Ever walk into a store, eager to get your hands on that new copy of the latest hot game, only to find that it isn’t there? No? Me either. Sure, there was a time that games disappeared within minutes and took a couple weeks to restock, but those days are behind us. No company is going to miss out on sales just because you neglected to throw down $5 beforehand. So why are we still doing it?
We are still chucking over cash for a nonexistent product, mostly because “they” want us to. Hey, if the deal is sweet enough, why not? This practice, however, has seemed to bleed into more of a habit for many gamers, instead of a practical decision. With the clerk down our necks, it is hard to see reason when checking out at the register. So let’s take a moment to look at incentives to do the deed.
First, we have some in-game items. This ranges from character customization options to early weapons to level content. Personally, if you are locking me out of a level for not prepurchasing your game, you either aren’t proud of that piece of game content or you just hate me. Shame on you! As far as unique guns, hair colors, etc. go, is it really that exclusive if everyone gets it? Hopping into a multiplayer match where everyone is donning the same camo design simply isn’t that intriguing to me. Exclusivity only works if it is actually exclusive.
These aren’t the only ways we are baited. Tangible, collectible décor has made its way to the fray. This is where I sometimes drop the spare groats early to nab a free poster for my house. “Link Between Worlds” is tossing out codes for “Oracle of Seasons” as a pretty sexy promo. If I didn’t already own it, I’d surely be throwing my hat in Gamestop’s rack. All of these items are great reasons to preorder, but only for those who have special connections with franchises or have some empty wall space.
Lastly, we have Amazon. On top of removing that sales tax, which adds up if you frequently purchase games, occasionally you are blessed with an extra treat. You get home from work, school, etc., and you have a package on your doorstep. My oh my, early delivery!?! Gods be good! Sure this doesn’t happen often, but often enough. If you can’t find a retailer with any good deals to throw your way, there is no shame in using online services to save some cents.
So unless you are going for a Collector’s Edition or just want a GTA chick to adorn your wall, pre orders simply have lost their relevance. Not to say I don’t pre order myself, I simply do a little homework and shop around before I decide to throw down on my next gaming adventure. Hopefully, you are encouraged to do the same.