Avoiding getting caught with a stinker. Prerelease deals.

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Mr402

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Okay so the upcoming gaming season is almost here. Lately I have been seeing some serious preorder sale prices for PC downloadable titles. Case in point is Shadow of Mordor. Which today was discounted to 37.50 on greenmangaming.com. This game has been on my radar for a while now but lately I have been very wary of any supposed AAA game that gets a pre-order price that low before launch. Example is Aliens Colonial Marines which was discounted by the same site for around the same price. Needless to say I drank the Kool-aid of previews and the supposed Gearbox (Shame on Andy Pitchford) studio's involvement. Which because of the too good to be true pre-order price fooled me into buying a shit game which is a pet peeve of mine at any price. So we return to Shadows Of Mordor which is now being discounted before launch and this has me paranoid that GmG knows something that the industry news sites aren't telling us. This game is going to suck. So what do GiantBombers think? What thing's do others look for that puts up a red flag that a title is not ready for prime time? Lack of gameplay videos? Development time?

Break down your formula for not stepping in shit. I think it would help alleviate a lot of grief if people could learn some great tools to avoid making a uninformed decision. Also before I hear it I realize that the easiest answer is to wait for review but once again if you wait for a review the game is no longer on sale. Input is appreciated.

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Yesiamaduck

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#2  Edited By Yesiamaduck

Lack of Gameplay videos leading up to launch and reduced press coverage. The pre-order price not so much... remember the insane deals that surfaced for Bioshock Infinite when that came out? I got Bioshock Infinite + 3 games for £24 (half price) on pre-order.

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Corevi

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Lack of Gameplay videos leading up to launch and reduced press coverage.

Exactly this. These days a beta or a demo is also preferable.

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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Shadow of Mordor seemed pretty solid to me. I don't necessarily buy into its evolving story thing, they make some pretty lofty claims about player choice that I'd be willing to wager the under on, but in terms of an open world, Assassins Creed-ish stab guys third person thing? With probably better combat? The worst I would wager for Shadow of Mordor is competent but unmotivated. Colonial Marines was straight up fucking busted, ugly and dumb. It was badumb. I will wager the over on Shadow of Mordor being badumb.

My method of avoision for real crap is try to watch some more recent trailers, check for information. The usual. But it's rare that I pre-order anything that isn't massive or by some company I trust implicitly. On online things and any sort of sale, don't think of the money you're saving, just readjust the price in your head and assess potential value.

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Clonedzero

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You know what i do when im not sure if a game will be good or not. I dont buy it on release day. It's not hard. Wait for reviews and word of mouth.

Hell the only time i buy games on release day is when im fully confident i'll enjoy the game.

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jArmAhead

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#6  Edited By jArmAhead

First of all, that seems a little harsh on Gearbox and Pitchford. And... it's not Andy. I assume that's a typo though :p

Second of all, this seems like a bit of paranoia. Green Man Gaming is all about prices no one else offers. One example also doesn't make for a pattern and while we don't have much information on the quality of SoM, I think the positive buzz has mostly come from people just playing the game. And it doesn't seem terribly difficult to pull off, especially with as experienced a developer as is involved with this product.

My method is to wait for the game and then check it out. I'm not so cheap or poor that care about deals like that.I'll spoiler that stuff because it's not really what the OP is looking for.

At most I might go for something that gives pre-order content when I'm confident about a product. But there have only been like three games I can remember pre-ordering on their first release: Halo 3 (duh) Legendary Edition because at the time they said it would be limited (Still available on shelves in a couple of places), Skyrim (duh), and Dark Souls 2 (duh) super special edition (the one with the map and the man and the stuff). I tried to do the Bordlands 2 edition with the box, but for some reason Gamespot fubared my pre-order and I didn't find out until it was WAYYYY too late to fix it. Oh, and I did it for Mass Effect 2, and went to the midnight release for it. BOY WAS I BUMMED WHEN IT WASN'T A BETTER MASS EFFECT 1. Even with my way of doing things, you still get burned.

