Stop Preordering Video Games

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Stop Preordering Video Games

It seems like everywhere you look, a new video game is broken. Your time and your money deserve better.

So stop preordering video games.

This isn’t the first time I’ve said this. It won’t be the last. More than anything else — the advertising, the budgets, the DLC — it’s the culture surrounding preorders that is most responsible for the trail of broken and unfinished games that clutter the sales charts, and for the anger and angst that follow in its wake.

There once was a time, 10-15 years ago, when the concept of pre-ordering made sense. Every video game on the market was pressed onto a disc, and those discs had to be manufactured, shipped and sold in a store. Often, due to demand, popular games would sell out, leading to frustrated customers (and lost profits for businesses).

Soon enough, though, companies like Gamestop and Amazon figured out that if you could pay for a game before it shipped, then you could avoid missing out. Publishers would have a better idea of how many boxes they’d actually need to ship, and customers could guarantee they’d get hold of the latest game as soon as it was released, avoiding the small but genuine heartache of a sold-out sign.

It was a good arrangement! At least, it was for a time. It didn’t take long for publishers and retailers to realise, though, that once a customer put their money down for a game that wasn’t finished, that customer was on the hook.

Usually, preordering the game only costs a percentage of the final price. You pay a small sum up front, and the full price when you pick up the game. You may think that by putting $US10 (or more!) down on a game you’re interested in, you’re reserving yourself a copy. Maybe getting some sweet Collector’s Edition swag. But in the eyes of publishers, you’re a guaranteed sale, regardless of what kind of state the game actually ships in once it’s deemed finished.

This is a serious problem. There once was a time when, even moreso than advertising, video game reviews and word of mouth played the most important part in determining the success of a new game. A commercial can tell you anything, but if someone you know or at least trust has played a game you’re interested in and has an opinion on it, that information is far more useful.

“This game is awesome!” is what an advertisement will tell you. “This game is kinda OK but also broken in parts and runs badly!” is what a friend or a review might say. One of those things is a lot more useful than the other.

If you’re in the business of making or selling video games, opinions can be bad for business. Same goes for facts, like the fact that a game doesn’t run well on PC, or the fact that the credits roll after just a few boring hours. Preordering removes both of those things from the equation. By getting your commitment to purchase a game in advance, when all you’ve got to go on is a marketing campaign, you’re signalling that you’re totally cool spending $US40-$US60 on a game simply on the strength of how it’s been marketed.


“This game is awesome!” is what an advertisement will tell you. “This game is kinda OK but also broken in parts and runs badly!” is what a friend or a review might say.


Time was, you could download a demo of a game and try it out at home. Why have demos more or less ceased to exist? Preorders are why. Want to know why exclusive missions and items are withheld from everyone’s game and are instead sprinkled across various competing retailers? Preorders are why. Want to know why it’s now accepted that you can sometimes pay more for a multiplayer game and start with a competitive advantage? Preorders are why.

Last fall’s Assassin’s Creed Unity launched with noticeable technical issues on consoles and PC. What incentive does Ubisoft have to improve the next game in the series if people are already preordering it? What incentive does Microsoft have for learning from its disastrous Halo: The Master Chief Collection if tons of fans have gone ahead and put down money for Halo 5? Little to none.

Warner Bros.’s move to take Arkham Knight off Steam is almost unprecedented, and I’m guessing there’s a reason for that: Steam’s new refund policy. As Arkham Knight’s PC version fell on its face, Steam users were for the first time exercising their rights en masse to get their money back. Publishers have been taking abuse and criticism for years and simply rolling with it. They will promise fixes and sometimes they will deliver; sometimes they won’t. While I don’t know how many people actually got Steam refunds for Arkham Knight, I’d guess that Warner was taking enough of a financial hit that they pulled the game — again, almost unprecedented for a AAA game like this one — and promised to come back when it was fixed.

It’s 2015. Most games are available digitally. As for retail, there are vastly improved metrics for determining the popularity of a game at the time of release, so your chances of missing out on a copy at launch are slim. And even if you do miss out, it’s not the end of the world: take the day or two that you’re on the sideline to see if the game you thought looked cool in a trailer actually looks cool on YouTube or Twitch. See if your friend who bought it says it’s fun; see what your favourite video game website thinks of it.

In terms of exclusive pre-order “goodies”… snap out of it. The stuff you’re getting with “Collector’s Editions” is not for collectors. It’s junk. It’s mostly just cheap figures and statues, useless trinkets, over-sized boxes and half-assed art books. If you really want to be a superfan and own some cool stuff associated with your favourite game, take the money you save by not buying a $US100-200 Collector’s Edition and go buy an actual art book, or hit up etsy and get a fan-made blaster pistol to mount on your wall. In terms of bonus skins and weapons… no matter how much you want that golden shotgun or Adam West Batman skin, consider letting it go. Even if the exclusive digital stuff is genuinely cool, like a free mission or an interesting set of in-game abilities, it’s still inextricably tied to a practice designed to get as much of your money up front as possible.

There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Lovers of obscure imported video games often need to preorder because that’s the only way publishers like XSEED can get copies into stores. And while brand new games are an unknown quantity, stuff like Legacy of the Void’s prologue missions — a mini-campaign available which preorder customers will get before anyone else — seems a pretty good deal. But stuff like this is the exception, not the rule.

I’m not saying stop being interested in video games. Not even upcoming ones (though it’s almost always more fun to talk about games that already exist). We all love games; games are rad. People get excited about Fallout 4, about Persona 5, about Halo 5, and about whatever else. That’s all cool. I’m not even suggesting that through some amazing feat of internet-enabled activism, we’ll be able to collectively send publishers a message and get them to stop pushing preorders. That’s never going to happen.

But when it comes down to it, preorders suck. They’re a shitty practice, and they exist not to serve you, but to serve the people who sell video games. Participating in a shitty practice helps propagate that shitty practice. So stop participating.

Comments

  • To be fair, preordering isn’t the issue. Publishers and developers should make sure their game actually works before the game is released. A completely lack of quality control is the issue here. These problems could have been addressed months ago if RockSteady / WB weren’t so terrible at their jobs.

    • It’s not a far leap to see pre-orders as an excuse for lax quality control. They’ve got your money before you have any idea about the quality of the product, so why care about the quality of the product?

      • If you preorder from say EB or JB, you only put $10 or so down, they don’t have your money at all. Only time they have your money is you preorder from digital then you have to put it all down.

        • How many people cancel preorders? I don’t have the numbers but I’d be willing to bet that it’s a very small amount.

