Jimquisition: Previewed, Preordered, Prescrewed

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I never preorder *anything*. As much as I can be hyped for things like Brutal Legend or The Cave ( 2 games I was completely nuts waiting for them to be launched), I always wait, see some reviews and then decide if I'll buy or not.

Milanezi:

Mr Cwtchy:
I see Jim's point, but that still isn't going to stop me from pre-ordering Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs if the opportunity arises.

Sorry if that makes me a 'moron', guys. I'll just go sit in the corner with the dunce hat.

Not at all I guess: Amnesia proved itself with the first game.

That was actually one of the points I believe Jim was trying to make is that just because the developer made one or so good games doesn't mean that they wont still screw you over with another game so don't give them your money until you can see a final product.

Borderlands 1,2, and hell even gearbox were a refreshing bunch and as for Aliens CM, everything beforehand looked so good and gearbox had a great track record so no one had ANY reason to doubt them...until they got the final product. That is the point. Stop giving companies money before they give you a product.

I'm honestly just tired of seeing all these scams like Aliens:CM, TheWarZ, and now season passes because people are just unable to even wait for the release date anymore to see if a game is good before throwing money at it.

Keep feeding the machine in the wrong way and you will soon not like how all they care about is promises and not content.

Edit: Yes I know the common counter argument is "well i've seen enough info to know I will like it" and with that I will say that information isn't enough anymore with all these scripted events and exaggerations. Wait for the final product, everyone wins. You get your great game, the developer gets money they earned, and shit like aliens:CM are less likely to happen again

I usually keep my buying habits about twelve months behind the release curve for this very reason. If you buy a game that's already a year old they're practically throwing the dlc content at you for free.

I do preorder, mainly from sites like Amazon who don't take your money until the game actually ships and can be cancelled any time before it ships (or is about to ship). But most of the time I don't preorder until I've read 2 or 3 good reviews from trusted reviewers, which was a pain when the Ni No Kuni reviews came in and Amazon said they weren't taking any more preorders for it. This means I can get the game the day it comes out and it saves me from having to walk into GAME and have to put up with their sky high prices and pushy salesmanship. If I can't find reviews, I don't preorder and will buy it somewhere else if when the reviews come in and they are good.

There is one exception to the rule I have The Last of Us, simply because I have a strong trust in Naughty Dog that the game will be awesome.

This is actually an interesting problem for me. I work in finance, and a lot of my work involves trying to figure out how to move cash forward. The problem is that a producer's costs precede their revenues and cash tends to get pretty tight in those last couple of months. I would love to be able to use the preorder model in a lot of the businesses I work with, but, this model is almost totally unique to gaming. It's hard enough to actually get cash at the point of sale, let alone before it. I just find the entire method very interesting.

That aside, it has clearly been abused by the gaming industry. It's bad enough that publishers deliver broken products to their preorders (fun fact, do you know how preorders are accounted for? They're a liability on the balance sheet, usually in an account titled "cash in advance of sales," or something similar. That is, those who preorder are creditors to the publisher. I think you can make an argument that deliberate misleading advertisements, etc, represent a breach of contract with preorder custormers. Should check with an actual lawyer) The real problem I have is that the industry has attempted to force all buyers into preorders by the shitshow of artificially created release date scarcity. "There might not be any games available on the day we said you could buy it, so you better preorder and make sure you get your copy." That pisses me off way more than the sale of dlc nonsense and other tricks

4173:
Apparently Jim never frequents grocery stores, fast food restaurants or concession stand type vendors.

Redd the Sock:
In fairness Jim, most of us do pay for our fast food before we eat it. This is true for a lot of mediums. We have to buy the book before we can read most of it. We pay in advance for the movie at the theater or buying the DVD. Hell any public show is cash up front. And this makes sense in a lot of areas, especially to a crowd you don't want to enable them to pay to their satisfaction level.

But with those you know what you are getting and those don't cost 60+ bucks

The best Jimquistions are the ones where Jim rages; and he's serious about it. Thank god for Jim.

Imagine a world where the majority of a game's sales occurred a week after its release or later. Why it is almost as if people could buy things based on word of mouth feedback then. I guess it is only natural to hate any force trying to prevent this kind of world. From pushy pre-order packages, to every time a game discussed online is vehemently defended by people who have never played the game.

