Giving the publisher, or a developer, huge amounts of money before a game is even out is not good for the consumer. You are effectively giving away your hard earned money without knowing if the game is good or not. There are no advantages to pre-ordering a game anymore, you might get some extra content but is that worth the full price+ of the game before its quality is known? It really isn’t, especially if you’re even a tiny bit patient, you will likely get the DLC you missed out on with the myriad GOTY editions and re-releases that come out later on, sometimes mere months later.
There is no advantage whatsoever in this day and age of actually pre-ordering a game. You, as a consumer, don’t get anything that won’t be bundled up for sale later on. Money speaks volumes and the gifting of millions of dollars before launch says it’s alright for these companies to release broken or even bad games, the disastrous Battlefield 4 and Sim City launches being notable examples. Thankfully, the advent of Steam Refunds may have enough of an impact to dramatically reduce those types of game launches but we’ve seen this way too many times by now and it just needs to stop. We as consumers have all the power in the world, we can choose which companies we want to get behind. By not giving our hard earned money at launch, we will send a message that gamers will only accept the best from them.
The mess that pre-orders have created is also getting out of hand. When you need a huge map just to go over all the content different pre-order versions will get you, that is totally unacceptable. Just look at the example with Watch Dogs:
We’ve seen the deals they’re trying to push to lure people to buy it early, but, as we’ve stated, there’s no appreciable advantage to buying games on day 1. Any extra physical items will most likely be on sale on Ebay or Amazon within days of launch. With all of the broken games and patches that get added on release, the games are quite often not in a state that is acceptable. This toxic combination of bad business practices and cheap “bribes” has created an awful situation for consumers as a whole.
The solution is simple: Wait until the game is out and has been patched to a working state and the reviews are all updated to reflect its current condition, if you are satisfied then go get it. You can get the game cheaper, in working condition and often with more content if you’re patient. Unless the game is always online or has draconian DRM, it’s always going to be a gamble if you can even play it or not. For the most part though, the advantages of being patient far outweigh the short-sighted “advantages” pre-ordering a game can deliver.
Do you agree or disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments below.