Wednesday, 21 November 2012
I order you not to, erm pre
I hate pre-ordering stuff, really I just don't see the point. There have only been a couple of times in the last 3 or 4 years where I have pre-ordered a game, and these are games I have been especially excited about. So the rise of pre-order bonus on games has always kind of irked me. The last game that I pre-ordered was Battlefield 3, and I got the first map pack for free when it came out (which as it turned out was about two months after launch). As a bonus is concerned it was a decent one, the maps being ok and I was not
missing out on launch content when the game came out.
Interestingly Borderlands 2 had a similar offer, with a whole new character becoming
available after launch if you pre-ordered, which I didn't. Do I feel I missed out by not
pre-ordering Borderlands 2? No not in the slightest, I got a decent sized game at a great
price by waiting a week of so after launch. I am sure had I waited a couple of months for BF3 I probably could have gotten the game and the DLC at the same price. So we are clear then that I essentially am not a huge fan of pre-order bonuses.
I was browsing Steam and noted that the new Tomb Raider game had popped up on
there. Being curious I decided to have a look and found that not only where they
pre-order bonuses, but these bonus only unlocked if enough people pre-ordered. The
first bonus (for which the target had yet to be reached) was a copy of Lara Croft and the
Guardian of Light. Then there was a challenge map and the first DLC when released after that. These goals we're given as percentages i.e. the first at 25%, second at 50% etc, it didn't, as
Steam usually doesn't, give sales figures. What really annoyed me is that they are asking
people to pre-order on the chance that they might get one of, if not all these bonuses. OK I
might have had to bite back a bit of rage when I saw that.
This is not something that would encourage me to pre-order a game, if anything it puts
me off. I have been burnt by pre-orders before for games I expected to be good but turns
out aren't. The recently released Hitman game is a great example, where they released
a sniper mini game if you pre-ordered. This is a good pre-order bonus as you actually
get a extra in advance of the game being released. However the game (which I have
only briefly played at MCM) has had some very mixed reviews, with the more console
focused media (IGN, Gamesmaster etc) giving the game high scores but the PC focused
sites like Rock Paper Shotgun and PC Gamer not loving it, due to the lack of freedom
compared to previous games.
Short version don't pre-order games based on bonuses, ever. By all means pre-order
games you are excited about (like I did with Torchlight 2), but don't take the bonus into
consideration and I would recommend waiting until you can take some reviews in.