Of course the issue with "Aliens: Colonial Marines" is an easy one to avoid, don't trust and previews to a game that doesn't let lots of people play it. Even if everything shown in the demo was in the game, you still can't trust it will be a clear representation of the game. I thought we learn to stop trusting demo pictures and movies with Final Fantasy VIII. Even if consumers smarten up to some of these tricks, and folks reviewing games don't let companies get away with this, this is not going to cure the culture of gamers who are all too willing to pre-order everything. I am not sure if there is any way of changing people's attitudes, but here are some hair brain ideas:

Consumers have the power to just unanimously wait a week for a game, and put an end to this behavior.

Publishers could stop judging games by their initial sales and focus on what made games a long term hit, even without stopping their content hiding pre-order tricks. Or use that statistic monitoring on about how player play games might mean they could see when players stopped playing there games.

I hate to say this, but pirating and use games encourage publishers to feed this pre-order madness. So while I know I can't stop the practice, it might make some difference if enough people who do this form of smart shopping also found ways of getting money to the developer when it is a good game. Maybe if there is a movement of buying after release date, you could pirate on release date and buy it later if it was good. On the publisher's side I don't see a down side for having a pay after play option, even if players donate money to a game they like just to encourage a sequel or how about pay for free DLC everyone will get to enjoy. I'd like any such system if it went straight to the dev-team and not touch the publishers, as this would encourage both sides in utilizing this.

There is one type of game that does escape this behavior, and that's a game that encourages other games to be built base on it. Publishers should encourage this, from mods with their engines, to remakes, parodies or even fanfic games. As long as there is some way of monetizing it, I don't see a down side in this behavior from the publisher's point of view. And these later sales by their nature will always come in delayed waves after a well received game was released.

You have a wonderful voice. I got chills, literally.

Carry on.

Heh, me personally started my "to da arse preorders" way right after Mass Effect 3 release.

barbzilla:

TorchofThanatos:
I have only pre-ordered 6 games over all my years in gaming and I haven't been screwed once.
Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Halo 3, Halo ODST, Halo Reach and Halo 4 are all games that I have enjoyed and I don't regret a thing.

The problem with TB is his paranoia of the "Fans." A "fan" to him is a scary being who drags the video game industry back. An evil creature who can't be trusted and is the reason that, he feels, the industry is crap. I mean I also don't like his hatred to consoles but that is another argument.

Pre-ordering is not bad, If you like the free shit you get, do it. I don't get how being screwed on pre-ordering one game makes all of pre-ordering wrong. I get that you are angry because your game sucked but it is one game.

To answer your question at the end:
Pre-Ordering is a bad practice because it encourages sales before there is a product to sell. That in and of itself doesn't seem as terrible as all that, but it is. What we encourage by giving our money away before the game is made is allowing the publisher/developer leeway to commit acts that can skew the final product. They know the game will be successful no matter what they do at that point, so they can (if they choose to) stop production on the game you have pre-ordered and still make a profit. While it doesn't mean that is what they will do, it is something that can and has happened.

But what about localized games? The products finished all that needs to be done is translating the game. I can find the finished product on youtube to make sure I'm not lied to. Plus a lot of games I preorder are games that are on a first come first serve basis meaning if I don't pre order it, I can't be garunteed a copy down the road without paying double for just the disc/cartridge. Is preordering harder to find games bad for the industry as well?

Toilet:
I'm glad here in the UK we get games a little later, if I do preorder I can be sure to cancel it if the user base says its shit (because garme jurnalism cannot be trusted).

what he said.

I only preorder the really big stuff or the games i know and have seen to be good through play through or trusted sources unfortunately i was one of the many burned by Ni No Kuni so i'm just a little discouraged than usual.

This just begs for some kind of website that lists the games by developer. Then, what was accomplished technologically, and what was the reception, and how many hours the average joe will get from the game.

Some games you spend 60 and play for 3, so 20 bucks an hour.

Or like all of us with GTA3, we spent 50 and played it for so many hours it worked out to like a penny an hour.

INeedAName:
I'm glad my local gaming store don't charge for pre-orders, so there's really no drawback to pre-ordering a game you're excited for. I don't live in America, though, and I don't know how usual that is...

As much as I dislike GameStop, I have to give them props here. You put $5 down for a pre-order. You can get it back anytime and have a week after release to go in and pay the rest and pick your game up. So you can wait for reviews of the game. And if when the reviews come out, it's garbage, you go back and collect your $5, no worse for the wear.

INeedAName:
there's really no drawback to pre-ordering a game you're excited for.

