, not big deal. I was miffed about the preorder DLC for Alien: Isolation but again, decided that it wasn't going to be integral to the core experience. It did seem like a lot of work to put in to some DLC that was only available for pre-ordering customers so I figured that it was either: a) going to be available by other means, or b) crappy throwaway content I won't appreciate having.

    The only game I've preordered in the last 3 years was Destiny, and that was only because I had a limited opportunity to secure a Ghost edition.

      Sorry, that was a lie, I also pre-ordered WatcH_Dogs, to get the Dedsec edition with the figurine. I guess I got some extra digital content too but it was the figurine that coloured my decision. I went Ghost with Destiny for the Ghost along with the DLC season pass.

    i dont care too much for the bonuses such as faster upgrade, bonus xp or weapons etc. BUT i hate it when there is bonus levels!
    reason i hate it, sometimes im late to a series and as a result those extra levels which sometimes explain side stories etc are gone, i cant access them, its not like the publisher goes hey we will make this stuff available for free after a year, they just dont do it, if you miss it at launch you miss it, which sucks

    One and only preorder that was 'worth it' - Tales of Vesperia. Niche series, average EB was going to have 0-1 copies.

      This used to be the case with just about every niche JRPG released by companies like Atlus as well. Stuff had very limited print runs, didn't get a lot of copies per store, and if you didn't order there was a good chance you were going to miss out on a copy. Things seemed to change toward the middle of the last gen but I definitely remember some games early on in the 360 and PS3 lifespan being very limited releases that could be hard to find.

        This was the case with any GameCube game at my local EB. They only ordered to fill pre-orders, which meant every purchase was pretty much a leap of faith.

        Which sounds a lot like "Back in my day, the pre-order bonus was actually getting the game you wanted!"

          I remember during the Dreamcast era being forced to preorder online from random retailers because my local EB didn't even stock the games. Getting a second copy of Skies of Arcadia after the first one I got - on preorder - had a printing issue was an ordeal. :( They were bringing something like 150-200 units total into the country for some of those games.

    Hell the only reason I pre-order is convenience and so I don’t forget. If I know come-what-may I’ll be buying the game (ala the new Borderlands game and Farcry 4) I pre-order from Ozgames and then forget about it. It turns up in due course and it’s a fun day at the letterbox…

    (edit: for those of us with little/slow internet still buying on disk)

    Last edited 17/09/14 11:40 am

      Yeah I preorder for the same reason. Normally too busy with life to keep track of game release dates so i just preorder when I see something good, even if it doesn't come with anything, e.g. Smash Bros 3DS. When does it come out? Sometime, but I'll get a text the day before :D

    I Only pre order if i am after a collectors edition of a game that is not gonna be just available on the shelf day 1 (example wow collectors) and it means i don't have to go in Day 1 as i know with my EB Card my pre order will be held onto for over a week. meaning i can just play the game digitally then go pick up my box later :)

    Last edited 17/09/14 11:48 am

    Moral of the story... ditch retail distribution for a digital product. Leave collectors editions for those who like physical copies and art books etc.... Small volume, niche product.

    Also, bring back the pre-release demo!!!

    Here's my issue: We are now paying more at retail with Pre-orders than we are when we shop around on day 1.

    I pre-ordered Disney Infinity 2.0 for 99.95 with a 'free figure' for my son from EB games. Seemed like an ok deal. *shrug*

    Today, the day before release, Big W and Target, are selling these, day 1 for $68 (god bless em) for the starter pack with 3 figures, game, portal and you can also buy another figure of Iron Fist for $7.50 instead of $15.

    Now, figures at EB are $17.95 each btw. So $15 is ALREADY discounted.

    So, with the EB deal, we get $99.95 on day 1 for the game and Ironfist but only with preorder!!!!

    Or

    Big W we can walk in off the street and buy Disney Infinity 2.0 and Iron Fist for $75.50 total on Friday when he gets home from school camp, go, buy lunch from McDonalds, come home, start playing and still be 5 - 10 dollars up on what I would've spent.

    Fuck preorders.

      I remember when some of the later Harry Potter books came out, people would queue half way round the shopping center to get their pre-ordered copy from a book store.... They queued right past the giant pyramid of books just inside the BigW front entrance (which were also cheaper than the bookstore).

