Stop Preordering Video Games

There are many times a new video game is released to the public and it is not what was expected. It seems to be unplayable or missing major aspects during gameplay. You spent your hard earned money on a video game you have been waiting for all summer-long or even years to then receive a product that does not meet your expectations at all.

One thing I can suggest to many gamers in this era of video gaming: stop preordering video games.

The idea of preordering a video game has drastically changed over the past decade in quite a few ways. Back in the early 2000s, preordering video games made sense. All video games were made onto a disc. Those discs had to be manufactured and shipped to stores such as Gamestop, Walmart and Target. Due to popular demand for a highly praised video game, like the “Halo” franchise, they would sell out immediately. Preordering a video game would confirm that you would get yourself a copy of the product and not have to worry about hunting down every store in town to find the game.

It was the best arrangement for gamers at the time since they could play the newest title on the market that night. Soon, retailers and publishers started to figure out a sales approach. Since a customer would put down money for a game that wasn’t finished yet, they could have them reeled in with anything they would say.

Most of the time, preordering a video game can cost a fraction of the full price. You can put down five or ten dollars, or even more, for a video game that you find interest in. Exclusive incentives for the pre-order include products such as a special collector’s edition of the game or a bonus like a t-shirt or keychain.

This usually persuades the customer most of the time, but that is where the problem starts! The money has already been handed to the video game publisher, you are telling the publisher that you plan to buy their game in whatever state it ships out in even if it’s finished or not. Do you know what you will be expecting once the game comes out?

Take for example “No Man’s Sky”, which I wrote about in my last editorial. A game that was promised a numerous amount of features to come to the game, but when it was released to all gamers, we were faced with an uncompleted and hallow shell of a game that we were promised.

If you preorder a game in advance and the only information you have to back up your decision is the marketing campaign, you are letting them know that you are totally fine with spending $40-$60 on a game due to the strength of their marketing campaign.

The only times I now preorder is if I know the gaming company that I am buying the game from and trust for them. If I know that the company has had an amazing reputation with delivering outstanding video games back to back without any problems, I will pre-order. These companies include Nintendo with the Mario franchise and The Legend of Zelda games, Bethesda with the popular Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series and Rockstar Games with the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Unless you have watched a gameplay video on YouTube and/or tried it at a friend’s house, buying a video game is a huge risk in the current day. I am not saying that you should not preorder a game, but please do some research on the game before dropping $60 on it. Watch some gameplay videos, read some reviews or ask your friends what they think of the game before making your own decision. If you have played a lot of video games in your life like me, you can easily spot terrible production quality in under 10 minutes of watching any gameplay footage.

The next time you are debating whether or not to preorder that new video game everyone is talking about, please do your research and wait it out till you have gathered information about the game, because you might just end up like me having to contact Steam support to get a refund on a $60 video game I was not happy about.

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