Despite the massive outcry among gamers to avoid preordering video games ahead of launch, I’ve decided to preorder Fallout 4, and here are my reasons why.
Over the last couple years, there has been a lot of buzz among gamers against preorder games, and for good reason. After numerous botched launches last year of games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Assassin’s Creed Unity, gamers are understandably worried about developers releasing shoddy products thanks to already making a ton of revenue from preorder sales.
For most of the gaming industry, preordering has gotten out of hand, and I agree that gamers should refrain from preordering most games. Unless gamers speak with their wallets, developers won’t change their activities. However, I must admit that even with my convictions against preordering, I’ve preordered Fallout 4. But I promise I have good reasons for it.
The reason I’ve chosen to preorder Fallout 4 is because I want to send a message to developers that I believe Bethesda is doing things right. Sure, there’s a chance Fallout 4 may be broken at launch and full of bugs and other issues. If that’s the case, I’m sure I’ll be changing my tune, but for the moment I’m okay with my decision.
From my perspective, Bethesda has taken note of the poor decisions of other developers, and is stepping up to provide a worthwhile preordering experience for Fallout fans.
The most important aspect to a positive preorder experience is to have a completed game worth preordering. That may sound like a no-brainer, but in today’s gaming environment, it seems many developers have forgotten that criteria. I believe Bethesda nailed this aspect with Fallout 4, which reportedly has over 400 hours of content at launch.
The next, most important part of a preorder experience is the extra goodies provided to gamers for handing over their cash early. Again, Bethesda got this right. Preorder goodies include a working Pip-Boy for those who preordered the Pip-Boy Edition, socks from Best Buy, and a Great War t-shirt for those who ordered from the Bethesda store. Meanwhile, those who preorder Fallout 4 from the Xbox Store for Xbox One get a free digital copy of Fallout 3 on Xbox 360.
What did you notice about that list? What I see is a company that is providing actual extras for those that preorder their game. Other developers seem to be taking a different route, which has them stripping content from the original game and dangling it in front of gamers as a preorder bonus. Fortunately, Bethesda has decided to avoid that track and instead make preordering worthwhile for gamers.
To this last point about developers stripping content and using it as preorder fodder, I feel this is a far worse outcome than developers shipping broken games. The fact is, preordering is lucrative for developers so they’re going to continue pushing gamers to preorder their games. To do so, they’ll continue offering more and better goodies to entice gamers to separate from their money weeks and months before the game releases. The problem is, rather than create tons of extra content to tack on, they’ll continue pulling off completed content and make that the incentive. To make matters worse, if gamers are successful in getting each other to avoid preordering, these developers will just increase how much content they remove from the game and add as a preorder, which in turn will cause many gamers to feel like they’re getting more for preordering, and they’ll part with their money ahead of the game release. The only way to stop that practice is to truly abide by the call to avoid preordering.
So why, then, would I advocate preordering Fallout 4 if the preordering practice is so bad? Well, because Bethesda isn’t going down that road, but instead has opted to offer a valuable preorder experience. For me, preordering should be considered on a case-by-case basis. If I feel it’s worthwhile, I’ll make the purchase. Otherwise, I’ll wait for the game to release before buying the game. For most games, that means waiting. In the case of Fallout 4, I’m pleased with the preorder offer, and would happily recommend it to anyone interested in the game.
Developers will continue to push preordering, and gamers will continue to preorder games they’re interested in. So rather than just call for an all-out stop to preordering, I’ve decided to support preorder practices I think are positive, and avoid those I deem worthless or unbalanced in favor of the developer. So yes, I’m preordering Fallout 4, and I’ll have no trouble sleeping at night because of it.