People were excited for Aliens: Colonial Marines. The drawback is that they are taking your money for a shitty product. And you only find out that it's shitty after they've taken your money.

I canceled my pre-order for Bioshock: Infinite yesterday. So now I have no games on my pre-order list. Even though I'm almost 100% sure it's gonna be a good game. And that's OK. Not pre-ordering is not a big deal, people. Bonuses these companies come up with don't mean a god damn thing if the game itself is not worth the money.

I pre-ordered Dead Space 3 ... and this episode of Jim justifies how I should of known better about going with getting the game.

I, too.. am sick of it. Beforehand I did notify everyone that I would wait for reviews before getting the game, but my 'hyped hopes' along with being a big fan got in the way and now I regret getting the game. Seeing how the Aliens game turned out... wow, talk about making us feel and look like sheep to the core.

I think we shouldn't even buy the games, despite the offers until we see actual gameplay and those who lie to us.. I do hope the justice system gets to them because false advertising is a crime which should be treated as a crime instead of 'oh you fell for it, oh well.'

Never ever preordered games before.

I always waited for a bunch of reviews to come out so that I could see what the game was actually like.

I think the last game I pre-ordered was Dragon Age 2, if not that it was Fable 3 and either one of those would have been an excellent reason for me to have never pre-ordered again. I was actually really close to pre-ordering Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 on the Wii U but I never noticed that Amazon wouldn't let me pre-order that game...I didn't know it was digital only until launch day and I'm still pissed that I can't buy my own copy of it on the U.

Guy Jackson:
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers, Jim

What Guy said. I know there are people here on the forums and visitors to the site who haven't pre-ordered for a long time if at all this generation but you just know that for every level-headed person who looks before they spend, there are at least a dozen more people who think to themselves, "Oh shit, I better go to Gamestop and pre-order Madden 14 just in case I can't get my copy of day one!"

What I really hate about pre-order bonuses though is the amount of stuff developers give away that isn't physical. A good pre-order incentive would be something like an art-book, a soundtrack CD and, maybe some game-specific extras (the New Vegas Special Edition for example). Hell the last really spectacular pre-order bonus I saw that was specifically a pre-order bonus and not a limited edition bonus was way the Hell back for Dynasty Warriors 4, where Gamestop would give you a hardbound art book big enough to crush small dogs and potentially children. Also, wasn't it common at one point to get T-Shirts with a pre-order? I want more T-shirts dammit.

This is why I only pre-order Nintendo games. Besides their track record, they don't hold game content for ransom.

Skyward Sword gave you a gold controller and free soundtrack. Kid Icarus Uprising gave you a code to download the original Kid Icarus for free. Fire Emblem Awakening gave you an artbook. New Super Mario Bros 2 gave you a coin.

Fun stuff, but I still get a full, complete game whether I bought it pre-ordered, new or used. The only big trend I've seen is timed DLC deals, like offering a retro course pack for free for some time in NSMB2 or offering a new map pack for free in Fire Emblem until March. And it's free stuff, so I ain't complaining.

I've never needed to input a code for a game. I go put in codes at Club Nintendo because they give me free stuff if I put in the extra time and effort, not because there's a chunk of the game missing.

They earned my pre-orders.

I pre-order all the time, but rarely actually pre-pay. Bioware taught me that lesson well.

Preorders normally do not sell games to me anyway... I ordered Xcom:E.U. as a preorder but because I had seen enough to be certain that I wanted it... OK I'll admit the difficulty spike eventually killed it for me... but I have no reason to regret ordering pre-order.

The problem is when games like these as shown in Jim's piece. It is a minority that breaks the trust of the majority... I will be thinking twice about pre-ordering especially as the majority of games will not "run out" due to other online options.

The market will not change unless there is a substantial change in consumer patterns, and this is the problem as although people are smart, some are not savvy to the way they are being abused and the media are not likely to bring up this unless it really affects a substantial proportion of the country's population.

I have this policy to never buy games in their first year.
There are multiple reasons to do so:
- The price is lowered
- I know REALLY how the game is, reviews and videos are availlable
- Patches are released
- Bundles (all DLC/pre-order stuff included) are released

Best example is FONV, i bought the GOTY edition. I saved money and nerves.
I absolutly don't understand how someone can pro-order a game or even buy it right after release.
You get the worst edition for the highest amount of money.