        The danger there is that something like Harry Potter is one of the few books that the bookstore will actually be able to make a big profit on. Independent bookstores were really struggling around the time of Harry Potter and I happily paid a little more at the bookstore so that they'd stay in business because I wanted to be able to buy books other than Harry Potter or Twilight (which are what Big W specialises in) in the future.

          I agree and it's always tricky with less popular or niche products. I was more referring to how absurd the situation appeared to an onlooker.

          Also this was one of the massive chain bookshops like borders or something (they did well didn't they?) so it's not exactly the david and goliath issue.

            Ah. I was going to a non chain bookseller which was tiny but the only other option in that shopping centre.

          Books I'm of a different opinion on but the example is still a good one. Being an english teacher, I'll definitely pay premium for a great book. I'm looking at 400 dollars for a copy of 'The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama' for example which I'm going to gladly pay. But when it comes to games, they're a premium industry and these companies aren't dying off (yet) so it's a little different in that respect.

            You're an English teacher? I had an English teacher who changed my life.
            When teaching snot-nosed kids gets you down remember that there could, one day, be a student who could well have ruined their life if not for you.
            Bravo, sir!

              I did too. I'm still pre-service but will be out in the wild green yonder in a year or so teaching in High schools. While a few people tell me I won't likely get a job due to shortage (a tiny bit of a myth, depends on the subject), I'm completely willing to move to a remote location to work (extra money!). I had the same experience, my old teacher Mrs. Moore in Grade 10 was an inspiration. Loved her dearly, when I found out she died, I was around 30 and I recall being heavily upset over it. She died from old age, but it was still a case of someone so influential on my life (I went back to Uni at 34), always had a special place in my heart.

                Mrs Stavert, English years 9 through 12. Spent more time in her classes than all the other teachers combined.
                I drew a stupid yet intricate picture on my desk in biro which started as a triangle and, over a term or so, grew to cover the entire surface. She caught me doodling one say and instead of getting angry, said, "I was wondering who was drawing that!" She knew I was paying rapt attention. For some reason, drawing in her classes (which I'd never done before or since) was a creative outlet... she recognized that and was OK with it. When the cleaners scrubbed it off during the school holidays we were as disappointed as each other.
                I need to track her down and tell her how much her words on one specific occasion meant to me. Kind of a "You are Lisa Simpson" moment.
                I hope one day someone writes a post online about how influential you were to them - kick-arse teachers are under-appreciated and very rarely get the credit they're due. Good luck with the new career!

                Last edited 17/09/14 10:17 pm

                  Thanks :) I had a great moment recently, where I worked at a school (By law I can't name which one unfortunately), with the grade 7's (now considered part of highschool in terms of prac. One kid, Isaiah, was a huge Islander kid (yes I can say his first name not his last to anyone wondering, no surname, no school, good luck tracking that down :P). Anyhow I digress, he was 'the bully' and pretty much written off by his teacher, who was still a good lady. But he's a kinaesthetic learner, and kinaesthetic learners are not passive, they feel a need to be involved. That's why you'll see fidgety kids in class a lot. They'll sit and listen, but they won't absorb it, they'll move around, not really pay attention etc. I'm sensing you might have been a lot like that, as a lot of kinaesthetic learners find art to be a great outlet. Anyhow, when I teach, I'm *very* animated. I had DULL teachers as a kid and I can't bring that to the classroom. I won't. I consider it a cardinal sin to be boring. I don't have to be Robin Williams every lesson but if I lose you, I'm doing something wrong. So he's been a bit fidgety a few times and I've noticed, I get given the SOSE class for friday, as I teach history as well, and I figure I'll cover Chinese history as that's part of their current unit plan. So I teach them about Pan-Gu, the beginning of time, all the way up to Sun-WuKong the Monkey King. All through this lesson, he's asking questions, he's involved, I'm jumping around, talking, asking questions, moving around the classroom, pointing at maps, drawing on the board, getting kids involved in doing activities and being positive about everything etc.

