Well, EA forum moderators decided to remove my comment on their Battlefront thread with the topic “Who is not Pre Ordering?” even though it was posted before they instituted their rule about posting only when one has bought the game. My previous comments in the thread are still there though *wink wink*
Here is my post:
I’m not sure I understand any reason for pre-ordering. Some would say “it’s to support a developer I like.” Others would say “Because I trust them.” Pre-orders seem to only really be successful in the gaming world though. No other significant aspect, like gaming is, sees such a culture of pre-orders being so prevalent. Is it the relatively small amount of money? Is it our passion to play the game as soon as possible? Is it our need to have that little extra something dangled in front of us as the pre-order bonus, essentially adding a collection hobby aspect to our primary hobby that is gaming?
What really baffles me is the arguments of “Are you a developer?” and “They worked hard for it.” In essence, we are saying that because we are not producers of the goods we consume we cannot criticize the goods we consume. We should remember this the next time we don’t like food in a restaurant, or a movie someone made. I’m also fairly sure that anyone employed in any business is working hard as a matter of professional survival and failures are never the result of someone slacking off.
As for trust, it is earned. With the flak that the first iteration got, I’m curious to learn what exactly constitutes as trust.
A good trailer? How many E3 trailers have we seen that did not live up to their promise?
Developer interviews? No Man’s Sky anyone? Or for the older demographic, remember Molyneux?
General coverage? Aliens : Colonial marines
These are of course not the fault of EA, but it is worth to consider the general messages we send to the various developers and publishers. The only message we ever send them that they care about and quote is SALES. Can you name of any bad game that still was mentioned in a press release or stock holder’s meeting or financial report as being successful due to the number of sales? We all can… and that to me is adding insult to injury. The people that made a game that was widely reported as bad are now boasting of how successfully profitable it was. This is, of course, not immoral or even bad business. They succeeded in making a profit which is every business’s bottom line. Game developers are not running a non-profit model.
And in case you forget, press events, social messaging, community managers, all of their activities are intended to create a good positive image. If a company never communicated anything, never went to any Con or did not have a forum, etc, then even their best games would not matter. Companies are not stupid. They will do all in their power to fulfill their goal to make money. Welcome to PR and Marketing.
So what is the lesson here? What are we, as consumers, communicating to the various publishers and developers when we pre-order without knowing what it is we are buying? What is our voice in this give and take? Forum posts? Twitter posts? What is our method of controlling the quality of their product?
Food for thought.