          You’ve committed to purchasing the game. As far as the publisher is concerned, that’s a sale, even if they’ve only got $10 of it so far.

          Edit: This point is also addressed in the article:
          Usually, preordering the game only costs a percentage of the final price. You pay a small sum up front, and the full price when you pick up the game. You may think that by putting $US10 (or more!) down on a game you’re interested in, you’re reserving yourself a copy… But in the eyes of publishers, you’re a guaranteed sale, regardless of what kind of state the game actually ships in once it’s deemed finished.

          • In my experience I cancel preorders all the time, as I pick them up a day or two late to see how they’re received.

            But that’s just me, and for the shop, specially EB it’s not a commitment to purchasing.

          • If you (or anyone else) feel like cancelling the collectors edition of fallout 4 with the pip boy that is exclusive to EB and sold out already. Please let me know.

          • Why do you preorder if you’re going to wait a day or two to see how the games are received? why would you preorder in the first place?
            Just trying to be difficult?

        • Mightyape don’t take any deposit, they only charge your card when the game is ready to ship. You can cancel at anytime too.

          • I don’t see any denial, just people disagreeing with the article’s message. I don’t think we’re that far into our grim dystopian future that we’re obliged to agree with everything published on the interwebs.

        • EB bases their buying from the distributor on preorder numbers. So the distributor gets that money when the order comes in.

          • So? Return the game if it doesn’t work. Whilst maybe EB pays the distributor before hand, they’re not paying with your money. Okay maybe the $10 preorder, which you can totally get back if you want.

          • They’re buying based on preorders. More preorders means more money for the distributors. The system is for them. Not for the customer.

        • Yeah but in that scenario, EB have bought a number of copies based on expectations & preorders so now it’s their problem. The publisher still has their money…

      • I think like with anything pre-orders are just once piece of a giant puzzle resulting in games coming out broken. It could be management under pressure from someone to release on the release date and they make a decision to release and damage control.

        It could be something that just wasnt catered to in dev and qa which just happened to rear its head. External resources could have misrepresented the state of game (Batman for instance, the external PC resources could have said yup its all good, but in reality there were some configurations which certainly werent)

        I think if you consider the amount of negative PR a broken, misrepresented product can do, nobody is going to be making a concious decision to be “We already have there money from pre orders! Haha who cares if it doesnt work lolololol”

        People can still get refunds… and the negative PR as I said is very damaging. So pre-orders being the be all and end all; highly unlikely. But the article still rings true in the fact you probably shouldnt pre order games at the moment because of the ongoing trend of broken products…just wait for some reviews and word of mouth experience before deciding to buy it.

        • I don’t think that preorders are the be all and end all of this problem. But they’re the part of the problem that we can address.

          • Preorders typically only make up 30-40% of week one sales, 10-15% of month one sales (based on analysis of AAA Steam sales in 2014, and comments by Gamestop EVP Mike Mauler). The idea that publishers would deliberately release broken games to prioritise the first 15% over the much higher income-per-period of normal sales is conspiratorial fantasy.

            The reality is that preordering really doesn’t make much difference at all to publisher plans. If a game is broken at launch, the overwhelming odds are that it was going to be that way whether people preordered or not. The advice against preordering is meant to be personal, to save you money if the game turns out to get bad launch reviews, and in that respect it’s solid advice. Adding on the whole ‘the industry makes broken games because you preorder’ is the equivalent of ‘Jesus cries because you touch yourself at night’, a fiction attached to try to scare people who otherwise didn’t care.

    • I think pre-ordering is part of the issue. It puts pressure on a developer to release an unfinished game. I think a lot of publishers would rather ship a 90% ready game then delay because interest in the game will be lost and so will profit. Broken games are pissing gamers off, but gamers are still buying games from these publishers anyway, so why would anything change?

      • But even if people hadn’t preordered the game, it would still have been released on the same day and probably still be as broken as it is. The blame isn’t on the consumer for trying to secure their product, it’s on the devs for not doing their job properly.

        And really, let’s be honest, the cycle of “broken now, patch it later” game development has been around for years. Since WiFi and home broadband became an acceptable expense. Patches and hot fixes can be sent out immediately which means lazy development.

        • I think pre-orders are still a factor in this.
          I don’t have any numbers or facts, but I imagine they look at statistics of:
          pre-orders cancelled due to broken release
          vs.
          pre-orders cancelled due to delayed release

          I’m guessing they find more people cancel when it’s delayed, so they focus on getting it out on time.

          But yes, the way technology has evolved, making a day 1 3GB patch not so bad compared to 10 years ago, would also be a major factor here too.

          I don’t think this issue will ever go away either…

      • The other side of this problem is the internet itself. when games came on CD or cartridge, there was little option to actually patch the game, so most were done to a perceived level of quality that devs are no longer held to.

    • I don’t Pre-order for this very reason. Pre-ordering itself is a great idea, especially at local stores, it allows people to plan for games, because lets face it they are expensive. Even on PC (my platform) it allows you to preload the game in most cases, making it ready to go on the day.

      The problem is, as you said… Developers/Publishers have no idea what quality control is. They delegated the job of optimizing the PC version (a feat in itself due to the diversity of hardware) to a company that has a background in mobile apps and last gen console, who boasts only a team of 12 and only was given (apparently) two weeks.

      Developers constantly release incentives for us to Pre-Order. When in reality its not needed, we want the game! We are not unreasonable, full optimization is impossible before release, even after in some cases. Get the game too us that runs smooth in most cases/situations, a dip every so often or a particular area that is somewhat more taxing is fine, on the extreme even a setting might require high instead of ultra while waiting for a patch, but this?… It’s a joke.

      As for putting pressure on developers, that is utter bullshit sorry. They already announce games 2 or 3 years ahead of release in some cases, for the love of god instead of saying it will release in early 20XX say late 20XX, give yourself some breathing room and if its finished before that date then tell us the good news. Imagine they told us batman was late 2015 when it all started… now imagine they released it in August fully working instead of December. Not only did we get a early release but it runs smoothly! No damage whatsoever… Now look at it the other way, they tell us its mid 2015, great we have to wait a little less overall. But the release is rushed = Pissed gamers.. They delay it a month then another month = pissed gamers. Its a no-brainer for me.

    • Companies are just pushing the boundaries bit by bit making it worse for gamers with on disc DLC, exclusive content, misleading trailers, DRM and now broken games. And for each problem the best way to fight it is with our wallets (by keeping it closed).

      But no one listens.

