Preordering games: are they really ruining the industry?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Vipera, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

    Aug 22, 2013
    United States
    Away from this shithole
    Recently, many people on the internet have given an opinion about preordering games, and they are all negative.

    Crave Online
    Rock paper shotgun

    While I agree that you shouldn't really preorder anything that you aren't waiting like the second coming of the Messiah, I find the level of entitlement of the players just disgusting. If you ask how the gaming industry is going, they will tell you "it's shit because idiots preorder games!", forgetting about everything else. I've followed groups and image boards, and with the GTA V preorders there are thousands of posts online saying how dumb those people are and how they are "ruining the market".

    Let's talk about this, shall we?

    First off, I should mention that I don't usually preorder games. Out of 100+ games I have on my Steam library, I have preordered just two: Magic 2014 and Age of Mythology EX. As soon as both games became available, I immediately played the shit out of them until my eyes bleed. I also got free cards on Magic 2014 and a discount on AoM EX. Considering that my intention was to buy them on day one anyway, preordering 2-3 weeks before release was an advantage.

    But what are the pros/cons of preordering a game?

    For a physical copy of the game, you usually get a gadget. They can be crap (Alan Wake's torch) or pretty good (Pokémon HG/SS statues). They usually don't offer a discount, but if you are going to buy the game on day-one anyway and you are interested in the crap they will be giving you for free, why not preorder?
    For a digital copy of the game you don't get the same gadgets of physical preorders, obviously. They offer you additional content for free (usually crappy skins for the characters) and/or a discount. Again, if you are going to buy the game on day-one anyway, why not saving up?
    Maybe it's because I rarely preorder games, but if I see a game I'm REALLY interested in, and I am sure that I am going to play the shit out of it on day-one, I'm going in. On top of that Steam, Origin and Uplay (maybe GOG too?) offer the possibility to download the preordered games so you don't have to wait more in order to download the dozens of GB your next adventure is going to be.
    What about the cons? People against this practice whine about "ruining the market" by giving money to developers they haven't earned yet. They also mention that you shouldn't buy a game full price if it is going to get in a sale months after.

    Whoever thinks that preorders are the cause of the gaming industry getting worse is a fool. They really are. Because the REAL problems that are affecting videogames are others, and plenty, and they don't want to address those, because they are into those problems themselves, 99% of the times.

    Paying for Early-Access games or games that haven't been worked on at all yet (Steam Greenlight/Kickstarter)

    There's nothing wrong with supporting a game that's in development or an idea of a game that needs money in order to get made. But when the "game in development" is an obvious money-grab and the Kickstarter project comes from the "test the market first, then we work on it", then there are dozens of problems. First, by purchasing a Pre-Alpha game, you are purchasing a Pre-Alpha game. This means that you are buying a demo now for something that maybe will be complete in a year or two. Isn't this worse than preordering games? Steam Greenlight has had many issues from developers who promised everything but then disappeared after enough money were made. And while Kickstarter has some sort of promise that the game will be complete, you don't even get a Pre-Alpha! All you get is a RELEASE DATE for a PRE-ALPHA! Crazy, right? Kickstarter used to be for people with an idea in mind and a place where they can ask early purchases/donations in order to make it happen, but lately it has been field for a marketing test and greedy people in order to get more money than they really need "We need 20k€ to make this game BUT DONATE 200K€ TO GET A <insert console name> VERSION!".

    Paying for unfunny, "joke" games

    BSOD simulator, grass simulator... they are all jokes. Unfunny jokes. But they stop being jokes when the people behind them actually want to sell them. This is the era of the internet where people feel entitled to make a comedy out of everything. But when they want to sell them, then no. They aren't "joking", they are selling something, so they should be counted when it comes to Early-Access games. After a few of these unfunny jokes became popular, places like Steam Greenlight got flooded with people thinking to be funny when, in reality, all they want is to make money easily. And who cares if they are ruining a service, right?


