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Why would you pre-order?

JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,678Member Uncommon
Why do people pre order games?  Why not just wait for it to come out?


  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    pre ordering often gives you items in game. It lets you download the game sooner so it's ready to go day 1. Sometimes it gives a beta spot...pretty much you get stuff for pre ordering.

    Sometimes you're a consumer zombie and you're just doing what everyone else does and you never think about why.

  • DrunkWolfDrunkWolf Posts: 1,274Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Why do people pre order games?  Why not just wait for it to come out?

    I have pre ordered a couple times in the past and honestly felt like i got burned by doing it.  never again, unless i get a beta key and can cancel the pre order after i get the key and use it as a free trial. thats all betas are now anyways.


  • SpellforgedSpellforged Belvidere, ILPosts: 458Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Why do people pre order games?  Why not just wait for it to come out?

    Waiting is the most logical course of action but some people don't care about that.  They want a game for some reason and are willing to gamble on it.  What else is there to say?

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 21,622Member Epic

    I pre-order if I already know I'm going to get the game or more so if I know I'm going to get the game and I get some sort of item or beta or "whatever".

    I"m usually a pretty good judge of whether I will get a month or more of entertainment out of it.

    And I have never pre-ordered a game and not gotten a month or more out of it.

  • iridescenceiridescence Posts: 1,552Member Uncommon

    I'll preorder if it's a game I'm reasonably sure of and they give me a discount of like 15% or more for doing it. Whether I like the company has a role too. If it's a small dev I like and respect I'm far more likely to take the risk of preordering than with some big faceless AAA publisher.


  • tomahawkustomahawkus KrakowPosts: 6Member Uncommon
    Preordering makes you free of trouble that the game wouldn't be avaiable to you in 0-day. Besides of that it's often cheaper and gives you additional benefits.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 14,247Member Rare
    Originally posted by Ujirik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Why do people pre order games?  Why not just wait for it to come out?

    Waiting is the most logical course of action but some people don't care about that.  They want a game for some reason and are willing to gamble on it.  What else is there to say?

    I agree with your reply to his question, but I'd like to answer yours.

    Jem's question is a valid one, as there is no real reason for most people to pre-order in an age of digital downloads. The name has changed over the past seven or eight years in order for developers to achieve the same goal - generate revenue prior to release. For box products, pre-orders and pre-purchases gained a secondary benefit of being able to ship it directly without having to go through the retailers, as it costs a lot less all around to ship it all from the warehouse than to go through the contracts and hoops of getting copies on store shelves.

    As pre-order sales started to taper off, publishers and developers started introducing special/deluxe/collector's editions to both renew interest in pre-ordering and to increase the pre-release revenue per purchase. There's also the age old marketing trick of providing multiple options to shift the decision making of interested and on-the-fence customers from "buy or don't buy?" to "which of these should I buy?"

    The kits started getting bigger and bigger, some of the more notable being the AoC and SWTOR boxes, but you reach a point where there's a limit to how high the price can go (SWTOR CE was 160 USD) and how much they can put in the box before it becomes an unwieldy crate of goods. So they looked at the other things that players saw of value:

    • - alpha, beta and headstart access
    • - unique cosmetic items
    • - starter gear that accelerates gains/progression (AoC nailed that one)
    • - mounts!

    All of which can be digitally delivered as an emailed code or directly in game. No more hardcover books, action figures or cute trinkets to manufacture and ship. Even better, that stuff can now be sold individually such as that neat goldmine called the Authenticator.

    The past couple of years that has shifted even more, and we now have Founder and VIP access, completely eliminating physical products and allowing for a relatively consistent three-tier system of basic entry, the one they expect you to choose, and the super mega whole enchilada special. Not only do these generate revenue before release but they perform the additional function of further revenue as we are seeing a consistent pattern of the cash shop being turned on as early as Closed Beta in some games.

    The latest in the series is Kickstarter and Steam with "be a part of the development process", often offering little or nothing other than access to the alpha/beta in return.


