Poll: Preorders... Why?

zelda2fanboy

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I was in gamestop the other day because I happened to be in the mall and needed to kill some time. I saw they had the Ico Shadow of the Colossus Collection on the shelf, which I had planned on buying at KMart when it was released the next day (I had $20 of credit there). A salesman asked if I needed any help, and I just asked if the game was already available to buy, seeing if I could somehow manage to get it early. Of course, he gave me the correct release date, but than asked if I wanted to preorder it, putting $5 down or paying for the whole game outright and pick it up tomorrow morning. I kept my snarky comment to myself, but why the hell would I want to do that? Why pay any amount of money on something that I don't get to have? There's never a situation where gamestop will give me a free game and then expect me to pay for it a week later.

I've worked in retail long enough to know that there are absolutely no guarantees. I also know from our good friend The Internet as well as a few other personal anecdotes I've heard directly from people that gamestop will happily sell your "reserved" game out from under you at the drop of a hat. This is probably because real money in the immediate present is worth more than hypothetical money in the future (especially when it's the same amount). This is referred to from my painfully obvious business classes as the "time value of money." So why does gamestop have common money sense, but it assumes (often correctly) that it's customers do not. I have a much higher likelihood of getting a popular game on release day by NOT preordering, so I can go track it down at another retailer, rather than wait for another shipment to my local store (by which time the price will probably have dropped from what I originally paid). And then again, it's not going to break my heart if I can't play a game in its first few days of release. It's not a major problem psychologically and I certainly wouldn't risk my hard earned cash on it.

It's not just gamestop either. Target currently has a promotion where if you buy a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper, you get a free $1 preorder for Battlefield 3. There is no way in hell Target can possibly be honoring every preorder sticker that comes attached to a case of a common soft drink, as well as every other person who wants a copy and didn't preorder. It's utter nonsense. Even preorder bonuses are fairly easily to obtain even if you don't preorder, either by picking it up in the first week or by ebaying a code or two. Besides, I've yet to see any preorder bonus that caused me to think twice about my stance on the matter (except maybe LA Noire, which all preorder bonuses became available a few months later at a reasonable price). Ooo, a secret gun! Extra bullets! Fancy armor! Really, you'd do that for me?
 

Thaluikhain

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I've been wondering the same. Surely it's best to wait and see if the thing is any good, the patches come out to fix the known bugs the first users report, you don't need the latest computer to run it and the price starts to drop?
 

C. Cain

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Oct 3, 2011
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zelda2fanboy said:
I was in gamestop the other day because I happened to be in the mall and needed to kill some time. I saw they had the Ico Shadow of the Colossus Collection on the shelf, which I had planned on buying at KMart when it was released the next day (I had $20 of credit there). A salesman asked if I needed any help, and I just asked if the game was already available to buy, seeing if I could somehow manage to get it early. Of course, he gave me the correct release date, but than asked if I wanted to preorder it, putting $5 down or paying for the whole game outright and pick it up tomorrow morning. I kept my snarky comment to myself, but why the hell would I want to do that? Why pay any amount of money on something that I don't get to have? There's never a situation where gamestop will give me a free game and then expect me to pay for it a week later.

I've worked in retail long enough to know that there are absolutely no guarantees. I also know from our good friend The Internet as well as a few other personal anecdotes I've heard directly from people that gamestop will happily sell your "reserved" game out from under you at the drop of a hat. This is probably because real money in the immediate present is worth more than hypothetical money in the future (especially when it's the same amount). This is referred to from my painfully obvious business classes as the "time value of money." So why does gamestop have common money sense, but it assumes (often correctly) that it's customers do not. I have a much higher likelihood of getting a popular game on release day by NOT preordering, so I can go track it down at another retailer, rather than wait for another shipment to my local store (by which time the price will probably have dropped from what I originally paid). And then again, it's not going to break my heart if I can't play a game in its first few days of release. It's not a major problem psychologically and I certainly wouldn't risk my hard earned cash on it.

It's not just gamestop either. Target currently has a promotion where if you buy a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper, you get a free $1 preorder for Battlefield 3. There is no way in hell Target can possibly be honoring every preorder sticker that comes attached to a case of a common soft drink, as well as every other person who wants a copy and didn't preorder. It's utter nonsense. Even preorder bonuses are fairly easily to obtain even if you don't preorder, either by picking it up in the first week or by ebaying a code or two. Besides, I've yet to see any preorder bonus that caused me to think twice about my stance on the matter (except maybe LA Noire, which all preorder bonuses became available a few months later at a reasonable price). Ooo, a secret gun! Extra bullets! Fancy armor! Really, you'd do that for me?
I used to preorder stuff from the UK when I was living in Continental Europe. Got it before everyone else and it wasn't a crappy localisation. Also: much cheaper.
 

bauke67

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Apr 8, 2011
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Cause it's cheap, and if I buy it in a store, it'll take days before I get my parents to take me there( I'd go myself, but there are no stores within cycling range)(and yes, I pre-ordered online, so I won't need to go anywhere).
 

