“Is there anything you’d like to pre-order today?”

 

Would have cost me just shy of £135 if Pre-ordered I paid under £83

Would have cost me just shy of £135 if Pre-ordered I paid under £83

 

 

Today I bought the three brand spanking new PS3 games (above), I walked up to the counter in Game and the sales assistant said

“These have only just been reduced today.”

“I know, I saw your stores Tweet about the Easter Sale.” I retorted.

He seemed slightly offended but quickly changed the subject, by asking
Is there anything you’d like to pre-order today?” as he took my cash.

What I wanted to say was:
“Are you blind and stupid? I’ve just bought THREE brand new games that are less than two months old. They are the limited editions and I’m paying up to £20 less for each. Why the hell should I give you more money for a game when I can just cool my heels.”

“Not at the moment” was my actual reply.

So I was being polite, but honestly I no longer see the point in pre-ordering. I’ve been burnt before, 3 games spring to mind Killzone3: Helgan Edition cost £100 the dropped to £35 with 2 months; Bioshock 2: Collectors Edition cost £60 then dropped to £30 with 3 months and Alien v Predator: Facehugger Edition £70 then dropped to £35 in 3 months). All purchased from HMV, which had prices that dropped faster than an elephant pushed from an airplane at 30000ft.

I’ve also picked up some bargains by waiting, I got the DJ Hero: Renegade Edition of for £50 reduced from £120. It came with a sexy flight case that turns into a stand and a Black and Gold DJ controller. Not to mention Game of the Year additions that include all the DLC rather than £45 game and £20 for a Season Pass. Case in point I picked up Saint’s Row The Third Complete Package for £20, only 6 months after it was released.

I used to pre-order, loads of my collection have been bought on day of release but the last game I pre-ordered was from the UbiStore exclusive Assassin’s Creed 3: Freedom Edition, purely because it wasn’t going to be available from a retail outlet. It also came with a stunning Statuette of Connor, but I digress.

AC3:Freedom Edition: Connor statuette, art cards, presentation box, Steel Book case, Washington's Journal

AC3:Freedom Edition: Connor statuette, art cards, presentation box, Steel Book case, Washington’s Journal

Don’t get me wrong I understand why a retail outlet wants me to pre-order. Firstly they get some cash from me for nothing more than a promise. In the current financial climate, I’m not handing over cash for a piece of essentially worthless paper. Think this is an over exaggeration, well you’re wrong. I was one of the people who got stung by Game when the entered administration because they weren’t able to honour my pre-order of the N7 Edition of Mass Effect 3. It has a happy ending though, as I pre-ordered it from Grainger Games and got a free N7 T-shirt.
Secondly for the retailer they should be able negotiate a better deal from suppliers, by knowing how many games they’re going to sell on release day. This doesn’t explain the massive reductions that can be had so quickly after release though.

I can also see the benefits of pre-ordering as a gamer and collector. You get the game as soon as it’s released, sometimes a couple of days early from webstores. Also occasionally pre-ordering nets you extras like models, soundtracks, T-shirts, digital copies of prequels (ie Crysis from Crysis3 or Bioshock from Bioshock Infinite) or in-game exclusive content. Some collector’s editions are actually limited run which have great resale value.

 
connor 3Just look at the price of the Play.com exclusive Collectors
Edition of Metal Gear Solid 4. I paid £80 and it can now
be bought for £240,  but these seem to be in rapid decline.
 

I can’t currently justify the premium being charged by retailers, with bills rising, cost of living generally increasing and not having had an actual pay rise in nearly 5 years. It must be said though, if a game has a large multiplayer base it tends to only start out that way. It’s not long before people have moved on to the next release, making trophy hunting on multiplayer only achievable for a limited time window. I’m also supporting the games industry by buying new. Though I’m not sure if paying Recommended Retail Price (R.R.P.) gives developers a larger bite of the cherry, than a sale price. If anyone know please leave me a comment to your source.

Over the last 3 months I’ve decided how much I’m willing to spend on new games and £45 is at least £15 more than I’m willing to splash on the latest bit of gaming entertainment. Don’t get me started on the price of pre-ordering from PlayStation Store (PSN), that is a whole different article. All I’ll say is if £59.99 is a reasonable price for a game without any physical media or material pre-order bonuses then I’m a monkey’s Uncle.

You can also add to the fact I subscribe to PlayStation Plus (PS+). If you’re not aware what this is, it’s basically a subscription services that gives you loads of games. These rotate in and out usually every month. Over the last 6 months there’s been some high quality big titles added. Frustratingly I’d actually bought most of the major releases like Crysis2, Batman: Arkham City, Mass Effect 3 for PS3 and Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection & Uncharted: Golden Abyss for PSVita, all on release day, I might add at full price. Another reason which leads on from the above. For the first time in my life I’m starting to develop a pile of shame. Basically it started as a couple of games I was still to play. Now it’s getting a little out of control.

My current pile o'shame

My current pile o’shame

This is just the physical media I’ve still to finish the stories or even break the seals on. It’s nowhere near as bad as one of my friends that is about 50+ games deep.

