When I worked at EB (way back when), I remember having to answer the phone as follows-

"Thank you for calling Electronics Boutique where you can now pre-order 'insert hot game name here,' this is Ben, how can I help you today?"

I hated saying it over and over because half the time, the caller would be annoyed and cut me off before I finished the spiel. It got worse when the answering pitch – which is really what it was – got even longer.

And that was back in 1998, so things haven't really changed. The big difference now is that before, pre-order incentives were kinda rare; all you got for your $10 deposit was the assurance that your game would be there on launch day. But now, it seems like almost every title has a pre-order bonus of some kind, and it usually involves some sort of "exclusive" content that typically becomes available to everyone via download at a later date.

However, for the hardcore fans of a particular franchise or a hotly anticipated game, those incentives might be really attractive. I'm just wondering if avid gamers are often swayed by such bonuses, or if the marketing ploys fall on deaf ears. I remember pre-orders were a big deal; the more you got, the more likely you were to get a bonus, and the better off your store would be. They're almost guaranteed sales, after all. The only thing more important to me were those hardware warranties (we got percentages of those, by the way).

Anyway, it's just a question. You can't walk into a GameStop these days without being asked if you want to pre-order something, which prompted this question.

Subscribe
Notify of
41 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

I usually don't buy into that crap. I sort of hate the feeling of being pinned down to a single provider, especially Gamestop, for the sake of some added pre-order hand out. But I won't be a hyprocrite, occasionally, I've been swayed. I did really enjoy the Mercedes car I got for pre-ordering GT5. I'm most attracted to Amazon's pre-order incentives, where they straight up give you something like a $20 store credit hook-up for select pre-orders. Now that's something I like. It's not some lame golden gun, or a retarded perk that probably would've been in the game if it weren't for the idea of pre-orders to begin with. I also don't like demo exclusives for that purpose as well. I don't know there seems to be a real thing for impulse based marketing. MS is all about spending dollars on impulse related incentives, marketers in general, I see few who actually try to push something from a value perspective anymore. Now it's PAY NOW!, SPEND YOUR TAX RETURN NOW BEFORE YOU HAVE IT marketing. Pre-order NOW and get this stupid little gimmick. Now.. NOW NOW! No thought, do it now. pull the trigger… twitch-twitch frag-frag.

hehe okay Im done, I had some fun with that.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
8 years ago

I only pre order some games, the ones that are worth it to me. Example, Max Payne 3. Also, as soon as The Last Of Us is available for pre order, im pretty sure I will. Whether it has a bonus or not. I notice that usually the best pre order bonuses come from gamestop. Sorry to say, but its where i pre order my games from.

kevinater321
kevinater321
8 years ago

The way is see it is Gamestop is a dedicated game store, unlike Amazon, Best Buy and the others that offer pre-order incentives. Those stores have other streams of revenue. So to Gamestop they have to get people to buy there or else they would go out of business so they are the ones spending more money for the pre-order incentives.

TL;DR: Basically, they have the most to lose so they spend more on pre-order incentives

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
8 years ago

I think I pre-ordered five or six games last year and that's about average for me, as I only do it mainly for the games, I think, that have a good chance of selling out. Pre-order incentives don't affect my purchasing decisions in any way, no matter what they may be offering.

Bjorn77
Bjorn77
8 years ago

I recognize this, I also buy pre-orders but not all for a bonus… mainly just because I want to buy it anyway. And a few times pre-ordering the game was because of a 10% discount. That I did with Deux Ex and Dirt 3.

For now I ore-ordered Mass Effect 3, The Collector Edition. I got an extra rifle but that was not what I did it for. I just wanted to have the game. Crazy isn't it?

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
8 years ago

The only pre-order bonuses i care about are real-life items like the Mirror's Edge messenger bag (which i didnt get because i'm a moron) and the Scribblenauts hat. I really dont give a carp about content that was cut in order to boost day-one sales.

