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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why I Think Preordering Isn't Totally Stupid (And why its stupid)

I know its been a while since I've written any reviews and I'm sorry... kind of. Not a lot of games out, at least not ones I feel like playing and the ones I do have either are too old or every person and their grandmother has done a review so I don't feel the necessity to do one myself.
Here's a topic I've understood a bit but never fully understood why just about every single gamer out there is totally against preordering. For those uninitiated of you, preordering is basically putting down and extra few bucks to A) make sure you get a copy in the case for physical or in the case for digital... nothing really and B) you're probably going to get some extra content.

First lets start with A for why its good. See, when you preorder a game you're basically saying to the developer "I like this" or "Sequel? Hm... maybe". With smaller products like indie games this is a good incentive for someone to actually create a sequel or some downloadable content to extend the gameplay you can get. In rare cases, like in Dark Souls 2's case, the developer decides off the bat they won't be giving any add ons for the game but it was so well received they feel the need or obligation to give those fans a bit of thanks for purchasing the game. Preordering is a great incentive to say that I am interested in this game and possibly would like more. With sleeper hits like Psychonauts, even though the game was well received the sales were poor so the game's creator, Tim Schafer, has voiced even to this day he has no plans to make a sequel. So despite what anyone says, no ratings and fan base does not extend the life of a game. In the case of what I considered until a few months ago to be one of the worst games I've ever played, DARK (no, not a capitalization issue, that's what the game is called), still got some shameless DLC even though the game was not well received. Game developers usually don't feel an obligation to push out anything for the game even if it was successful sometimes and that's one of the more rarer cases I've unfortunately seen.

Now B for also the easiest reason why its bad. A lot of games boast getting a little extra content 'free' when you preorder the game. Usually this is something small or maybe a map pack, some weapons or maybe even just a costume change. The problem with this is the majority of this content is completely locked away from any unfortunate person who didn't shell out five extra dollars and doesn't have a time machine. A while back I was playing GTA Online with one of my friends. He pulled out a hammer as a weapon. Of course being the unfortunate 'scrub' and not preordering the game, I was unfortunately never going to receive this weapon. I actually do like DLC. Its a way for me to say to the developer, "Great job. I would like more" in some 'Oliver' "Please sir, I want some more" type deal. That small hammer my friend has just sums up how I feel about this entire situation. If I don't preorder I don't receive some minuscule item and therefore my game is now a slight percentage incomplete in my mind. However, if I do, then I receive something almost worthless that I don't need and never needed in the first place. If there was like a small fee afterwards where I could purchase the items, it wouldn't be so bad. Perhaps even where this content has been unlocked for those people but me over here won't be able to get it for a while.
The worst offender of this I have to say would be 'The Old Republic' Star Wars MMO. See the only reason I started playing the game was because it had just gone free to play and I wasn't about to waste my money on a game my crappy PC couldn't run. When I started playing it I noticed this one vendor I didn't have access to who sold really rare items. I asked some other players and every single one said I had to have preordered the game. The game came out nearing the end of 2011 on December 20th and the free to play date came out on November 12th in 2012, almost a year later. So unless I have a time machine that can teleport me back a year, I'm pretty much screwed out of valuable content.

In the end, as long as the content is made available later in the game cycle despite how poor in quality said content is, that's not a deal breaker. The deal breaker is rewarding those who took a chance, which in itself isn't terrible but you should also reward your current customers. It doesn't make sense to give your first born child more privileges than your second or so on born children now would it? Yes I do still preorder some games. Its not the worst idea, it just needs to be fine tuned to be a decent idea.

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