Pre-Order Bonuses

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Do you know what I like more than looking forward to a high-quality game I plan to get on the first day? Having something a little extra with the game to get on the first day. I pre-ordered Xenoblade Chronicles yesterday, and as a bonus I'll be getting its art book. I haven't pre-ordered a game since Conduit 2 (which also came with an art book along with a couple in-game bonuses). It reminds me of the various other pre-order items I've gotten over the years, like my Tatsunoko vs. Capcom 3D cards and my Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days postcards. Sadly, due to a bit of a mishap, I missed my opportunity to get a Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles T-shirt. I wish I had one, since I bought the game at full price anyway.
And I notice a pattern with these games. Does anyone else notice that just about any game with a pre-order bonus has lots of time, money, and effort put into it, so it meets your expectations and kicks ass? Not a single one of the games I have a pre-order bonus for isn't at least great. Can anyone guess as to why that is?

Wild speculation here so don't take it as gospel.

I'm guessing those that give a pre order bonus do so simply because they have a put a lot into it.

What better way to say "here is a game we poured our blood, sweat and tears into ... and 2 divorces due to crap overtime. In order for you to love it like we do we want to give you a little freebie to say thankyou".

They have a lot riding on the game so want to give an incentive for people to buy it.

The more pre orders they can get the better they know the income from that game.

I see it as a little thankyou for "adopting early" if you like. Little touches like an art book or sound track is a lot better than an in game item like those you get from certain games from pre ordering from certain stores.

An in game item is forgot about when you stop playing, a physical item can clutter a house up nicely.

I completely agree. Like I said, it's an indication of a game's quality.

Rawne1980:
Wild speculation here so don't take it as gospel.

I'm guessing those that give a pre order bonus do so simply because they have a put a lot into it.

What better way to say "here is a game we poured our blood, sweat and tears into ... and 2 divorces due to crap overtime. In order for you to love it like we do we want to give you a little freebie to say thankyou".

They have a lot riding on the game so want to give an incentive for people to buy it.

The more pre orders they can get the better they know the income from that game.

I see it as a little thankyou for "adopting early" if you like. Little touches like an art book or sound track is a lot better than an in game item like those you get from certain games from pre ordering from certain stores.

An in game item is forgot about when you stop playing, a physical item can clutter a house up nicely.

Yes! I like them because it shows how much that cared for the game and they can show things you might have missed. When I'm listening to music in a game it's completely different than if I'm actually playing attention to it, or seeing the different tweaks in artwork until the artist found something they liked. I get a lot more spirit from that than some extra weapon thrown in. Not to mention I like the house clutter, at least until I run out of space.

I have no problem with physical bonuses for preordering, like the ones the OP mentioned. I also don't have a problem with some sort of visual bonus or some small in game boost, like what most pre-order bonuses are. However, when a publisher makes a weapon exclusive to preorderers, or cuts out content from the normal game to be a bonus, it is inexcusable. It's even worse when this stuff gets released later as paid-for DLC.

On a slightly different note, I think the best preorder bonus is a slight discount. This, above all else, will make me actually want to preorder a game.

Only once have I ever experienced an in-game bonus. Only once. Ever. I don't know what you're talking about.

Karutomaru:
Only once have I ever experienced an in-game bonus. Only once. Ever. I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? There are plenty of examples of DLC content that has been offered as pre-order bonus.

RAGE, Anarchy edition for the price of the standard edition.
Lost Planet 2 came with extra maps for multiplayer which could be purchased by those who didn't pre-order.
Left 4 Dead 2 came with a baseball bat weapon.
Batman Arkham City came with so many different pre-order deals from different dealers and different countries that you can hardly count them all.
Borderlands 2 got its fair share of rare items for those who pre-order.
Mass Effect 3 offered a special weapon.
Battlefield 3 offered some weapons which would give those who pre-ordered a head start when playing online.
Saints Row The Third had the genki pack including squid canon, manapult and a stunt suit

I could go on about this, but if you haven't seen in game content as DLC then you haven't been looking very hard.