      People still keep throwing money at these exploitative practices. It will only get worse if they can just keep getting away with it. Not pre-ordering probably puts the LEAST strain on your willpower to not spend.

      Just. Fkin. Wait.

    • I’m pretty sure they’ll make it available again to the rest of the fanboys and all those pre-orders don’t stop them (or even discourage them) from putting out whatever they want now and if there is an issue just patching it after and saying “We’re totally sorry guys, our bad”.

      • Nope. They already made a little more and all gone. The only way you can pick one up now is wait for cancellations or ebay it.

        To be perfectly honest, just preorder the collectors and not standard game. Standard will be available forever and no point preordering it. That would solve the problem mentioned in the article.

        Usually, preordering the game only costs a percentage of the final price. You pay a small sum up front, and the full price when you pick up the game. You may think that by putting $US10 (or more!) down on a game you’re interested in, you’re reserving yourself a copy… But in the eyes of publishers, you’re a guaranteed sale, regardless of what kind of state the game actually ships in once it’s deemed finished.

      • Also, it’s just a piece of plastic to wrap around an iPhone. I’ll be shocked if it’s actually decent quality.

          • Just a realist who has come to many of the same conclusions as the author of the article. I love games just as much when I purchase them on sale a couple of days (or years!) after release at a department store, without any of the stuff that will ultimately just clutter up the spare room.

          • I want to use it as an excuse for a Fallout cosplay at Supanova, as I cannot make things myself. But alas, I expected it would last as long as most other “limited edition” items have been lately. I was very wrong.

  • But, there’s still a chance I might miss the collectors edition ):

    Although that was cancelled for Batman. But I couldn’t be stuffed fixing it so I just went with it.

    But I did cancel by collectors edition for Ninja Gaiden 3 after hearing how bad the game was. Not just in terms of a broken engine but how the entire concept for the game was dead. Still picked it up a few months later for chump change.

  • I don’t get this article at all. Most people I know who pre-order only do for games they’re absolutely sure they want to get, with the bonuses being tossed in being more like icing on the cake than the reason they decide to pre-order.

    No review or post release nonsense is going to change whether people wanted to buy a game they were willing to pay upfront cash for. Let’s take Batman, even the Kotaku review until yesterday read like it was a game worth buying (now it has a disclaimer for the PC version as the reviewer played it on PS4).

    However PC gamers across the glove voiced their issues about the game and developer pulled it from the store. Now assuming people who pre-ordered are likely the same people who would’ve purchased at launch (if the option to pre-order was removed) none of this would have been averted. A demo would have had you playing a small stable section of the game where this issue would have likely not come to light as well.

    At the end of the day I see the value behind having the option to pre-order, I also see how developers abuse the system to get people to pre-order. However if you want a game badly enough to lock in a copy for yourself before release you accept the risks associated with that.

    If you want to punish publishers and developers who release broken games you’re probably going to have a better impact on their bottom line if you just boycott or be extremely cautious around their games. E.g. I’ve learnt to be careful around Bungie, EA and Ubisoft releases and never pre-order their games anymore. However I’m glad I pre-ordered the Witcher 3 and Infamous Second Son and Wolfenstein. Like every conceivable issue out there pre-orders have their benefits and their disadvantages and it usually comes down to how people use/abuse the service.

    tl;dr – Pre-order a game if you trust the publisher/developer (aka CDPR), wait a month after release if you don’t.

    • The cult of the new is a problem in games. If you look at games media and the discussions on various sites, you could easily think that the most important time for a game is right before it comes out.

      Must have now! Don’t wait! Buy!

      Why?

      Yes, there are people who are going to rush out and buy something no matter what. That doesn’t mean that their reasoning for doing so is sound, nor does it mean that we should do the same.

      Why give publishers the chance to burn you? Why rush in when you can wait and make an informed decision? An informed consumer has power. They can act. They can boycott. An uninformed consumer has no power. By preordering, you are deciding to be an uninformed consumer.

      Preorders make sense when scarcity is an issue. That is rarely the case.

      • To be fair trjn I don’t believe your argument captures the majority of any consumer base because let’s face it at the end of the day an uninformed consumer is the perfect consumer from a corporate perspective. Hell I don’t believe the concept of making informed decisions even captures the majority of the human race. Your average person on the street is likely uninformed/doesn’t care to be informed on a number of things they would be making decisions on. Is it fair? Is it how it should be? No. But it is how it is.

        With regards to pre-orders while I personally never buy CE’s (except for Second Son cos I liked the beanie) I see why people would want to reserve them. Why remove the option to pre-order something the consumer wants and instead make the queue up outside the store in hopes they might get the CE goodies on release? Once again I believe the people who buy pre-orders are the same consumers who are likely to buy the game on release, pre-orders just allow them the luxury of reserving that copy when they have the free time to get into the store and lock it in.

        Case in point the Fallout 4 Pip-boy edition. While I didn’t get one myself I believe they’re already sold out, and I’ll probable pre-order the normal version of the game because I trust Bethesda and I’d like to confirm their game sale to me for their balance sheet before it’s released. Why exactly is that a bad thing?

        I think utilizing pre-orders is a choice made at the consumer level and I for one would be quite pissed off if I wasn’t given the option to decide if I wanted to take advantage of the ability to pre-order. It also provides developers some financial security and yes like you say some abuse this security. So do what everyone should be doing in a capitalist democracy. Vote with your $$$, as opposed to looking at taking away freedoms other gamers enjoy.

        P.S. I’m sure most people don’t use pre-orders like this but I actually use them to manage my gaming budget for every year. I put aside all my expected expenses following every E3 and lock in my must buys through pre-orders and then put aside an emergency fund for any games that surprise me. It gives me the ability to pre-pay my upcoming expenses and manage my finances on either a quarterly, 6 monthly or FY basis.

        Edit: Someone mentioned this further down and I think it bears some connection to your comment of an informed consumer base. E3; previews of games, betas, early access all serve the underlying purpose of creating an uninformed consumer base because at the end of the day (especially recently) they are very rarely representative of the final product that ends up getting shipped.

        • You’re right, an uninformed consumer is a perfect consumer from a corporate perspective. But we have the ability not to be one. We have the ability to wait and make informed decisions that are in our best interest, instead of making uninformed decisions that benefit the publishers.

          I’m not saying that we should take away people’s option to preorder, I’m saying that we should exercise the option not to do it. We see very little benefit from it.

          I manage my gaming budget in a much simpler way: I wait. I don’t remember the last game that I bought on release. A great game is still great several months later when it’s on sale for a fraction of the price.

