The release cycle for new video games has become an incredibly predictable thing. First come the trailers, the hype articles promising the biggest, best and most epic experience of all time. Then, we get the endless pestering to pre-order ourselves a copy.
Historically, pre-ordering might well have been your only way to ensure that you got a game on the day of release. Then came digital downloads, and suddenly you didn’t need to pre-order a game. You’d just click download and – just like that – you’d have your very own copy of the game.
Great, right? Well, not for video game companies. Pre-ordering wasn’t just a way for you to get the game as soon as possible, it was a vital element of game developers business models.
You see, pre-ordering meant that game developers get money in their pockets before the game comes out. With incredibly prolonged development cycles and huge budget shortfalls commonplace, that’s vital. It also guaranteed a certain number of sales, protecting against a potential deluge of terrible reviews. No Man’s Sky, anyone?
As such, devs and publishers alike have been going out of their way to make pre-ordering as enticing as possible. But is it ever worth it? Join us as we take a look at some of the arguments on each side:
Yes – Pre-Order Bonuses Can be Pretty Cool
The most common tactic amongst developers these days when it comes to encouraging people to sign up is the promise of a pre-order XP bonus.
We’ve seen it in virtually every Call of Duty game, Red Dead Redemption 2 and, well, almost every game with an online progression system. It’s a simple, no-cost hook for developers to include, spanning multiple industries. iGaming, for example, makes use this through many an online casino welcome bonus offered by sites such as NetEntCasino, whose recently redesigned website clearly presents the best offers available. By richly rewarding those who decide to invest their time and money into their service over another, game and casino developers alike can offer their customers incentives to get started.
Yes – You’ll Have the Game Instantly
Sometimes, you just know you’re going to buy a game. Whether it’s a new entry in a long-running franchise like GTA V or just something right up your alley, sometimes a buy is a guarantee. If that’s the case, why not pre-order? You’ll get those bonuses and the game as soon as possible.
No – It Might Suck
We’ve all been burnt in the past with a disappointing game, so why put your money on the line? Wait for the reviews to appear, the fanbase to weigh in and the consensus to settle. If it’s really worth it, you’ll find out sooner rather than later.
No – You’ll Pay Over the Odds
Brand-new games always demand extortionate prices, and it’s no different with pre-orders. Why pay $60, $70 or even $80 when you can hang on for a couple of months and pay half that? The FOMO might be too much to handle, but if you can wait, why not? You’ll get a few games for the price that you’d have paid for just one, especially when the Steam Summer Sale rolls around. Oh, and you’ll skip the no-doubt dozens of post-release bugs and patches. Not bad, ey?
Do you pre-order games or give it a few months? Let us know on our social media channels!