    "B-BUT VIPERA! THIS KEWL USER WROTE A POST ABOUT HOW PIRACY DOES NOT AFFECT THE INDUSTRY!" I don't care if an user wrote it or Bill Gates: playing games without paying the price is WRONG. You can argue all you want that so far piracy didn't even scratch the majority of big titles, and I could counter that by saying that small developers are more afflicted and don't get enough money for next games (and for a good reason, if all you hear from people with a flashcard when a new, unusual game comes out is "I'm not paying for this game lol", even if they play it and finish it), but with the internet it is getting a lot more easy and popular. And developers don't want to invest on a console where you can easily download their game from the internet and play it for free. That's why they have huge DRM teams and that's why they can get annoying. GOG has a cool concept and I respect them for it, but don't get surprised if people online think to be smart by creating torrents with the whole GOG library into it. If the game has a DRM the excuse is "I don't want to deal with this so I pirate". If the game doesn't have a DRM the excuse is "why bother when I can have it for free?". Of course, this can't ruin the industry at all.

    Waiting for sales all the time

    I'm going to need an example here. Let's say that Ubisoft releases Rayman 4 on Steam alone. It has a new concept, but it's still a 2D platform like Origins and Legends. The price is 39,90€.
    We'll get two kinds of main group: the first is interested about the game and will buy it at that price, and the second is interested as well but will wait for the game to drop below 4,90€ while making fun of the "idiots" who bought the game full price.
    By purchasing games that are always on >-66% discounts, you are giving developers less money. A lot less, in fact. The second group is getting bigger and many games don't see sales until they get a discount. Or when they get themselves to Humble Bundle.
    This is considered a "smart" purchase. It is, for the short-term. But what are you going to do when developers will prefer consoles over PC? If I sell my game of Rayman 4 on PS4 with an average of 30€ and I also sell it on PC for 10€, where am I going to make my next game? And keep in mind that, like piracy, PC gaming is growing very fast and one day releasing a game on PC won't get any major selling unless you give it a -66% discount on DAY-ONE. All this while many developers just move on and changed job to one with more revenue.
    Isn't this ruining the market? Discounts should be made in order to get people interested in the game that they weren't going to get anyway. They shouldn't be the final offer everyone will get, while making fun of the real supporters who bought the game full price.

    These are the problems with the industry, and those people don't want to address them. Because early access games are kewl, unfunny jokes you must purchase are funneh, piracy is not affecting anything and steam is good and almighty gaben our savior etc. So they had to find another excuse. How about we start looking at things with the right point of view instead of going to shout at the fans who preorder games "it's your fault!"?

    And I get it, there are people who preorder everything and then never play the game. But honestly, between the group who buys preorders full-price all the time and anybody from the list I just did, which one do you think is the biggest?
    TotalInsanity4 and Wellington2k like this.
  2. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    I rarely preorder games anymore, hell I rarely buy games within their launch week. I made the first exception in years for Bloodborne.

    I wouldn't say "ruining the industry" but it's kinda dumb. People have no patience and revolve so much around a couple games that they drop $60 on something they only have half the story for. Watch as many previews as you want, you can't really tell if a game is good until its out and has been played.

    I just find it ironic that shitty sites like RPS, Polygon, and Kotaku are pointing blame at preorders for "ruining the industry" and not the shitty fucking reviews they push out or the rampant useless articles they shit out on a daily basis. People preorder games because these sites say a game is good. Blame your goddamn selves if you're wondering why people flock to shitty games on launch.
  3. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    First up I got the statues without preordering from toys r us

    No its not killing the industry, what is killing it is approval of games that are not ready but are released for $$$ (Et,pacman2600,sonic06 all followed that)
  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

    pip Contributor
    GBAtemp Patron
    Tom Bombadildo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Jul 11, 2009
    United States
    I forgot
    This, basically.

    I only pre-order games I know I'll play regardless, like Bloodborne and even GTA V on PC. But other than that, I just wait for gameplay vids and stuff rather than all those shitty reviews shitty review sites push out that are basically just paid advertisements.
  5. nxwing

    nxwing GBAtemp Addict

    Jul 22, 2013
    The Capital
    ^^This is pretty much what I had in mind. Preordering games has a consequence, you never know what you're actually gonna get if the devs just rushed out and didn't actually finished it
  6. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    Well they also need to release the youtubers are becoming more sey vocal in their reviews than the sites (I know way more people who buy a game with a good completionist review then a good ign review)
  7. Monty Kensicle

    Monty Kensicle Yay!

