Practice of Pre-Ordering Games May Need Reconsideration

Many customers have experienced disappointment with the final product after pre-ordering the newest gaming title, enough disappointment to posit the notion that maybe consumers should stop spending their money on a company’s promise and instead wait and try the product out after its launch date.

The gaming industry has made pre-order bonuses a regular feature of buying games for years. While initially relegated to stores like GameStop, pre-orders have since expanded into press from publishers. For example, PAX will see Nintendo encouraging players to preorder “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” in exchange for an undisclosed gift and “Square Enix” has promised tons of premiums for those who purchase Final Fantasy XV, a game that in development for over 10 years, at retail.

While some customers are completely loyal to certain IPs, the potential for buyer’s remorse remains high. “No Man’s Sky” is a great example of how hype can cause a massive burnout; a game produced by a team of 15 people was suddenly marketed as a “triple-A” title by Sony. No Man’s Sky’s marketing pushed the lie that players could possibly run into each other; this tidbit was later revealed to be a lie when evidence emerged that two players occupying the same planet were unable to interact with each other. After falling for the hype and lies, many who bought No Man’s Sky asked for refunds. Another instance of souring on pre-orders would be Square Enix’s latest “Deus Ex” title; players were promised special items that only turned out to be consumable, short-term item instead of permanent effects.

While pre-ordering used to be a way of ensuring a copy of a game on its launch date, digital releases and these special bonus offers have greatly changed the industry, likely for the worse. Nowadays, companies and vendors only need to entice you with promises until you hand over your money. It’s best to think long and hard on actual data, rather than details coming from the marketing department. If the game seems unbelievable, it probably will be; wait for it to go down or watch someone else stream it