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365/365 Day 236: Thoughts on Preordering

In today's day and age, benefits from preordering games are becoming more and more extravagant, and many people are arguing that you shouldn't preorder games in order to indicate that you don't want content locked behind those walls. I've written before about the idea of being incentivized to preorder based on what's available, but today I want to talk a bit more about the ethics behind it, and why I do preorder most of the games I buy.

This is enough. I'd like this stuff.

I believe that video game companies have the full right to offer incentives for preordering their games, with most of the content they offer. If it is something you can only get by preordering, and it's part of the game, that's debatable, but I want to talk about that later. First, I want to discuss why I do preorder games, and the good that comes out of them.

First, people have told me that "oh you should just wait until after when it's used or when the price has dropped", and they aren't necessarily wrong. That's a perfectly acceptable way to go, if you're tight on money and want to get more games instead of just one at launch. I'm not able to throw out money on everything I want, but I can spend my money where I want. The thing is, I like to own games as soon as possible. I want to be able to play them, and I also want to safely own the game. What if it becomes scarce, or I go in on the day it releases and I'm told "no sorry we don't have anymore copies". That happened with Pikmin 3, and Kingdom Hearts DDD's Mark of Mastery Edition, and several other games. Sure, GameStop employees are meant to encourage preordering games, but to be honest why is it so bad? You're spending the same amount of money, and you're guaranteed a copy. You can tell me "oh what if you don't like it in the end?"...and that's my problem. If I don't like a game, that's fine. I decided I wanted to spend my hard-earned cash on that game, so be it. I may regret buying a lot of games, but I'll still preorder.

On Steam, the only disadvantage to preordering a game is that you'll most likely be able to get the game in six months for $5. That is how Steam works, and how it will continue to work. That's why people love it. Maybe I could have saved a lot of money by doing that, but I'd also miss out on a lot of important things too. The most important thing? The hype. When Borderlands 2 came out my friends and I played that everyday for two weeks straight, for several hours a day, and I had a grand old time. I tried going back to the game later and couldn't get back in. My interest had died down, and so had my friends'. I might have saved money, but I'd have sacrificed the cooperative nature of the game. In addition, spoilers are something important too. Preordering a game means I can finish it quicker, and thus not fear spoilers on the internet. Spoilers are avoidable, but if you beat a game avoiding them is that much easier. Plus, you can talk about the game with your friends then, too.

For Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, I'm preordering the game for several reasons. First of all, I want to be able to get through the story and see what happens to Persona 3 and 4's cast. Second, I want to get the awesome Tarot cards and Teddie inflatable that come with the preorder. Finally, I'd like to be able to play as Adachi and Marie, the two DLC characters who will be free in the first week. It can argued that I'm both saving and losing money, since the characters will be paid for at some point, but I'm not going to have that fee....if I pay the $60 up front. I could wait till the game is some low price, but that's months away, and I'd have missed out on both my own excitement for the game and I'd wait that much longer to find out what happens in the story. I don't like doing that, to be perfectly honest. I want to have fun asap, and that's why I'm preordering.

Goodbye Despair.

Danganronpa 2's limited edition went out of stock quickly. In just a couple of days, there weren't any copies left that included everything you see above. I preordered it not only to get the game asap, but also to get all of that stuff. I like dropping money on limited editions I'm excited about, and this isn't any different. If I hadn't preordered, I'd have missed out on everything there. C'mon, I need those sunglasses.

Of course, there are reasons why preordering might be a bit unethical. I don't like how some retailers offer up exclusive content for preordering as opposed to others; I won't say I'm happy with Nintendo's decision to do that with the skins for Hyrule Warriors. Of course, this is a business tactic, and the video game industry is a business. If you get more people to buy your product, even from a certain retailer, things will go better for you. 

As for having in-game content that can only ever be gotten through preordering...well...I won't defend that. Some people want to wait till later, or even have to because they're tight on cash. I want to be able to have all of the in-game content, because that's what I'm paying up front for; the game itself. If it's something like a skin or a certain weapon, I'm not too mad, but if it's a special mission or something like that...that's hard to defend. If I can buy it later for a non-exorbitant price, I'll let it slide, but I still don't like that policy. I've never preordered a game for exclusive content I can't get later, because I don't want to support that; I preorder games that have free DLC, or maybe offer discounts on other products. Those systems work well in my head.

In the end, the ethics of preordering will always be up for debate, because developers are constantly finding new ways to incentivize them to happen. Do you preorder games, or do you think that this is a corrupt form of selling games?

Peace.

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