Pre-Ordering Video Games is Wrecking the Industry

MATAYA ARMSTRONG | THE SPECTRUM
MATAYA ARMSTRONG | THE SPECTRUM

In any good trap, a savory bait is needed. This is how game developers and retailers alike have afflicted gamers with pre-ordering syndrome.

Pre-ordering, for those unaware, is paying in-part or in-full for a game that has not been released yet to ensure having a copy. The perks having been hyped up: receiving bonus content or having a copy on date of release.

At first, all was well. Gamers got a little extra and companies had a better idea of how many units to ship out and to where.

The notion of pre-order has been a successful one, but pre-ordering brought about some consequences. Because gamers were willing to put money down on games strictly based on trailers or first impressions, game producers have been able to get away with pushing out games that still need polishing.

Pre-ordering has caused game producers to care more about a deadline than actually getting the best version of their content to the people. Some of the most recent examples of this are Madden 15 and Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Both games have been known for their assortment of bugs and glitches.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity especially received flack from numerous gamers as some players encountered so many glitches, the game was nearly unplayable.

This reflected poorly on the game’s producer Ubisoft, so much so the company gave out the game’s downloadable content for free. Those who had already paid for DLC were given the option of a free game.

Pre-ordering has created a problem where game producers can sell games that are not in pristine condition and still make enormous profits. I have had my fair share of buyer’s remorse from pre-ordering games.

When thinking about it from a business standpoint on the side of the gamer, it seems ridiculous to pay for something when you are unsure of what you are fully receiving. The fallbacks of receiving a game that is not finished largely outweighs any incentives brought about by “bonus content.”

If gamers keep blindly throwing money, producers will never have a reason to change. Pre-ordering as an idea is not bad, but the effects of what happens because of it is.

This is a situation of the cons outweighing the pros. I don’t think I will ever choose to pre-order a game again. I find it comparable to walking up to a car dealership and paying for a car without going for a test drive or knowing all the fine details of the potential purchase.

Newly released video games are not cheap. Gamers should be more conscientious of how they spend their hard-earned money. Don’t jump off the pre-ordering bridge without knowing how deep the game’s “water” is.

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