Mar 18, 2013

Stop the pre-purchasing.

As the title says, gamers really, really need to stop blindly buying into pre-purchase for big game releases.  I'll tell you why.  For one, Pre-ordering is a thing from back when availability was a real concern.  Today, that is not the case.  You can swipe your Visa online anytime and start downloading your day one game.  There is no fear of not being able to grasp your trembling hands around that game that you've waited so long for, anymore.  Second, today's preorder 'bonuses' are absolute rubbish.  Yes, you can preorder and save 10% if you buy early, and if you know you'll be playing this thing out of sheer religion, do so.  I've done this myself, I shan't lie.

But lets not disregard the fact a preorder on a video game is basically throwing money at something you have NO idea about before you recieve and play your product. Gearbox Software's  Aliens: Colonial Marines illustrated well enough what kind of bait and switch is actually being done with their latest release, the end product being a far cry from what they promised, and what they actually showed before the game went 'gold'.  For those not familiar with that story, Gearbox showed some very good looking footage from their game, then stripped it down to something you might expect to get from your money on a PS2. They also showed some pretty interesting looking gameplay, which too has been taken out.  They basically advertised.. Oh I don't know, the next Tomb Raider, Uncharted, God of War or Call of Duty, and then they shipped out a game from those series we already saw on PS2, or other platforms the same caliber.

Also, please do not buy games blindly based on press release copies sent out before release.  Please.  Just look at SimCity. While there were some eyebrows raised over the need for online connections to play this thing, most of the gaming press went out of their way to endorse this game, with its tiny city building space and downright retarded sim AI (SimCity inhabitant's dont own houses, or have jobs. They just take what house or job slots are closest to them, and free. Have fun following your citizens throughout their lives, as the ads go, and marvel at the sheer incompetence that has gone into this game)

Lastly, look at the things you get if you do pay out for a pre-order.  A pair of sneakers for the scout class in Team Fortress 2,  or a copy of a game from the olden days. Stop it. If you had any interest in playing that old game, be it bad or good, you would have done so years ago already.

To sum up, I think the concept of pre-ordering a video game is outdated and need to go away, right now.  Even if you are a big fan of a series or developer, wait for release, see what kind of bugbears they've knowingly hidden before you give them your money for a product you have no idea about.  It's the only way we can turn this trend around, where publishers are free to promise whatever they feel sells best, and then deliver whatever the devs had time to crank out in the time allotted.