Why I pre-ordered a free game

Posted by michaelenger (76 posts) -

The Tribes: Ascend beta is in full swing and, being a fan of the previous games (maybe not Vengeance), I decided to pre-order the game and receive instant access to the beta. Does that sound crazy? Paying to pre-order a free-to-play game.. yeah, that sounds pretty stupid, but let me explain.

I wasn't paying to pre-order the game, that's not what this is about, the concept of "pre-order" is an idea conceived for conventional game releases, not the digital-only free-to-play distribution model which is popping up everywhere nowadays. However, I can imagine that there was no other real marketing term available to explain what you were giving your money away for. You're being given access to the public beta of a game which has yet to be released, which sounds like a pre-order to me, and it makes sense that you would have to part with some money for the privilege.

Anyway, terminology aside, the real push to why I would pay for a game that would eventually be free is not only to gain access to the beta, but it was to provide some sort of support for the developers... which sounds really stupid when I say it out loud. Making games is hard, it takes a lot of time and--if you're doing it professionally--a lot of money, so if a small contribution from a sizable group of people could in some way alleviate the pressure of the development process and perhaps lead to a better game in the end, then I think that it is something to support, especially for the small price which is asked.

I got access to the beta version of a game I want to play, as well as some micro-transaction fluff (gold coins, go figure), along with the sense of satisfaction for supporting something I like. The beta is fun, so despite that niggling feeling like I've been played I stand by my decision.

#1 Posted by michaelenger (76 posts) -

The Tribes: Ascend beta is in full swing and, being a fan of the previous games (maybe not Vengeance), I decided to pre-order the game and receive instant access to the beta. Does that sound crazy? Paying to pre-order a free-to-play game.. yeah, that sounds pretty stupid, but let me explain.

I wasn't paying to pre-order the game, that's not what this is about, the concept of "pre-order" is an idea conceived for conventional game releases, not the digital-only free-to-play distribution model which is popping up everywhere nowadays. However, I can imagine that there was no other real marketing term available to explain what you were giving your money away for. You're being given access to the public beta of a game which has yet to be released, which sounds like a pre-order to me, and it makes sense that you would have to part with some money for the privilege.

Anyway, terminology aside, the real push to why I would pay for a game that would eventually be free is not only to gain access to the beta, but it was to provide some sort of support for the developers... which sounds really stupid when I say it out loud. Making games is hard, it takes a lot of time and--if you're doing it professionally--a lot of money, so if a small contribution from a sizable group of people could in some way alleviate the pressure of the development process and perhaps lead to a better game in the end, then I think that it is something to support, especially for the small price which is asked.

I got access to the beta version of a game I want to play, as well as some micro-transaction fluff (gold coins, go figure), along with the sense of satisfaction for supporting something I like. The beta is fun, so despite that niggling feeling like I've been played I stand by my decision.

#2 Posted by DG991 (1344 posts) -

Agreed, I did not like Vengeance (which I also pre ordered). It was alright but not anywhere close to as good as tribes 2.

I also paid for it. My only regret is I have no friends who play tribes lol :P I wish a giantbomb community would pop up. I also hope this game becomes a little popular because I used to love clan matches and stuff.

#3 Posted by michaelenger (76 posts) -

@DG991: My name in the game is "michaelenger". I don't play crazy much, but feel free to add me and I'll be sure to aim for you when I see you.

#4 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

this game is freaking awesome i love it and i also payed 30 big 1s to play and i have a question how do i get more friend keys??

#5 Posted by michaelenger (76 posts) -

@Tarsier: I don't know how to get more friend keys. I just assumed that once the beta is over it'll be open to everybody and the friend keys will be useless.

#6 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

ya but whens that gonna be. someone had 10 in one of these threads

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