All games that I had supreme confidence in because of the track record of franchises and developers.

Everything else can wait until reviews come from either the press or friends.

If you really can't afford a full priced game, wait for post release drops. You shouldn't be pre-ordering games if you can't afford to pay full price for them, if you ask me. The chances that your money will be wasted is too high.

Hope that doesn't come off the wrong way, I just strongly discourage pre-ordering unless it's one of those rare cases where you just gotta get the game.

Good deals are probably unwise to speculate on, especially when it comes to a site like GMG. Their mission statement is probably something about smoking weed, and saving you money. I don't frequent the site, but I'm willing to bet it isn't much of a pattern and I am even more willing to bet that they have little more information than we do about this kind of stuff.

I would look more at issues with development. Delays, depending on how they happen and how long they occur for and if it's clearly not for business reasons, can be a pretty big red flag. I usually stop paying much attention to games that get delayed significantly unless it looks like it's just a positioning move.

I wouldn't touch DriveClub with a 10 foot pole with some C4 on the other end in the off chance that it tried to make a move. That delay seems super shady to me. Maybe it'll be great but when I saw it at PAX it looked pretty bad. I'm not going to say "nah still not buying it" when it gets rave reviews or whatever, but I pretty much tuned out when that happened.

PAX brings me to my next point, use more public events like that to either get your hands on the game or see if there's any buzz from people who went. I know games have gained and lost my favor at PAX. Often proved to be smart. Mass Effect still managed to get past me on that one though >:(

And of course the developer's track record is obviously a great bit of data. But I think it needs to A) be looked at intelligently (Gearbox is a great example of people throwing the baby out with the bath water) and B) it should be taken with a grain of salt. Even with a bad track record, or an insignificant track record, great developers can find their stride. There are plenty of examples of this. It's not like Bungie's first game was a smash hit. Now they are arguably the most respected and prestigious developers in the industry.

I use that kind of information to manage expectations and interests but it's basically the same minus the expenses so hopefully that can help some duders out! It's worked well for me.

All that said, if you really can't afford a full priced game, wait for post release drops. You shouldn't be pre-ordering games if you can't afford to pay full price for them, if you ask me. The chances that your money will be wasted is too high.

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Wemibelle

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#7  Edited By Wemibelle

I don't think that's indicative of any lack in quality. I can think of other games that have been discounted like that before release that I enjoyed. Your argument that waiting means you don't get it for cheap is correct, but at this point, you can wait about two months and get a deal on just about any game too.

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Corvak

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#8  Edited By Corvak

Preorder and just sit on the order (don't pick it up) until reviews are out. Stores can't stop me from cancelling after release and taking my $5 back.

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mike

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I will never preorder a digital game, ever. The possibility of a poor or broken PC port, game breaking bugs on launch, or the game just being bad overall are too great to risk being stuck with a game I can't return. It's one thing to preorder physical copies of games that you can cancel later without penalty just to get the preorder bonuses (which are in and of themselves pretty gross and harmful to the industry) but Steam doesn't give refunds on games once they're released.

It's just way too much of a risk to buy expensive games sight unseen and before the general public and trusted reviewers have a chance to play them. I can live without a stupid exclusive DLC bonus sword or map or whatever it is that is being offered, and if I really need to save money I will wait until a post release sale. Preordering digital games is just all bad, and encourages things like Day One DLC and retailer specific bonuses, things we should be speaking with our wallets and discouraging rather than continuing to preorder game after game.

Make game developers earn your money by making amazing games. If there isn't going to be significant prerelease coverage of a game and there isn't a demo available, I see no reason why anyone should be buying these products early.

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SomeJerk

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I brainstormed about four titles Q4/Q1 I had on my mind while trying to figure out the last step of P.T. early morning.

Evolve clearly took the delay to figure out how to make it seem worth $60. I'd like to play a few matches and figure it out and I guess I will with PlayShare on the PS4 but no way in hell would I blindly pre-order that based on what is known right now today about the game. Steam-sale? Maybe for a fiver with what I've seen and what I know this far.