Totally in agreement. I stopped doing preorders back during the PS2 era after being burned way too many times, the only time I do it anymore is when I absolutely know in advance I will enjoy what I'm getting, or would have bought it no matter what reviews went through. So basically just Bioshock Infinite and Fire Emblem: Awakening. And even then, Fire Emblem got short stocked so I had to buy an eShop copy or wait longer for mine to come in.

Saviordd1:
Mass Effect 3 is what got me out of preordering games, this just confirms it for more people.

I honestly hope people take this to heart and don't preorder games based on previews or brand recogn....

image

So much for that idea.

http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/shooter/bioshock-infinite-na/
$10-$17 off for preordering. I think Jim and TB both neglected to say anything that really would always be against pre ordering a game for an actually tangible and significant benefit (It's so fucking rare a preorder bonus is significant they can't be blamed). For context: aliens pre-order came with fucking multiplayer skins. And it's from gearbox, who to my knowledge were heavily involved in duke nukem forever.

It's a risk versus reward scenario: In aliens the potential reward was fucking tiny and the risk was this scenario playing out right now.

Mr. Omega:
This is why I only pre-order Nintendo games. Besides their track record, they don't hold game content for ransom.

Skyward Sword gave you a gold controller and free soundtrack. Kid Icarus Uprising gave you a code to download the original Kid Icarus for free. Fire Emblem Awakening gave you an artbook. New Super Mario Bros 2 gave you a coin.

Fun stuff, but I still get a full, complete game whether I bought it pre-ordered, new or used. The only big trend I've seen is timed DLC deals, like offering a retro course pack for free for some time in NSMB2 or offering a new map pack for free in Fire Emblem until March. And it's free stuff, so I ain't complaining.

I've never needed to input a code for a game. I go put in codes at Club Nintendo because they give me free stuff if I put in the extra time and effort, not because there's a chunk of the game missing.

They earned my pre-orders.

Another bonus about Nintendo and other Japanese games is that they usually release early in Japan (Though Nintendo has been weird about this lately), so you are able to preview footage of the game, unlike Western were pre-ordering is always a gamble.

Very good episode, that's why we like you Jim! And also because you are our lord and savior, of course.

Oh and that opening sequence where baseball bat and CM:A met, can someone turn it into a gif? Pretty please? :D

Legion:
I completely agree with this one, but the sad thing is that there will be so many who don't. Who for some bizarre reason think you can't "really be a fan" unless you take everything they say/promise as Gospel. Or if you do point out that they are doing anything wrong you will be told that you are "Just trying to be cynical/edgy."

I am not sure why gaming seems to be exempt from so many basic consumer rights and advertising laws to be honest. Or why people seem to think that it's okay to be like that.

"Cynical/edgy?" Well at least they're not calling me "entitled" anymore whatever that ended up meaning.

Considering how much business they do in pre-orders now, publishers should no longer be allowed to put gag orders on reviewers. It's perfectly reasonable to allow the consumer to make an informed decision.

I always thought pre-ordering was a little silly but LA Noir was what really turned me off to it. That game's auctioning off of gameplay content to different retailers reeked of such desperation, it turned that game from a must buy to a probably rent.

It's a shame that publishers have taken advantage of gamers so much this generation that what was once a fan driven industry is becoming an us vs them industry.

I learned the hard way to no longer pre-order games... thanks to Brink... yeah. I also pre-ordered Civilization V Digital Deluxe Edition, wich I don't regret buying one bit, but Brink... God, that game made me want to punch a bag full of puppies.

This past weekend I bought Divinity 2 from GOG at $10 and you know what?, that game is waaaay funnier than most AAA games that has come out in the last few years.

How come a $10 game has much more value and even has more content than a $60 game with season passes and bloated pre-order willy nillies?. Just for the record, The Witcher 2 was also at a $10 discount this past weekend, I bought it at $15 and I still thought it was a steal, while many AAA RPGs just blatantly like to rip off their customers.

Have you seen Destiny's pre-order stuff along with Bungies' interview about the game?, holy shit, these guys have a pretty high horse to sit their asses on.

Another thing that grinds my gears is that the codes to unlock the things that are supposed to be IN the games you preorderd have EXPIRATION DATES!!! It's GODDAMN SOFTWARE!!! IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE AVAILABLE WHENEVER I WANT!!! Why do they only have a limited window to get the goodies I want THAT WAS PROMISED TO ME WHEN I GAVE GAMESTOP $5???!!!

