One on the unquestioned traditions for gamers is preordering. No one asks if you preordered something but where you preordered it. What bonuses did you get, etc… Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy and even Steam will routinely shower gamers with gifts in order to secure those advance sales. Some of the bonuses, like early access to a shotgun, are dumb extras that aren’t worth the effort. Others, like a free copy of a related game, are enough to make you question your own intelligence if you DON’T preorder the game.
But after the disappointment of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the still-ongoing disaster that is SimCity, my question to you is this: why do you preorder? What drives you to spend money before you can use the item that you bought? Is it the aforementioned bonuses? Is it simply a habit now, ingrained in our buying rituals so much that we don’t even question why we are forking over money before we can confirm the game is actually worth it?
It’s not as if scarcity is an issue anymore, with a few exceptions. And since many (though not all) games are sold digitally, such as SimCity, that reason doesn’t really hold water there, either. I used to preorder games for the bonuses, such as Amazon giving you credit back for buying it through their store, but they have slowed down the number of those kinds of deals, so I don’t do it as often. Even the idea of getting something on release day isn’t a great reason, as GameStop usually has copies anyway and you can be sure Best Buy or Wal-mart or Target does.
I’m not trying to say preordering is bad; it certainly has its uses when you are certain you are going to love a game. But we should start being more discerning with our money and start questioning our own habits. So I present to you the question: Why do you preorder?