Watch an ad for the newest video game and you'll see those familiar words at the end:
It seems like every publisher wants you to put down your cash for their new game months before release. You may do it instinctively, but we're here to tell you why you should stop pre-ordering video games...
In case you're not familiar with the practice, pre-ordering a video game is the act of paying for a game before it's released. You can do this with a physical copy and a digital copy of the game.
Generally, when you pre-order a physical copy, you do not pay the full amount up front. At the store, GameStop will take a minimum of $5 to reserve a copy, then pay the balance when you pick it up. Amazon Preorder charges your card for the full amount once your order ships.
Meanwhile, pre-ordering on the PlayStation Store charges you immediately. Xbox Games Store pre-orders use your account balance immediately if you have it in your wallet; Otherwise, your credit card will be charged around 10 days before launch.
Let's look at the main reasons we pre-order (one of the ways modern games suck 6 ways modern games ruined the fun (and how to fix them) 6 ways modern games ruined the fun (and how to fix them ) modern gaming has many advantages, but some of today's trends worry us. Here are six ways today's games have lost the magic of yesteryear, and how to deal with them. Read More) is a bad idea.
When you pre-order a game, you pay for it up front based on a brilliant pre-release trailer or marketing campaign. Before the game is released, you have no comments, YouTube or Twitch images or other impressions that are not available..
This is a problem because game trailers and other announcements are not always true to the game's final form. No Man's Sky is the best example of this in recent years..
Released in 2016, No Man's Sky is a procedurally generated space adventure game No Man's Sky and the future of procedural games No Man's Sky and the future of procedural games If you haven't heard of No Man's Sky yet, you'll you're losing it. This open-world adventure game is poised to pioneer a new standard in procedural generation, a subject that's deeply interesting, even if it didn't... Read More It started out as a small indie company and quickly grew into a highly publicized game when Sony got involved.
At launch, No Man's Sky received heavy criticism for missing much of the promised content, with the developers remaining silent. One Reddit user even compiled a list of No Man's Sky's missing features.
No Man's Sky sounded and looked amazing. Using screenshots and videos that weren't actually of the finished product (known as "shots") led to a false sense of the game's quality. But hundreds of thousands of people were sorely disappointed when they bought it at full price.
Games are not cheap. Most major releases are $60 at launch, and that doesn't include any DLC (downloadable content) DLC:The Story of Gaming's three most expensive card downloadable content:The Story of Gaming's downloadable content (DLC) It is a fundamental part of modern video games. But where did it come from and how has it affected the video game industry? Let's find out. Read more released later. By pre-ordering, you're paying the highest price for a game that is likely to drop in cost soon (especially if the game isn't getting great reviews).
Two years after the failed release of No Man's Sky, the game has received several major updates and is truly worth playing. But now you can grab a copy for just $20. Games often drop to $20 just a few months after release.
As an example, I bought Horizon Zero Dawn:Complete Edition last week for $12. That includes the full game (originally $60), The Frozen Wilds expansion ($20), and other minor items that were only included in deluxe editions plus faces (more on this later).
Also, the discounts that many game retailers offered for pre-ordering are gone. Amazon Prime used to offer a 20% discount if you pre-ordered a game or bought it within two weeks of release. It cut this back to pre-orders just a while ago, and recently changed the policy to provide a $10 Amazon credit for pre-orders. “select games.”
Meanwhile, Best Buy's Gamer's Club Unlocked program, which offered 20% off all new and pre-order games, also disappeared. Therefore, pre-ordering no longer offers any real savings.
What's worse, you're locked into your decision if you pre-order digitally on PS4. The PlayStation Store states "Cancellations and refunds are not available, except where required by law." (good luck with that). However, the Xbox Game Store allows you to cancel pre-orders.
When you pre-order a game, you are a guaranteed sale in the eyes of the publisher. Instead of having to guess how many people will buy the game, you have a good idea of the expected sales.
This leads big game studios to continue bad practices. Big Game Games Are Killing The Video Game Industry Big Game Games Are Killing The Video Game Industry Big game names like EA, Square, Valve, Blizzard, and Ubisoft are in big trouble. They have lost sight of their most important market:gamers. Read more . If they know the game will sell millions no matter what form it's in when it launches, why bother? Assassin's Creed Unity is a great example of an embarrassingly broken game that was still released.
Game demos, once an important way to try before you buy, are all but extinct. Why would a developer offer a demo when he knows you're going to buy the game anyway? And with games focused on multiplayer, access to the beta is usually restricted to a pre-order bonus.