OT: I kinda like when games offer pre-order bonuses since it gives me a reason to pre-order besides the fact that I want the game though usually that is enough. If I am on the edge however a good bonus can push me over the edge.

I pre-order, have done for years.

Shame that GAME is going, it was good for pre-orders, they always seemed to get the pre-order bonuses, double reward points and the game was always on your door steps on the day of release.

Karutomaru:
Do you know what I like more than looking forward to a high-quality game I plan to get on the first day? Having something a little extra with the game to get on the first day. I pre-ordered Xenoblade Chronicles yesterday, and as a bonus I'll be getting its art book.

I actually pre-ordered Xenoblade Chronicles awhile ago. I didn't know an art book came with it though! That's pretty awesome!

I love pre-order bonuses, especially soundtracks and art books. I feel they add a lot to the experience, I'm more likely to pre-order a game if it comes with a soundtrack or art book.

TO be honest many of my pre-orders are sequels (in fact in think they ALL may be) they get me excited because i was a fan of the last game and now get a price of history for this game but the true glory comes when they give you a free or deeply discounted copy of the first game, it sounds so odd i mean i HAVE the first game so i give this one away (or sell it even) and now i have a co-op partner. L4D2 did this to get me a mob of 4 to play with almost an time of day due to L4D being a rather fantastic game.

I never really minded pre order bonuses before, when it was more, "Hey, you get this map," or "Take this limited edition statue," or whatever the hell else. I never really got them, but whatever, I wasn't missing out either. When they started giving out pre order DLC bits and pieces... then it got fucking stupid.

I for one find a lot of pre order bonuses fairly shallow. I can't for the life of me recall anything cool, but then again, I get most of my games for PC via digital distribution.

On another note, I hate it when preorder extras are all over the place. ME3 being the most recent example. Different guns/things from different retailers and distributors. What the fuck?

It's a good business model. Pre-orders build hype. Never really cared much about pre-order bonuses, true a few of them might be worth a few dollars to a collector in a few years but that's about it.

A few of them are nice though, still have my Giratina plastic statuette from pokemon platinum sitting here on my desk with me :P

And my Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, and The Shivering Isles maps are still hanging in my room. Not really pre order bonuses but still a great way to say "thanks for buying new".

I'd rather the bonuses just be included in the game. Separating it out and calling it a "bonus" doesn't do anything for me, and sometimes it can be hassle to activate it or claim it. I'm a PC gamer though, we don't have used games, so there is no point to giving extra incentive to buy new.

And why are they called "pre-order" bonuses if you can still get them 5 years after the game comes out...

isometry:
And why are they called "pre-order" bonuses if you can still get them 5 years after the game comes out...

Huh? How do you get pre-oreder bonuses after the game comes out? (Legally, anyway)

Zen Toombs:

isometry:
And why are they called "pre-order" bonuses if you can still get them 5 years after the game comes out...

Huh? How do you get pre-oreder bonuses after the game comes out? (Legally, anyway)

Well, if it's a form of DLC, then you can often get it separately. Also, if I buy off the shelf within a short period of the game coming out, the pre-order bonus is often packaged in, so it's conceivable that if a game just sells REALLY poorly compared to expectation, pre-order bundles would still be lying around in stock some time later (although what store would stock something like that so long after release is beyond me).

As to the OP, I do like it. It's free, and everyone wants free - enough that in many, many cases it's enough to tip the decision between buying NOW and in the indefinite future.

