State of Gaming #1: Preorder Hell

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I wanna preface this by saying that I'm not a "gamer." I'm not active in that scene, I don't really follow news, I just buy games I like and play them.

That being said, the state of gaming as of late is actually abysmal. I'm sure you all know this, but I want to give specific examples. Nothing will change if people don't start getting upset and voting with their wallet.

If even someone like me feels called to action by the state of things, I'm sure you all are too.


TODAY'S TOPIC: PREORDERS

Preordering used to have a purpose. In an era where a day one release meant standing in long lines out front of GameStop at midnight, a preorder was a great way to avoid the bustle and get your reserved copy at your earliest convenience. In our modern digital age, preordering has become so unnecessary that companies have to include bonus content with preorder copies to convince you to fork over more cash.

And for what? Some of these used to be cool at least, maybe a little desk trinket or something. Nowadays it seems like most of these are $20 - $30 more and all you get are "exclusive skins" and other nontangible magic dust. (Not to mention games aren't even physical anymore, but that's a topic for another thread.)

I could go on and on about why this is dumb in the modern era, or I could give examples of games people preordered which were huge let-downs but I found a couple videos that I think make the point better than I ever could:

5 Reminders Why NOT to Pre-Order Games:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkeHin-DyIA


5 MORE Reminders Why NOT to Pre-Order Games:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihTJf4MqTL0


I'd encourage you all to at least give these videos a skim over and really get angry, companies can treat consumers like this and get away with it because people keep buying preorders. We all need to vote with our wallets. I just pre-ordered a game, I'm guilty too, never again though.

I'd like to hear feedback from you all and possibly continue this as a series depending on how it's received.

Have a good day!
 
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imnotdeadyet

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Preordering used to have a purpose. In an era where a day one release meant standing in long lines out front of GameStop at midnight, a preorder was a great way to avoid the bustle and get your reserved copy at your earliest convivence. In our modern digital age, preordering has become so unnecessary that companies have to include bonus content with preorder copies to convince you to fork over more cash.
Even then preorders were a bit of an unnecessary luxury, but they had a genuine use and the preorder bonuses could be cool. With digital games it's completely pointless since even the bonuses now are pretty much nothing.

Never preordered anything, preordering is pretty much paying extra to be a beta tester until the patches roll out to maybe fix the inevitably rushed and broken game.
 
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ビンス

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last time I bought a game day one I paid 60 EUR and the game was Saints Row 5 I learned my lesson



anyway your text is like light gray on white background very hard to read
I preordered Fallout 76 so I think I might have you beat, lol!

Also thanks for the heads up, idk how that happened, sorry for being dumb, I'll try to fix it.
 
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Never preordered a game, when i could buy games with Turkish money i pirated or looked at reviews online before buying. You are voting with your money, if you buy a bad game they will make a worse one.
 
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LostintheCycle

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When I was 11 my mind was blown by that one famous No Mans Sky trailer, I immediately jumped onto the hype train. For the next two years I checked in like every week on the status of the game, watched videos, I even joined a forum dedicated to NMS roleplay. And of course, got the special PS4 preorder edition which was $120 AUD of my own pocket money, steep for a jobless child. When I finally got the game, I thought the physical stuff was a bit underwhelming, but at least I had the game! I wasted no time popping it into the PS4.
You all know the rest of the story...
At least the hype for the game was fun. More fun than the game ever was, even after the updates. I never preordered a game after that. People thought at the time that it was the wakeup call for gamers to stop preordering, however they continue to despite it being the norm for an NMS sized bugfest to get shat out every few months by a AAA studio. I don't think we will ever learn...
 
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The only game I ever pre-ordered was the digital version of Hyrule Warrior: Age of Calamity. I only did so because finding a physical copy of Breath of the Wild at launch was not doable and I suspected that history would repeat. I figured that since I would be buying the game digitally, I may as well pre-order it to get the wooden spoon weapon.

But yeah, generally pre-ordering games is a gamble and generally only valid for physical games IMO. A friend of told me that GameStop have an excellent game pre-ordering policy, it is basically just reserving a purchase slot. If the game turns out to be mediocre, you can just cancel your pre-order and you won't be charged. If I had knew about this in my younger days, I would have pre-ordered a lots of game.
 

