Saturday Morning Rant: Pre-Order Bonuses

Every time a new game comes out and it has a hard copy, it’s almost a guarantee that it’ll come with a pre-order bonus. Almost every single one of them comes with digital content, like weapons, outfits, missions, characters, even entire modes a la Metro: Last Light.

Some people enjoy these kinds of pre-order bonuses…

I on the other hand cannot stand them.

When you release digital content as a pre-order bonus, you’re essentially giving ONLY the people who you suckered into buying the game before having the chance to see reviews of it, free content. What about the people who just bought the game on release day? Better yet, WHY NOT ANYONE WHO BOUGHT A NEW COPY OF YOUR GAME?! Why the fuck are we all penalized for trying to be slightly more responsible with our money, especially when here in Canada a new game is the cost of a full 8-hour shift of work at minimum wage. You’re basically telling your customers that because they decided not to buy a game and then not be able to play it for weeks, even months, they don’t get this cool extra piece of content.

Better yet, it’s absolutely ass backwards that in-game content (that doesn’t revolve around in-game currency) is held back unless you pre-ordered the game. That content comes out the day of release, if that’s the case it should be in the game for everyone, it’s fucking bullshit for these companies to essentially put a few pieces of the game aside for a special few people when you know it was in the game to begin with. Especially when the content is just locked on the disc, that is absolute garbage! Capcom, I’m looking directly at you!

Now when it comes to physical content, I have zero problems with it. Anything you can hold in your hand whether they may be figurines, shirts, keychains, body pillow cases (yes, those exists), anything that you can pick up, move around and display to your heart’s content, I have no problems at all with that kind of stuff, in fact I welcome more of it. I want to see a Cidney figurine in a Final Fantasy XV Collector’s Edition, I want to see a cat plushie in the Persona 5 Collector’s Edition. Hell, one of my favourite special editions was the Catherine version that had boxers with hearts on them. That’s hilarious!

When you create a special bonus for pre-orders they shouldn’t be something that changes the game. Guns, maps, characters, modes, none of that shit should be pre-order bonuses, that’s either already in the game, or you have some balls and make your customers pay for it on Day 1, if you dare piss your customer base off. The only exception I can possibly give in terms of in-game content are things like weapon/armor skins, so long as they don’t add any buffs and things that revolve around in-game currency, like EA Sports’ Ultimate Team packs, or of course in-game currency itself.

Anything otherwise is bullshit and they all know it too.

Pre-order bonuses are last ditch efforts in bringing a few more copies sold before the game’s even released. The concept is simple, give gamers reasons to buy the game before it comes out so even if every game journalist, YouTuber, or whatever else slams it for being a steaming pile of shit, they’ve already got your money and there’s nothing you can do, so deal with your brown camouflage MP7, sucker!

Have some self-control people, don’t pre-order based on bonuses. I only pre-order if one of the following conditions are met:

  1. I’m going to buy the game regardless of reviews
  2. There’s some sort of physical content I want to have (ex: the tarot cards in the Persona 4 Arena and Persona Q games)

That’s it. I don’t buy because there’s a cool gun waiting for me, I don’t buy because there’s an extra mission, I don’t buy if there’s two more characters available, I don’t buy any of that shit. A lot of the time, I’ll take a stance and not buy that game at all and put it on the “wait until it’s at least 50% off on PSN or Steam” list. And so should you, don’t let game companies suck you in with this garbage. Protect your money.

Cause otherwise you’re gonna feel real stupid with that subpar sword that glows red when you’re playing a 4/10 game that you pre-ordered for 80 bucks.

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