Just Stop Preordering Games Already

How many times have we discovered that a hyped up game we purchased was bug-ridden junk not worth our money? Just another unfinished product pushed to release. Then you just have to pray and hope they fix it. They already have your money so maybe they will or maybe they won’t. Developers keep pushing preordering and people keep falling for it. Just stop it already. There is almost never a good reason to preorder a game and I for one am not going to pay to alpha test someone’s game.

Pre-Order Money Fire

Preordering was more feasible and made sense in the 90s when game disk and cartridges had to be physically manufactured. The possibility of a store selling out was a real threat for a popular game. But today with digital copies the threat of a game selling out does not exist.

Developers also did not have the ability to update their games so easy so they had more incentive to make sure they worked before it shipped. It is kind of amazing how low the quality of new release games has gotten.

So why do we keep preordering?

The rarity of an item tends to create value or the illusion of it. I think publishers have learned this. That is why they push limited preorder bonuses and collectors editions. But the truth is that the stuff you get with these preorder bonuses is just a cheap trick to guarantee a sell.

Game Preordering meeting

Collectors Editions are a waste of money.

Do you really need to spend $200 on a collectors edition to get some cheap figures and art books that probably only cost the publisher $10-$30 to make? Do any of you really keep that stuff and display it for years to come? I am sure some do and if so that is great I am glad you enjoy it! But I am willing to bet a lot of that stuff just gets thrown in a box and put in the basement to be forgotten. Or it is just thrown out with the trash at some point.

I am not much of a collector but if I really wanted something cool from a game I would not spend the money on a collectors edition. Instead I would take that money and spend it on something really cool. Like a handmade Fallout laser pistol prop. Not a cheap plastic trash bag with a logo on it like the Fallout 76 collectors edition gave out.

Fallout 76 Preorder Trash Bag

In game preorder bonuses

Sometimes developers also give you some in game items or abilities if you pre-order. Hopefully it is just cosmetic and is just the “rarity of an item” trick. You have something no one else can have so that seems to make it cool. But if it gives preorder people an edge in the game over other players is that really the type of game you want to play. I have never been a fan of pay-to-win games myself.

Stop Buying Early Access Games

Early Access is another form of preorder. Buying a game without knowing if it will even be good when it is finished. And the developer may never finish it. Below is a quote from Steam’s early access page.

Its up to the developer to determine when they are ready to ‘release’. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses. You should be aware that some teams will be unable to ‘finish’ their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state.”


I have to admit I fell for the Early Access trick before. Getting Starbound Early Access in order to play with my friends sounded great. We were all looking forward to the game anyway so this seemed perfect. Until the developer had to make some major changes and our save files would no longer work. After losing several hours of work in that game I decided I would never buy another Early Access Game. Lesson learned.

But I guess I was lucky. Starbound is one of the few Early Access games that has been finished. Many early access games get abandoned and left in an unfinished state. Maybe ones the developer gets everyone’s money there is no more incentive to work on the game? You might as well just set your money on fire at that point.

I do not want to pay to test a game and deal with bugs. I would rather wait a little longer to play and enjoy a finished product.

What happen to game demos?

Remember when game developers and publishers had to prove their game was good before anyone would buy it? Whatever happened to those days? How did we get to the point where a publisher can show us a fancy trailer with no gameplay in it and people start lining up to preorder?

Make developers prove their game is worth your money!

Preorder Meme

I would suggest that everyone just stops preording games. Let’s go back to the days of demos and word-of-mouth marketing. Make developers and publishers earn your money. History has shown that you have to vote with your wallet to get heard. If you keep giving money to developers who are releasing junk and are taking advantage of you then things will not change. So let’s stop rewarding them for bad products.

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