          Look at Fallout 4. Preordering that has come up a lot in these comments (including your own). Bethesda has a terrible history when it comes to game launches. Absolutely terrible. It’s well known that they make fantastic games that come out with a plethora of bugs that get fixed over several months. Yet people are going to preorder it anyway. They’re going to buy it day one and then complain about the bugs that should be expected at this point. Why support that? Why risk the frustration?

          We’re the enthusiasts. We’re the people that know certain publishers have a history of certain practices. If anyone has the capacity to make informed decisions, it should be us. Why waste that opportunity?

          EDIT: Regarding your edit, you’re aware that you just said that you base your purchase decisions off of E3 and then say that the endless marketing machine helps create an uninformed consumer base?

          • I don’t think I’ve ever played a Bethesda game that hasn’t been buggy (even 6 months after release) but I’m happy for that to be the case because they deliver on everything else that matters. I’ve also never played a Bethesda game that hasn’t given me a minimum of 100 hours of game time. I’m willing to make uninformed financial decisions for certain publishers/developers that I trust if it provides them with some financial security (lets face it the games industry is hardly the paragon of financial security). If they abuse that trust they won’t get it back any time soon, e.g. BioWare.

            Yeah I got burnt on DA:I with my pre-order but not many companies do what they used to do with their games so I was willing to take the risk of an uninformed decision. Even informed the majority consensus was DA:I was an amazing game however I absolutely detested it. *shrug* So yeah I might get burnt sometimes but in the long run I know the developer that abuses my trust is the one that loses. EA have probably lost hundreds of dollars from me over the years as I boycott 80-90% of their games. Ubisoft are well on their way there with Bungie shortly behind. Maybe they got my money once or twice but they lose me the next 5-6 times. I can live with that balance of risk to reward.

            Edit: Missed your edit; I’m willing to make certain decisions off what I see in E3 and marketing materials and other’s I put on my wait and see list. What I was trying to say is the only way to be a truly “informed consumer” is to boycott all forms of marketing and preview materials and only take a look at a game after it’s been released. Not exactly possible in this day and age or realistict? E.g. Battlefront was a must buy for me, after seeing the gameplay and how.. unimpressive/vanilla it seemed at E3 it’s gone on my wait and see list.

          • You don’t have to boycott marketing, just don’t buy into it. Once a game is out in the wild, it’s very easy to form an opinion on it. A little patience pays off tremendously.

          • I’ve always believed exposure to anything even if you choose to “not buy into it” will still result in formulating an impression within your mind. Hence I think it’s fairly impossible to go into a game purchase being completely “informed”, you are bound to have certain expectations even post release. Expectations that reviews and articles will sometimes reinforce and sometimes degrade but sooner or later will get wrong. Case in point DA:I all the reviews and articles I read reinforced my expectations for the game but when I played it I regretted pre-ordering it.

            And as I stated previously it’s not about patience for me. It comes down to a) convenience b) supporting a dev/publisher I like c) having the freedom to use it if I want. So far I haven’t been burned often enough to think pre-orders are inherently bad. And I don’t see enough worthwhile information post-launch to ever make me rethink pre-ordering a game. I had reservations about Batman so I didn’t pre-order, I had expectations for DA:I so I did. However none of the information that’s come to light since both these games launched would have impacted to my decision to pre-order at all.

            To summarize as I see it, gaming preference is incredibly subjective and while it seems more rational to wait post-release for information, you can never really be certain if it will justify your payment of the game. Sure it might tilt your odds here and there but for me it doesn’t do enough to justify losing any of the points I stated above for why I utilize pre-orders. If it does for you then you don’t get enough value from pre-ordering. *shrug* to each their own at the end of the day.

  • Also, you might say, order Batman from ozgameshop for $69. Because it’s the cheapest price around.

    Then you watch all the major shops drop their prices to $69. So you could have paid the same amount and gotten your game on day 1, instead of having to wait 10 days for it to come by mail.

  • I’ll still preorder of there is a nice looking collectors edition I want. The Pip Boy edition of Fallout 4 will most likely be terrible lightweight cheap plastic but I still want it. The Bloodborne Nightmare edition’s book tin is real nice and the quill pen is pretty neat. Destiny’s Ghost was surprisingly high quality (even though I gave it away due to not liking the game). I regret cancelling The Witcher 3 collectors as it turned out to be great.

    That said, if I don’t want the collectors I won’t preorder and bonus missions, skins and such hold no interest for me. Rare I even bother with any DLC for a game and never purchased a season pass.

  • I can’t help it when Oz Gameshop and Greenman Gaming sell it at the prices that American’s pay for full price ;-;

  • The only winner in the Exclusive Content Wars is the company offering the exclusive content; the consumer always loses.

    • Not really.If you are on the platform of the exclusive content, you win compare to the other platform. You both paid the same amount of money and you get more stuff.

      It’s like I could go coles and buy 1 banana and free apple and you go to woolies and got 1 banana only. I get an extra apple but you don’t therefore I win and at the same time, more people buy banana from coles made coles earn more money as well.

      Win-win for the company + consumer on that platform.

      • if i have a ps4 and buy game x with “exclusive PS4 content” (content that was ripped out of the game for no god damn reason), and the Xbox gets “exclusive Xbone content,” I am being ripped off.

        For the grocery analogy, I would have to be presented with the following choice:

        Half an apple from Coles, with an additional 1/4 of an apple if I buy it from there, OR
        Same half of the same apple from Woolies, with the other 1/4 of the apple if I buy it from there

        In both cases, I’m missing a 1/4 of the apple for no good reason and have no chance of having a whole apple, unless I buy from both Coles and Woolies – in which case I’ve got 2 and a bit apples, for the price of two and a bit apples, when I only wanted one apple. Fuck you, I’m going to Aldi.

        • But the thing is, there are no such case that the same game have different exclusive content on both console. Only one will get exclusive content which is the company that paid money to the publisher.

          If you are talking about preorder bonus from different retailers, that is a different story. I hate those piece of shit different retailer bullcrap.

          • …yet. We live in a day where we now have “Standard,” “Premium,” “Deluxe,” and “Collector’s Edition” of a fucking NFL game.

          • Screw those stupid editions. You know what is more annoying? For some bizarre reason, the highest tier edition does not have the DLC from the lower tier editions. You spend $200-300 expecting it to have all the tiny little dlc codes but nope, you gotta buy the $120 and $180 ones to get everything.

