Paying To Play Early: How Do You Feel About It?

Last week, Shadow of the Tomb Raider released. I had thought it was due to release on the 12th, when really it’s street release date was the 14th.

I keep up on gaming news to a ridiculous degree. Despite this, I am still sometimes confused by the various editions of games, such as the larger Ubisoft releases (e.g.: Assassin’s Creed). There are standard, deluxe, gold, and all kinds of collector’s editions for those titles. I try to keep up on such things, and even I am sometimes puzzled what comes with a certain version of a game.

Back to Tomb Raider.

Turns out it did release on the 12th, but only if you bought the Croft edition, which, incidentally, looked identical to the standard steelbook edition.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed at all were it not for my collector’s edition game guide showing up on Wednesday the 12th.

That never happens. I never get the guide before the game, itself. In most cases, the guide comes several days later.

Apparently, if you spent more money, you could play the game two days early.

This is not a new practice; EA has done this for years with certain titles. If you pay a higher price of entry, you get access to the game early.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

On one hand, if someone wants to play the game as early as possible and doesn’t mind putting more money out for the same game, great! And I mean that sincerely. If the situation works for all parties, I take no issue with it.

I just don’t know how I feel about it for myself.

If someone said I could play Cyberpunk 2077 several days early for, say, $20 more, I’m sure I’d break down and do it. But would I feel good about it?

I honestly don’t know.

So here’s my question: have you ever paid to play a game early? Was it worth it? Would you do it again? And if you haven’t, would you? What game would get you to do so?

I’m going to keep this one short today; I seem to be coming down with a nasty cold, and I’d like to turn into a couch barnacle for a nice long snoozle.

I wish you all better health than I have. Cheers, friends. <3

8 replies »

  1. I’ve purchased a lot of games in early access or preorder. I’ve only really regretted it a couple of times, mostly with MMO’s. I don’t mind them, but I am not enticed by multiplayer games. Star Wars Galaxies and Warhammer Online are two of the games I preordered and didn’t feel like sticking with. I also own Overwatch but legitimately have never played it. I don’t think I’ve even launched it. I blame anxiety for this. The feeling of not doing well or out-scoring everyone else has a significant negative impact on me, so I try to avoid online games. That said, Star Trek Online is one game I really enjoy, mostly because I’m a fan of the franchise.

    If any early access game is really enticing to me, like Gravekeeper’s Servant was, then I will absolutely buy it. I appreciate early access for what it can do to help a game develop or drum out a fan base before full release, but sometimes it seems like a terrible strategy. It seems like the developers want money now instead of more money in the long run. Also some games are just terrible, and not terrible-good, but terrible-terrible.

    Anyway, I don’t think I have a point to make here. I sometimes regret buying a game through preorder or early access, but I usually do my homework first before I buy something. I think that helps me keep my purchases realistic so I know what I’m getting. I suppose that’s the most any of us can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have a strong opinion in the matter, but I don’t really mind as a bonus for those that pre-order the game and season pass. I think it would be a little bid bad if the more expensive version ONLY gives you early access, but as a part of the overall season pass package, I don’t have problems with it. Specially as a I usually buy the regular version, so it doesn’t affect me much as I usually don’t buy premium versions or season passes.

    Have a nice rest of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That makes sense! I didn’t really think about it in conjunction with a season pass. That makes me think about Far Cry 3 Classic Edition and how it was out a month early for season pass holders of Far Cry 5. I mean, not that I’ve played the FC3 Classic Edition, but I liked that I COULD have if I had wanted to. Also that it was free with the pass.

      Man, I’m really off-topic here. It made sense in my head and after I typed it out it was a mess. But I’m leaving it. YOLO

      I hope you have a nice week, too!


  3. While I’ve gotten early access to games before, I’ve never made my purchasing decision based on getting access a few days earlier than its release. Sadly, for me, I’m usually too busy to even take advantage of early play days. I did buy the Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Croft Edition as a fan of the franchise since its 2013 release both as a game and its absolutely amazing captions/subtitle options as well as that it was an affordable collector’s edition with a price point under $100. But I managed to play for only an hour before Friday. I just saw that EA is touting the early access options for Anthem which made me groan if only because of the trend in having so many different game editions that it’s hard to keep up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s very frugal and responsible of you, and I mean that sincerely. And I’m so glad to hear Shadow has good captions and subtitles!! I think about this so much more often since we “met” years ago. I think it’s odd that Capcom seems to fall short in this area so often. I mean, take RE4, a game that has released on pretty much every platform. When it released on PS4/Xbox One a couple years back, I believe it STILL didn’t have subtitles which baffles me.


  4. I don’t mind that people have the option to pay more for earlier access, but I personally haven’t and wouldn’t pay for something like that. I’m the type that likes to wait for reviews so I have a better understanding of the game I purchase instead of going all in blind. I used to pre-order a lot in the past but it can be a risky gamble sometimes and a lot of companies have been using that to their advantage over the years. Even when I buy a game new I might not get to it for a long while anyway so it would more than likely be a waste.

    I might be more likely to do it on Steam if an early access title looks good, but even then I’m still wary of jumping in too soon. To do it for me, the game has to be fairly complete and playable already and have continuous updates.

    Liked by 1 person

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