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54. Re: Borderlands 2 Mechromancer next Month Sep 4, 2012, 21:06 finga
Bhruic wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 17:58:
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 11:10:
What'd be the point of pre-ordering the game if it were included? Exactly, there'd be none.

And there shouldn't be. The whole concept of "pre-order" came about during the physical copies days. You pre-ordered a game to ensure that there'd be a copy waiting for you on release day, because if you didn't, there was a decent chance they'd be sold out.

With digital sales - and therefore "unlimited" copies - that reason no longer exists. At best, you can do a preload. But apparently developers and/or publishers fell in love with them so much that they wanted to keep them going, so now they offer extras to try and entice people into pre-orders. I assume it makes business sense, as otherwise it's pretty dumb, but in a lot of ways they could just get rid of it altogether.
Pre-orders are still important, even in the digital days. It allows publishers to more accurately gauge interest in a game, which then leads into adjustments in a game's marketing, advertising (yes, those two are different), and any cross-promotions they want to do with retailers and other parties (like, for example, Borderlands 2 coming for free with Nvidia 600-series cards). They can also decide the size and scope of any special editions they want to do.

Plus, for most publishers, most sales are still at retail. Publishers still want to estimate many copies they *should* print up, and while pressing a plastic disc, one-page manual and case is cheap on its own, both Sony and Microsoft have exclusive rights to press the discs for their respective consoles (security stuff for anti-piracy and the like). I believe both companies take their license vig on even an unsold copy that's printed.

Of course none of that helps the gamer understand preorder bullshit, but most publishers aren't exactly swimming in cash right now. Most have posted year-over-year losses nearly every quarter for the last two years, so yeah, they're going to impose things like pre-order bonuses on people. My hope is just that we back off of the thing where each retailer has its own unique weapon or armor. Cosmetic stuff is fine, but weapons, armor, and vehicles means that no matter what copy you're buying, pre-order or not, you can't actually get the full game legitimately.

Either way, I'm not trying to apologize for publishers, because even the best ones still make a lot of bad decisions and if they made fewer of those, they may not have to do pre-order bullshit. But that's just the reality we're in right now.
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