Game Delayed Due To A Lack Of Pre-Orders

Game Delayed Due To A Lack Of Pre-Orders

Here’s what happens when you stop pre-ordering games, I guess.

According to Hachima, Marvellous has delayed its PS Vita game Uppers due to a lack of pre-orders. On the official Uppers dev blog, game creator Kenichiro Takaki stated this about the delay: “The number one reason is that the number of pre-orders didn’t stretch as far as we thought.”

“We decide the initial number of copies for the marketplace on the number of pre-orders,” explained Takaki. That doesn’t mean he’s given up on Uppers and he went on to explain how he was inspired to create this original game, which is basically beat’em up action meets fawning schoolgirls and underpants.

“If the demo is fun, I’m happy to receive those words,” Takaki added on the official site. “If you don’t dig it, throw those comments my way. But, I thank you for your interest.”

“Again, I’d truly like to apologise to those who pre-ordered and were looking forward to this game.”

The official announcement moved the game’s release from 21 April 2016 to TBA.


  • This is what happens when companies rely on pre-orders to fund games more like it.

    Pre-orders are bad in general from a consumer point of view, companies should never take it as a given that people will buy a game that they can’t even look at a review for yet.

    • I agree, but at the same time, what are all these studios supposed to do?

      Development times are increasing exponentially meaning the period that a studio does not have an actual product to sell is also increasing. So development costs are increasing but we as consumers are highly resistant to prices doing the same.

      So most companies turn to publishers, who pay the bills under strict restrictions. Those publishers have more interest in returns and focus on pre-orders.

      And look how people respond to the developers themselves, like the mech indie game mentioned in yesterdays story where he explains how $20 is worth the years they put in to it, years funded out of their pocket.
      He was almost completely rejected by most people who commented.

      There is crowdfunding, which has it’s own set of problems (including the ones above) Sometimes I wonder if some indie games chasing funding make unrealistic promises not because they are unaware of the trappings, not because they are dodgy, but because the majority of consumers dislike the realities of development. (Meaning that being honest is a terrible business choice….as sad as that is)

      Again, I don’t like many of the problems with the gaming industry, I just wonder how things are supposed to change when we don’t actually want them to.
      We expect many to act like charities and sometimes even enjoy their struggles.
      We tell them what we think they should do but are providing no other option, we want better looking and bigger games, but we don’t want them to take longer (And want it for much less)

      • tl dr; Don’t blame the consumer for not buying a game, they didn’t create the current market situation.

        You’re looking at it backwards. It’s not up to the consumer to fund a product being made. It’s up to developers to create, market and sell a product that people want. It’s up to those developers to manage their costs, estimate their budgets, set their targets etc etc.

        It’s not up to the consumer to bankroll games just because the developer is doing them a favour by making this game that the developer thinks will be cool.

        Game prices are lower now than previously due to supply vs demand. Simple as that. We had less games before, less choice of what to play, less “good” games that we wanted to play. Now we have more games, more choice etc. The supply has increased to the point that it has started to out strip the demand and prices drop in order to encourage sales.

        If this means that some studios can’t afford to make games then that’s it, tough luck. welcome to trade on a free market, that’s business. Don’t expect the end consumer to pay for your product when there’s so many others out there. If enough studios go out of business then eventually the market will bounce back the other way and prices will go up again.

        Something is only worth as much as others are willing to pay for it. No point in devs complaining because they can’t afford to make a game at that price. If they can’t afford it then the reality is they shouldn’t do it, bad business sense.

        • I don’t like this, but can’t disagree with it.

          I’ve got so many games on my wishlist, but I have so little time… whenever a special turns up on my list, unless it’s something utterly ridiculous like 75-90% off, I can’t give it a second glance. I have so much I haven’t played already that I’ve bought. I can’t justify buying any more outside of my own mercurial whims. They’re all probably worth much, much more than five or ten bucks, but I just can’t buy them all. There’s so many. And they’re good! But there’s so many.

          It’s not fair, but it’s reality.

          • Yep. That’s been my entire library since I was a poor Sega kid. I can wait for everything. Being behind in the times is CHEAP, and I’m never left wanting. Not to mention that waiting means I’ll get a more complete experience with less bugs! Multiplayer being the only real exception; but if devs didn’t take out LAN or dedicated servers then they would also be viable many years later.
            Fallout 4 can wait – I’ve only just started Fallout 3

            The only exceptions have been some special editions that I never would have gotten a better price for later thanks to scalpers (MGSV, Zelda WW on Gamecube w/bonus). Also for a few Kickstarters I really believed in.

        • Pretty bloody big reply for someone who didn’t read my comment.

          Never said anything about consumers being to blame to for the industry, only that the math doesn’t work out and this is the result.
          I’m saying consumers are resistant to change while expecting things to get better, refusing to accept how thats achieved practically.
          The fact that many cant afford to make games is why publishers run the damn show anyway.

          It’s as you say, it’s not up to us to fund them, but somebody has to and they make the rules.

          • I read your comment, sounded a lot like you were blaming the consumer to me. Stuff about people expecting the price to be lower, complaining about $20 being too expensive, expecting devs to act like charities?

            Consumers themselves aren’t that resistant to change. Look how widespread pre-orders and DLC are now…go back as little as 5 years and it was a completely different story.

            As for indies not being able to afford to make games and needing publishers…Why the explosion of indie games on almost every platform then? It’s easier to make games now than ever before. The biggest issues I’ve seen form indies is their lack of experience in managing their time, the work load, their budget, scope of work etc. It’s inexperience that causes the vast majority of them problems, not the consumer.

            Also, what are consumers expecting to get better? As far as I can see right now is a golden age for gamers. All the variety I could ever want and if it costs too much it’ll be heavily discounted sooner or later.