  • I’ve rarely had issues with preordered games but that’s just me. But NOTHING will stop me Metal Gear Solid V. A bloody tornado, glitches and broken questlines wouldn’t stop me neither would busted servers. I need that game like air.

  • Well this is the supposed to be the year of no preordering.

    I knew the Fallout Pipboy edition would break a few oaths lol

  • I feel like I’m doing preordering wrong, because of the very few preorders I’ve placed, they’re all for the base game because I want it ASAP at the cheapest price I can get at the time (ozgameshop). I don’t normally preorder either, but in this case I only did because I was really hyped for the actual game.

  • “STOP SUPPORTING RETAIL WORKERS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES IN ORDER TO ATTACK DEVELOPERS AND PUBLISHERS!!!” – is all I got from this article…

    Sorry but if game devs/publishers were less complacent about their products and put more effort into the final product, gave it that little more testing time and made sure to have valid support for the user, there wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Maybe stop announcing dates when the game is in fucking pre-pre-pre-pre alpha? Oh hang on, I forgot, this is Kotaku… Thought I was reading a Serrels article for a minute.

    Preordering for me is like laybuying with way longer terms. I’ve always got that 7 day return loaded up just in case (*COUGH *UBISOFT* COUGHT*).

    • Maybe send them back to the publisher as defective products? We have to take them back to you, and you suffer for their mistakes. That’s not very fair, of course, but you’re entirely unjustified in raging at the consumer for it.

      As someone who managed retail (clothing), if we received a shipment of products with holes in them, they got sent back. In saying that, I’ve never worked in the gaming industry, but I don’t understand why the same principle wouldn’t apply. You can’t be truly expected to sell faulty products.

      • Well, that’s another interesting thing.
        A retailer like EB has a no questions asked return policy for 7 days on console games because they can resell that item. PC games with Steam keys are strictly no returns.
        So when people have been rightfully getting refunds on Batman PC this week, that stock is effectively destroyed, and they then have to incur the cost of a hefty administration process to send it back to the distributor for refund / replacement. This would not be a normal, efficient minimal cost process for them.
        Retailers like EB would be very pissed off at this Batman issue.

      • If EB sells defective hardware, which is later returned, they send it back to the manufacturer for a refund themselves. It seems fairly simple to me.

        You preorder a game, it releases and it’s buggy or the content is crap…..so just return it then. Obviously this isn’t great for the retailer, but it keeps the consumer happy, which would likely make the customer happy to come back to the retailer at a later date.

    • What?
      So we shouldn’t pursue methods that would make devs/publishers less complacent and instead blame Kotaku for reporting on games?

  • It’d be nice if game reviewers would stop giving a free pass to developers who tie game content to pre-orders, because it really is a ridiculous and exploitative system that often ends with customers getting screwed.

    I’ve suggested it before, but Kotaku could start adding an ‘Exploitometer’ to their reviews making it clear that a title is going to nickle-and-dime you if you just pay RRP.

    Games like Forza 5 had their entire game system built around f*cking people over. Multiple types of pre-order bonuses, the time required to unlock vehicles in-game was unbalanced by microtransactions, cars were intentionally removed from free-run mode to create a paywall…. The whole thing was terribly exploitative and while most reviewers noted it, not many put it front and centre when it came time to hand out a review score or summarize the game.

    • It’s getting to the point where you need a hundred copies of a game to truly clock it – one from each retailer and one for each console.

    • As much as I enjoy the Forza series, their approach to DLC and pre-order bonuses really out me off. I remember buying some Forza DLC and discovering that one of the cars was millions of dollars of in-game money (like weeks of work to earn millions). WTF?

  • The first and only game I preordered was The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, so I could get my gold Wiimote.

    I regret nothing!

    I certainly don’t plan on preordering anything in the future, though.

    • I did that one too, My first Game preorder Was also A Zelda game – Wind Waker for the Gamecube as i wanted the OoT/master Quest Disc

  • I love Destiny (yes, I know) and pre-ordered the first Season Pass based on the Tumbler Sparrow bonus and things like the Necrochasm and Radiant Dance Machines looked awesome. How wrong I was – they are all very ordinary items in game. Now they are pulling even more shit with The Taken King expansion. I’ve learnt my lesson.

    • I wanted to make this point in my comment; I’m glad someone else did. Previews are part of the same vicious cycle of hyping consumers up before a game is released. If this writer really is against pre-orders he should also be against previews and creating expectations for a game before seeing it in it’s finished state.

      • Previewing is not wrong BUT paid to hide issues is the worst. Look at Batman, I’m sure they previewed the game on PC build as well and I am sure there knew of problem but they just kept their mouth shut about it. Now that is a fucking problem.

        • More likely the developer presented an alpha or beta version of the PC build with only stable sections of the game being shown off (i.e. to closed off or cordoned sections of the game). Previews allow gamers to see a game out of context; part of the story is still misinformation because a single sentence can mean very different things depending on the context its used in. Just like a game can be very different based on the context the snippet they show off to journalists in previews can be seen in.

          I don’t believe the case of bribing journalists to write good reviews is rampant in the industry; at best it’s a one-off practice. That said I’ve also reached a point where I put more stock in meta-critic audience scores and only read reviews for the enjoyment for appreciating an author’s writing.

          • I expect they developed and tested on one form of graphics card that just happened to not be in the range of affected products, completely unaware of potential issues that would cause.

        • Just like saying no more pre-orders is a bit much?

          Personally I’m for previews and marketing crap and pre-orders but I think if you’re to take a stance against one of them you should against all. Especially if the underlying argument for standing against pre-orders is to get the developer to release a quality product that will be held up to scrutiny in reviews.

      • Along a similar line as previews I think having a review embargo is also a very dodgy practice. IMO it is pretty much there because they are worried it will review bad and don’t want people to find out before it is actually released.

  • Nope, sorry. Luke is talking shit once again.

    Pre-ordering is not the reason for games being put out as “broken”, the current digital age is. Given that content patches or fixes can be applied at anytime for a game, developers just need to deliver a product that is finished, bug testing can be fixed later. Games are usually shipped out to printers weeks before release day to be mass produced for sale, so sometimes there will still be bugs in the code, hence the “day 1 patch” that we’ve all come to know and “love”.

    However, the points about Preorder content is pretty spot on. But that’s more because consumers have allowed this part of the business model to thrive to the point where it’s become a viable model for companies to use to get extra cash out of you. Just look at Batman: Arkham Knight.

