Retailer Specific Pre-Order Bonuses… and the people who love them (or not).

“Would you like to reserve an upcoming game?”

This simple string of eight words is arguably one of the most irritating things that gamers hear when out and about for new titles. Now, as a former employee of the retail gaming sector, I will say that one of the factors in determining the productivity of employees at my particular store chain was the success rate at which we got people to pre-order games. So, I’m not decrying it as an utter pain in the ass when it’s said to me since “Gaming Store Employee X” has bills to pay just as I do. However, I can also appreciate that to someone who’s just looking to get what they want and get home to play it, this can be a bit of a hassle. It’s not an overly complicated process and most of the time, a simple “No thanks” will suffice to convey your point. I mean it’s not like people have to agonize over something as inane as say, WHERE to pre-order something based on the particular bonuses that they receive for bringing their business there as opposed to a different retai…

…Oh. Wait a minute.

The whole idea of pre-order incentives has been around for a pretty healthy amount of time, but I’m not sure when exactly it became a trend in the industry for a marquee title to be announced for pre-order without some form of retailer specific incentive. Notable examples include Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s different DLC costume packs, Final Fantasy XIII-2’s varied bonuses (costumes, weapons, monsters), Street Fighter x Tekken’s exclusive gems, Mass Effect 3’s exclusive weapons and Batman: Arkham City’s exclusive Batman skins.

Only available if pre-ordered from Circuit City.

So, while I understand that it’s all in the name of business and making money for retailers, I want to go on the record and say that I think the entire concept of the retailer specific pre-order incentive is a little silly. I mean, in terms of things like collectible costumes and changes that are primarily of a cosmetic nature, I don’t really see it as TOO much of a problem. When things like functional equipment are used as the incentives, I personally start to really dislike the concept since (and this is pretty much purely from a consumer standpoint) I end up slightly agonizing over where to pre-order my items based on how busted the incentives are. Granted, said bonus items are rarely overpowered and the vast majority of them are eventually released to the general public in DLC form in any case, but when initially announced, there is a certain level of consumer clamor; especially on the part of those gamers who have a compulsion to collect everything they possibly can.

I have to do WHAT to catch ’em all?!

So, as with all my usual musings, I’d like to open up the floor to you all to share your opinions on the topic of of the retailer specific pre-order incentive as it pertains to video games. Are they something you take into consideration when you pre-order a game? Do you even pre-order games for that matter? Shout it out in the comments and once again, thanks much!

— Evo out


One thought on “Retailer Specific Pre-Order Bonuses… and the people who love them (or not).

  1. I see pre-order bonuses can be fun little incentives and they sometimes make me want to contribute the extra money toward a title for a special edition. I would much rather publishers focused on these bonuses for buying new as opposed to the punishment of online passes for those who buy used titles.
    As for the pre-orders being retailer specific I can see how that could be a little annoying. You might be focusing on getting reward points at your usual place like GameStop but Best Buy has an exclusive map pack or character that you want to get and then you end up feeling torn. So I would say I do like pre-order bonuses but I’m not a huge fan of retailer-specific ones.


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