Cheesus333

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Aug 20, 2008
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I preorder off of Amazon. They only charge you when it's dispatched and I almost always get it a day or two early. In that case, there's not much reason not to.

However, I only preorder a game I'm excited for that I'm definitely going to buy anyway. So Saints Row the Third and Diablo III are a yes, Rage is a no.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Depends where you live or where you shop.

I've never had to pay money to pre-order a game.

Since I do all my game shopping online, I tend to get new releases a day before they're put on shelves.

Totally worth it in my opinion, especially if it means I get Skyrim a day early.
 

-Samurai-

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Oct 8, 2009
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I generally pre-order something when I know I'll want it, but also know that my spending habits won't allow it.

I'm a retail stores best friend; The impulse buyer. I don't know if I'll have the cash 6 months from now for a title that I'm looking forward to. So, I pay for it, put it out of my mind, then pick up my guaranteed copy(with bonuses that I don't have to pay extra for) on release day or the day after.

I also usually pre-order 6 or so months in advance, and slowly pay it off before release. This way I don't spend most or all of my money in one place, and I'll still be able to get my copy.
 

Keith K

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Oct 29, 2009
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I preorder from Amazon so they'll be in the mail when I get home from work on release day. Don't pay a cent until it ships and I still have the game faster than going out of my way after work to some brick/mortar operation.
 

Thaluikhain

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TestECull said:
thaluikhain said:
I've been wondering the same. Surely it's best to wait and see if the thing is any good, the patches come out to fix the known bugs the first users report, you don't need the latest computer to run it and the price starts to drop?

You don't need the latest computer to run it anyways. I wish people would drop this misconception already, I'm five years out of date hardware wise and one gen out on my Windows and yet I can still run any game on the market right now.
Ok, it's admittedly an exageration, but it's surely not totally devoid of truth?
 

DasDestroyer

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The only time I preordered anything was a few days before Portal 2 came out, because it had a crapton of indie games for just a few more bucks. Needless to say, this happened on Steam, and even if Steam sells your reserved copy to someone else, they'll copy you a new one :p
 

ZeroMachine

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Oct 11, 2008
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Because I'm getting the collector's edition of Dark Souls today for the price of the regular edition.

I only pre-order when I know there will be some sort of bonus with it.
 

Stammer

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Apr 16, 2008
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I pre-order if I know I'm already going to end up buying the game before the price drop (ie: within the first month or two). It gives you a better shot at getting the game when it comes out and you're usually rewarded with an in-game item or something.

If you're strapped for cash and still want the game brand-spanking-new, you can even treat pre-orders as a sort of no-interest financing. Pay $30 one week and then the other $30 when it comes out (or $20/$20/$20 or whatever) so you don't have to spend the whole $60 at once.

Honestly, I don't see why you WOULDN'T want to pre-order a game that you're already buying on day-one.
 

Trippy Turtle

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May 10, 2010
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I don't pre-order but I see the attraction of playing a game when it is released. I love beta testing, finding bugs is as fun as playing the game for me.
 

Zhukov

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Dec 29, 2009
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I pre-order when:

a) I know I'm going to buy the game anyway.
AND
b) There is a benefit involved. Usually either a lower price (Steam does this a lot) or some tidbits of extra content.
 

Project_Xii

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Jul 5, 2009
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Free shit, and collectors editions. Also ensuring you actually get your copy is nice. If you can't figure this out for yourself, Id' find that pretty strange.

As to WHY stores ask you for preorders: you've obviously never worked in retail. Preordering means a much higher chance of customers coming back and spending the money in the store. It gets you to commit your purchase. This is all elementary business stuff. Any one out of school would know it.
 

Farther than stars

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Jun 19, 2011
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thaluikhain said:
I've been wondering the same. Surely it's best to wait and see if the thing is any good, the patches come out to fix the known bugs the first users report, you don't need the latest computer to run it and the price starts to drop?
Wow, you're asking a lot of questions today. But in answer:
Sometimes you already have a hunch whether you'll want to play a game or not. Take Portal 2 for instance, which I pre-ordered, and was absolutely worth my money. Trilogies are another example. If you've already played Mass Effect 1 & 2 and liked them, then there's no way you're going to miss out on part 3 and you may want to play it immidiately when it comes out, regardless of public opinion.
In the end your own perception of a game can be far more valuable than anyone else's opinion and sometimes it's also nice to take a chance knowing nothing about the game beforehand, just so that you can explore everything there is to it by yourself.