07 October 2015

Why You Absolutely Should Preorder Fallout 4 (If You Want To)

Insert obligatory apology for neglecting the blog.

I have an excuse.

I made this:

It's damn adorable.


I was searching around the web to find the various places one could preorder a game if one was so inclined.  A game such as, oh, say, Fallout 4.

In my search, I came across this article by Forbes "explaining" how preordering was bad for the video game industry.  I have a rebuttal that, for once, was too long to be a Facebook status and finally warranted the typing of a blog post.  Oh yes.

Instead of addressing the status quo of releasing games before they are ready, or any valid concern, which is where I thought it was going - the article centers on the idea that preordering benefits only retailers, hurting both game companies and players.  Erm.  I would disagree.  Obvs.

Where the article comments on preordering leading to mindless purchases based on hype instead of quality, I would point out two things.  First, a lot of us gamers check out games well in advance - we are on YouTube, watching what gameplay tidbits get dropped ahead of time.  We are reading reviews.  We are deciding if this gets our $60 or if something else does.  Because this is real to us.  Because we aren't mindlessly purchasing the next big thing - we are conscientiously purchasing our next few weeks of entertainment.

Second, and this is my big point - BETHESDA HAS EARNED THIS.

It's Fallout 4.

It's the fifth game in its series.

Bethesda has built a steady and strong reputation on which we stake a not-so-naive assumption that this game will thoroughly ROCK OUR SOCKS.

So, not terribly unlike a Kickstarter campaign, we sign up in advance.  We show Bethesda - we have faith in you.  We have faith in Fallout.  Moar gas masks, pls.

The author of the linked article also feels that preordering as a practice discourages valid modes of competition and leaves us picking only based on our favorite perks, favorite retailers, and favorite systems.

Mmkay, but that's...that's a good thing.

Because the price?  The price is not going down for a LONG time.  Over the years, and I don't have a source for this so somebody let me know if I'm wrong, video game prices (as well as their consoles) have stayed at their initial costs for longer and longer before dropping, especially for popular games.  And I guess I don't know what cut Bethesda gets, but I feel like it's not hurting them, either (at least, not if we are assuming rampant preorders, which is the core assumption here).

So if you rule out competitive pricing, and you're picking your store based on how dick or not-dick they are to their employees, how gracious they are with their customer service and, by extension, their release parties/bonuses/ease of preordering, and your love or dislike for them as a retailer...

I'm sorry, but I call that real competition.

"But now we have to be NICE, too?"  Whines the big box store down the road, while the little game exchange shop cackles maniacally.  Because it's no longer about who can cut costs while maintaining profits.  Gamers win, because they have options.  The playing field has been leveled in one respect.  And that's not hurting Bethesda.

The author notes, very briefly, that quality control is questionable at some major game publishers.  I would like them to expand upon this, because I feel that might be where their real ass-bug has taken root.

But as far as Fallout 4 - if you want to play it, preorder your little hearts out.