Friday, April 21, 2006

Pre-Orders are Killing Gaming for Me

Pre-Orders are Killing Gaming for Me

Dreamfall: Longest Journey 2 has been out for the better part of the week now. No EB, Gamestop, or Gamecrazy near me has one for me to buy. No pre-order deal was offered, so I find myself unwilling to trade cash for nothing since I know there's no way the demand is so high that I can't get one for somewhere. Walmart will have it in half a week, but I know that the major game retailers won't ever have it unless it's pre-ordered.What is happening here when the needs of the hardcore gamer are better served by Walmart or Best Buy? It is extremely maddening to be punished for not pre-ordering games for which the demand is not nearly high enough to warrant paying the cash just to know it will be there waiting for me. I would rather buy it online, if they don't have the game I want, when I want it, I will go buy. Here is the part that really stings, the one time in the last several years where there was an actual need to pre-order due to scarcity, the XBOX 360, it wasn't enough to pre-order. No one got them anyway. That is the major flaw in the system, that is what really tears the concept of pre-ordering. It guarantees sales of sub par products prior to review and release, allows companies like Gamestop, EB Games, and Gamecrazy to pocket money with nothing in return at all because of their blackmail practice of not carrying games that are not pre-ordered, and fails to genuinely protect about the sort of actual product shortage that it was initially put in place because of.It is infuriating to be so ill treated by the industry I have invested so much time and money into. It is infuriating not to be able to go and buy the games that I want, games that I have been waiting for. It is infuriating to be left to order my games online when I want them, paying extra to have them shipped to me, and all of this because so many people are so happy to buy games before they come out, more often than not investing in games that are becoming increasingly sub par. Why? Because they get all their sales before the game is released based on the hype of the industry builds, with press refusing to show anything but the good of a game before release.With more and more game sales pressured to be made prior to release and review, accountability falls harder and harder onto previews to give bad impressions to let gamers know what they're getting before both games and gaming press become irrelevant because of a stung consumer base.
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