    Aug 4, 2008
    United States
    Commonwealth of Virginia
    When I pre-ordered Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (One for me, one for my younger brother who also plays) I decided to shop around for pre-order bonuses. Toys-R-Us was giving away a Mega Charizard X/Y plush if you pre-ordered both and the release date coincided with a buy 1 get 1 40% off sale on 3DS games, so I saved quite a bit.

    Going about pre-ordering was a pain though.

    First I couldn't get the same bonus item and discount if I ordered online, then the employee in electronics pawned me off on one of the cashiers when it's their job to facilitate pre-orders.
    The cashier had no idea what they were doing, scanned the Alpha Sapphire UPC twice and when I asked that it be corrected acted like it was my fault they messed up.

    The day the game launched was another story, a fantastic and easy experience was had.
    DaggerV07 likes this.
  8. Disco

    Disco GBAtemp Fan

    Nov 10, 2006
    I don't pre-order games, I did it twice. It was for the physical copy of TLOU remastered (didn't have PS3, so this game was new to me, and it's awesome BTW!!), because of the discount.
    And I also did it for the Sonic Lost World for 3DS, and I was pissed when the game arrived and I tried to play that POS.
    That game is so so bad. The only 3DS game I regret buying out of 50+ original games I have for the system!
    So, from now on I will only pre-order if they give me discount and if I am pretty sure that I would like the game.

    Paying for alpha and beta testing is not my cup of tea, in the old days, developers actually payed for game testers and not vice-versa! (considering early access bullshit)

    And lastly, I have so many games and so little time, so I can wait for discount's. For example, my Vita library is almost all digital (I have that super expensive 64gb card) and all bought on discounts, and also many games were given trough PS+.
  9. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    Only issue with preordering for discount is you can usually get a better deal if you look around for deals or wait and get it PRE owned
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Pre-ordering a game AKA paying for a product that doesn't exist yet essentially sends a message to the developers saying that you are willing to pay the asking price regardless of the quality of said product. I haven't pre-ordered a game in forever and I'm not going to start now unless I'm a 100% certain that the game will meet my expectations or unless it belongs in a series I collect. Pre-orders also generated a problem that has never existed before - shortages. Gaming stores these days tend to order only as many copies as many pre-orders they get. It's getting harder and harder to walk into a store and buy something unless they have pre-owned copies and that's just ridiculous. If I haven't pre-ordered a game and it's not a big title that the store will order an abundance of, I might as well log on PSN and buy it there because chances are they're not stocking it.
    Taleweaver likes this.
  11. Catastrophic

    Catastrophic Perfectly Normal

    Apr 28, 2012
    I've not once pre-ordered a game before as I don't quite see the point. If the game turns out to be bad then you just wasted money for no reason whatsoever.

    I don't get this one. I mean yes, they're jokes, but they're still products and like any other product, be it comedy films or prank gizmos, you willingly pay for them.
  12. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    They do? Hmm...I would've thought that they would crucify larger companies who seem to want to make the most of their preorder income by "releasing on time" rather than "releasing when it's ready". There's no denying that the difference between what a game (implicitly) promises to be and what the game actually is is getting quite big. And that's not the fault of the people preordering, and unless I'm really mistaken, nobody is holding those preordering actually responsible. Nonetheless, the whole attempted hollowing of the preorder thing may very well be the only way we could actually let the industry know they can't keep pulling shit like releasing a half buggy game with none of the promised "innovation".

