News emerged this week that there was a ‘pre-order crisis’ in Britain and across much of Europe. A crisis, that is, for retailers, rather than us, the gamers. It seems the legions of dodgy launches, shady DLC plans, retailer-exclusive pre-order content, and savvy spenders has seen a turnaround in those willing to put their money where their mouth is before a game is out.
Pre-ordering has always been a thing, but it obviously served a far better purpose when stocks were genuinely limited and it was your only chance at getting your hands on a game. Nowadays every game store you walk in has copies of the latest AAA title stacked 40-deep, and any guarantees of launch day availability mean zilch in the grand scheme of things.
Perhaps even stranger is the growth of digital pre-orders. You can lay down money to guarantee a copy of a game which is in unlimited supply. Of course, pre-ordering digitally comes with its benefits. You can pre-load and be ready to go at midnight the moment it unlocks, but who actually bothers with that? I’d rather go to bed and wake up early to play it than sit there, bleary eyed, until the wee hours.
Up until recently Steam wouldn’t even refund you for pre-orders you no longer wanted. In the US you still can’t cancel PlayStation 4 game pre-orders. The game could end up total hogwash but you’re lumped with it because of a rash decision four months earlier.
Now, I know there are plenty of plus sides to pre-ordering. A lot of it comes down to feeling hyped, I like to pre-order a game and see it sat there, saying I’ve bought it. It feels one step closer to launch. But I also can't get over the whole system’s faults.
Now it’s over to you. Do you pre-order your games or do you think it’s not worth? Why?