Chavo Chastises: Preordering and Policies

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by chavosaur, Jun 24, 2015.

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Do you continue to preorder games?

  1. Yes

    77.8%
  2. No

    22.2%
  1. chavosaur
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    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    [​IMG]

    Picture if you will, the launch day of a game you have been anticipating for a long, long time. It has finally arrived, you’re all dressed up, ready to go pick it up.

    When you arrive at the store, a stack of the game rests behind the counter. You walk up, slam your wallet on the counter and excitedly ask for your game. And that, is when the question is asked.

    “Did you preorder the game?” the clerk asks you. And this is where the conversation may go one of two ways. If you had, you’ll walk out happy and be on your merry way. But if you hadn’t, the large stack of games will only be a longing taunt to you, as the clerk tells you the store only ordered copies for those that preordered.

    [​IMG]

    The policy of preordering has gone through some interesting changes in recent years, and the skepticism towards it has flared up recently.

    As the picture I painted above tells you, preordering has become a means for a store to determine what they believe the overall consumer base will be for that game. This means the store doesn’t have to over order copies of a game that may not sell well, and essentially takes a lot of market risk out of their equation.
    There are games that may not be affected by these numbers, of course. Huge franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield, are always going to be in dubious supply. So where does that leave the JRPG fans? Where does that leave the fans of niche genres and niche titles, who fear that if they don’t preorder the game, the retailer won’t even bother to stock the title?

    Preordering has become one of the most overwhelming marketing schemes in the gaming industry as of late. Retailers will fight tooth and claw to offer extra incentives in order to garner more sales at their respective chain.

    The preorder bonus strategy has become overwhelmingly robust over the past couple of years. Things like exclusive skins for weapons and soldiers in Call of Duty, to extra missions and expanded mini DLC in games like Assassins Creed.
    [​IMG]

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to throw in some incentives for purchasing at that store, but as of late, it has become a war between chains that surges so strongly that, in some cases, it makes the gamer feel like they may be missing a part of their game if they happen to even decide to preorder at the wrong store, or choose not to preorder at all!

    There are of course, other horrifying examples of preorder bonuses gone wacko. Look at February's Evolve, which had over seven different preorder ready games, all with various incentives based on retail chain and dollar amount. Evolve offered early access to a monster for FREE if you happened to preorder at GameStop, and if you hadn't, you would have to shell out $15 to purchase it over a month later.


    There isn’t anything inherently wrong with preordering. Having the ability to reserve a game, doesn’t need to be a flourished out concept that ultimately decides who gets a game and who doesn’t.

    [​IMG]

    Many people will take the stance that preordering is awful, and that supporting that industry will continue to give retailers the ability to stomp all over you and gobble up your money. But at the end of the day, you’re probably asking yourself, “Well yeah… but if I DON’T preorder the game, then I’ll be the only one without a copy.”

    It isn’t wrong to think like that. It isn’t wrong to preorder something that you know, without a shadow of doubt that you will pick up day one, or at a midnight launch, and play to your heart’s content.

    What’s wrong is the way policies retailers have in place for preordering games. The concept is not the overall problem, rather, it is the execution. Retailers have begun an awful trend of punishing and excluding those that don’t preorder, or even worse, don’t preorder fast enough.

    Think about it for a moment. Let’s say you are absolutely certain you are going to pick up Fallout 4 day one, so you are absolutely willing to put down money on a franchise you adore. But when you pop open your browser, or visit your store, money in hand, what might you be met with?

    “I’m sorry, we have sold out of pre-orders.”
    [​IMG]

    Excuse-a-what-now?​

    What was originally a means of determining how many games to get, and determine demand, has suddenly become an exclusivity club. What was once a way to meet up with everyone on launch day and pick up one of the biggest releases of the year, is now met with all-out war to become the first person to preorder it. Think this is an over exaggeration? You won’t be when I bring up our other culprit.

    Amiibo.

    Yes that’s right, we all know the story with these don’t we? We all know the rabid, slobbering, untamable hunger that exists in the hearts of Amiibo collectors. The endless refreshing and clicking and screaming when a button that says pre-order, and has been up for all of two minutes, suddenly fades to white and tells you it is now, “Out of stock.”

    And how does it come to this? Things that probably haven’t even been sculpted out of the cheap Chinese plastic they’re born from, somehow aren’t available to the people that desire it? How can it be that these games, and these game figures, are completely out of our grasp when they don’t even exist yet?
    [​IMG]

    This is where the anger, the hatred resides. Not against preordering, but against the policies of retailers and distributors. The overall chokehold they claim to have over our money, and our desired product.