№56

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When I was 11 my mind was blown by that one famous No Mans Sky trailer, I immediately jumped onto the hype train. For the next two years I checked in like every week on the status of the game, watched videos, I even joined a forum dedicated to NMS roleplay. And of course, got the special PS4 preorder edition which was $120 AUD of my own pocket money, steep for a jobless child. When I finally got the game, I thought the physical stuff was a bit underwhelming, but at least I had the game! I wasted no time popping it into the PS4.
You all know the rest of the story...
At least the hype for the game was fun. More fun than the game ever was, even after the updates. I never preordered a game after that. People thought at the time that it was the wakeup call for gamers to stop preordering, however they continue to despite it being the norm for an NMS sized bugfest to get shat out every few months by a AAA studio. I don't think we will ever learn...
Something very similar happened to me with Spore. At this point falling for pre-release hype is a rite of passage for each new generation of nerds. I don't think we will ever learn either, it's a lesson gullible kids have to learn the hard way.
 
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napata

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The only pre-order that makes some sense is for the physical games with somewhat 'scarcity.' The only time that I pre-ordered and did all the line up shit was for Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. The goodies are good but really forgettable. For the current state, the extra goodies are really a joke. If you really like the game after you play, you can find those goodies much easier and cheaper than you thought. When I was really into FFXIV, I found so many 1.0 and 2.0 special editions stuff with decent price.

Digital pre-order makes no sense right now.
 
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SolidStateSurvivor

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Only games I ever pre-ordered were Super Smash Bros Brawl and GTA V. Got a poster from the GTA V pre-order at GameStop which was cool, really miss when you'd get a physical trinket as an incentive. Guess I've been fortunate not to have been burned.
I will admit that I'm not only going to pre-order GTA VI but also will upgrade to the next console generation in order to play it. I've eagerly waited a decade now for this thing to come out after all.

But I understand where you're getting at with the general disdain for the practice, it's just a way to boost their stock prices for the most part.

last time I bought a game day one I paid 60 EUR and the game was Saints Row 5 I learned my lesson
I am so sorry, I also really wanted that game to be good. Initially I thought the pre-launch criticism of the game based on marketing material was just nitpicking but fuck me /v/ was right about everything. :lainDissatisfied:
 
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Vaporweeb

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The one and only genuine bonus to pre-ordering a game in the digital age is the ability to pre-load it, that is, to download it so that it's available to play the instant it unlocks, rather than spending additional time downloading it after it actually releases.

However, this really isn't worth it to the general public of non-fanatics, and is only truly worthwhile for people like reviewers who depend on being able to play a game as soon as possible.

Even then, if you're a big enough name you'd probably get a review copy direct from the publisher anyway, so that's even fewer use cases for it.
 
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JihyoParkXX

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When I was a wee lad I really wanted these little figures that came with your pre-order for Pokemon Platinum, these things are probably worth a fortune now. I didn't even know what pre-order meant, heck official distributors didn't even exist back then in my country and games were sold by mom-and-pop stores at a markup. Sad to see how the bonuses now have evolved to be a bunch of worthless in game items, they cut corners even when trying to trick kids into buying their product.

d02ogtci72m21.jpg
 
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There was actually another reason to preorder, on low print-run games it would help ensure that a copy arrived at a store within reasonable driving distance of yourself. I used to do preorders for this purpose but had to stop cause the stores just weren't receiving copies anyway. I thought it was pretty funny the 5th time it happened personally. Nowadays the only stuff I preorder are special editions I want that I think are gunna get scalped hard and only if I don't see any warning signs that the game is gunna suck.
s-l1600.jpg

So basically just this. I haven't preordered in a long time otherwise.
 
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handoferis

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Only thing I preordered was Tears of the Kingdom just cause it was cheaper than digital. I got a poster with it but I'm not enough of a loser to have videogame posters up in my house, so cool I guess?
 
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ビンス

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The one and only genuine bonus to pre-ordering a game in the digital age is the ability to pre-load it, that is, to download it so that it's available to play the instant it unlocks, rather than spending additional time downloading it after it actually releases.