Ydobon
Ydobon
8 years ago

It depends on what is the preorder incentives. It is the same thing with a collector edition, limited edition, special edition, or whatever name edition they want to give it. For example: Twisted metal preorder incentive (dlc) wasn't cutting it for me, but Asura's Wrath did (art/comic book 50 pages).

Speaking of preorders, I can't wait for Asura's Wrath, The Darkness 2, and Kingdom Reckoning! Playing ff13-2 as we speak and already read through the ff13 episode i. Which I was hoping for a better read -____-. Still glad I got it though!

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

I don't go for pre-orders at all. Back when places selling out of the game you wanted was an actual concern, I could understand the appeal. But I can't remember the last a recent game has been out of stock. I guess one of the advantages of gaming becoming big business is that big retailers aren't afraid to actually order as many copies of a game as they need.

Another reason I don't like pre-orders is that the bonuses are often retailer specific. Instead of choosing whether to get the bonus from Gamestop or Wal-Mart, or whatever, I'll just get the DLC later. Or, if I can be patient enough, wait for the GotY edition.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

Now that I think about it, I did actually make a pre-order recently. When I heard that Dance with Dragons was finally bring released last fall, I preordered that from Amazon, quick. But it ended up sitting on my coffee table for a couple of months while I finished a new read-through of the first four books of the series.

So, even if I do pre-order something again (and Game of Thrones on Blu-Ray is tempting), I doubt I'll actually get much use out of it. Lol

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
8 years ago

Only game I pre-ordered was Demon's Souls Deluxe Edition for the artbook $ soundtrack. Not worth it. But the Deluxe Edition had the guide and it was very limited, so I just had to secure myself a copy of that. And god that guide was good…

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Well first I just want to say that the pre-order incentives are actually a good thing for the consumer. Yes you are putting $5 (or more if you decide) down to get the incentive but you have to anyways to pre-order the game. It's a bonus, and sometimes a really good one!

I usually pre-order from Gamestop regardless, but sometimes best-buy and amazon have really good stuff as well. I normally don't care about the pre-order incentives, because I'll be pre-ordering anyways, but as I said some of the stuff you can get is a nice little bonus for doing so.

556pineapple
556pineapple
8 years ago

Only rarely do the items in question ever interest me. If it's a game I know I'm going to be picking up on day 1 anyway, and I get some free DLC for pre-ordering, usually I'll do it. But it won't make me pre-order a game I normally wouldn't.

bluedarrk
bluedarrk
8 years ago

It depends on the game but like Prototype 2 seems like there will be a ton of stuff that you can only get if you pre-order. I think this whole pre-order incentive will die down. Game companies want you to buy new, I could see them cutting out content as well. Think about it its only $10 game companies still want more. Like what if CoD only let you prestige 3 times and not the 10 or 15 what the "new" game would have. I don't buy games used if I don't want to drop $60 I wait for a price drop. I just picked up Shift 2 for $20, and Fight Night Champion for $25 new.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
8 years ago

On games themselves, I have never pre-ordered any. I don't go for gimmicks that usually should have already been in the game.

I'd much rather buy a special or limited edition to get all my extras and/or add on's that way.

And I can still get most of them within a couple of months down the line on either a huge sale, or a big drop in price.
Case in point was that $89.99 Deus Ex: "Augmented Edition" special version loaded with extra goodies when it came out, but….
I was able to pick it up for only $49.98, less than 3 weeks after launch.

The only thing I ever pre-ordered(& pre-paid) was the WIFi Vita, but due to an 2 unforseen bills, I had to cancel it & get my money back.

