5 Reasons to Stop Pre-Ordering Video Games

Don’t fall into the trap of pre-ordering new games. Before you hand over your money, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.
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Have you ever pre-ordered a game, only to deeply regret it? If you’re a serial pre-orderer, there’s no doubt that your wallet, and your faith in the gaming industry has felt the negative effects of pre-orders.

It’s time to stop fueling your pre-ordering addiction—here are all the reasons why you should never pre-order games.

1. You Might Hate the Game

You’re blown away by a new game’s trailer, and you’re even more impressed by the first look at the gameplay. Those short previews are enough for you to pull the trigger on the pre-order.

While the game might look amazing from the outside, actually playing the game is an entirely different story. Time and time again, gaming companies have taught us not to trust the trailers.

Take Duke Nukem Forever, for example—this long-awaited sequel looks promising in the trailers, but when you finally start playing, the game fails on all levels. The poor graphics, awkward controls, and lifeless humor resulted in a massive disappointment.

It’s heartbreaking enough when the latest addition to your favorite gaming series fails miserably, and knowing that you paid $60 for garbage only makes that hurt worse. The inconsistency of AAA titles makes pre-orders not worth the risk.

2. The Game Might Be Unfinished

Unfinished games are the new norm. Fallout 76, No Man’s Sky, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity need no explanation—all of these offenders were riddled with bugs upon release. Game companies knowingly release unfinished games, only to upset the herd of excited fans who pre-ordered the game.

With AAA developers continuing down the path of releasing half-finished games, pre-ordering a game becomes a huge risk. At this point, it’s much more practical to wait for user reviews before you make your decision to buy the game.

3. You’re Not Getting a Discount

When you pre-order a game, you pay the full price. While you could just wait patiently for the game to go on sale, you decide to throw your money at an expensive pre-order that might end up flopping. Does that sound logical at all?

It just doesn’t make any sense to pre-order a game at full price when it might go on sale in the future. Not to mention that you can get tons of free games with your subscription to Xbox Gold, PlayStation Plus, or Twitch Prime. If you just wait, you might be able to snag the game you almost pre-ordered at a dirt-cheap price.

4. You’re Playing Into Companies’ Hands

When you pre-order a game, you’re just another cog in the moneymaking machine. Think about it: companies want you to pre-order games. After building up a major hype surrounding a game, they rake in thousands of pre-orders.

All of these pre-orders are guaranteed cash. That means if the game is utterly horrendous upon release, the company still gets to keep the money from all those dedicated players who pre-ordered the game. It’s a deceiving scheme that just needs to end.

To make matters worse, some pre-orders come with added bonuses, which mostly consist of weapon and character skins. Buying a pre-order because of the impressive trailers and cosmetic add-ons tells video game companies that gamers are easily suckered into buying games based solely on looks.

5. Pre-Ordering Has No Benefits

There’s absolutely no reason to pre-order games. Thanks to digital copies, games just don’t get sold out anymore. There’s no more rushing to GameStop on a release date—physical copies might get sold out, but digital copies make it impossible to miss out on all the fun.

Pre-orders also don’t guarantee that you’ll get the game before everyone else. If you pre-order a physical copy from an online retailer, you might actually have to wait an extra two or three days to receive the game in the mail. In the end, pre-ordering a game doesn’t give you any extra perks, besides an extra character skin or two.

Just Stop Pre-Ordering Games

The next time you’re about to whip out your credit card to pre-order a new game, put some thought into your decision. Game companies are tricky—they’ll do everything they can to attract buyers, only to disappoint them in the end.

Instead of wasting your money on a disappointing pre-order, save your cash and learn how to acquire free PC games instead.