I have touched on the subject a little in one of my earlier posts but decided to expand on it since November sees a spate of new video games being released. This year I have made it my priority to avoid pre-ordering video games, and it has already saved me from buying into the lie that was No Man’s Sky. And I am pretty sure this mentality will save me plenty of cash and mental grief in the near future, but it seems some people have not reached enlightenment just yet and keep running into the same brick wall over and over again. History just keeps on repeating itself, games that failed right out of the starting blocks. The PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight was virtually unplayable at launch, Halo: The Master Chief Collection which had broken multiplayer for almost a year. SimCity and Diablo 3 which was unplayable due to unstable online servers and connections.
And most recently No Man’s Sky and Ark Survival Evolved, there is a reoccurring theme and pattern here, which can be addressed in three simple words: “Stop pre-ordering Video Games!” I have mostly contained my “FOMO”(Fear Of Missing Out) the entirety of 2016 so far, sure I might not get the game on release day. And sure I might only get it a month down the line. But I think it is a small price to pay. And honestly who want’s to play a broken video game on release anyway? And not to mention all the frustrations that come with that. Why do I need to content with massive day one patches, while trying to get my brand new game that was supposed to work at launch to run properly? And if you think about it this whole pre-ordering system is pretty fucked up. Sit down and just think about it for a moment.
You are basically paying someone to deliver something without knowing what the quality of the end product would be like, and you are giving them money up-front for work that is not completed yet. So now that they have your money what possible motivation do they need to hand over a working, bug-free product? Absolutely no motivation at all. But I can already see people saying: “But I pre-order to make sure I can get a copy of a game before it is sold out.” While that might have been true 10 or more years ago, that is hardly the case these days. With millions of copies flooding the market once the game has gone gold, especially if it is a AAA blockbuster release. Another excuse I hear often is: “I pre-order for all those pre-order bonuses I receive.” You mean that little trinket you get with the game that has the mass produced quality of a lucky packet toy?
Or that small piece of DLC that gives you a single weapon or an article of clothing? These things are inconsequential to me. I would rather have a working, bug-free game at launch than all these small pieces of DLC or plastic trinkets. Imagine what the gaming landscape and industry would be like without this pre-ordering culture we live in? Developers and publishers would know that releasing a half finished bug ridden game would mean massive losses and even closure of their studios if done repeatedly. There would be no lying about content that might or might not appear in the final product. Instead, we have the wool pulled over our eye, while the developers and publisher run off with our money to go and work on their tan in the Bahamas. Leaving us with bug ridden unfinished products, and I will say it again. Stop pre-ordering video games and break this cycle.
[Editorial Note:] While the blame is shared between gamers, developers, and their publishers, some of that blame can also be laid squarely at the media’s feet. As they are like fuel to the already burning fire as they are always the first to jump on the hype train, which almost always inevitably means gamers get sucked in with them and dragged along for the ride.