    And what can we do, as consumers? Most will tell you to just stop preordering. Which you can, you may, “vote with your wallet,” all you like. But in the end, we all know deep down we won’t do it. We fear exclusion, we fear missing out.

    How much power do gamers really even have to stop policies like this? Will GameStop simply fall to its knees and beg to have Greg’s money back because he was the only one of his group of friends that all swore they wouldn’t preorder Fallout 4, was the only one to actually do it?

    I think we all know the answer to that question.

    Instead, it’s up to gamers to continue to be vocal about it. As feeble as it sounds, we all know the policy isn’t right at the end of the day, but we also know 95% of us are going to continue to support it with our money.

    The real point of all this talk, is that you shouldn’t feel pressured or guilty, for preordering something that you care about. The fault isn’t on us for supporting preordering. The fault is on the policies of preordering that other chains seem to have on us.

    It’s up to gamers instead, to decide where they will support preordering. Will you preorder games from a store that enforces these death grip policies, or will you spend your money somewhere you are treated better?

    Vote with your wallet people. Not on spending it in general. But where you spend it.
     


  2. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    FINALLY! Someone who wants to write editorials! PRAISE THE SUN THEY EXIST!
     
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  3. vayanui8

    vayanui8 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Id say it depends on what you're preordering. I think encouraging the horrible preorder practices of assassins creed is a bad idea, but there are times where I think preordering can be good. As a fan of jrpgs it makes a big difference to preorder, and its also a good way to get a LE if possible. I saw you mentioned this in the article, but I don't believe you exactly stated your stance on cases like those. Do you believe its a poor choice to preorder in those cases, or do you see it as an exception? As for the amiibos, I agree that they're preorder system has gotten out of hand. I think that the best decision is to simply wait for the inevitable reprints they will get. Its just too crazy to try and buy them normally, and scalper prices are off the charts.
     
  4. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    I would write articles for GBAtemp, but nobody wants to read article after article titled "nin10doh sux, get rekt m8". I still don't know why.

    As for pre-ordering, it has definitely become a god damn mess. Bonuses from varying stores, later sold for stupid prices all because you dared to order from the wrong store, are the greatest offenders of all. I don't pre-order for stuff, but they pose the question "well what if you don't pre-order, buy later, like the game, then have to pay more for your lack of confidence in our company?" That said, I'll still pre-order, but I pre-order selectively. Unless the bonus is fairly minor, like a beta access key or something, is equal across stores, or doesn't exist at all, I'm unlikely to pre-order. I refuse to buy in to this selective DLC distribution.
     
  5. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    You know, the funny thing is, as long as you back up whatever it is you're trying to say, there's no problems with an article. I learned that at E3 this year - sometimes the ones who have the most controversial opinions tend to be the ones that get the most SEO (search engine optimization hits). Few new friends were showing me ways that you can still be a good writer without resorting to Buzzfeed-like tactics. :) So hey, if you really are interested, that'd be fantastic! :)

    See, with preordering, there are some titles that I would order without even a blink, but there are some that I'm still very reserved about. At some cases, most cases, it depends on whoever has the most preorder loot at the end of it all. :P
     
  6. zoogie

    zoogie simple pimp tool

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    Don't forget about the most insidious new form of pre-order: Kickstarter.
     
  7. chavosaur
    OP

    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    I plan on covering that in the next one of these :P
     
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  8. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    That actually works though, and the "pre-order" rewards offered are universal across all regions, which is pretty nice. Hardly the worst form of pre-ordering out there. Either way you can't guarantee jack shit about the quality of the product.
     
  9. emigre

    emigre Oh Jeremy Corbyn

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    Kickstarter isn't a pre-order. It's an investment in a project.
     
  10. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

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    I only tend to pre-order Nintendo games and that's it.

    Shenmue 3 pretty much is.
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I do not know about you but I like returns for my investments.

    Back on topic I have not really been subject to the downsides of this, mainly as I do not buy new games when they are released, and online ordering seems to sort most issues anyway.
     
  12. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

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    Pre-ordering games comes down to three things:

    1) Support the company or/dev.
    2) Pre-order so that the price is lower than wait for a price drop which could take months or a couple years.
    3) Just get that edition you want to badly.

    For example, I pre-ordered Yoshi's Wolly World for £24 and now it has increased to £26-29 so it was a great time to get it on.
     
  13. Flame

    Flame Me > You

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    I've never ever pre-ordered a game which isn't a Pokemon main series or Football Manager(and thats some times).. why?

    cause i know what I'm getting with Pokemon and Football Manager...

    Unlike a say Square Enix game. I don't take chance with my money.

    When people get an unfinished game or a game which is shite and bitch about it..

    so that in the end people trying to sleep with your mother as you play online with a unfinished game worth it.

    should just go help homeless people with they cash, instead of bitching.
     