Let's see, good pre-order bonuses... Gotta say, I loved the Skyrim map. I mean, the Oblivion map was neat, but the nice weathered paper? It was an awesome touch. The worst kind of DLC are little in-game gimmicks - a slightly different gun, or whatever. They're meaningless, you don't care about it 10 minutes after testing it out. The other things are in-game levels/characters, which are neat, add to the story, and many fans would want to buy if they didn't get it free. Out-game stuff is also nice, like the Skyrim map, or a soundtrack - it's neat, and it gives scope to your interest in the game beyond your time playing it, so particularly nice for fans, who are the most likely to genuinely care about that stuff.

isometry:
And why are they called "pre-order" bonuses if you can still get them 5 years after the game comes out...

They are per-order bonus.
You get them as a bonus if you pre-order. You usually get the game a bit cheaper and get something extra for free.
Later, even if you can get it, you need to pay for it, therefore it's not a bonus.

More on topic, physical bonuses are much better than some DLC or weapon.
An art book is much more valuable than a weapon. Trough the art book, you follow the steps of the artist. See his way of thinking and creating character. Small, jet interesting and sometimes really important changes.

Most people will never know how important just few small details are to make the character most badass/cuter/intelligent/strong/important. only when you see the first drawings and the final version on 2 pages next to each other, you see how important some changes were. You see how different the game would have been if they didn't change their mind.

Also, a DLC is easily forgotten when you stop playing the game, but a physical bonus isn't. You could always find it while searching for something else. A OST, art book, t-shirt, toy, statue... they can be used as decoration and in collections.

A well done DLC will make you enjoy the game a bit longer, but a well done art book or OST will make you enjoy the whole experience a lot deeper and longer.

Zen Toombs:

isometry:
And why are they called "pre-order" bonuses if you can still get them 5 years after the game comes out...

Huh? How do you get pre-oreder bonuses after the game comes out? (Legally, anyway)

Usually they just keep selling them, at least with digital distribution there have been many times I bought a game after launch with it including keys to unlock "pre-order" bonuses. Also game of the year editions often include the past pre-order bonuses along with the past DLC.

Yopaz:

Karutomaru:
Only once have I ever experienced an in-game bonus. Only once. Ever. I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? There are plenty of examples of DLC content that has been offered as pre-order bonus.

RAGE, Anarchy edition for the price of the standard edition.
Lost Planet 2 came with extra maps for multiplayer which could be purchased by those who didn't pre-order.
Left 4 Dead 2 came with a baseball bat weapon.
Batman Arkham City came with so many different pre-order deals from different dealers and different countries that you can hardly count them all.
Borderlands 2 got its fair share of rare items for those who pre-order.
Mass Effect 3 offered a special weapon.
Battlefield 3 offered some weapons which would give those who pre-ordered a head start when playing online.
Saints Row The Third had the genki pack including squid canon, manapult and a stunt suit

I could go on about this, but if you haven't seen in game content as DLC then you haven't been looking very hard.

OT: I kinda like when games offer pre-order bonuses since it gives me a reason to pre-order besides the fact that I want the game though usually that is enough. If I am on the edge however a good bonus can push me over the edge.

And how many of those are on a Nintendo system?

Speaking of pre-order bonuses and the games with such bonuses being put a lot of time and effort into...

Guild Wars 2 Collector's Edition pre-order package. Do. Want.

It has like a physical figurine, art portfolio, soundtrack, Making Of book, custom art frame, and 5 ingame items too!

It's been in development for a decent amount of time too, so to me that bonus package is a big thing to drool over.

But does it cost more than the game does alone?

ohnoitsabear:
I have no problem with physical bonuses for preordering, like the ones the OP mentioned. I also don't have a problem with some sort of visual bonus or some small in game boost, like what most pre-order bonuses are. However, when a publisher makes a weapon exclusive to preorderers, or cuts out content from the normal game to be a bonus, it is inexcusable. It's even worse when this stuff gets released later as paid-for DLC.

On a slightly different note, I think the best preorder bonus is a slight discount. This, above all else, will make me actually want to preorder a game.

