Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 29, 2012
Spicing up short news

Guild Wars 2 will be released on August 28th.

Actually that is all there is to say about that, but for most bloggers that half a line appears to be too short. Thus I found various interesting additions to the news:

MMO Melting Pot: "Servers actually playable and loggable into: Sept 7th"

Killed in a Smiling Accident: "we now know for certain that September 28th is the date when huge sections of the MMO community will be whining that they’re bored and are desperate to know the release dates for Firefall and Wildstar!"

Various: "Now might be a good time to go pre-order the title."

I would like to publicly lodge an objection against the latter. As I mentioned in my hype-cycle post, game companies have become better at exploiting the hype cycle for financial gain. Which means that if you pre-order Guild Wars 2 now, you pay up to 50% more than if you go to a shop on release day and buy it there. I would advise anybody to take a good hard look at the pre-order advantages and decide for himself whether they are worth 20 bucks or so.

To quote Keen: "I logged in to Dark Age of Camelot for the first time after making an impulse buy based on Graev’s insistence. He said to me, “This game launched today, let’s go buy it. It has castles and knights’n stuff.” I knew absolutely nothing about DAOC, and I was rewarded for my ignorance."  Paying for beta access can actually result in you paying more and then having less fun on release, because the sense of discovery and wonder is long gone. Instead of having fun you risk rushing to the level cap from the earliest possible "early access" moment. You take the full negative effect of the remaining bugs in beta, the server problems until "Sept 7th", and risk being burned out by "Sept 28th".

Me, I'll pick up Guild Wars 2 on my way back from work on August 28th, with a good likelihood of not getting around to much more than installing the game before the weekend. If game companies insist on digital download prices designed not to hurt their retail partners, they shouldn't be surprised if I'd rather buy my games from retail for less, and make the game company earn a lot less money from me as a customer.

Tobold why do you say the pre-order cost 20 dollars more?

The Deluxe edition costs more and comes with consumables :(

But there still is the normal digital version that's 60$ and gives access to the Beta Weekends (only 1 remaining now).

I agree that a Beta can be a big spoiler.

But if one approaches these intelligently these can be of great value.

Since there shall be 3 beta weekends total and during these beta weekends real life continued for me I played a reasonable amount of time. Just enough to GET A FEEL of the game mechanics, the classes and crafting. In all I might have discovered 3% of the world map leaving a lot to be discovered on release.

Up to now the server service has been very good and I have confidence that unlike Blizzard and Diablo 3, Arenanet shall make a better launch of GW2 even if GW2 is more complex network wise.
Tobold why do you say the pre-order cost 20 dollars more?

I had two recent cases (SWTOR and Diablo 3) where the pre-order price for me was €60, and the retail price on release day in the local big chain electronics store was €40.

If the same thing goes on in the USA, I would assume that you can get GW2 in retail on release day for $40, while the pre-order price is $60.
I think the news is going to be when MoP release date is announced. They'll probably want to go for sooner rather than later, but will they release against GW2?
I have infinite confidence in Blizzard being able to delay the MoP release date to November even without Guild Wars 2. They always did.
The price in the US is $60 retail and usually $60 digital. In rare circumstances games sometimes launch on steam for $50 digital while $60 retail.

So there is usually no difference pre-ordering stuff here in the US.
You should know that the digital vs box copy price difference is only the case in Europe. In the U.S., they are the same price (slightly cheaper, actually, since digital avoids sales tax).

I assume this has something to do with currency exchange rates sending digital prices up, while the stores in Europe can set the correct price.
I've already had what I consider to be good value from the beta weekends I've played. I've played more hours is those alone than in some full-price games I've bought in the past.

What is this obsession with shaving the last dollar off a purchase anyway? The cost of GW2 is not a significant expenditure even for me and I work part-time in a job that pays not much above minimum wage. Is everyone really that hard up?
In America, a good time to pre-order would have been 2 years ago, when new PC games were still presumed to be $50 instead of $60. That's how I'm getting my copy from Amazon for $46.99.
@Bhagpuss: Economy does not require poverty.
Hype or not, I think game companies are learning their lesson finally. With 500+ MMO(RPG) out there game companies can't gamble with a bad launch.

I been reading The Secret World Forums and everyone agrees that FunCom finally got their act together. The launch went smooth, no queue, very little lag. Rift and TSW launch smooth launch is setting a new industries standards.
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