    I bought the Special Edition from EB Games which had 5 DLC packs! 5 packs! Harley Quinn Story, Red Hood Story, Prototype Batmobile, 1st Appearance Batman Skin & Scarecrow mission pack! Not to mention there was a New 52 Skin pack available for free on the PSN Store, and the game gave me a Batman Anime Skin for logging into WB Play in the game. So that’s 7 pieces of DLC “bonus” content on day 1! You know what all this was called in the 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s? UNLOCKABLE CONTENT!! You used to play the game to unlock all this stuff; now you have to preorder the right edition with the right console with the right retailer and then register with the publisher to get the same shit!

    • I agree the ability to patch content post release has seen Quality Control slack off horribly in the past 5 years and is more responsible for things like Arkham City than pre-orders could be.

      Having said that – I’ve never pre-ordered for several reasons, mostly I’m lazy, I don’t want statues and pre-ordering seems to lock you into a price up to $40 over the odds. Anyone looked at the upcoming releases section of an EB catalogue $100 and $110 prices are the standard – no thanks!

  • Fallout 4 is the only game now that I’ll be pre-ordering (already have in fact). Warner Bros were the last straw in burning me out on pre-orders with the Batmobile edition. I have plenty of games to worry about playing without trying to keep track of everything that’s coming up. Plus shelf space is limited for collectors editions.

  • How many instances are there of “exclusive preorder content” NOT being released later down the track as DLC or a GOTY edition? I might be really naive, but usually if you just wait you’ll get the content anyway.

  • So what you’re saying is stop supporting Kickstarter projects and Early Access since they are pre-ordering a game and committing money to an unfinished product?

    • Nooooooo, Kickstarters aren’t pre-orders! They’re donations with a potential reward IF the thing succeeds.

      • Which has even less consumer protection than a preorder. At least you can refund a preorder or cancel it any time prior to release. Surely if the theory here is that giving developers money before the product is finished leads to bad/unfinished products (not that I believe this is true, but it seems to be the gist of the article), Kickstarter and Early Access are much worse examples than preordering is.

        • Absolutely agree. Which is why I don’t do them unless it’s effectively a charitable donation with benefits.

          (However, ‘worse’ is relative. Severe? Risky? Maybe. But many/most kickstarters scrouging for cash don’t have multi-million dollar marketing machines reaching – and negatively affecting – millions of gamers. And we sure as fuck hear about it when a Kickstarter has that reach and fails.)

  • Here here.

    Pre orders have always been a scam.
    Stop pre ordering and publishers are going to have to make sure the game is of quality when its released. Cant believe people think its OK to pre pay for a game, only to receive it broken. That’s unfair trade in Australia.

    Its the silliest way to do business, especially for the consumer. Trade is the exchange for goods or services of an agreed value.
    But in this case, the consumer gives the seller money on the basis of hype or promotion of product that does not yet exist. The seller promises that the product will be A,B and C. The consumer receives the product and it only A and B.

    Who got ripped?

  • “This game is kinda OK but also broken in parts and runs badly!” is what a friend or a review might say.

    Don’t recall seeing much about games being broken or running badly in any BF4 or ACU review (And others). Maybe in follow-up articles, but never the review which most use to make a decision. Just saying.

    • For me, unless it’s a game I must have (Rockstar fanboy), I usually watch actual gameplay from several of my fav youtubes/twitch channels to let me know if the game is something I want to experience the mechanics/story/graphics of.

      Only then after I’ve already made the decision I want to play it, I’ll skim a review or 2 or 3 till I find out a consensus of *how much* gameplay is in there (as in how many hours). Then I work out how much the game is worth to me and buy/wait.

      I may sound a little (lot) stuck up my own arse here, but I’d say if you want a more accurate representation of games than reviews give (because they are so subjective) watch some (20-30 mins) actual gameplay on twitch or the tubes and decide for yourself, rather than take someone elses written word for it.

      Caveat: You didn’t specify what type of review “most” use, so I just went ahead and assumed written, because you mentioned follow up articles. You know what assuming does… makes and ass out of u and me. Mostly (read all) me.

      • I’m sorry this is so long. I agree with you and I also make my purchasing decisions in much the same way as yourself. I very seldom read written reviews for games these days. But my statement was not about the type of review “most” people choose.

        It was that, in this article, they make out as if reviews (Being on a site that does written reviews for games, you can infer that they are including themselves, and other written reviews, in that blanket statement) will tell you if a game has major issues when in fact they seldom do. I’d love for Kotaku and other sites to ad-hear to the ideology in that statement, but the bitter, honest truth is that: most the time, they don’t.

        “This game is awesome!” is what an advertisement will tell you. “This game is kinda OK but also broken in parts and runs badly!” is what a friend or a review might say.

        I’m also not aiming my comment at Kotaku or anyone in particular. When you read IGN’s review of AC Unity or Eurogamers review of BF4 or the MMC, you won’t find anything negative about bugs or performance problems. The way games press is ATM, written reviews on these sites are not reliable sources to make informed purchasing decisions, especially in regards to buggs and performance problems.

        Heck, on IGN’s review for ACU people asked the reviewer how the game performed and he literally said it performed well with no game breaking bugs.

        On top of that, I do feel that Kotaku are, once again, not putting their money where their mouth is. I’ve seen articles on here, more so than any other site I frequent, that know exactly what everyone is doing wrong, but they put very little effort into fixing the problems. And that’s why I made my comment. I’d love for written reviews to be relevant again. More and more of us watch gameplays and have long winded work arounds and research rituals to find out if games actually work and are worth our money, irrespective of what written reviews may say. It’s kinda ridiculous when you think about it.

        I’d love for sites to acknowledge that there is a disconnect between them and their readers (especially when it comes to reviews) and do something about it. Instead they write articles assuming that readers think we can find out about ‘playability’ from their written reviews.

        News flash: We don’t. We watch Angry Joe, Total Biscuit, etc or wait for a follow up article that may take weeks. kotaku, with the state that games are being released in today, please lead the way. Please include something like a bug/ playability report (At least for games that need it). Even a simple one on the side, not attached to the main article.

        Help us make informed decisions from your reviews before claiming, even partially, that your reviews help consumers.

  • For me pre-ordering is the only way I can afford a game sometimes. Means I can pay the fucking thing off before release and not have to shell out up to $100 come launch day.

  • In terms of exclusive pre-order “goodies”… snap out of it. The stuff you’re getting with “Collector’s Editions” is not for collectors. It’s junk. It’s mostly just cheap figures and statues, useless trinkets, over-sized boxes and half-assed art books.