                  And it continues like that, and I've got Isaiah interested, as well as everyone else. I mean you can't get 100% of the class interested 100% of the time, but you can get their attention at least. On my final day, he actually asked if I can come back in my 4th year and teach there, he'll be in grade 9 by then. Everyone else is shaking my hands, getting freddo frogs from me as a thank you, and he hugged me. Not one other kid had but the class 'bully' as the teacher had pointed him out, had actually hugged me. It was a fantastic feeling to know that even for only a few weeks, I got through to at least one student in an incredibly special way :)

                  Last edited 18/09/14 8:58 am

          Hell, I sent a friend to stand in line at Dymocks for my last Harry potter book

          Granted, she was lining up herself, but no way was I missing that.

        Yup, when I got the last Harry Potter book, I walked right into Dymoks and had my Copy in minutes. Walked outside and saw the long line of people that preordered still downstairs waiting to recieve their copies.

        Then again, if everyone came in trying to get one right from the store then the line in the store would have been just as long.

      I have found jb hi Fi to lower the pre order price if the day 1 price is lower. I have only pre ordered from eb games once and that was for the pokeball 3ds game card holder for pokemon X and I also had a gift card for them.

      I'll only preorder these days at Dick Smith due to the inherent lower price.

      Your reasons are why I will never preorder at EB again.

        Yep. We're done preordering unless they let you preorder at 68 bucks.

    I don't particularly care about preorder bonuses, I just care about snatching a good deal before the Aussie tax gets applied. Alien: Isolation + AC:Unity for $85 from GMG makes retail simply not worth the bother for PC titles, although I'll preorder and price-match console games. I also feel I have enough tat now, so CEs hold far less appeal than they once did.

      Exactly. I got ACU for $55 Australian with a GMG 20% discount code (FWIW they have a 25% code for pre-orders today). That said, I just built a PC and didn't include a DVD drive, so I couldn't shop retail anyway.

    I haven't pre ordered a game since God of War Ascension and that's because I love the series and it came with a Kratos figurine. That to me was a pre order.

    I see FPS with first day double XP bonus, extra gun skins or weapons. Weapons which you can unlock in the game anyway. Skins I don't really care about. The double XP can be a joke as the game release is usually during the week. So I'll get 3 hours double XP because of work.

    The only pre order I will be looking at is Batman with the Bat Mobile. I like collectors stuff. Figurines, something to show. Not digital content which you can unlock later or can't use anyway due to time frame.

    I'm soo excited for MKX in April. Pre order bonus - Get Goro. To me that is not worth it. Now with PSN and me putting a 2TB HDD, I'm just going to directly download to the PS4 which allows you to download the game prior to release date. That way I can lose or scratch the game or get off my fat arse to find it.

    There are few times I pre-order these days, sometimes I know I want a game, and want to play it on day one after pre-loading on Steam. Most of the time however, it's when I buy a game on Steam in that 2-day window after it appears and before the Australia-tax is applied. Like spending $50 on Civ: Beyond Earth, rather than the $90 it has now been jacked up to.

    It's the completeness thing that gets me. If you want to pack in an art book and some fancy packaging, things like that... hey, that's cool. Might be an incentive me to buy at one place over another, depending what it is.

    But when it's DLC stuff and especially retailer-specific DLC, then that just means I won't buy the game at all. I'd rather just leave it and wait and see if there's a GOTY type edition later down the track with all that extra stuff packed in. And then if there isn't one, I end up forgetting about it and happily go without the game at all :P

      Would be nice to see ea move to that model after the more company's will copy

    Love the article. also that's just how it work not everything in pro consumer but the best way to move forwards is price pre orders cheaper or even give beta or pre release access.in the end pre ordering in a gamble and the only way for all of us to win is as said before or timed free excusive.

    Last edited 17/09/14 12:44 pm

    I dislike pre-orders. The only reason I'd pre-order now is to score extra trade credit at EB when trading older games in. And even then its usually the vanilla game and not a special edition. Otherwise I'll just walk in off the street on day 1 of a game's release and pick up a copy if I can't wait to get it. Or go onto GMG or Ozgames.

    Also, if you pre-order a game now (for PS4 or Xbone or even PC) you ought to be able to get a code to pre-download the installation files in order to minimise the time between release and getting in on the action.

    I often have pre-orders at EB Games, but that's because I've returned something or traded in games, and it's easier to leave the credit sitting on a preorder for something than to faff about with credit card refunds or gift cards.

