I really never found an incentive to pre-order in the past. Now I can kind of understand someone wanting an exclusive bonus. What's your experience?
Technically never have, I only preordered when I got physical bonuses... Man, those were the days. First game I preordered was Doom 3 and I still have the pewter Baron of Hell figurine I got from it. Totally worth it. After that I preordered Quake 4 and got an awesome t-shirt that I still wear to this day. Will never regret preorders back in the day.
Also not really related but I didn't preorder Max Payne, but rather got it for PC after it had been out a while and got a sweet mouse pad. Yeah, I really miss those days. Have to go to conferences to get any free swag now :(
I didn't really have the money to buy most games on launch day until three years ago or so, which is about when this all started. They've always seemed like a little bonus rather than an incentive, although Darksiders 2 got me with the free first DLC. Plus 5 bucks off, I'd be a fool not to buy. Still haven't played it. They got me on that one.
I think my favorite part of playing games on release is the sort of launch week social experience. Discovering things concurrently with everyone else. My interest in MMOs is exactly the same; it either has to be the first month or the last. To watch how the questions change in the forums as people get further and further. "What should I do before the Deep Roads" turns into "Who's your favorite party?" turns to "What side are you leaning?" turns to "God DAMMIT Anders!"
I did, and I still pre-order even when games don't have something dumb with it.
Most of the time I don't even use like Pre-order "exclusive" weapons in a game. Why would I want to take the challenge out of a game by using weapons that are good from the beginning of the game and then to the end of the game?
Did the preorders only early on when they didn't have enough on the shelves day one, now that that's not a problem I only do it if the bonuses seem worth it & not just something unlocked at the start of the game instead of getting it later on through normal play.
I've only ever preordered a few games, and they were generally because I wanted the game on day 1, not because of a pre-order bonus.
WWE Day of Reckoning 2
Fable II (Yeah, I got that sweet pub games XBLA thing (which I S ranked, of course), but I pre-ordered it because Fable 1 was my favorite Xbox game. Goddamn you Peter Molyneux and your betraying of every single goddamn system in that game in your sequel.)
That's all I can think of. I don't really pay above $20 for games any more so I tend to not get anything around release.
I pre-paid (how does one even "pre-order"? That's not a pre-order, that's an order!) for games before bonuses because I was a stupid kid. When I stopped being a stupid kid I stopped pre-buying everything. These days I only pre-buy to lock in a lower price on newegg or amazon.
I don't see the point in pre-ordering, at least not where I live. If I want a game on release I can always find a copy at a store. I also don't buy from GameStop so that's probably why I can find copies since they only get enough to fill the pre-orders plus a couple of loose copies.
I will, however, pre-order games on Steam since they usually come with a cheaper price and some extra bonuses (Borderlands 2).
The first game I remember preordering was Jet Force Gemini. I was obsessed with all things Rare and this was no exception. I think I was 11 and I saved my 5 dollar weekly allowance since the first article in nintendo power about it. This probably stemmed from a legitimate fear that I would get there after my parents got off work on the day of release and it would be sold out. It had happened earlier in the year with Super Smash Bros.
This thread is founded on the faulty premise that pre-order bonuses haven't always been a thing. I certainly remember getting that GameCube copy of Ocarina of Time and Master Quest because I pre-ordered Wind Waker, or that Mumbo Jumbo doll for pre-ordering Banjo-Kazooie.
I still pre-order games, with Steam you can get some nice pre-order bonuses and have the option to pre-load the game before release. With a two-megabyte download internet speed, being able to download my game a few days before release is a nice feature to have. When I pre-ordered Max Payne 3 through Steam I got Max Payne, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, and L.A. Noire for free, none of which I had played before.
I've only pre-ordered I few times and then afterwards I stopped. Before pre-ordering was to ensure you could get a copy in your area but now games are so mass produced that even with the big blockbuster titles you can still get them the day of if you didn't pre-order...I guess pre-ordering has now turned into the exclusive special edition stuff and downloads
Truthfully, pre-order bonuses have been "a thing" for as long as pre-ordering has been a thing: since the nineties. The bonuses weren't as commonplace, but they were still there. Seems like it began with the PlayStation.
I think the first game I ever pre-ordered was Tekken 3; I was supposed to get a free T-shirt, but the shirts were stolen by shameless piece of shit Electronics Boutique (i.e. GameStop) employees.