          • “But at the same time”
            We as consumers aren’t to blame for the industries problems, but certainly aren’t the solution.

            I’m not against you, and we can draw a whole bunch of additional factors of the industry.
            Point is, you said pre orders shouldn’t be used by companies as an indicator, I agree, but it’s literally a primary KPI of the industry now, at the most successful levels.

            We want better for less, it’s our right as consumers, damn right, but the trade off was an industry changed (And we hate it, preorders as KPI’s?!)

            Golden age for gamers, the indie surge, couldn’t agree more.
            But yeah, I can empathise with a small dev when they explain how $20 was the value they saw in their vision.
            In some ways we celebrate the indie rise as gamers taking back games for gamers (usually to 8bit lol). But it’s nuts how quickly we can expect them to be or act like the big boys we condemn.
            (Not you or everyone, but we as gamers can be a fickle and unstable lot, and yes we can be highly resistant)

            Sorry, didn’t want to be too long lol. I agree man, seriously, just being devils advocate. Just looking at the industry, including consumers as a whole, I find it interesting.

          • Yeah, pre-orders as KPIs doesn’t bother me. Just expecting pre-orders in order to finishing funding a game is wrong. If it’s gotten to that much of an extreme then they’re doing it wrong. Not even indie at that stage since they don’t offer pre-orders.

            As a KPI it’s relevant though. Personally I only pre-order if it’s a game I’ve really been looking forward to – last one was Dark Souls 2…might pre-order The Division (sales). So in that sense it’s relevant as a KPI but probably reflects more on marketing than anything else.

            As for indies…I involved myself with the indie dev scene for a while, was working on my own game (on backburner atm, life too busy). A lot of them write post-mortems for their games and it’s always the same stuff. Read enough of them, talk to enough of them in the forums and you’ll have less sympathy for them. It’s well known how hard it is to make games and how much work it takes, how much money it’ll cost to break through the next level. Despite this you see one after another walking ahead blindly like lemmings.

            Hence when a dev sets $20 as their price by all means they can go for it. If the consumers don’t think it’s worth that much there’s no point explaining it, they’ve already gone and are looking at other games. Need to price based on the market they’re selling to…not based on how much their budget blew out.

  • It’s a Vita game. They’re lucky they got any preorders. Let’s all hope no one buys this game and they go out of business.

      • Well a Kickstarter that doesn’t meet its funding goal never processes the credit card transaction, so seems quite similar to me.

    • Strange right?

      First consumers are being told to stop pre-ordering games because it promotes bad practices, I actually remember a Kotaku article last year based on just that… Now consumers are getting blamed for not doing so.

      • Well, the ‘dont preorder’ thing is right then, as preordering led to practices like in this case

  • Hold the phone.

    “We decide the initial number of copies for the marketplace on the number of pre-orders.”

    That is a given. If a regional area with only one game shop or something doesn’t get any pre-orders for certain 3DS games, that shop won’t get any copies. That’s pretty bad, but it’s accepted. The person who can’t or won’t pre-order the game misses out.

    The thing here is, that is up to the distributor/retailer. What the developer/publisher has to (traditionally) focus on is getting the game to ship-able state.

    From what I am reading this is wholly and solely a matter for physical copies, so I’m disregarding the ‘oh can’t it just be bought digitally’ stuff.

    • Same reason a bunch of games die in Early Access. The developers were kind of counting on preorder/Early Access money to get them through the last stretch of development. But if it doesn’t live up to what they hoped, development slows and has to take a back seat while they get real jobs (normally contracting in whatever area their dev skillset is), and work on their EA project in their spare time, unpaid.

      It’s a sign of bad planning and one of the drawbacks to not having a publisher with deep pockets.

  • If this is a sign of people finally realising that they shouldn’t preorder then this makes me extremely happy. Companies need to stop relying on something that was introduced when stock was extremely limited and then mutated into a sales figure estimate.
    The only games I still preorder are ones that actually could potentially run out of stock (eg. Tales games in the 2000s), or are from publishers I trust who release amazing collectors editions (eg. Blizzard).

    • Totally agreed – I reserve pre-orders for games that I know will be good…

      … although, I will be pre-ordering the Master of Orion reboot tomorrow. MOO2 is the best 4X game of all time, and I need to see what Wargaming have done with it.

      @alexwalker Do you guys get into the Early Access as journalists?

      • If the developer or their publisher reaches out for a preview they might send over a code. Nothing has been organised, so I’m not in it right now. I might pick it up myself anyway though, but not over the next couple of weeks (bills, sadly).

  • I honestly don’t give a fuck. I mean, that attitude probably would be different if it was a game I was interested in…but even then I’d still feel that sense of achievement that a developer/publisher is sitting there thinking ‘oh, people might not buy this game based on our pre-order quantities…maybe we should finish the game and then ship it.’
    This is exactly the reason I’ve stopped pre-ordering. Games are coming out broken, because the devs/publishers are comfortable with the amount of money they believe they’re going to make based on those order quantities…they ship the game despite having properly and thoroughly testing it, it gets a bad rating because it’s broken but they don’t care…they’ve made their money.

  • I never pre-order Vita games and always buy digitally which rarely ever has pre-ordering except for the big name major console titles. I’m not really sure what they were expecting here. It’s like they were expecting CDs to sell well at an MP3 lovers convention.

    • Yeah, I thought this was pretty weird too. Surely anyone relying on physical pre-orders these days is doing it wrong. Especially on a portable console.

  • Simple fix: Don’t open preorders until you are comfortable with the game going on sale that day

  • Ah… Mountains of comments solely concerned with blaming from every direction… Don’t know what i expected, guess it’s easier to think dichotomously.

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