Driveclub allegedly took a damn near year long delay to fix what was background connectivity and social activity framework. Yet we got to see nothing but graphical improvements. All PS+ having PS4 owners will get to ride around in India with a handful of cars to try that much of it out. Would not pre-order it until actually having tried it out to see if it plays and feels right.

The Order fuck this bugged out link-marking system 1886 seems a more likely pre-order candidate than Evolve but how well will it play and what will the replay-value be like? That's what we used as a points marker in games reviews over twenty years ago, replay-value. If I can go at it again and again like I did the Arcade Mode NG+ of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare then that will be absolutely great but hell no nothing is guaranteed. I think I'll keep my eyes open for a used copy unless I have enough money to bite the $110 bullet because thats what new games cost here.

Bloodborne is already pre-ordered. I know the developers, I know their previous collaborations, I know all of their separately developed games. I know it's going to be The Shit even though some neogaf-types are in a panic thinking it'll be made easier and friendlier.

Summary? Think, research, study. People need to stop blindly jumping into pre-orders unless they know it's a Bloodborne like deal and complaining about getting a stinker. I pre-ordered the PS4 after the February 2013 presentation and I did not complain about there being no games or not much to do when it finally arrived in September.

Other people did.

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veektarius

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#11  Edited By veektarius

Unless you've got some extremely compelling exclusive content, I don't see the point in preordering. And if you do have some extremely compelling exclusive content, I'm still against preordering, because fuck you for trying to encourage uninformed decision-making.

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zenmastah

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#12  Edited By zenmastah

Theres plenty of material out there of Shadow of Mordor for everyone to make their own minds if the game is something they would like to buy imo.

The latest trailer was filled with E3 game of the show shit, if that rocks your boat. The general word fromthe journalist of the biznes seem pretty damn positive.

I have faith in Monolith in recards of the port also, so with that price its a kind of a no brainer for me atleast.

That being said, pre-ordering is always a risky move and especially with GMG and their super aggressive pricing on titles i do see why it would seem like a too good of a deal to pre-order with such deep discounts...i dont believe Shadow of Mordor will be anything like Colonial Marines though.

How Gearbox handled Colonial Marines is luckily a rare thing.

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fattony12000

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#13  Edited By fattony12000

I currently have one open "preorder".

It is with Amazon.co.uk.

And it is for Destiny on the PS3.

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hippie_genocide

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That Shadows of Mordor deal seems like a good buy. I totally think the devs are full of shit when they describe how the game mechanics work, but it should be a fun actiony game nonetheless. I got the most recent Tomb Raider with that same deal and I wasn't the least bit disappointed in that game, so I don't think the pre-release sale is an indication that the game is subpar.

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Shindig

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As a Plus member I can jump into Drive Club with little or no risk. PES and FIFA will get demos. Bloodborne's going to wind with DLC so I'll hold back for a Prepare to Die like I'm doing with Dark Souls II. My pre-ordering days a probably over as it means I'm locked into buying something at £50 a pop.

Although I've got enough to trade in at the moment to make PES worthwhile.

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GERALTITUDE

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You just have to measure your wallet vs what you know vs the entire history of you and games.

To be honest some of my favourite gaming moments is buying a game I haven't read much or seen about then end up liking. Even when a game is not AMAZE it can be awesome because it's so unknown to you.

I don't really care enough about SoM to jump on that but if I saw DA:I for 30 bucks I'd pre-order it, regardless of now having read reviews, etc. Just depends on the game and the price and the company and, uh, a whole bunch of other stuff I guess.

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Mr402

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Why do people attack someone's economic status as the main reason they are looking to save money? I'm 38, 4 kids, two cars and a mortgage so if I have disposable income for gaming you'd best believe I see nothing wrong with being a smart consumer and getting a good deal. If folks want to pay full retail price for something when they can get it cheaper then a fool and his money are soon parted. That being said I simply hate buying a bad game no matter the price. Regardless I appreciate people's constructive input and as I type I have just pulled the trigger on SoM and the new CiV which GMG has also slapped with a awesome pre-order discount.