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Is Pre-Ordering Games Still Worth It?


I am one of those few who over the years have pre-ordered games less and less as time goes on. I do remember a time when if you didn’t pre-order a game, there was no guarantee that you would get it on day one. A good example of this was the Madden series. I remember the one year I didn’t pre order (either the 2003 or 2004 edition) and was late for the release; I actually had to wait nearly a week before I could get the game. Up until 2 years ago, I would go in religiously to the local Gamestop and pre-order a ton of games feeling safe in knowing that when those games dropped, I wouldn’t have to worry about not getting them on Day One release.

Within the last 2 years, I have noticed something and yes it’s been going on for a while but all the same, I had to ask myself why am I pre-ordering games that I know if I can’t get at Gamestop, I can find at Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart or whatever store is selling games? Nobody really sells out of games anymore. Wait…is it for the in game exclusive? Maybe or maybe not. I am one of those rare people who never saw much use in purchasing the Special Steelbox Day One Chrome Plated Exclusive Super Amped Edition of the Limited Goldleaf Statue having, Insert Game Name here, game so I could have that one special gun or pair of shoes or a hat that really is good for just the first 3 levels. I am one of those people who’s really just happy to have the game and more concerned that the game play is excellent that all the extras that comes in the box. But lately what I have noticed and I think all gamers have noticed over the years is that now different retailers are vying for our dollars and knowing that it’s rather difficult to ‘run out’ have started the new strategy of retailer exclusives with your pre-order in order to get your dollars.

If you go to one store and pre-order, you may get an exclusive skin, if you go to another an exclusive in game level and so on and then eventually if you wait long enough, it will all pop up on the GOTY Edition.

The question I have to ask anyone who still pre-orders games especially for the in-game exclusives, is it worth it? For myself, not always and definitely not as much as it used to and really it depends a lot on the company and the retailer. If it’s not adding anything but a cosmetic change, then I don’t always feel like I need to pre-order just for that but if you are talking about an exclusive level, then yeah for my $60 bucks you got me. As a matter of fact, the last game I got just for that was when I pre-ordered Black Flag on the PS4. There was an exclusive level that gave you about 2hrs of an exclusive mission with Aveline from the Liberation game and that was worth it to me.

So, we asked a few gamers to weigh in on how they pre-ordering exclusives and here is some of the feedback:

Philip N. – To me they are a toss-up. If it’s a small reward like a skin, a bonus level, or a weapon it’s not a bad idea. It helps to develop some hype for a game. When it gets to some big details though like actual story or characters that are shown in game and you can’t get because you didn’t preorder? That’s the money grab. Because it’s not enough that I spent $60+ for this game but now you wanted me to pay that before a certain time to get a full story level? Nah I just won’t get the game then until the GOTY edition comes out.

Joshua B. – Pre-order exclusives are a hit and miss. Sometimes they are great because they help drive your decision on when to buy a game. Other times it’s terrible because they choose a large chunk that you may not want to go back too.

Goukuma S. – I find them to be a money grab. they offer nothing that you need for the core game. Part of the headache also is that each store has their own exclusive so that means you will never have everything.

Kenneth E. – Pre order bonuses are fine as long as nothing I possibly don’t get could stop from me from getting the Platinum trophy or 1000 point gamer score.

What are your thoughts about pre-order exclusives?  Let us know!

About Armand (1270 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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