Its the 2nd of march 2012 (not that long ago not to remember). I had just learnt that Amazon would be receiving the Mass effect 3 N7 Collector’s edition, copies that were earmarked for Game. I sat there waiting for the item to go from not available to its opposite. Suddenly my hopes were realised as it appeared, quick as a flash the order was down and in less than a week I would own what I hoped would be a piece of video game perfection.
Hindsight is a wonderful tool we have, it allows to analyse our failures and success. As I read back the first paragraph one part sticks out to me “I hoped”. I spent good money on a product I hoped would be up to par (in this instance my hopes were realised). It could have been a disappointment and then I would be stuck with the limited edition of an awful game. Just think how those people who pre ordered Kane and Lynch 2 feel all that money for a game that was in the bargain bin within three months (at least it was in my local sainsburys).
So why do we make day one purchases?
From my own point of view most games I pre order will generally be multiplayer based games. Its the usual suspects in my own case Call of Duty and Battlefield. The reason I get these straight off the bat is so I am not left too far behind when everyone else starts learning and coming to terms with the map layouts. It comes down to that christmas noob fear, being absolutely owned in a game is never fun and in my opinion in multiplayer map knowledge is the key to success. Of course the other key factor is the in game rewards you receive when starting out generally you are ill equipped to perform in a competitive environment.. I found this out to my pains when playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood. I purchased the platinum Edition and so the game had already been out for quite a while. On entering multiplayer I was so underpowered and with little map knowledge I became the place for everyone to bury their Daggers. This experience soured my enjoyment of the game. My motto for most multiplayer experiences is ‘the more you play the more it pays, so the quicker you start playing the more time you can put in’.
There is also wanting to be part of the debate. When a new release comes out like Mass Effect 3 everyone wants to discuss the game as soon as possible and it becomes nigh on impossible to avoid spoilers. Obviously Mass Effect 3 was a great example of this where people’s disappointment with the game reached further than the usual gaming sites all the way to the B.B.C (said in the tone of Hannibal lecter saying F.B.I.). Occurrences like this have made early purchase more of a social pressure than before. The success of social media in the form of Facebook and Twitter have helped move the debate from hardcore forums to the masses, making it easier for many voices to be heard. To have not have experienced the game meant you were behind the curve and so ostracized from the debate.
Linked with be being part of the debate is spoiler avoidance. If you join the debate you want to be far enough into the title so that you do not get plotlines ruined for you. That makes being the first to finish a game have an even greater relevance than just bragging rights it can also give you power over those who do not know. A quick search through Youtube will show you a plethora of walkthrough videos showing live gameplay. There are Podcasts devoted to telling you the essence of the story with spoilers. There are many more other opportunities out there for spoilers. These sources can make people rush games especially single-player titles and sometimes we forget to slow down and enjoy the journey. At this point I still have not completed Mass Effect 3 because I like to take a slow methodical approach to a game like this. For me I usually find the journey more important in games than the destination taking my time makes sense. So that desperate need to finish quickly is reduced. I try to avoid spoilers but if I find out as long as the storytelling in the game is good it does not bother me.
I do feel that we as a community we tend to be always looking for the next big thing and at times forget to slow down and enjoy the experience. The ideas above are a few reasons of why I think we pre-orderer. If you look at your next first day purchase what are you basing it on is it your desire for inclusion or that desperate need to avoid spoilers?
However if you’re just like me and want to earn some multiplayer bragging rights,
See You On The Battlefield!
Wellbeingosteo (Paul Fiander)