    This is big – People need to snap out of this big time – I did years ago now and I almost fell for the pip boy but sooooo glad i didnt!!!

    I havent pre ordered a game since I noticed JB Hifi would have stacks of 100 copies sitting behind the counter on launch day. No need! Plus you can price match at the point of sale instead of someone taking extra from you because you got the extra pre order dlc bonus which gives you a fucking costume for the protagonist!

    Nope – Put the power back in the consumer people – Start talking with your wallets not your FOMO

    • You can still price match on release with a preorder from EB games, also you’re not gonna see a stack of 100 pitboy editions in target anytime soon. Heck the local EB ran out of Splatoon on launch day.

  • I pre-ordered The Witcher 3 from GOG. Supported a good dev up front, preloaded the game and was playing by 9am on the day of release. No regrets.

  • Pre-ordering isn’t the problem. Companies that fail to employ proper QA, engineering practices, or resource management is the problem (or relying on the day1 patch mentality).

    You’re well within your rights to request a refund if a product fails to meet advertised expectations. If you don’t, and instead take the opportunity to bitch to others how bad it is, then _you_ are the problem.

    Hey, look at my shirt, I bought it pre-sale and it has a huge hole right here!
    Then return it…?
    No, because then I can’t complain about how bad it is! And I can’t be arsed.

  • The first game I ever pre-ordered which was also the last game I pre-ordered ever was. Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. I only did it because I reaalllyyyy liked the first one….What a waste. If only I could have refunded it.

  • I will always preorder a game I want.
    Right now, they have announced the release date for Fallout 4. Do you really believe they will stop optimising the game because X number of people have pre-ordered?

    I think the whole anti pre-order thing is ridiculous, there is no logic.
    There are game franchises that I will always pre-order no matter what.
    Elder Scrolls, GTA, Borderlands, Diablo, Fallout. Don’t care what the reviews say, I will play the game on day of release.

    Also, reviews don’t always help with issues such as the framerate problems with Batman. Rarely the review copy has the same bugs that players complain about. Not that I will ever buy Batman, but it’s an example of how waiting for reviews isn’t always helpful or relevant.

  • “But in the eyes of publishers, you’re a guaranteed sale”.
    Sorry, I stopped reading after that to post this.

    You know pre-ordering a game doesn’t mean you actually have to buy it, right? You can easily put that $10 down, wait until you hear more about the game, then cancel it and get your money back. So the problem isn’t this “culture surrounding pre-orders”, it’s bad purchase decisions. Pre-ordering a game is fine, but picking it up without bothering to find out what it’s like is stupid, just as purchasing a terrible game at any other time is stupid. If you are doing the research, finding out it’s bad, and picking it up anyway because you think you have to, well, YOU DON’T.

    • So why pre-order a game (which 9 times out of 10 means you want it on launch day) if you’re then going to research it for a few days to see if it’s good? What’s the benefit of the pre-order if nothing ever gets sold out anymore (excluding CE).

      • Things do get sold out, and the benefit is that a game is kept aside for you. Normally within 24 hours of a big launch, if there are major issues with a game you can find out, so if that’s the case then just cancel the preorder.

  • I’ve only ever preordered like 3 games which were Halo 4, it came with a nice numbered case and all.
    Dead Island, the game wasn’t as great as hyped up to be but still fun with friends and the Turtle Beach headset I got with it was upgraded to a better model for free 😀
    And now I’ve preordered Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition, I overheard an employee talking about it on the phone saying that it had appeared on their system 20 minutes ago, I realised that a game edition like this will be sold out in a week so naturally I had to put down some money…and rebuy Fallout New Vegas for nostalgia sake XD

  • It’s now the norm to try and squeeze as much money from the gaming community as possible and it’s something I like to fight against.

    After some of the success of items in the games collectors editions (examples of Borderlands 2 Chest Edition, Skyrim’s Dragon Statue or GTA 5 Collector’s Edition) developers looked to add skins or add-ons as ‘exclusive’ content to games (see the many, many iterations of Evolve & Destiny) much in the same way as having a physical thing.

    The problem being is that later down the track they they’ll throw all those things in and re-release the game again (Game of the Year Edition, Remastered Edition etc.) mostly at a discounted price, rendering the once exclusivity void and null, along with already having his/her gamers money at a higher rate than what the re-release costs.

    This is, along with micro transactions, is killing our industry. Not in the sense of making money, god no its absolutely flourishing, but for what it’s doing to the development of videogames. Games are now being made for how many units they’ll shift, not the game itself. You think Call of Duty or Battlefield give a hoot about what game they made the year before? Doubtful. It’s all about getting the next $60-$100 they want out of the customer year in year out, and why not use exclusive content to hook you in?

    How about a silver and black camouflage gun and armor pack? No? Not doing it for you? Exclusive map pack edition? Exclusive gun pack edition? Exclusive super tank edition? Let’s get more money out of you edition? Exclusive you’ll throw money at the screen for this edition?

    Due to this new business practice I guard my wallet very closely. I would advise others to do the same.
    If more people stop buying in early, or even at all, developers may start making complete games again instead of looking at us like Phillip J Fry.
    As much as I want the new Batman game, you now they’re going to do a collectors edition with everything thrown in as discounted rate.
    It’s just a matter of time.

  • I preorder sometimes, if the price is right and I’m confident of the quality. Games like Far Cry 3 & 4, Just Cause2 and GTAV have worked out well. In most cases I’d prefer to spend a third of the price one year later after several patches.

    Fallout 4 for me falls into the wait and see category.

  • “he advertising, the budgets, the DLC — it’s the culture surrounding preorders that is most responsible for the trail of broken and unfinished games that clutter the sales charts, ”

    Oh hello, Kotaku business model. Irony is lovely.

  • Only reason I ever prepurchase anything is when its on GMG with a hefty discount that stacks with their coupon codes. If I can get a new release game for only $37.50 then I’m slightly less annoyed if I have to wait a few weeks before its playable…

  • On the article about Batman Arkham Knight being pulled from Steam I said this: “This is exactly why I NEVER pre-order.” I am 33 years old and I have never once in my life pre-ordered a game (and no, that’s not a lie – not even once). I just have never felt the need, and I haven’t ever missed out on a popular game in the first few days of sale because it’s been sold out. I have literally laughed and shook my head at EB sales people in the past when they have tried the whole, “oh, you are going to miss out on this game if you don’t pre-order now” crap.

