Preorder bonuses officially jump the shark

What co-op shooter experience would you rate above it?

You know, I can kind of understand the stuff for new game buyers. The used game market effectively gets new customers and money for retail while the publishers and developers don’t see a penny of it.

But this is a PREORDER thing. Jesus, fuck that!

Even for the “new copy” bonuses and stuff to discourage used game sales, there has got to be a better way. Maybe make the game cheaper, with some of the game (multiplayer perhaps, or certain features) locked behind “paid” DLC that would still total less than the price of the full game? I dunno… that’s not a great solution either, but something has to work better than this love/hate war between publishers and retailers that just screws the customers in the middle.

Wait what Army of Two was a genre-defining masterpiece?

Well… yeah.

Focusing in on the co-op experience from the get go and taking all of the gamey mechanics that every other shooter tries to obfuscate and making them transparent was a breath of fresh air.

-Tongue in cheek mood CHECK!
-Meaningful interaction with the other player CHECK!
-Recognizing that current tech only allows for gamey mechanics/very limited AI and making those limitations explicitly part of the gameplay experience CHECK!
-Console appropriate control scheme CHECK!
-Reasonable difficulty curve (not crushing in the early game or too easy in the endgame) CHECK!
-Context sensitive cover system CHECK!
-Aesthetic choices (animations, scoring, etc.) that match the tone of the game CHECK!

I never quite got the abysmal critical reception of Ao2 when other titles that arguably did a much worse job of accomplishing what they set out to do in the same genre got rave reviews. Ao2 is clearly a buddy co-op GAME without cinematic pretentions (the cut scenes are pretty obviously story set up rather than aiming for the currently hip trick of blending seamlessly into the action).

All of them.

Well, okay, not really, AoT was a fine co-op shooter. But it didn’t add anything revolutionary to the mix and it was just building off what Gears of War had already established. There’s nothing “genre-defining” about it in the slightest.

For clarity, does it matter WHERE you pre-order from?

What if it’s “If you pre-order specifically at Gamestop…” then I could see it being some sort of retailer funded bad decision.

quake series
battlefield series
unreal tournament series
counter strike
day of defeat

this list is not complete I’m old ok

Well, it did have that aggro system. I haven’t seen that in a co-op shooter before (or after)

April, 2010: EA announced today the hotly anticipated third game in the Army of Two series: Army of Two: Mercenary Partner.

"For customers who pre-order there is a special bonus: access to the second character in the game! Pre-orders will ship with the second character unlocked for use by a second player, along with early access to the singleplayer campaign that features your companion controlled by the AI!
“Not enough for you? Well then pre-order the Game of the Year edition and receive co-operative mode and the ability to purchase additional guns and equipment three months before everyone else!”

Actually, the big titles are usually easy to get. You won’t have a problem getting Modern Warfare 2, because every GS store will have hundreds of preorders. The ones that are tough are the smaller ones. This is because for every preorder, they send a store a fractional amount extra. So let’s say you have a game coming out on 360 and PS3. You have 4 preorders on 360 and none for PS3. This isn’t a huge title, so they ship a base amount of 2 of each. You’ve got 4 preorders for 360 and they thrown in an extra one or two because of the interest. You you get 7-8 for 360 and 2 for PS3. Those numbers aren’t exact and it can vary by title, but I think you can get a rough idea.

Some titles you might only get one copy. They’ve cut back on initial ship numbers over the last few years. When NCAA Football 2009 came out, we had more new copies of '07 than '09.

You are aware none of those are co-op? You’ve only listed competitive multiplayer games.

Anyway, I enjoyed Charles’ joke earlier. I think this move has a lot to do with used sales. Not only do they incentivize preorders, but they discourage quick availability of used copies during the first sales month. They must have some mechanism in place to encourage people who didn’t preorder to hang in there for the last multiplayer mode to be unlocked. Anything to reduce the number of $55 used copies being sold right next to their new game that came out last week, right? But it’s mostly gonna piss people off.

If so, then that confuses me. They give AoT2 a ridiculously huge pre-order bonus to boost pre-orders, which is playing up to GameStop. But if they do it to reduce used game availability then it’s action taken against GameStop.

I know that there are more places to pre-order or buy used games besides GameStop, but as the principal source of both pre-orders and used games, it’s presence is strongly felt in this decision. So which is it? Was this a pro-GameStop choice or an anti-GameStop choice?

Why can’t it be both? It’s pro-new sales and preorders via Gamestop AND a detriment to used availability and sales. It’s what they call a win-win for the publisher, a win-lose for the retailer and a lose-lose for the customer.

You’d think EA would be big enough to force Gamestop to stop selling used copies for $55 a few days after release?

Personally, I don’t think it’s fair to developers/publishers to have their games re-sold for no revenue like Gamestop does. It’s fine for personal use, but it’s not right for big box stores.

Why is it any less fair than any other used goods sales, eg. cars? In all cases the original manufacturer isn’t seeing a dime of the second sale cost, as well they shouldn’t since they provided no additional value above and beyond what they earned from the first sale.

I don’t buy used games at Gamestop because they are priced too high, but I absolutely 100% support their right to sell them. Anyone who doesn’t is pissing on the grave of Thomas Jefferson!

EA’s big, yeah, but thank god they aren’t big enough to overturn the Constitution of the United States or generally good practices of consumer rights.

Agreed, I’m no fan of Gamestop and I think some of the practices are unethical, (like charging publishers for shelf space and to put ads in their stores then push a used version of a game on a customer instead of the new they may even have in their hand, but the publishers play that game with them) but they absolutely have the right to sell used games at whatever price they want.

You must LOVE libraries!

Implicit in this assumption is that it would hurt Gamestop more than it would EA. But I think this isn’t true. GS only makes a few bucks off of each new sale, and people will still bring in fairly new EA games to trade for other new games, none of which will be from EA. Individually, the game companies are the weaker parties, otherwise they would’ve cut GS out a long time ago. They might be able to get together and do something, but that would probably be illegal.

Personally, I enjoyed Ao2 far more than Gears of War, mostly for the lightness of its mood and the brightness of its mostly sunny, mostly outdoor levels. Also: goldplated AK-47 with a shotgun mount.

But preorder bonuses can rot in hell. Especially those which are not available outside the U.S.