I have a question for you. I pre-ordered Tales of Graces f and its pre-order bonus was exclusive, but not in any ways necessary. It comes with special costumes for your characters in-game that change the bgm when equipped and you also get a special Tales of Graces PS3 theme. None of these things will affect the game in any actual manner, but are just nice to have and they will not be available post release. What do you make of this kind of exclusive pre-order DLC bonus?

I don't mind pre-orders when it is something like oh you get some free DLC where if you bought it a year from now you'd have to pay for that DLC.
But I hate the whole nonsense of different stores having different preorder bonuses.
Like for some steam games, when they offer TF2 bonuses they essentially devalue every other retailers product, I think stuff like this is kind of unfair when it comes to pre-order bonuses. Border-line monopolistic.

DeltaEdge:

ohnoitsabear:
I have no problem with physical bonuses for preordering, like the ones the OP mentioned. I also don't have a problem with some sort of visual bonus or some small in game boost, like what most pre-order bonuses are. However, when a publisher makes a weapon exclusive to preorderers, or cuts out content from the normal game to be a bonus, it is inexcusable. It's even worse when this stuff gets released later as paid-for DLC.

On a slightly different note, I think the best preorder bonus is a slight discount. This, above all else, will make me actually want to preorder a game.

I have a question for you. I pre-ordered Tales of Graces f and its pre-order bonus was exclusive, but not in any ways necessary. It comes with special costumes for your characters in-game that change the bgm when equipped and you also get a special Tales of Graces PS3 theme. None of these things will affect the game in any actual manner, but are just nice to have and they will not be available post release. What do you make of this kind of exclusive pre-order DLC bonus?

I am perfectly fine with it. It gives a nice bonus to the people that preorder a game, but doesn't take away anything of consequence from the game for the people that either choose not to preorder or aren't interested in the game until after it comes out. The fact that these are exclusive to the preorderers doesn't really matter, because most of the people that don't get them probably won't miss them.

An example of a game that did preorder bonuses wrong is Dues Ex: Human Revolution, where a mission (although an admittedly short and crappy one) that was not insignificant to the story was taken out of the game and only accessible to people that preordered from a specific retailer.

Actually, now that I think about it, there aren't very many games with preorder bonuses that really offend me. It's just when a really bad preorder bonus comes around, it can be very annoying.

I like it as long as they eventually release it as an add on! I don't want to miss out on a new character, or a fun weapon/map if I didn't know a game was going to be released because of my job! Sometimes games appear on the shelves before I even knew they were coming!

I have never prordered a game yet for the bonus... the bonus has just, so far, come as an extra for a game I would have got anyway!

I really like pre-order bonuses (as long as they're released as DLC eventually). It's a great way for a company to say "Hey, thanks for pre-ordering this, and letting us know you'd like a copy reserved".

Pre-ordering a game is quite like walking in an apothecary and buying a bottle of pills without the label because it comes with a free lollipop.

DumpsterHumper:
Pre-ordering a game is quite like walking in an apothecary and buying a bottle of pills without the label because it comes with a free lollipop.

Not exactly. As long as you research and know that that's the game you want, and not just because of a pre-order bonus, than pre-ordering works. Especially if it's a game like Sengoku Basara, that wouldn't get stocked anyway, so pre-ordering is the only in store method of getting game.

I pre-order things I know I'll like. DMC HD Collection, Disgaea series, Sengoku Basara etc.

Karutomaru:

Yopaz:

Karutomaru:
Only once have I ever experienced an in-game bonus. Only once. Ever. I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? There are plenty of examples of DLC content that has been offered as pre-order bonus.

RAGE, Anarchy edition for the price of the standard edition.
Lost Planet 2 came with extra maps for multiplayer which could be purchased by those who didn't pre-order.
Left 4 Dead 2 came with a baseball bat weapon.
Batman Arkham City came with so many different pre-order deals from different dealers and different countries that you can hardly count them all.
Borderlands 2 got its fair share of rare items for those who pre-order.
Mass Effect 3 offered a special weapon.
Battlefield 3 offered some weapons which would give those who pre-ordered a head start when playing online.
Saints Row The Third had the genki pack including squid canon, manapult and a stunt suit

I could go on about this, but if you haven't seen in game content as DLC then you haven't been looking very hard.