    While the entire point of pre-orders and its many incarnations is to generate revenue during development, and one should probably weigh that into their buying decision, the publishers/developers can only generate that revenue if the consumer feels that the offer is equal or greater than the price that is being asked. So while I agree that people pre-order because they want the goodies or access, Jem's is a very valid question, especially considering the industry's track record.


    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
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  • TorvalTorval Posts: 11,867Member Legendary

    Like Sovrath, I usually pre-order games I know I'm going to play. It's a way of avoiding the launch day account rush and crush, or at least minimizing its impact. Sometimes pre-order packages have useful stuff. The Neverwinter $60 pack has been very useful as they actually bundled items in it.

    If I don't pre-order a game, then I usually wait 1 - 6 months until after it releases before I'll try it out. I did that with TSW and Tera. I wait until they offer a decent deal on a bundle and a free trial period to make sure I really want to buy in.

    With that said the OPs question and Lokto's points are very good. The industry is trying really hard to push pre-release sales and are doing so in a way that leaves me uncomfortable. Kickstarters in particular and indie games make my spidey sense tingle. Shroud of the Avatar comes to mind. I feel uncomfortable with what and how they're selling land plots and position in the game. I will definitely wait a while until after it releases before I check it out. Just like Raymond Feist's Midkemia MUD, it may end up that it just doesn't work for me no matter how much I would love to play in those worlds.

    Centuries ago, in primitive times, before the dawn of civilization, there were things that would be inconceivable to us today; such things as poverty, disease, violence, senility, and love.
  • EunuchmakerEunuchmaker Harlingen, TXPosts: 204Member Uncommon

    Headstart access to names. 



    Call me unimaginative, but I like to use the same clichéd names in all my games, the names people later on try to spell differently because I got the name first.  No, not Sephiroth.

  • PsyctoothPsyctooth SydneyPosts: 2Member

    Pre-ordering is one of those "seedy" topics which I find is simply something I am ok with in some situations and am not in other situations.

    When I purchase a game, I in the hopes of the purchase want my well earned money going to the people who truly deserve my well earned money.  For they earned it  making the game for me which I wish to play, so that all makes sense and it seems fair completely in the whole purpose of money, which is trading time for effort and paid in kind of spending a part of your life working on something to bring entertainment or benefit to others, naturally.

    Now Pre-orders are an iffy topic at the least and a controversial one at the most.  One might ask why this is the case?  Simple, because not every pre-order purchase, ends up with our money in the pockets of those who deserve it, the developers.

    Namely in the case of when Publishers and Distributors are involved, in the case of large established developers, be they owned by a Publisher or are Indie usually give their staff a yearly pension/payment based on their contract of work.  You have a 5 year employment contract, you get X amount of money at the end of each financial year.  Few large studios operate outside this system, I think Australia is one of the rare cases where you get paid by the hour.  Said large sum of money you receive once or twice a year is pretty much what you have to live off of for the next year.   Large studios and studios owned by publishers have a yearly budget laid out by total expenses which are managed from the total income they receive across the board from all sales once all the money they do not get is taken into equation.


    After reading the last bit "do not get" now you are concerned, yes you should be, one may ask, well why don't they get the money?  It's their game, by all rights all of the money belongs to them?  Well... things don't work that way in the real world, it may if say you are the person who fully owns all the distribution for your game.

    And that's the cruncher... the distribution method and why this effects physical and in some cases the digital "Pre-order:" sales of games.  


    I have absolutely no problem with pre-ordering a game from a distributor who hands the purchase percentage (let's use Valve as an example with Valve's steam, Valve charge a flat rate of 30% for all purchases of products though their distribution system STEAM) it's a good system, it isn't a good system for every developer but it is a lot better than what others charge.  Now comes down to how Pre-orders are handled, a Pre-Order though Steam, 30% of the money goes to Valve, 70% goes directly to either the Publisher or the Developer, which is then sent to their pool of income to then be distributed amongst the developers of the project.  Now this is a pre-order system I don't have a problem with as it supports the developers.


