Monday, 7 December 2015

James' Take - Pre-orders, DLC and Day One Rewards



We live in a society in gaming where we are constantly reminded how much we are in the pocket of big companies. Hidden within pre-orders, DLC and Day One rewards, you can see the way we fork over large amounts of money for something that hasn't even been completed yet. Why? Rewards.


Yes, I am looking at you Deus Ex. This was scrapped, however, for those not aware, customers were encouraged to pre-order the game, and as the number of global pre-orders went up, new tiers of rewards would unlock, Tier 5 being getting the game 4 days early. Now, I'm no expert, but that's 4 days of development where they could be removing bugs and making the game playable gone because the publishers want your money.

This is even more relevant in games such as (regrettably) some of my favourites of this year such as Black Ops 3, Star Wars Battlefront and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Although not so prevalent in MGS, Black Ops 3 and Star Wars Battlefront had Deluxe Editions available, which offered the season pass and pre-order benefits.

That moves us on to the topic of season passes and pre-order benefits. Season passes are one of the most anti-consumer things that a publisher can release. This encourages a customer that has just paid full price for your brand new game (£40 - £50) and now you want them to pay another £35 - £45 for a guarantee of a few DLCs? No. This is stuff that should be included in the game. Star Wars Battlefront offers a season pass for £40 that gives you four DLCs in the future that we know nothing about yet TWO WEEKS EARLY. A whole two weeks.

Pre-order benefits? Seriously, if I wanted to pay £10 extra for a couple of in game emotes, what would you call me? Exactly.

Pre-orders have evolved from paying a couple of extra pounds to guarentee a game at realese day at your local video games shop to happily handing over money to big companies for extra stuff that should be in the game anyway.

Short answer, I encourage people strongly to stop pre-ordering games. We are in such a habit now of just accepting that games should be pre-ordered and that we need the extra stuff. Just something to think about.

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