What’s Wrong With Video Games: Pre-Ordering

If you pre-order the special edition of this article, you’ll get the text in English!

The above statement is a fucking problem, isn’t it? Why should you pay extra for something that should be included from the start? That is the problem facing the game industry today. Game developers are creating content and then deliberately withholding content from the consumer unless they order the game early, sometimes for extra cost.
Arguably, this is a smart move for the gaming industry. With used game sales hurting overall profits, it is natural for these businesses to try to maximize profits. Gimmicks like online passes that mean you have to buy the game brand new or purchase the pass online are one of the ways EA, I mean, the game industry, has tried to cut into used game sales.
Another appears to be the pre-order bonus. Shadow of Mordor: pre-order and get a unique Ranger Skin. The Order: 1886, pre-order and receive extra missions, skins. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, pre-order bonus: unique weapons and exo-skeleton skins.
At first, pre-order bonuses did not seem like an issue to me. So what if dEwGAmerXheadSH0t has a different color gun than I do, but he also sounds like he inhaled helium so whatever. But then I realized that gamers are being played.
It used to be that special skins and unique items were a reward for beating the game. In The Force Unleashed, when you beat the game you unlocked cool robes for Starkiller, based on which ending you chose. In Halo 3 you had to accomplish multiplayer challenges to get unique armor.
Now, all you have to do is buy the game early.
Still, not really a problem, except that developers are creating content and then withholding it. And pre-order bonuses are limited to cosmetic items either. Entire maps, entire MODES are being limited to those who throw money at the game first. Developer Techland’s upcoming game “Dying Light,” a first person zombie survival game, is locking its “Be a Zombie” mode as pre-order bonus. The mode was created, for a game people will be paying $60 for, but if you don’t pre-order, you don’t get a part of the game. Even my beloved Mortal Kombat has Goro, the fucking big, bad, multi-armed monstrosity as a pre-order bonus. Why? Why not include that in the game, and entice people to buy it? Instead it is a bonus if you lay your money down RIGHT NOW.
I don’t have a problem with bonuses that are figurines or booklets or cool cases. If it isn’t a part of the game, if it is just some cool aesthetic that goes on your shelf, that’s fine. That’s neat! But if it is a part of a game deliberately withheld, it is bullshit.
Beating a game used to mean something. You’d unlock cool stages, costumes, the ability to be the bad guy. Now, give up your money or you get a game that is pretty much complete. As games become shorter and their replay value is limited to how good the multiplayer is, I think it is a growing problem that needs attention. Gamers shouldn’t have to guarantee their money for a product just because they want a part of the game. It’s like game companies don’t want you to play the game before buying it; they want to suck you in with cool trailers (that show no gameplay) and neat little pre-order bonuses. Never mind renting, never mind reviews, never mind having an opinion, just be a sheep and PRE-ORDER NOW.


Thank you, and if you pre-order my next article, you’ll get the exclusive “Reading” ability.
–Alex, 1/25/2015
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