Pre-Ordering Vs. Waiting

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Since September, the rush of fall releases has been in full swing. As most of us don’t have unlimited resources to afford all these lovely games, we have to choose which will come home day-one, and which will wait for another time. And this got me thinking.

I used to be a huge fan of pre-ordering games. It just seemed easier; order and don’t worry about it until it shows up in the mail (thanks, Amazon!). In the past year or so, I’ve toned it down for multiple reasons, the foremost being that my backlog is so huge, it seems almost irresponsible to pre-order a game unless I have every intention of playing it the moment I get my hands on it.

Case in point: Far Cry 4. I am so intent on playing this game as soon as I possibly can, that I am going to a midnight release for it. I will be sleeping early that night in preparation for its arrival. I will make sure I have easily accessible healthy snacks and my collector’s edition game guide at the ready.

I am all about playing that game as soon as humanly possible.

While I knew, without question, that I wanted to pre-order this title, I happened to get a few perks for doing so. Because I ordered so early, I will get the limited edition which includes several missions for free. What’s not to like about that?

With other titles that I am interested in, but not desperate for, it can be a murky decision. Are the pre-order incentives enough to justify a pre-order? Will those perks be available down the road to the general public? Is there a benefit to ordering that specific game for a particular console (if it isn’t an exclusive)? To ordering it from a specific retailer?

If none of those things are enough to persuade me one way or the other, there is a strong case to be made for waiting. I’ve seen AAA titles marked down from the standard $60 to $40 within a week of release. I’ve seen crazy sales. Not to mention, with Black Friday looming, there are bound to be sales on both new and older games making them far more affordable. I’ve been really excited to try out The Evil Within, Sunset Overdrive, The Master Chief Collection, and several others, however with all the games in my backlog, I haven’t even bothered to try to obtain these. Black Friday is four weeks away, and I can certainly wait.

But then I think about the few games I do have pre-ordered, and I wonder, should I cancel them? Will I get to them right away? Are the pre-order incentives enough to make me want to keep them on pre-order? How badly do I want to experience these new games?

Basically it comes down to a simple decision: impatience and possibly some marginal perks, or paying less money and potentially paying for those perks down the road.

Actually, now that I say that, it seems like a pretty easy decision. Hooray for logic!

I’d love to hear thoughts on how you feel about the pre-ordering vs. waiting topic.

Categories: games

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16 replies »

  1. LittleBigPlanet 3 has a limited edition plushie available with preorder (just like LBP2 did). Sign up at Amazon to be notified :)

    That’s pretty much the only reason I preorder anything anymore. If it’s a series I really care about it and if it has something really cool that comes with it.

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    • as much as i love lbp (and i do have 3 on preorder), i don’t know what i would do with a sackboy plush. the one that came with the collector’s edition for lbp2 looked…weird.

      and i agree, i lean towards games that i’m both really excited for, and have nifty preorder incentives.

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  2. I usually don’t pre-order for several reasons. One being already stated: back catalog. Its the main reason the PS4 hasn’t been hooked up and looks like it won’t be until 2015. The other is prince. Meaning, it usually only takes three to four months for a price drop in a game. Why pay $60 when its only a matter of a few months before it drops to $40? I love games, but it’s not important to me to play right when it comes out.

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  3. I would pay $60.00 for a Purple Rain text adventure, but otherwise, deackard, I agree with you, I rarely can’t or wouldn’t choose to wait until the first or second price drop.

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    • for wow that totally makes sense. for console games i like to have a physical copy, as if the game isn’t great or doesn’t resonate, it can be traded in. amazon’s trade in program is pretty good.

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    • see, i totally get it for a specific perk. for far cry 4, there was the limited edition, as well as a special mission that i wanted to experience. not a chance would i have missed that pre-order.

      FAR CRY 4!!!

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