The Average Gamer

Pre-Order Facade?

Invisible high jumpPre-ordering video games is a big business. Now, it appears to have become and entity unto itself, and in my opinion, just another way to draw gamers to a particular retailer, rather than being able to just order from wherever we want, and obtain the same quality product as everyone else.

Take Batman: Arkham City. Bruce almighty, it’s a cracking game, isn’t it? Sorry, bad pun there. Anyway, before its release, I decided I would pre-order the game, but when shopping for the best price online, I found that competition of price was no longer the priority, but the pre-order bonuses were instead! I want the game , not some fangled 60’s style Batman statue, or a code to play as Robin straight off the bat. It was bad enough that the game had the Catwoman code bundled with the game itself, as a big ‘up yours’ to anyone purchasing a pre-owned copy.

A forum post on fansite Arkham City shows some of the pre-order offers that were available for the UK, and even has a section for those that trade Arkham City skins codes between each other.

Another recent title Rage received similar pre-order treatment, even offering a addition to the standard version’s entire design with the Anarchy edition. With 4 unlockable item codes only available in this version, including a double-barreled shotgun, armour that is stronger than any other available in the game, and even an exclusive vehicle (driving is a key element of the game), it feels unfair to those who cannot afford to pre-order. At least this version was the same across all retailers.

Now, for those that haven’t already stopped reading this due to anger/disapproval, I do see the benefit(s) of pre-ordering a video game. The key one being getting the game itself, often on the day before release, but the point I want to make is why not make these bonuses available at general retail also? If it means paying a little extra, well that’s our choice as consumers to make, surely?