OT: I kinda like when games offer pre-order bonuses since it gives me a reason to pre-order besides the fact that I want the game though usually that is enough. If I am on the edge however a good bonus can push me over the edge.

And how many of those are on a Nintendo system?

None of them, but where did you specify this?

Steam has really changed my buying patterns. Used to be I'd pre-order if I knew there was no way I wasn't getting the game when it came out. Nowadays I realize that Steam will slash its price after a couple of months if I'm diligent enough to check in on it's daily/weekend sales, to say nothing of it's mega-holiday sales.

Case in point - really wanted the new Deus Ex when it came out, but I knew it'd go on sale with Steam eventually. On sale now 75% off of it's new(ish) $30 price tag. Got the game and the DLC for $10. The game has been out what, 6 months? Seems like a small price to pay to save $40 (assuming new game + DLC would have cost $50 at time of release).

Made the same decision with the Jagged Alliance 2 remake - really wanted to see how they tuned the game up, but given the mediocre reviews and the nervousness on the fan boards, I figure I can get a heavily discounted price by summer.

A pre-order bonus would have to be pretty darn special to get me to buy one now. Heck, got ALL of the New Vegas pre-order bonuses for something like $.25 on a Steam sale one day.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

DumpsterHumper:
Pre-ordering a game is quite like walking in an apothecary and buying a bottle of pills without the label because it comes with a free lollipop.

Not exactly. As long as you research and know that that's the game you want, and not just because of a pre-order bonus, than pre-ordering works. Especially if it's a game like Sengoku Basara, that wouldn't get stocked anyway, so pre-ordering is the only in store method of getting game.

I pre-order things I know I'll like. DMC HD Collection, Disgaea series, Sengoku Basara etc.

What?! Was there are pre-order bonus for Sengoku Basara?!

I don't know how to interpret your complete silence.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

DumpsterHumper:
Pre-ordering a game is quite like walking in an apothecary and buying a bottle of pills without the label because it comes with a free lollipop.

Not exactly. As long as you research and know that that's the game you want, and not just because of a pre-order bonus, than pre-ordering works. Especially if it's a game like Sengoku Basara, that wouldn't get stocked anyway, so pre-ordering is the only in store method of getting game.

I pre-order things I know I'll like. DMC HD Collection, Disgaea series, Sengoku Basara etc.

You can't know you like a game before you have played it. If you have played a game, there is no reason to buy it. Pre-ordering is useless.

Companies love pre-order numbers, so they pimp them out as much as possible. This is great for the consumer (if they want the crap the pre-order offers), but we have to be wary. It could turn into a situation like Hollywood/the movie industry where the first week box office numbers are the only thing that matters, when long-time gains (from rentals, sales, future merchandising) are totally ignoured.

DumpsterHumper:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

DumpsterHumper:
Pre-ordering a game is quite like walking in an apothecary and buying a bottle of pills without the label because it comes with a free lollipop.

Not exactly. As long as you research and know that that's the game you want, and not just because of a pre-order bonus, than pre-ordering works. Especially if it's a game like Sengoku Basara, that wouldn't get stocked anyway, so pre-ordering is the only in store method of getting game.

I pre-order things I know I'll like. DMC HD Collection, Disgaea series, Sengoku Basara etc.

You can't know you like a game before you have played it. If you have played a game, there is no reason to buy it. Pre-ordering is useless.

You can't be absolutely certain you'll like a game before you've played it, but if you have very strong reasons to believe you will like it, you want to get it as soon as possible, and if there's a free goodie that comes with doing so, that's just a side-benefit.

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