Preorder bonuses officially jump the shark

I’m frankly speechless.

Gamers who pre-order Army of Two: The 40th Day now will have exclusive access to the game’s all-new explosive multi-player mode, Extraction, at launch. This mode will be unlocked for all other players one month after the game ships.
Army of Two may have delivered on co-op, but when it came to an online experience many players were left wishing for more. As a result the multiplayer component of Army of Two: The 40th Day has been completely reworked. We want to give fans unparalleled online functionality and a unique experience that can only come with a co-op game.

Alternate headline: “Preordering Players Hijacked Into Beta-Testing New Multiplayer Mode”



Wow, way to fracture your player base, and shrink what is probably already a pathetic amount of people who will be playing the game online.

This is exactly my thought on reading this news.

Thought this was going to be about “The Love Giver”.

Not surprised. I figure the preorder/exclusive-content-for-first-time-buyers stuff is going to eventually get to the point where they just cut off half the game if you didn’t pay full price at retail.

So now the only people playing multiplayer will be the ones who bought the used copies.

I kind of thought that the GameCrazy pre-order bonus for Uncharted 2, an XP multiplier for multiplayer, was pretty shark-jumping.

This is just stupid.

Why is pre-ordering so much bigger in the video game industry than in others? I know you can pre-order movies, electronics, books, etc. But its rare and the industry doesn’t care enough to try to incent people to do it like they do with video games. Why?

I don’t understand this at all. You want people to play your multiplayer, and you want people to play it for as long as possible to get in on that whole long tail thing. This is basically going to kill any sort of chance the multiplayer had of sustaining longer than the couple of months it may have been popular for. I bet someone can use math and historical data to figure out exactly how much quicker this stunt is going to kill the game.

If you can convince people to pre-order, you get a better idea of how much money you’ll make.

I’d expect that they sell a lot fewer copies of a lot of game titles than of the typical movie or CD, so they want more information to help better manage their inventory. Unfortunately, in some cases that means that preordering is about the only way to guarantee that you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy at all…

Sure, but that applies to every industry.

This is what the guys at gamestop always tell me. But I havent had a game I couldnt buy on release day in 10 years. That could be because Im not interested in buying the big releases (Halo and such) on release day, but have people actually had the experience that they cant get games on release day unless they preorder (I always assumed it was an empty threat of gamestop).

I have zero evidence to support this, but I tend to suspect it’s because on average games have a shorter retail lifespan than your typical movie or book, and so there’s a tremendous emphasis on first week or first month sales. My guess is that pre-order incentives are designed to maximize that big early sales period. I could also be laughably wrong, though.

I had one just a few days ago with Borderlands. Granted, that had never actually happened to me before, and from what I gather there was some sort of supply problem on the east coast with regards to Borderlands. But the cold hard truth was that I went to buy a copy on Tuesday and they were sold out from every retail location I went to.

So, yes, it can happen.

It’s not an empty threat if you’re trying to buy the game at Gamestop, where they get maybe two or three unpreordered copies of new titles, and even that’s just because the shipping boxes come with a preset number of copies in them. Unless the preorder number for a given store happens to be a multiple of whatever number of games a shipping box holds, you’ll end up with a handful of leftovers.

If you just go to Best Buy or Fry’s or Wal*Mart or some normal store, you can generally pick anything up day of release. I’ve never had a problem with big titles. Sometimes the big box stores don’t get sufficient numbers of smaller titles, and I don’t believe Best Buy even carries Atlus games at all, so preordering for those is sometimes required. But I use Amazon for that.

I liked the first Army of Two, but after this stunt I think playing the sequel would just make me feel dirty.

Took me a second to get that. Well played.

Probably because movies and books have a much longer life-span than games, so people tend to hold onto them longer. Pre-orders help publishers stop used sales. Retailers theoretically use them to try to gauge demand.

As someone who has the Love Giver, (thanks Bahimiron,) it’s exactly what a pre-order exclusive should be: an exclusively aesthetic bonus. It’s not a better guitar in any way over the regular guitar. All it has is a unique skin and Jack Black yelling, “ROCKET SAUCE!” when you play it.

By “they,” you pretty much mean GameStop, right? I’ve never pre-ordered a game in my life, yet I’ve never had a problem getting the games I want on release day. Reason being I buy my must-have, release-day games from Best Buy.