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  14. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    There've been numerous occasions when I've gone to my local Gamestop, asked for the latest niche title like Dragon Quest Something or Hyperdimension Whatever, and was told they only had a handful of copies. Sometimes they haven't even heard of the game, and take a long time trying to find it. That is why I will always pre-order those kinds of titles. God forbid people bought all seven available copies. Of course, this is only for console games. Seeing as how there's no non-collector advantage to buying physical PC games, like resale, I will go ahead and buy a copy on Steam. You never have to worry about games selling out, although you may lose access to pre-order or other time-limited offers. FFXV? Sure, playing at midnight without having to deal with a bunch of sweaty nerds or worrying about being robbed on the walk home sounds great.

    Anywhoo, to answer the question in the OP, I often forgo playing the annual AAA blockbuster dudebro releases that are associated with this aggressive pre-order practice. However, if I did pre-order, I'd just pick the most convenient choice: Steam for PC and the Gamestop that is less than a mile away for console.
     
  15. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

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    I've never really understood what's the differences between all these Pokémon games that come out almost every year, do they only feature new/different/modified pocket monsters? Also, what's up with buying two versions of one game?
     
  16. Flame

    Flame Me > You

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    to be the very best. duh.


    but again.. you can just buy one..
     
  17. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    New/rehashed Pokemon (sometimes), new/rehashed locations, new/rehashed battle mechanics and new/rehashed side content. It's just like any other game that is released annually. Sometimes there are huge (and welcomed) changes, but often it's minimal. And to answer your second question, there is no longer a need to buy both versions of a generation because of how easy it is to trade online. That being said, there will always be collector nerds.

    Of course, this thread isn't about Pokemon, especially since they sell millions of copies and pre-ordering (at least regarding exclusive rewards) isn't a concern.
     
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  18. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    I only ever preorder titles I know I'm going to buy and play anyways. Bloodborne, Dark Souls 2, Fallout 4, I preordered the Witcher 3 a few days before release, I'm going to preorder Dark Souls 3...It usually just boils down to buying it when I know I have the money to spend on the game, it could be before the game comes out or after. I almost never base my preorder on whether I could get a shiny new toy with it from XYZ store, too, especially if all it is is in-game junk.
     
  19. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Where is the "I never preordered in the first place" option?

    I sort of read the the first couple phrases of the OP as if it was cynicism. Then I realised it's satire (ouch!). I never thought about stores only stocking up on preorders. I guess it's logical that they do, but are you saying that on launch day, there is a shortage of not-preordered games?
    That's an honest question, by the way: I never cared much about release dates either (my wiiu must've been the last gaming thing I've actually bought on the first day...and it wasn't preordered, so I had to visit a few shops)


    Honestly...when I'm saying something like "it's about the gaming, not about being the first to be able to play it"...I'm not saying anything controversial, right? THEN WHY THE HELL DO I GET THE IMPRESSION THAT IT IS!!!???

    I guess the ability to preload and some goodies are convenient if you're a hardcore fan of the series, but if you ask my honest opinion, you're a twat. And if a game tries to do things like an abundance of DLC or preordered content, then I'll just get other games with better policies. I'm not a slave to franchises...and it's pretty stupid to first assume that slave position and then complain that you're being abused.
    Being able to play a video game first is like being able to watch a movie a couple days before everyone else. It doesn't make you special or cool. At best you can be on the front of a hype or hate train, but I can ride that train without even touching games.


    Oh, and I don't really get the grind against limited shelf space. So I don't buy fallout 4. Say I want to gamble* that it's as good as I expect it to be and buy it on launch day...if my local stores can't help me, I just get it on steam or on console (should I have one).


    *face it: on launch day, there won't be enough independent reviews out there to know if it's actually a good game.

    I write those from time to time. But unless I have a specific question, I just put them in my blog.
     
  20. Hells Malice

    Hells Malice Are you a bully?

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    Pre-orders have been an increasingly bad cancer for a loong time now, but the topic has been beat to death already. If logic was going to stop people from pre-ordering, they would never have started in the first place.

    I'll continue to pre-order games I know i'll love, but typically I only pre-order fancy collectors editions with cool shit that'll sit on my shelf forever looking cool. Digital incentives don't get anywhere with me, because I can just find that shit on the high seas. I never buy day 1 DLC for anything.


    What's $15? I'll take a kick ass game any day as a "return" for my investment. Like everything in existence, Kickstarter gets abused, but the general use of it is fantastic and a lot of games that never would have existed before, do now because of kickstarter. You're investing in entertainment, if you want a money return then go buy some stocks.
    People need to stop being ignorant, it looks bad.