Well spoken Jim. I've never personally seen the point of pre-ordering. I mean it doesn't say much for the developer really, the incentive is:

* either something completely cosmetic
* Something that affects game play to some degree (super weapon)
* Extra content

Now let's be honest, the first one means it's something i won't really care about in the long run (if the game is good). If the game sucks it'll be worth even less to me. Now the second one basically gives me a reason not to buy the game at all since the developers are basically going for the Pay-2-Win approach. I'm sorry if you're not an arcade box,...i will not be paying you more just to keep playing. Sorry.

The third one is just outright stupid since you're basically giving the middle finger and passing up money later down the road. So you get a few people to pre-order and make good money, but the people who didn't might want it as well and if you say 'no sorry' you're pretty much passing up money they'd happily pay you. You know assuming the game is good.

That said you can almost take how much they push for you to pre-order as an indication as to how good the game actually is. If the game is solid and the developers are confident in it. Well then they don't care if you pre order, they know they're game is awesome that once you start hearing about it you'll buy it.

If they really, really, really seem to want you to pre-order it's more a case that they're selling you box wrapped in shiny paper and they want to get away before you have time to open the box.

If they want my money that quickly , well then, they should bloody well move up the release date yes? Okay admittedly I will cute indie developers some slack over this but even they seem to use things like kickstarter and such and make their pleas there for a established developers no... this is unacceptable.

GonzoGamer:

Legion:
I completely agree with this one, but the sad thing is that there will be so many who don't. Who for some bizarre reason think you can't "really be a fan" unless you take everything they say/promise as Gospel. Or if you do point out that they are doing anything wrong you will be told that you are "Just trying to be cynical/edgy."

I am not sure why gaming seems to be exempt from so many basic consumer rights and advertising laws to be honest. Or why people seem to think that it's okay to be like that.

"Cynical/edgy?" Well at least they're not calling me "entitled" anymore whatever that ended up meaning.

Maybe that's old school, but back when I started on here, they were the current negative buzz words. I think that was partially due to MaxTheReaper being a self proclaimed sociopath though...

Now it's all about the entitlement and whining, which was actually more relevant to what I said I guess. People think you are acting entitled if you expect a game to be released without any major bugs in them. Or if you expect characters that would have once been unlocked by beating the game on the disc rather than a DLC you have to pay for.

Hey Jim,

Welcome to the club of the bittersweet, snarky and disillusioned.

It took me about $500 worth of crap games before I gave up on preordering.

I never liked DLC and preorder exclusives, as I believe they're creating an artificial consumerist elite. On the other hand, I do like special editions and figurines of stuff I really, really like. I think it's good to have choices and be allowed to throw money at things that might make one happy.

I don't think it's good to live on promises and well communicated hot air lies.

To be honest, just judging from the stance of my not always very humble self and, say, a dozen of the folks that share my gaming pastime, the DLC and preordering cultist schemes cost the industry an easy average $50,000 in the last three years from the very diversified bunch of us alone, and none of us have taken to piracy. We've just found other things to throw money at. Things that don't lie to us, things that make us happy. Like guns, dogs, cattle, motorbikes, cars and ass-old consoles. Bigger cars to haul those 160lbs CRT screens around that allow us to enjoy the old computers and consoles without having to resort to picture processing and emulation.

Right now, I pretty much despise Randy Pitchford. I think I know how the game is played, but going for smoke and mirrors and hiring bottom-feeding studios to create a "Gearbox" game is pretty low - if I misunderstood it and that statement is not valid, please let me rephrase it thusly: hiring some studio to create a "Gearbox" game is risky and stupid, methinks. Selling the resulting crap is quite offensive, no matter what goodies, figurines or DLC codes you pack in. It's all for nothing, as the actual game really, really is terribly bad.

dangoball:
Very good episode, that's why we like you Jim! And also because you are our lord and savior, of course.

Oh and that opening sequence where baseball bat and CM:A met, can someone turn it into a gif? Pretty please? :D

I am terribly sorry to burst your bubble,

but there was not baseball bat.

Look again.

Closer. See it jiggle and wiggle with bloodlust and joy.

Pause.

See? That ain't no baseball bat.

no problem there Jim, i almost never preorder anything anymore anyway. This generation has pretty much left me feeling disappointed, so I don't just throw money at things. can't, to many shity games out there

There would have to be quite a few more stinkers like ACM before people stop pre-ordering. Especially as long as they keep doling out pre-order bonuses.

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