Cyberpunk 2077, Anthem, No Man’s Sky, Mass Effect: Andromeda; modern games have become too reliant on hype to generate revenue instead of the games themselves. Overpromising features or gameplay when the development team knows it’s way beyond their reach is one of the biggest reasons these games fail. People are drawn to the hype and need this game as soon as it comes out.
It’s 2007, Master Chief is falling from the sky ready to kick some alien ass, and gamers are lining up outside the local Gamestop waiting to pick up their own copy of Beyoncé’s third single “Halo.” You’ve stood in line for an hour and stand up at the counter and ask for Halo 3.
“What’s the name under your pre-order?” asks the person behind the counter.
“Pre-order?” I ask.
I just stood in line to pick up a copy of Alien Shooty, and you’re telling me I have to make a reservation for the chef and the referee’s wedding?
In the CD era, it made sense for people to pre-order games because there would be a limit to the number of copies a store would get. For small businesses, this guaranteed a sale.
Collectors Editions, Legendary Editions, Ultimate Gamer Editions and The Super Dangerous WAD WAD Edition. These game versions, which come with one or more limited edition items, are obviously going to create some desire to have them, whether buyers like the game or not. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to wear Lean S. Kennedy’s smooth leather jacket from one of the worst Resident Evil games?
In 2022, digital copies for games are more common than not. In fact, the recent generation of consoles launched with both a digital and physical game version, with the digital versions being less expensive.
The number of in-game pre-order inducements are astounding and only lead to more people giving in to the problem, such as in-game currencies that give players a head start over those who purchased the standard edition, a cosmetic item of fantasy that will become obsolete a month after launch and, in recent years, a free battle pass.
I confess that I succumbed to a few of the games released in recent years (Cyberpunk 2077 and Battlefield 2042), but that didn’t stop me from enjoying them. I know what flaws there are in pre-ordering and why you should wait for a product before enjoying it yourself, but sometimes the hype is just too much to handle. I will always say to myself, try to remember this and preach it: stop pre-ordering games.