But my tax check should be here soon, so I'm going to re-preorder another Vita once again, but this time I'll get that G3 bundle that includes the 8GB card, free PSN game & a month of AT&T's data plan which I'll promptly drop soon after the plan expires & just use it's included WIFI.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/3/2012 10:53:58 PM

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

If the pre order incentive is money or credit then yes. I care more about saving some cash than some crap DLC that should already be on disc.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Sometimes it's not crap though, other times yeah it probably should have been on the disc regardless.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
8 years ago

It really depends on the game, and what the incentives are. For instance, I preordered Skyrim to make sure I got that spiffy cloth map that now hangs proudly above my gaming rig, and I've got Mass Effect 3 preordered to ensure I get the N7 Collector's Edition. But DLC? That's not a big incentive for me, especially since most DLC will eventually be available to download regardless of your preorder status, if you're patient.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
8 years ago

it really has to depend on what game and what is included in the package…. can't say in general term to me.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 2/3/2012 11:29:43 PM

Jed
Jed
8 years ago

Games used to have some cool pre-order bonuses. When I started working at GameStop we would get hats, shirts, keychains, actions figures and other cool/collectible stuff. Now all you get is early access, golden guns, and other stuff that you would eventually get your hands on.

I loved taking stuff out of the pre-order drawer.

P.S. I worked at GameStop until about a year ago and we had to answer the phone with ridiculously long promotions that pissed us off as much as the customer. And the bosses were always calling the stores to test us to see if we were saying it.

___________
___________
8 years ago

no not really.
only reason i preorder all of my games is because my local store always orders a pathetic amount of each copy!
i remember when KZ2 came out i did not preorder it so i had to go running around like a headless chook looking for a store that had a copy left.
so now i always try to preorder games, because if i dont chances are ill be waiting a good 2+ months for the 3rd or 4th shipment to come in because most of the times the first 2 are for preorders only.

Palpatations911
Palpatations911
8 years ago

How about that nifty little "cloth map" included with Skyrim, hah! It was nothing but a sheet of paper with ink on it.

I'm sorry, but pre-order bonuses are nothing but a marketing plan from publishers in order to secure your $$$ prior to it's reviews hitting the internet.


Last edited by Palpatations911 on 2/4/2012 1:54:16 AM

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

The pre-order money isn't really "secure", to the publishers, or retail stores, as you can cancel your pre-order at anytime, or move it to another game. Regardless I actually like my map that came with Skyrim! ūüėČ …seriously I do though!


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/4/2012 2:47:15 AM

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
8 years ago

Yeah, that map is pretty cool in my opinion, I like the way it feels when I first held it I was like "Whaa?!"

PSN French
PSN French
8 years ago

I prefer to order on Amazon. No sales tax, and only 99 cents for release day delivery. Also, cancelling a pre-order is as easy as click, click. However, the incentives are often useless in my opinion. I like the free DLC given for KoA:Reckoning, but I would have pre-ordered that game without it.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I don't usually buy the collectors editions either. In fact I've never bought a collectors edition of anything until now with Mass Effect 3.

Fane1024
Fane1024
8 years ago

Not ever.

But, unlike many of the folks here, I've only ever bought two games on release day (and only a few in release week), so I'm not inclined to pay attention to bonuses for a day-one purchase.

I've also only bought two special edition / steel-case games (which I got for the same price as the standard edition) and no true collector's editions. I get GOTY versions instead.

If I did buy games on release, I'd still probably not pre-order, because I'd hate to be tied to a particular store. I didn't pre-order the two aforementioned games for that very reason. I like to comparison shop.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/4/2012 4:08:37 AM

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
8 years ago

Genrally speaking, yes – I do have an inspection at pre-order incentives. But it depends if it's a game that I'm REALLY looking forward to, and will appreciate all the extra goodies. That's why the last game I pre-ordered was Uncharted 3, & before that Uncharted 2 (Europe got a Uncharted 2 special edition that was different to America, I think).

Usually, though, I would be pre-ordering the game if I was pre-ordering the game (? xD) – regardless of the extra stuff included.

Veitsknight
Veitsknight
8 years ago

I just pre-order a game so that when it finally comes out, I have an excuse to buy it.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
8 years ago

To tell you the truth , I can't remember when I last pre-ordered something. Just doesn't interest me much.

