Editorial: Next Gen Pre-Orders…?


A couple of months ago we learned about the next game from Dead Island creator, Techland. Dying Light would have players running from zombies (again) trying to survive in a world over-run with the undead. Until just a few days ago Dying Light was a single player title only, then we learned about the pre-order bonus that is offered with the game; adding a whole new part to the game. Dying Light, by itself, does not feature any multiplayer, but by pre-ordering the game gamers will be given an exclusive game feature that, at launch, won’t be available anywhere else.

Pre-order bonuses have become a standard and gamers expect them for every game that gets released; in fact when we are not offered some form of pre-order bonus it’s a little strange and off-putting. From double XP, to extra guns, to different clothes to wear; pre-order bonuses are normal. We want them and we expect them.

Though there seems no end to what strange things developers will create as pre-order bonuses, there has always been a line that no one would cross. Normally, the offerings would enhance your gameplay experience, but never take things away or give you whole game portions that other players wouldn’t have. What has always been offered are just supplements to the full game that we already have. Bonuses that don’t affect our ability to actually play the game, just affect the WAY we play the game.

…or you get an RC car…


If I am playing Call of Duty with people who had pre-ordered the game and are leveling up quicker than I am due to an extra XP boost, does that hinder my playing experience? I can still “enjoy” every match no matter how much experience someone else is gaining. They aren’t experiencing a different game than I am; we are all playing Call of Duty.

If I decided to pre-order a game that gives me a special costume to wear that you can’t get because you didn’t pre-order; does that really matter? Not really, though I may look different, we are still playing the same game, still experiencing the same thing.

What we have with Dying Light is, from what I can tell, a complete first for the gaming industry – or at least console gaming. For the first time, two people who buy the same brand new game will actually have very different games in their hands. The person who pre-ordered their copy of the game will have a single player and multiplayer game. The person who walks into the store and buys it off the shelf will only have a single player game. Without pre-ordering, you can have a drastically different game than you would have if you pre-ordered it.

The exclusion of the multiplayer part from brand new copies of the game is a really strange idea. Basically Warner Bros. and Techland are punishing people who do not want to pre-order their game. If you pick up their game from the store shelf and still spend $60 on the game you, as a customer, are valued less than a person who pre-ordered the game.

Yes, at some point everyone will be able to buy the multiplayer part, but as of now, unless you promise to buy the game on day one, you have to pay extra for the content. I don’t know about you, but to me, that is not right.

Maybe I am making too big of a deal out of something that is pointless? Who knows, maybe I am, but the fact that this is being done makes me wonder – what will be next? There is a difference between offering extra bonuses that enhance a person’s gameplay experience and offering extra bonuses that completely changes a retail game for a certain group of customers. Is this where the new line for pre-order bonuses will be drawn? Companies now can remove entire portions of the game and make people pay extra for it if they don’t pre-order?

Written by Kyle Jessee

Kyle Jessee

Your lone Kentucky writer on staff. Loves the Big Blue Nation, rock music, and Resistance 2 (the best in the series).

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  • BrianC6234

    What a dumb idea. I’m not getting a PS4 right away so I guess that means I’d have to buy the game and pay more for the multiplayer. That sure would make me think twice when I do get a PS4 and decide which games to buy. No thanks on that one.

  • I understand why companies are trying to push people to preorder. Given that Gamestop has started cutting their orders of many smaller titles to exactly the amount preordered, that’s the only way for companies to actually sell any product at all. Personally, I think the developers should setup a “reorder” system where people can get new copies of the game after the local stores have sold out of their copies… Though, that’ll be hard without the cooperation of gamestop. I suppose if GS doesn’t have new copies, I’ll just have to buy them on amazon from now on.

    • I’ve basically cut GameStop out of my life entirely and buy all my stuff from Amazon or, rarely, Best Buy (reward points). Only time I ever even walk into a GameStop is when I need to kill time if I am out somewhere and near one.

      • Eh, I don’t go that far. I just know that if I want to support a developer at gamestop, I usually want to preorder. I also only buy used games if I can’t find a new copy online. Gamestop’s rewards points are better for me than best buy’s so far.

        Also, Best Buy usually doesn’t stock the smaller titles either, so that’s mostly a wash. They also keep their prices high for way longer than anyone else (other than Hastings.) It’s not unusual to see a $40 game at Best Buy when both Gamestop and PSN are selling it for $20.

        • Totally agree about the prices of games at Best Buy, you def can find them cheaper at other places most of the time – thats why about 90% of my games come from Amazon

          • Amazon does have a good selection of games in general, and quite reasonable prices. Though, if I’m really wanting a game on release day, it’s a tossup on if my amazon prime shipping will get it here in time.

            Of course, at this point I have way more games than I can play, so I can probably wait a bit on getting them…

  • I never really pre order games anyway unless the bonus material is actually worth it. I only have with PS4 to make sure I do get a copy of a game, even tho I am sure there will be more games than systems.

  • Just wait until games give you regenerating health as a pre-order and the other players can only use a health bar. I won’t be buying games with ridiculous limiting features like this. I do support the idea if Devs want extra income then your game should have some kind of DLC.

  • George Nash

    Dying light looks like an amazing game. But, I never pre-order probably never will. I always wait to see what the reviewers say. That is why we want to see reviews. Oh well this is one title I may skip.

  • CraZed77

    If Techland does that with their game I will NOT buy it. After playing and enjoying both Dead Island games I know how buggy they are and until they prove they can put more polish on their games I wouldn’t preorder any of their games without seeing some reviews. So that basically rules out preordering and if I can’t access online features for the same price as those who preordered count me out…