    Now here is an example of a Pre-order system I DO have a problem with.

    The system used by EB Games/GameStop.  They sign exclusive deals with publishers for "goodies" so that they can make an early investment profit on game sales.  They then make the exclusivity and rarity of a product, in such cases as a Collector's Edition a means to force people to pre-order due to the limit numbers of said collector's edition otherwise people would be denied the CE on release date because they are sold out though, guess what?  Pre-orders.

    They purposefully limit the number of copies of Pre-orders to various stores to further incite the exclusivity and rarity and force people to pre-order, thing is even if a lot of people who are educated gamers who hang out on forums and know the truth of the goings on in the business of selling games, there will always be 10 more people for everyone person who knows, who doesn't know and will do it, thus denying you a cool CE.


    Now what is the point of this?  Well the developers or publisher doesn't see a dime or a cent of that money spent on the pre-order.  NONE!  It all goes to Gamestop/EB Games, all the money.  On Release day, then, the said amount of money gets given to the Developer/Publisher as a bulk payment based on the amount of sales, however any game which did not sell... well that money is out of the pockets of the publisher/developer anyway.  Because the Distributor is in the Business of selling games for a game developer or publisher, which they paid them to do so.  So our hard earned money goes to those who do not deserve it first, then it goes to those who deserve it second.


    Why is this a problem since this is how business works?

    Well what if said company was having financial problems?  They wouldn't see a much desperately needed injection of money till after said game title hits it's pre-arranged release date.  That's why.

    Which is also why I prefer to Pre-Order directly from the Publisher or the Developers themselves or though the Marketing group the developers set up for marketing their game.  That way the money goes directly into the hands of those who deserve it, rather than though a middle man.  Yes you have to pay for shipping yourself, but I'd rather pay for my own distribution than pay someone who won't give that money to those who deserve it right away.


    With that said, not ALL Distributors operate this way, you just need to make sure that when you do Pre-Order, the money isn't sitting in someone's bank for the purpose of generating interest, instead of going directly into the bank of the developers/publishers to generate interest.  They miss out on assets they deserve in that case.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 6,332Member Rare

    The gaming industry has adopted the film industries marketing strategy of making games the latest fashion. The must see, must play thing that you have to do with your friends. That entices you to pre-order and play beta. Their sales strategy is very orientated to pre launch sales, even in F2P MMOs. We saw this year two F2P MMOs who were selling items in their cash shop but saying they had not launched!

    I let friends do the betas, the information I get of them and a review (not a preview, a this weeks ongoing review or the like) is enough to make my decision.

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  • muppetpilotmuppetpilot Fort Wayne, INPosts: 171Member Uncommon

    I have pre-ordered games in the past but will never do it again (well, with the exception of the D3 expansion, lol).  I've been burned more than once by pre-ordering something and then having it stink up my PC or console, so I do agree with the general logic present in the OP's question: why not just wait until the game hits so that you don't get stuck with an unpleasant "surprise."

    Then again, there are lots of reasons for people to pre-order if they're so inclined.  You typically wind up getting something in-game you wouldn't be able to get otherwise, and then, at least in MMOs, there is generally a head start involved for the pre-order people.  It's an attractive deal if you're receptive to it, again especially in MMOs where an early start is so important to some people and guilds. 

    For me, though, the risk of winding up with a turd outweighs the rewards.

    "Why would I want to loose a religion upon my people? Religions wreck from within - Empires and individuals alike! It's all the same." - God Emperor of Dune

  • R3ckless0neR3ckless0ne wrexhamPosts: 6Member
    I always pre order for the fluff and headstart, but the headstart never really works out they always have server problems at launch and takes a week or so to sort it lol
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 14,962Member Legendary

    1. Its a way of supporting the developer/game you like

    2. Early access

    3. In game bonuses


  • EaglertEaglert San Diego, CAPosts: 12Member
    I just preorder because I'm a sucker for those "exclusive bonuses" and "early access". There has yet to be a game that I pre-ordered that I don't think I would have bought eventually though, so I don't mind the system.
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