JackC8
JackC8
8 years ago

No. I get all my games from Amazon regardless of if their incentives are better or worse than what other places have. If I'm excited enough about a game to pre-order it, then the difference between this incentive vs. that incentive is a very negligible part of the entire package anyway.

tridon
tridon
8 years ago

It all depends on the game. If it's a favourite series of mine, like Metal Gear Solid, God of War or Uncharted, I'll check out which place has the best pre-order incentive. Usually, though, I just go with the place that's most convenient to order from.

firesoul453
firesoul453
8 years ago

No definitely not, in fact cheesy preorder incentives (like multiplayer advantages), usually make me wait till the price goes down for the game.

Robochic
Robochic
8 years ago

i preorder if its a game that i really really want IE UC3. I do like Bestbuy's game reward incentives cause i get a 10 dollar credit once i pick the game up i know i have to wait for it but it is worth it incase i want a game that i can't fully afford i use the credit but i usually save up with them, i was able to get starwars PC game for free with all my credits so it can be worth it

tes37
tes37
8 years ago

I purchase through Amazon with release date delivery if I get a game on day one. I don't have to stop by any store when I get off work, so that's the best incentive for me to respond to.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
8 years ago

I sometimes do if I have the money, but it depends on what it is.

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
8 years ago

I keep pre-ordering at Future Shop to get me those nice steelbooks for games ūüėÄ lol Really pretty if you like to collect things

Steelbook picture:
http://www.futureshop.ca/multimedia/Products/250×250/101/10186/10186335.jpg


Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 2/4/2012 8:41:10 PM

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
8 years ago

Yeah. I enjoy my preorder incentives.

Laguna
Laguna
8 years ago

Ultimately it depends but i rarely do it because i hate buying games at a predetermined date.

I preordered Battlefield 3 at Best Buy because the employee harassed me and i just wanted him to leave me alone. I played the beta and wasn't impressed. However when the game came out I bought into the hype and got the game. Wonderful decision because i haven't touched it since November after Uncharted 3 came out.

I preordered Assassins creed revelations because i thought the ps3 version including Ass creed 1 would be on the disc. It was on the disc but you needed to install it. I already owned Ass creed 1 digitally so it was pointless. Cancelled that preorder.

Then I have soul calibur V. I was under the impression that Dampierre would be and exclusive best buy preorder bonus but i cancelled my preorder the moment i saw the leaked final roster, because i felt they were going to scam us with DLC by later adding Zasalamel, Yunseong, Talim, etc.

well, a few weeks later i see the ad, and Dampierre is no longer specific to preorder, but rather just copies of the game at best buy itself.
Turns out that alot of my preorder "bonuses" at best buy could easily be bought at best buy without preordering.

But i will give Gamestop and amazon credit for their DLC for Dissidia 012 final fantasy. THe cloud kingdom hearts outfit and tifa amano outfit has not been made DLC for anyone else. So it truly is a bonus. I should have preordered at both places!

thj_1980
thj_1980
8 years ago

Sort of depends on what it is. I mean I would much rather wait 10 months for the game to go down in price since I don't have as much time and money as I would like too and still got a whole bunch of other games that I can play and beat.

Yemster
Yemster
8 years ago

In the uk I preorder mainly from GAME.
I always receive my game from them a day early.
As for incentives, I'm a bit of sucker for them tbh XD
Plus GAME always have the limited or special edition stuff.
Though I bought the Rayman Origins collectors edition from somewhere else.

Rogueagent01
Rogueagent01
8 years ago

If there is real world incentives then I definitely consider pre-ordering, but if it is just something digital then I don't bother. I like when the publishers add art books, special boxes, figurines, and other tangible items in there. That is why I am a sucker for special/collectors/limited editions. And when I use the term "limited edition" I mean limited like the Kingdoms of Amaluer limited edition that is numbered at 300, not a Battlefield game that probably has 50,000 world wide.