Accounting for a massive portion of the entertainment industry, video gaming is a prominent market figure with millions of fans who eagerly engage in purchase of newly released games. From kids to adults, video Gaming is one hobby that requires no age limit. Over the years with technology’s remarkable intervention, video gaming has developed into an enjoyable pursuit for anyone looking towards escaping reality and immersing themselves in fiction.
Through the course of time, while the development of certain trends has influenced the gaming industry’s revenues, it has also brought a great deal of troubles for the community. Leading the list is the trend of ‘preordering’. Preordering is not only the culprit behind bad quality in today’s games, but also the vessel that facilitates bad developers to release unfinished, subpar content into the community.
What was supposed to be a facility for devoted gamers to secure games before hand, has been turned into a plunder bund that robs gamers of their money and hopes. From DLCs to in-game items, everything is chopped with but one goal – earning profits and profits only. The victim is the customer, who dedicates and devotes his time, money and energy for a game that just came out for business.
Game developers on the other hand try their best to minimize resources and give a ham fisted attempt at the game while expecting preorders like Christmas gifts. The whole scenario is scammed to swindle diehard fans into believing their sentiments are valued. This is the ultimate state of anarchy when the developers themselves are the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
History of Preorders
Originally, preordering was an efficient system introduced for the customers to reserve a copy of an unreleased game. This was welcomed by the gaming community since in the past, physical storages such as disks and cartridges were the only means to sell games. This not only allowed customers to skip waiting process, but also remain safe if the game went out of stock.
As technology’s pages turned, games shifted towards online platforms and disks were no longer demanded. Even though games are now downloadable and production of physical storages is no longer a constraint, preordering remains a prevalent trend.
Why Publishers Promote Preordering
The developers aim to market the game through strategies which makes it irresistible for gamers to buy. Effectively, they convince the customer to purchase the title without consulting or rather completely overruling what the reviews have to say.
Customers Get Greedy
The publishers use preordering as a vessel to shrug off the effects caused by bad marketing campaigns or poor in-game content. With promises of exclusive content which will only be available with preorder, the customer places priority on obtaining the content rather than waiting to judge the quality of the game from reviews.
Hiding the Real Content
With preorders alone ranging in the millions, the developers are in favorable stakes for enforcing the trend. Pre-releases of demos for gamers to check the game before purchase are a rarity since they ruin the hype train that builds towards purchasing a game blindly. Original content of the game such as gameplay, combat mechanics, and in certain cases even graphics are released on a very limited basis so the gamers can only look from the perspective the developers wish.
The Unfair Advantage
Preordering delivers overpowered features and advantages to paying users exclusively. This leads to imbalanced gameplay and distaste amongst the majority of normal gamers who have played the game since the beginning of the franchise or followed it through novels, comics, or TV series.
Trailers are graphically generated to feature how the game will look like instead of using actual gameplay footage to support the development. Through preordering, all these tactics have become a norm for the gaming industry to convince the customer into spending money without knowing what they are investing in.
How Preorder Saps the Soul of Gaming
Preorders are statistical figures which can be used to boast the success of a game before it is even released. This helps the sellers in persuading their target audience that the game will be a huge success beforehand. It builds a hype train based on exclusive content and promises, mostly left abandoned. The developers benefit from preordering by securing a huge amount of profit to luxuriously cover the expenses of development and marketing whether the game performs well or fails.
Ranging from rare skins, exclusive maps, unique items to characters and additional comics, developers are aware what the gamers crave and offer these as bonuses to lure customers into preorders. Moreover, such bonus content tends to be specific concerning the supplier: game purchased from ‘GameStop’ and ‘Best Buy’ will have different exclusive materials. This means even preordering can lead to customers missing out on some significant content.
So, What Can You Do?
Among many reasons, preordering leaves no guarantee if the game will be exactly as shown in the trailers and promotional videos. This leads to imbalanced gaming experience for users as the game gets sold with lesser content, failed gameplay and poor graphics.
Going up against preordering is taking arms against the majority of gaming industry since revenues of most Game Developing giants are closely tied with preordering. Its a foul practice mostly done for covering production costs of games in case it fails to hit the mark in sales.
No Man’s Sky a Fiasco
‘No Man’s Sky’ by Hello Games is an action/adventure survival game that exemplifies the false marketing and advertisements done for preorders. After its release in August 2016, the game was tested and reviewed by many gaming experts and publishes who found it to be disappointing and flawed in several areas including some major glitches. Phil Owen, a writer for TheWrap expressed his views that video games are often the subject to cult like following just for weaponizing fandom instead to increase revenues. STEAM, a Leading gaming platform for PC offered refunds for customers who had played the Game even more than 2 hours to compensate on the bad gameplay promised by the Hello Games.
Reporting to the developers is not an option since they themselves are behind such situations that force customers into preordering. Fans can’t refuse to purchase the games either since they already are too infatuated with the titles.
The solution is there but a harsh one, cut the roots so it cannot stem, meaning – stop preordering. Seemingly an insignificant step against the corporate giants, but on a macro scale it will have far deeper consequences than one can imagine.
Stop the Trend – Bring Preordering to an End
Although it may seem like a small step for gamers, it will be a giant leap for improving the gaming community and trends. Content is withheld and sold in DLCs and exclusives simply because the developers wish to create hype for preorders. By refraining from indulging in any title purchases without checking how they will actually fare, the developers could be impelled take notice and improve on the quality of games before releasing them.
This contribution is made by Asad Ali. He is a professional writer and passionate gamer, currently writing for Storkz – a company that provides a variety of learning games for kids.