    I don’t buy into exclusive pre-order content. I’m lucky enough where I feel the base game is ample. I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not getting extra costumes and weapons (or even missions/levels for that matter). I’m not keen on multiplayer, so I think that helps … most exclusive stuff seems to be better gear for a multiplayer component of a game. I also have no care for figurines and plastic models, or even art books (I’m sure most of them end up on a shelf or in a draw after having been flipped through for 30 seconds after opening the box).

    I’m pretty immune to marketing and hype when it comes to this topic. Sure, Fallout 4 looks pretty amazing, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to race out to retailer or go to the Steam page and slap down a pre-order. I doubt that it will be a terrible failure of a game, but you never know what kind of issues could arise. There might be game breaking bugs because of some kind of new DRM that was kept quiet, or it could just naturally take a few weeks/months to weed severe problems out because it’s such a complex open world game (these things can be forgiven to a degree).

    The point is that waiting is always an option. People here who argue against this, there is only one thing to say: you simply don’t have patience, and you have become obsessed and/or brainwashed into believing that you need everything on offer. I’m sorry but I have to agree that pre-ordering IS part of the problem. When someone smacks that money down on a counter to ‘secure’ a game before release, these companies are rubbing their hands together, knowing they have one more in the bag. And the more people do it, the more they know that a game doesn’t have to be perfect on release. Just get it out the door to maximise profits and keep the shareholders happy. The rest can come later, and PR will try and smooth things over. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many times some people get burnt by a particular developer, they just keep coming back for more punishment. It’s truly baffling.

    There is NO point getting angry in forums. You have to vote with your money because it speaks far louder than words. Now that Steam have a refund policy things might start to turn around, but it’s early days still on that front and we can only observe how it continues to unfold. But I have no doubt that up until this point, that YES, pre-orders built this problem, one brick at a time that was clearly inscribed with: ‘I’m throwing my money at the screen but nothing is happening’.

  • If they didn’t make limited editions with pip-boys and cool statues that’ll you’ll never get for retail price unless you pre-order I wouldn’t.

  • I’ll say it again because apparently they deleted it for no reason – they do not make you pay for games before they ship – amazon do not take any money at all for per-ordering games they only charge once it is in stock and they are about to send it to you. hell even eb only take $10 – which is refundable

  • I agree with the article overall for sure, but sometimes it’s just tough not going with the preorder. Like I almost never preorder (I think red dead was the last that I did), but being a massive star wars fan I feel almost obligated to preorder SWBF.

    Not sure what my point is, but I think it’s ok to preorder as long a you have a reasonable means of getting your money back if things do go wrong.

    I think as well things always shift in regards to what’s acceptable, like preordering is now seen as pretty bad (and often for good reason), but how is that different to say, supporting a Kickstarter?

  • You misunderstood the piece. They won’t make sure the game works properly when they have the bulk of their cash already. This isn’t really that hard of a concept. And that’s why preorders are a tool of the devil.

    It’s basic business 101, which the suits understand, but apparently 80 percent of gamers do not: money is an incentive to do the right thing. When the money comes before the right thing, then the right thing will almost never be done.

    Regarding this strange argument about quality control, here’s another canard, and I write this as someone who worked in software in the 90s: QA is alive and well. But gamers assume that because something is broken that testers didn’t find it. That’s almost always wrong. If a gamer can find it, the QAs almost certainly did (the average QA in tech is vastly superior in skills than you or I are). They report the problem. The suits ignore the report.

    The problem with gaming is gamers. They’re some of the most economically dense people in the universe, and my hope is that someday they’ll learn how to act collectively in their interest. A gamers union is long overdue.

  • I approve this message 🙂

    You shouldn’t pre-order everything.

    You should only pre-order the things you love if they are truly of a limited distribution. For example, I will pre-order the FF7 remake, if there is a collectors edition. I will also use play-asia to pre-order whatever better collectors edition that’s released in Japan 🙂

    There’s absolutely no reason to pre-order games in this era. Generally speaking no individual store runs out of a game on a release night just because they had a midnight pre-order sale. Even if they did run out, you can be damn sure they’ll be calling the local distribution centre for an urgent delivery before the day is out.

    Big W is cheaper, JBHIFI is cheaper – they both always receive ‘day one’ & ‘special’ editions. Five years from now, you’re really going to wonder why you needed that pip boy or master chief bust in the first place…

  • I preordered Arkham Knight because I knew that I would never find it and all its DLC for $50 again anyyyyy time soon.

  • I can’t speak for America, but at least in Australia our Internet is so terrible that digital game purchases are usually out of the question. 12GB games take three days non-stop downloading where I live.

    For that reason, a large number of people still rely on physical copies (even with day 1 updates, we can be playing in a matter of hours, not days) and as such it’s not uncommon for a popular game to sell out entirely, two days after release. I preorder to guarantee myself a copy of the game.

    (PS Australia sucks. We don’t even have marriage equality.)

  • “Stop Pre-Ordering Video Games”

    Says the guy last seen frothing his mouth over Project CARS’ graphics about 10+ times…

  • Why have demos more or less ceased to exist? Preorders are why.
    The fact that demos cost money to make but uniformly reduce sales might be another reason. There was a talk about this at GDC or some such venue a couple of years ago. (Couldn’t find the actual article when I looked.)

  • No pre-orders are the issue. They are basically counting chickens before they are hatched. And when the chickens do hatch, over 50% of them are retarded chickens.

    Why bother fixing a game when they already made millions? Big publishers are greedy and when you give them money, they keep wanting more. If there were no preorders they would have to give it all they got to make sure the game sells on day one. Instead they would be focused on the core elements of the game and proper marketing.

    I feel like because of pre-orders, they stopped trying.

  • The article forgets to mention that with all this money upfront, publishers make a killing in interest and investment returns even before the game ships.

  • If I didn’t put $50 down I wouldn’t be getting a Pip Boy Edition of Fallout 4.

    That’s the only reason I pre-order stuff now, to ensure I get the cool stuff like that. Otherwise, there’s no point pre-ordering standard editions because there is guaranteed to be enough at the store when you go in there on release day.

    Also, problem with buying games digitally is there is usually no way to get refund if it’s shit or you just don’t like it. I’m stuck with a copy of Watch_Dogs on my Xbox One and can’t get anything for it, even though I finished it and haven’t played it since, at least if I pre-order something from the store I can take it back and get something for it. Until they start offering you the option to trade in Digital Games for a percentage of the price you paid in credit to your platform account, thats really only for things you know you are guaranteed to play.

    Pre-ordering has it’s place, people just need to know you only do it for stuff that may run out or not be available in huge numbers for a long period.

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