Red Dead Redemption 2 pre-orders went live the moment the game was announced not too long ago, and physical pre-orders went live more recently after retail stores were provided with various promotional items. Yes, you can actually pay for the game, upfront, with no release date set and only a nondescript piece of promotional imagery and a pre-rendered cinematic trailer to go on.
But really, should you? The gaming industry has evolved something of a pre-order culture in the past few years, where buying games before they are available has become the norm.
While pre-orders started out as a reasonable practice, made available after enough information has been revealed about the upcoming game to help players make a decision and bolstered with decent rewards for trusting the developer and publisher with money before the reviews roll in, things have gotten out of hand lately.
Games can be pre-ordered upon announcement with next to no information and they yield no benefits since due to the advent of digital distribution, it’s not like the games will ever be out of stock. The pre-order bonus system has become bastardized to the point where pretty much no-one gets the full experience in some cases, and odds and ends such as extra missions, outfits and weapons are dealed out as retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses to different retailers.
Sure, if you want that fancy weapon, you’ll need to buy it at GAME, but if that outfit strikes your fancy, GameStop is the way to go. Oh, you want both? To hell with you!
Of course, in some cases there are exceptions. Rockstar has consistently hit an impressive standard of quality, so there is a damn good chance that Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t be an unoptimized buggy trainwreck of a game. A bunch of fans out there are of the mentality that they will buy it anyway, so they might as well buy it now, right?
Pre-ordering is a double-edged sword, really. When you know a publisher’s previous work, or enjoyed a previous installment in a franchise, then there isn’t so many issues with pre-ordering, and in the case of Rockstar and Red Dead Redemption 2, we have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to get even without official press releases.
On the other hand, there really is no reason to pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2. There are no pre-order bonuses to speak of, and no special or limited editions have been announced yet. The simple base vanilla game is all you’re paying for up-front, with no benefits. There is no gain, however the risk of not actually liking the game is present.
But what does the community think? After running a poll on Facebook, it’s clear that most gamers are in favor of pre-ordering Red Dead Redemption 2 in spite of the lack of information or benefits. Of the 4,200 voters, over 4,000 voted in favor of pre-ordering RDR 2. With such an overwhelming victory, it’s obvious that the audience is receptive towards the pre-order model promoted by publishers.
Have you pre-ordered Red Dead Redemption 2?