Today I shall be starting another feature for the site. These posts will be my random thoughts and opinions on the gaming industry. If you check under the misc tab you can always search for them there as I intend for them to be more of a way to relieve my frustration with how the gaming industry treats its customers then as actual content for the site.
Now this time I want to talk about all this preorder bonus insanity, every new game that is released has a different preorder bonus from every retailer or digital distributor. No longer is it a bookmark or mousepad folks, its actual pieces of the game like a extra level for LA:Noire or unique weapons like the power sword for Warhammer 40k Space Marine.
Often these items can only be had if you have the unique retailer/distributor serial code that you get when preordering the game. Some content is later released in a game of the year edition or for sale as a DLC. But most of this content is exclusive and you can only obtain all of these neat or game breaking items if you pre oder the game ten times or buy the codes from people off ebay.
Why is the game industry doing this? Money, Retailers want those pre orders and publishers love to make game developers comply and create or cut parts of the game up to make sure everyone can offer something exclusive. Infact most of the profit generated from game sales is made off preorders and the first weeks sales. Long term sales for a game mean little to the big publishers and retailers compared to the preorder cash ins. So offering any sort of incentive to get those preorders seems to be the winning strategy now.
Some may say, “Sure, they offer tons of preorder bonuses but most of them are just novelty” True, golden plated AKs don’t usually break gameplay or even interest me for that matter. To me its really the principle of the thing, It feels like the gaming industry is treating us like empty headed fools who will gobble up anything shiny or exclusive. All of this pre order debauchery is making the entire gaming industry look sleazy as far as I’m concerned. To me games are art, not just interactive movies or cash cows. They are unique stories and sagas that take you to distant worlds where you can enjoy amazing gameplay and just plain have fun.
Is there a solution to this mess? No, I mean there is always the threat of a boycott or gamers taking a stand together against something. But it never seems to work most boycotts are just in word and not action. So people will continue to pre order games for these tiny pieces of exclusive content and publishers will continue to offer more and more different kinds for retailers. Until eventually all games end up like Starcraft 2 but instead of the publisher breaking the original game into three games. Every retailer will sell one exclusive mission for 9.99 and the publisher will sell the main game files for 59.99 from their direct digital store.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. What do you think of all this preorder bonus nonsense?