The Pros and Cons of the Pre-Order
A lot of game developers these days offer different payment options to their consumers, one of the most common and often controversial is the fabled pre-order. Some benefits and disadvantages come with this option but if you’re really excited for a game’s release, should you go ahead and pre-order it? Let’s break down the arguments for ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
No Queuing Outside The Store
Platforms like the Playstation, Xbox, and even most Steam games often allow you to pre-download your games when you pre-order them. This means you avoid release day queues and if you have a slow internet connection, even if it’s a large download, you can do it days in advance. Therefore, you can jump straight into the action and play immediately as soon as it hits midnight on release day, giving you an edge over your opponents.
Sometimes when a pre-order becomes available, developers will try to entice you by offering a discounted price. If the game in question is one that you’ve had your eye on for a while and you feel confident that you will be buying the game anyway, then this is a great opportunity to snag your game at a reduced price.
You could of course wait for the game’s price to drop naturally but this means waiting for a sale or some months after release. Why bother to wait when you can get it early AND get it cheaper than regular retail price?!
Now these are what usually can sway a player. Whether it’s exclusive weapons, cosmetics, or even a giant IRL figurine on offer, collectors and fans alike will flock to these as they’re something tangible, somewhat rare, and will set them apart from the regular consumers.
You can get things that you can put on your shelf or just show off an exclusive cosmetic to your mates in-game, that you know they’ll never be able to get. This is something consumers will get excited about.
Bugs, bugs, and more bugs
In efforts to compete in an increasingly competitive market, games are releasing early, with more and more unresolved issues, in order to meet deadlines and not have to announce any delays. This means that the consumer gets an unfinished product, sometimes with a plethora of bugs, that often times can be left unfixed for many months.
The problem with this is that modern platforms give devs the ability to roll out patches on the regular and with the very hardcore fan bases that will stick by them, there’s little incentive to release a fully finished but delayed product.
If you can wait a few weeks to see how the reviews are, then do so, that way you aren’t ruining your experience by rushing into an unfinished game.
Falling For The Hype
This is one of the most common issues people have with pre-ordering games. Each year consumers fall for it all the same. Before a game’s release, the only footage you will have seen of it is either developer-generated cut scenes, run on max graphics with the most powerful equipment (RIP Console users), or “gameplay” trailers with very little actual gameplay shown.
This leads many gamers to be disappointed when the game finally releases and the product you receive just doesn’t match up to what you were promised. Some things are cut, areas are removed, and the game just doesn’t look or play the same.
A good way to avoid this is by looking into the developer and seeing if they have a history of “downgrading” their games from their trailers, if they do, then be sure to steer clear or wait for reviews to come in.
Things On Their End Are Just Too Busy
We’ve all experienced it, it’s launch day and you’ve started up your game, you’re are ready to dive straight in, only to find the servers are down. This can happen when the day one player base exceeds what the developers had expected and there just aren’t enough resources to cope.
You might have a terrible ping, awful lag, or just not be able to find any matches at all. Of course, these problems are usually resolved within the first few days or weeks but for those who have pre-ordered for the benefit of jumping straight in? It’s a hard pill to swallow.
In conclusion, we’ve laid out the facts but it’s entirely up to you whether you pre-order or not. For you, it might be a one-issue purchase such as being a collector and wanting that specific model or figurine, for others, there may be no information or benefit that will make them pre-order anything. Just make sure you consider everything before you click ‘purchase’.
It’s all on you now, do you pre-order or not? Let us know!