However, this really isn't worth it to the general public of non-fanatics, and is only truly worthwhile for people like reviewers who depend on being able to play a game as soon as possible.

Even then, if you're a big enough name you'd probably get a review copy direct from the publisher anyway, so that's even fewer use cases for it.
You're right, however, with the amount of damage that this neo-preorder culture has done to the industry I think people should just wait a little bit to play the game.
 
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ビンス

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There was actually another reason to preorder, on low print-run games it would help ensure that a copy arrived at a store within reasonable driving distance of yourself. I used to do preorders for this purpose but had to stop cause the stores just weren't receiving copies anyway. I thought it was pretty funny the 5th time it happened personally. Nowadays the only stuff I preorder are special editions I want that I think are gunna get scalped hard and only if I don't see any warning signs that the game is gunna suck.
s-l1600.jpg

So basically just this. I haven't preordered in a long time otherwise.
This is a great point. My only real disagreement is the whole "if I don't see any warning signs that the game is gunna suck" part. This isn't really directed at you, but more the crowd of people who act like just because a certain studio is releasing a game, or a certain publisher, that the game can't be bad. Bethesda made Fallout 76, CD Projekt Red made Cyberpunk 2077, it doesn't seem to matter anymore who's making it or how much "gameplay" they show you (as we saw with CP2077, they just straight up lie now). In a perfect world, everyone should wait for post-release reviews not being held at gun point by NDAs and "free review copies" (aka: "if you say anything negative this will be the last pre-release review you write, we WILL blacklist you from this industry").

Maybe I'm being too cynical, idk.
 
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This is a great point. My only real disagreement is the whole "if I don't see any warning signs that the game is gunna suck" part. This isn't really directed at you, but more the crowd of people who act like just because a certain studio is releasing a game, or a certain publisher, that the game can't be bad. Bethesda made Fallout 76, CD Projekt Red made Cyberpunk 2077, it doesn't seem to matter anymore who's making it or how much "gameplay" they show you (as we saw with CP2077, they just straight up lie now). In a perfect world, everyone should wait for post-release reviews not being held at gun point by NDAs and "free review copies" (aka: "if you say anything negative this will be the last pre-release review you write, we WILL blacklist you from this industry").

Maybe I'm being too cynical, idk.
No, that's about as cynical as you need to be. Both Fallout 76 and Cyberpunk had considerable warning signs, heck it's the reason why Shazam posting is a thing on /v/ now due to just how many cyberpunk had, though the devs did eventually fix it in that case. I don't recall seeing any preview footage of gameplay for 76 at the time of it's release and I have a similar issue with Starfield now (which I expect to be a buggy mess since it's Bethesda). In Armored Core's case From has posted a metric ton of preview footage from the game which helps. I also expect it to be jank as hell since From is the jank master. Seriously every single game they make is jank with maybe the exception of the console version of Elden Ring that actually functioned well on release.

The whole "blacklisting for bad reviews thing" is a general problem in the industry that would basically require a double blind distribution method of copies to fix.

Which reminds me, there is another use for preordering games, backing games on kickstarter.
fee5c94e2c4bea50193eaab61e256830_original.gif

Pic related is some test footage from a game I backed called Hibernaculum. In this case it's showing off their engines increased draw distance as the game is a throwback to old school dungeon crawlers.

Now this sort of preorder is fundamentally different from normal ones. You are taking a substantially high risk to try and get something made that appeals to you that otherwise would probably not be made. In this case, this is a company that has made several point'n click adventure games(all in that sort of King's Quest 6 graphical quality) in the past trying to make a horror themed dungeon crawler throwback. While you can see that their previous experience with point and click games have really refined their graphical style, how the gameplay will turn out is where their risk is coming from, since I believe this would be the first game of this type that they have worked on.
 
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endless_self

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never preordered a game in my entire life.
the idea of preordering something digital seems unironically stupid to begin with. paying money for nonexistent "bonuses"? i'd rather not.
also, you have a pretty nice chance to get a completely unfinished product.
modern gaming just sucks, i guess.
 
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