 
My friend's mountainous pile o'shame

My friend’s mountainous pile o’shame

 

My PS+ list is also getting out of hand to the point where I’m considering upgrading my 320gb HDD. Thankfully my PS+ games can just sit in my download list until I fancy something. I’ve currently got Sleeping Dogs, Farcry2, Darksiders amongst others just sat awaiting some free space. I’ve currently got Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, Just Cause 2, The Walking Dead, F1 Race Stars, Quantum Conumdrum all sat on the HDD just waiting for me to boot them up.

How have I let this happen, you may ask. The reason is simply at the moment I don’t have the time, I would love to spend more playing games. The simple answer may be to just stop buying them, at least until I’m caught up. I’m also a collector so I don’t trade them in. I’ve got friends that pre-order, play finish (or get bored) and trade in for cash off the next new game. Sometimes, only days after its release and getting a decent amount off cash off. It’s almost like renting the game in my opinion.

I’m not sure retailers can really justify the current R.R.P. of £45 for a couple of reasons. Firstly the PS3 generation is coming to end as we’re less than 9 months away from PS4. At the end of both the PlayStation and PS2‘s life cycles, new games were generally at a £30 price point. Secondly I still apply a cost per hour calculation on games. I recently Platinumed Farcry3 you can read my review HERE!. If I’d have paid £45 I would have average about 1 pound per hours play. I only paid £25 which for 45 hours works out at £0.56 per hour. I’m also more likely to invest in some DownLoadable Content (DLC), if I’ve picked the game up cheaply. Though this can mess up the cost per hour calculation.

Thanks for reading this rant.

Do you agree with me or think I’m way off the mark? Have you got a bigger mountain or shame or do you play catch and release with new games after pre-ordering? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments.

Connor @vdjomb

vdjomb

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6 responses to ““Is there anything you’d like to pre-order today?”

  1. Pingback: Is There Anything You Would Like To Pre-Order Today |·

  2. I preordered Bioshock Infinite and I got that today. Usually I don’t preorder though, a game has to be really special for me to preorder. I have to know that I’m going to love it and there has to be nothing to pressing on my to do pile.
    I’m starting to not buy games when I don’t have time for them, simply because if I wait long enough I will often get an awesome deal. Battlefield 3 has a premium version out now with all the DLC in one package. I bought that months ago and I now feel like EA are punishing me for preordering.
    Similarly, I got The Cave at launch and it is now coming to PS Plus in April. PS plus is a great deal but it puts me off buying game on the PS Store in case they get released on Plus.

    I think this whole thing is a problem with the marketing strategy that publishers and retailers adopt. Although, it’s only a problem for the consumer; and if the big companies keep making money, then they won’t change it.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
    I was so tempted by Bioshock Infinite as I’ve loved the previous games but getting Tombraider so cheap after release put me off. I’m just gonna wait. The only issue I’m gonna have is avoiding spoilers as there’s no multiplayer that I’ll need to rinse for trophies.
    You’re on the nose with marketing stratergies and Game of the Year editions punishing those that bought early. I pet peeve was when a friend told me he’d bought a Season Pass for Borderlands2 on release day only to see the price be reduced by half just after the first piece of DLC was released. I can understand if it was when the final piece was out, but so early on is just a slap in the face.
    With big companies like EA & Square Enix having major senior level staffing changes because their sales ain’t what they expected, may be they need to be looking at why games don’t sell as many release day copies as they envisage. For me £45 is a joke, and not a funny one. If they dropped the price they’d sell more. I’d love to see total Numbers for Tombraider and Need for Speed: Most Wanted after they’ve been on the selves for 6 months. Not that they would really release data that shows a decline in day one sales due to price point.

  4. Great article. I’ve also been caught many times buying a game full price, then by the time I get around to playing it, it’s a fraction of the price. I’ve got enough games in my backlog (especially with Plus) that I’ll typically hold off on a new release for a bit. The only time I pre-order anymore is if they throw in some bonus you won’t ever be able to get later, or if its some game I know I’ll be playing right away.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting.
      It’s so tempting to just to buy a new release but like you said if it’s going to be added to the pile rather that played why not wait. I think it’s about time that pre-order exclusives are exactly that. Not something that is added at a later date for free.

  5. I think I beat your friends pile of shame. Mines a little higher and I have an extra 40 odd digital games I’ve bought from PSN sales. The PSN sales are getting like steam it’s ridiculous. So far this year I’ve picked up Driver: San Francisco, Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, de Blob 2 and Prince of Persia Trilogy for less than £5 (with PS+ discount). For less than a tenner Hitman Trilogy, DMC HD Collection, Jak & Daxter Trilogy, Sly Trilogy, God of War Collection 2, Darksiders 2, Rune Factory Oceans, and Agerest Generation of War Zero. Then the most crazy is the Xmas and Easter sales Where I picked up stuff such as LBP Karting for £15 around a month after release. And Tomb Raider for £15.99 a month after release. I pretty much won’t be day one buying anything any more (except for maybe GTAV because that will take along time to go down).

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