Video Game Tuesday: Preordering

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.



This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about a subject that needs to be discussed. It’s all about Preordering!

Why am I talking about this?: Because like so many other people I’m sick and tired of seeing broken games shipped and sold while being broken messes. Recent offenders are, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Halo:MCC, Driveclub and Batman Arkham Knight.

Why do we even have preordering?: Because a bit more than a decade ago video games were sold in stores and if your local store didn’t order enough from the publisher they’d be out on launch day. So they started taking a downpayment for games in order to make sure people who wanted the game had a copy come launch day.

Why is it bad now?: Because publishers like Activision know people will preorder their yearly release of crap like Call of Duty and will launch broken games because they know you’ll pay the full price and they’ll make a sale no matter what. Even beloved games like Skyrim were broken messes on launch, with the PlayStation 3 version crashing constantly and having dragons fly backwards.

What can I do about it?: Well stop preordering games. Unless it’s an incredibly obscure game and you are buying it from a physical store there is no point any more. Might as well wait a few days after launch to make sure it’s not a broken mess. There are of course exceptions like MMOs where the time lost waiting is detrimental to the hardcore players, but otherwise there is no point.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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