    Erm...okay? Look. I'm willing to discuss the situation on preordering. But if you're going to throw up other situations in which other people have other issues that may affect the industry...then I'm not going to bother. Early access games and kickstarter have a LARGE issue containing within them that are sort of in the same vein as preordering, joke purchases don't diminish the fact that other companies make decent games, piracy certainly has an effect on the industry and steam is still DRM. That's all nice and all, but NONE OF THESE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH PREORDERS! (okay, except the early access. Though not in the context you make it out to be). Keep it at one discussion at a time, or I'm going to claim that all I'm saying is correct based on the fact that my father has a moustache (yes, I too can bring up stuff that has nothing to do with it).
  13. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

    May 8, 2012
    behind a keyboard or a gamepad
    What Foxi said about the shortages is very accurate, just look at the Amiibos(specialy the Splatoon inklings), every store in the world was out of stock within hours of their announce. preorders were supposedly invented to allow people to be sure they'll get the product they want and avoid shortages.

    Now, more in line with the initial question.
    I generally found digital preorders useless and stupid, sure it'll be the same as if you just buy the game digitally at the day of release but a digital game isn't gonna suffer from a shortage, the game will be there and ain't gonna move, so what is the hurry to spend the money right away?? is your digital pocket too heavy to carry??, if there is a discount applied for people that preorder then I can see a reason, but that doesn't always happen.
    Physical preorders have all the right to exist ,as I mentioned earlier, preorders exist to prevent shortages and be sure to get what you want and even some times you'll be awarded with a gift or even a discount for that.

    Going back to the Amiibo example for a rant, some people like to collect things, there is nothing wrong with that, but the real audience are the people that is gonna use them. and I'm sure pretty much more than 50% of the preorders placed on Amiibos are from people who is gonna stare at them and never use them(then 45% are scalpers and 5% real users). that make me double furious, once for the people who want to have them for the sake of have them and twice for the negligent distribution of Nintendo producing shortages on preorders. I REALLY WANT DAT INKLING GIRL AMIIBO AND I'M GONNA USE HER!!!! if I'm lucky enough to get her.
  14. Adeka

    Adeka Beta Tester

    Mar 19, 2013
    United States
    Preordering at Best Buy gives you $10 of store credit plus you get 20% off all games and accessories with GCU. Why wouldn't I want to preorder? :cry:
  15. chavosaur

    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

    Mar 11, 2012
    United States
    Huntersville, NC
    I will say this, preordering a game digitally is something I'll do just to have the ability to pre-load it to my console or PC.

    If it's a game I know I'm going to get day one anyway, and I don't want te physical copy, preloading just saves me the time so that at midnight or whatever, I can just download the final license and play, having downloaded all the previous game data a week in advance.

    I kind of wish the same could be said about this new gen of consoles with discs. Having to install the disc (at least on an Xbox One) can take a decent bit of time, especially when you consider day one updates.

    If they could at least make it so if I preorder a disc based game, I can redeem a disc specific code to download the data before hand and have the disc unlock my content on launch so I can immediately play, I'd absolutely continue preordering disc based games.
  16. Haloman800

    Haloman800 a real gril

    Dec 18, 2009
    United States
    Pre-orders are the only thing keeping stores like GameStop alive - each store has a quota for pre-orders, and the managers/corporate gets onto them if they don't meet it.
  17. Adeka

    Adeka Beta Tester

    Mar 19, 2013
    United States
    Doesn't most of gamestops revenue come from them selling pre-owned games?

    They basically scam you. They give you $5 then they resell for $50...
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.
  18. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

    Dec 1, 2014
    United States
    Under a rock
    Very well written, Vipera!
  19. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    I have to say that if they didn't get any preorders they still would be find
  20. Windaga

    Windaga GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 12, 2009
    United States
    New England
    I've never had a problem with preordering. I understand and acknowledge both sides of the "argument", but ultimately, I don't really sit in either camp. If you like the preorder bonuses/material, or if you feel you won't be able to get a copy on launch date, or if your check comes in earlier that week and you want to set the money aside right away, go for it. If you're one of the gamers that think preordering is ruining the industry or you simply have no need or want to preorder, then don't.

    That's my two cents, anyway. I've grown tired of both the snarky quips about either side from journalists and the seething angry comment sections on the aforementioned articles. I understand conflict is natural and even required to move forward as a society, but man those arguments can get super unsettling fast.
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.