    And let's face it, there's nothing that will stop me getting the new Assassin's Creed game on launch day, so why not take the free pants if they're on offer?

    I usually pre-order if I know it's something I want to play on release or if there's beta / early access involved. Not so much for the bonuses ... but I wouldn't say no to pre-order pants!

      Oh, and I've been caught out before ... always pre-order Pokemon!

        Same here, just payed off my preorder for both Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, one for me, one for my girlfriend. Pokemon does that to my wallet :P

    I like the way you write, Mark. LET'S BE FRIENDS!

    I might preorder a download key if it means I get it at a discounted price, but in store I've only prepordered consoles to make sure I get one on launch day. I don't really care about the bonus DLC, if the game can't stand up on its own without DLC then I won't bother with the game.

    I like a lot of the pre-order BONUSES. I'll list some examples;

    Aliens Colonial Marines. Univerally panned, but that's a cool Power Loader grappling with an alien. Who knew the game would be so bad? It wasn't worth it, but it's still a pretty good statue.

    Marvel vs Capcom 3. I pre-ordered this from overseas and it came with an awesome Shuma/Servbot shirt, steel case, Jill/Shuma "DLC", comic, was cheaper, etc... I was just really happy with it. UMvC3 came out later and I pre-ordered multiple copies from the different stores to get the bonus alternate costumes... but they were available later after launch, and I had to resell the copies, so it wasn't so great.

    Ace Attorney Dual Destinies... the DLC costumes came free if you pre-ordered it, but was available for $1 afterwards if you didn't. I love the series but misplaced my card so I couldn't get it beforehand, and I didn't care enough for the costumes to get it afterwards.

    Last of Us Ellie/Joel editions... I ordered this late and wanted the Ellie edition but it was sold out, but managed to snag the Joel edition. Ni No Kuni I also found out about late, and I didn't buy it at all because I wanted the collector's edition.

    So yeah sometimes it's worth it, and sometimes it's not. It depends whether it's an exclusive or not. In the case of Alien: Isolation, I'm happy for them to include the original cast as a preorder BONUS to sweeten the pot, but it shouldn't be an EXCLUSIVE... because ppl who are reserved about buying the game shouldn't be penalized for not picking it up day 1.

    I guess what I would like to see is maybe a separation of the bonuses to the game. Like say you have a Colonial Marines statue. It's packaged with the game for an additional price... say $40. They should make it available to buy separately. So options: Standalone game: $60, Bundle: $100, Statue alone: $60.

    If people don't like pre-order bonuses, then they often simply stop happening, and everything goes digital and we don't see them anymore. That's just really annoying for those of us that want cool things like Amaterasu snow globes, or Resident Evil jackets or something... plus then some other regions like Japan get something cool and ppl whinge that we don't get it here. Pre-ordering physical items helps establish how much demand there will be for something, which is understandable from a business point of view. It's kind of like making a Facebook event for a BBQ and inviting people but not knowing how many people would show up if they don't commit. Do you then buy too much or too little meat?

    Ltd editions are dumb, exclusive content that is usually worthless, or stupid material possessions. Games rarely sell out these days, you can always find them somewhere.

    I think the only reason digital preorders should even really be a thing is woth a discount.
    But then, isn't JB usually cheaper than EB too? Isn't everyone cheaper than EB nowadays?

    The article doesn't give it much weight as an argument for pre ordering, but availablity is a factor. One situation that stands out in the recent past were the Destiny Ghost and limited editions. If you didn't preorder those you had next to no chance of getting one on or after launch day.

    Was a decent bonus too, with the cheaper Season Pass and nice art additions like the Arms and Armements book. Certainly better than PANTS!

    In the end it comes down to what you want as an individual.

    Halo: MCC.

    I can preorder from EB and get a metal case + early access to the Infinite Ammo skull.

    Or

    I can preorder from JB and get the map book + early access to the Grunt Birthday skull.

    Both skulls were normal, in game things in previous games, so that kinda annoys me, but they will eventually be released for all. I want the case and the map book, so that sucks. What I'm massively disappointed with is that no Aus retailer is getting the version Game UK got, which had case, map book AND a cool statue of MC.

    you forgot to mention the main benefit to aussies for pre-orders on the day they announce the pre-order, that is getting it at a normal price before the Australia tax is added ;)

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