Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Pre-order Bonuses and Video Games

Ah, pre-order bonuses. They can drive a gamer nuts. Best Buy has X bonus with that game, but Gamestop has Y with the same game. I think I finally had my pre-order bonus nervous breakdown when Fallout New Vegas was about to be released. I wanted all things Fallout, you see, and exclusive bonuses from four different retailers made my head hurt. I finally said screw it and didn't pre-order from anywhere.

Pre-order bonuses for video games are strange. First, it's not like highly anticipated games are hard to come by. If you're getting a standard edition of something, then there are tons of copies. The only time I can remember having a slight bit of difficulty in finding a game was when Twilight Princess was released for the Wii. This was only a short time after the Wii itself was released, so demand was high. But the second store I tried was stocked with Zelda goodness, so no harm done.

What drives me crazy about pre-order bonuses is things that should be unlockable in the game like armor and weapons, are "exclusive" to one store.  If you want all the virtual goodies,  you can buy multiple copies of the game, (yeah right) try to buy the codes from someone online or wait a few months until you're able to buy the bonuses from the PlayStation Store or Xbox Marketplace. It's really not unfair.

But some pre-order can be fun, like Fallout 3's poster and music CD. I'd rather have physical and collectible bonuses than just having a code that unlocks a gun pack that's already on the disc.

Hopefully, they go back to being about cool stuff.  I really don't pay attention to which store has what bonus anymore. Although, every time a game I really want is on the horizon (BioShock Infinite) I can't help but wonder what the bonuses will be.


  1. Wow, your experiences of buying games on release day is very different to mine. I wonder if it's because we're from different countries. Generally, in the U.K, if you don't pre-order a top title you'll find it's sold out by the end of the release day.

    I haven't had any personal experience with preorder bonuses, but I know Ad likes to hunt them all day. He often goes on Twitter and sees if anyone is offering the codes.

    1. Wow, that is different. I can't ever remember waiting for a game to restock, even around the holidays.

  2. Hmmm Interesting, but I don't order or pre-order games, so I know nothing about bonuses, but I'll bet it would be fun to get them. Best regards to you... on my voyage to visit lots of bloggers in the challenge. Ruby aka Grammy

  3. The whole Fallout: New Vegas pre-order thing did my head in.

    I get the need to get people to pre-purchase games, but can't we just a universal pre-order incentive?