I have always hated the idea of pre-ordering, at least in modern times, when greedy corporations try to latch onto your wallet months, even years before a game launches, only to have that game release to be a lazy, bug-ridden mess, and/or not as advertised. Ubisoft were crowned kings of this corporate douche-baggery last year with the likes of Assassins Creed Unity and Watch Dogs. But it looks like they may have a new challenger, by the names of Square Enix and Eidos Montreal.
A few days ago, Square Enix and Eidos Montreal announced their pre-order campaign, called “augment your pre-order”, for their highly anticipated follow up to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and it is the worst we have seen to date! Clearly “inspired” by stretch goals you’d see with games looking for funding on Kickstarter, Mankind Divided takes the exploitative nature of modern day pre-orders to a whole new level. But the difference is that this game will be releasing with, or without your money, and instead your just fuelling the reason why companies continue to do this.
They are trying so hard to make it sound like a good thing. The name itself draws you in, as they go on about “customising your experience” and that it’s about “consumer choice”, but it is none of those things. In fact it is the exact opposite! Not only are these pre-order ‘tiers’ locked until a certain number or pre-orders are met, but you don’t get everything in them. you just get to choose what you want from each of those tiers, all of which things you’d commonly find with most collector editions anyway. In fact, all of this stuff DOES come in the collectors edition, effectively devaluing that. Well, excluding the final tier, unlocking the game 4 days early, which raises the question why it’s not out on that date instead (outside to push this pile of cock harder down your throat)..
What’s worse, is that this campaign turns customers into walking advertisements. People who do pre-order are going to be telling all their friends to do the same, not for their friends benefit, but for their own as they want all this bonus crap that will make absolutely no difference to their overall experience, except maybe the first tier which everyone who pre-orders gets regardless.
Pre-ordering in general does not serve you as the customer, just them so they can guarantee your money before the game even releases, in whatever state that may be in. While Steam now has refunds, that isn’t the case on console so there when you get screwed hard you can’t even rub on some cream to help ease the pain. And they aren’t even trying anymore to hide that fact. They happily will sacrifice long-term goodwill for short-term gains and it is sickening to see. We as customers shouldn’t buy into this kind of crap, and thankfully, we aren’t.
On the day this was announced, Mankind Divided sat around the top 15 in the top sellers list, no doubt helped on by those who fell for it, but now it is nowhere to be seen, and that’s great. I am not sure what the sales figures are on console, but hopefully it’s the same there. We shouldn’t have to be punished because we decide to wait until reviews, or wait until after release, and hopefully this crowd pre-ordering bullshit will be gone for good.
Now, I’m not saying don’t pre-order ever. Sometimes it can be a good move if stores are going to be low in stock, you want to be at a midnight release or you want to pre-load so you can play it as soon as possible. If your looking to get physical collector editions too then it is fair enough to pre-order because, well, that’s usually the only way to get your hands on them without being ripped off on eBay. Just be smart about it, and know why your choosing to opt in early. Make sure you have seen plenty of gameplay too, so you have a good idea of what it will be like.
If you feel that you want to pre-order just because they have this ultra rare skin, or a bonus mission, then stop what your doing and smash your head against the wall, so the very thought of pre-ordering will be attributed to pain. Or be stupid with your money and continue to give these companies the idea that these pre-order incentives are a good thing for everyone… which they’re not.