Similarly, many single-player games have exclusive missions and other content distributed at retailers through pre-orders. Ordering from Walmart can grant one quest, while Target offers another. This cuts the game short and makes it impossible to have everything at launch. The original Watch Dogs had so many edits that someone came up with a spreadsheet to keep track of all of them.
Some pre-order bonuses border on ridiculous. 2016's Deus Ex:Mankind Divided had a ridiculous scheme where more people who pre-ordered the game unlocked additional levels of bonuses. In each level, you chose between the two rewards you wanted, which means you couldn't have everything. And to get it all, you had to buy the $150 collector's edition.
Fortunately, this scheme was scrapped before release. But it shows that you can't put anything past game publishers when it comes to pre-orders.
Now that we've discussed the top three reasons why pre-ordering isn't worth it, let's address some of the commonly cited benefits of pre-ordering.
In its early days, pre-ordering was a solution to a problem. Shipping too many copies of a game is wasteful, while not having enough means some players may be lost. Pre-ordering, then, allowed stores to forecast how many copies they would need.
But once game series like Call of Duty exploded in popularity, pre-ordering became unnecessary. When a new game in a series like this is released, stores stock hundreds of copies. You can easily pick it up on launch day without pre-ordering. Plus, you can always grab a digital copy.
Most pre-orders, especially for limited or collector's editions, include a bunch of extra items to incentivize you. These may include additional quests, cosmetics, or usable boosters. The most expensive editions might even include a statue or an art book.
Most of the time, these pre-order bonuses are ridiculous. Beware! These 7 game pre-order bonuses are total scams! These 7 Game Pre-Order Bonuses Are A Total Scam One source of outrage in the gaming community is pre-order "bonuses" that consist of pathetic toys, unfair perks, or sculpted content. Read more . Exclusive missions are nothing special, and will probably appear in the inevitable. "complete edition" a year down the road. As mentioned above, this is a dubious practice because the developers split up parts of the game to sell as pre-order incentives.
Cosmetics don't change anything about the game, and figurines/artbooks aren't rare game treasures 5 rare game treasures you'll wish you had you can find elsewhere. As an example, I regret buying the Pip-Boy edition of Fallout 4, which ended up being a dumb hack.
Worse still are the one-time impulses. A little extra XP or in-game consumables just gives you an edge and can even cheapen early experience.
The pinnacle of this stupidity is Sonic Lost World, which gave you an extra 25 lives for pre-ordering the game from Amazon. Not only is life not a big deal in most games, but it also requires a reward that is earned in the game and given to you for money. That's low.
It's tempting to pre-order a game from your favorite franchise, especially with the bonuses mentioned above. You might think it's a safe bet to pre-order a series you love, but that's not always the case.
You'll probably get lucky with a consistent series like Zelda or Grand Theft Auto. But you don't have to look far to find underwhelming entries in major franchises.
Resident Evil 6 was almost universally panned, disappointing even die-hard fans. Sonic Forces Was a Disappointment (Another Stratagem in Sonic History Sonic the Hedgehog Story:Beloved Pet or Better Forgotten? Sonic the Hedgehog Story:Beloved Pet or Better Forgotten? Hedgehog. Immerse yourself in Sonic's history with us and review all the important milestones of Blue Blur. Read more). Even Batman:Arkham Knight, a great game in a respected series, had an atrocious PC port that basically made the game unplayable at launch.
Every game has the potential to be disappointing. . Save yourself the money and heartache by avoiding pre-ordering and reading reviews and opinions of others first.
I have argued why it is a bad idea to pre-order in almost all cases. But there are some cases where it is an understandable option.
One is if you pre-order an unknown game, especially if it's an import from another region. If pre-ordering is the only way you know you'll get a copy, go ahead and do it. But this is not the case for 99% of games or players.
Another is to pre-order a digital copy so you can preload it. Most systems allow you to download a pre-ordered digital game before release so you can start playing at midnight.
While this may be useful for those with slower internet connections, the issue with betting on game quality is still a concern. Consider if you really need to play the game at midnight, or if you can wait an extra day to see reviews on trusted gaming sites.
It is vital to remember that pre-ordering is not to your benefit. Game publishers and retailers want you to pre-order so they can get the most for their money as soon as possible. When you pre-order, you help cultivate the practice.
And just because you don't play the newest games doesn't mean you have to miss out. Reddit /r/PatientGamers is a community built for playing old games, so check it out to see if waiting is the answer.
By avoiding pre-orders, you can save money on games. 5 great ways to save money on games. 5 great ways to save money on games. Gaming doesn't have to be a bankrupt factor. Read More Sounds like a good deal, doesn't it?