Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 04, 2015
 
Please boycott Fallout 4 pre-purchase!

Yesterday Fallout 4 was announced. Simultaneously the offer to pre-purchase the game on Steam went up. I am launching an appeal to everybody to please boycott that pre-purchase. If we as customers make it clear that we are willing to give companies money for simply *announcing* a sequel with unknown content and release date, it is our own fault if those game companies fleece us in the future.

Comments:
I agree. Totalbiscuit agrees, too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf5Uj4XIT1Y
 
Do you read reviews for every single book you purchase? If you read some novels by, let's say, Hemingway and genuinely believe that he's a talented writer, can you just buy another one without thinking it over? The same goes for favorite music bands and filmmakers. You know, when my favorite artist creates new album, I take care to listen to it before reading any reviews, because who could possibly know your favorite band better than you? :]

I'm positive that while game journalism and critic could be very useful, sometimes well-earned trust and carefully built connection between developers and players are enough to make a decision.
 
I don't think you can compare video games to books written by the same author. What guarantee do you have that Fallout 4 is going to be developed by exactly the same team as Fallout 3? You probably don't even know the names of the developers of Fallout 3, you only know the name of the company, who might have reorganized since.

Believing that Game Sequel N+1 is good because Game Sequel N was good is fraught with peril. Pretty much any series of video games came to a point where one sequel was horribly bad. Would you say that the latest Sim City is a great game, because the previous versions were? Certainly not!

Furthermore I think we should make a difference between "My game comes out in a month, I'm offering you an opportunity to pre-purchase" and "I just announced my game, haven't even set a release date yet, but I already want your money".
 
"I just announced my game, haven't even set a release date yet, but I already want your money".

So... Kickstarter?

I think preordering is dumb too, but getting Fallout 4 from GMG for $14 off? Slightly different scenario. My experience with Fallout: New Vegas though leads me to believe it will be unplayable for the first two weeks without a Day 1 fan crack.
 
I dunno. I'm 99% certain that I'll want to own the game at launch. I suppose if I refrained from paying until then I could earn like another dollar or two in interest? If I know I'm going to buy it anyway, why is it better to wait till right before it's released?

It's like how I've already pre-ordered the next book in every ongoing series that I enjoy. It's not that I expect the game to be amazing just because of the past games. Like you said, SimCity was a clear example of a terrible sequel. But I still bought it, just to see. I'm hunting around for the best example, and if you were making this appeal for any other game, I'd be able to say "And of course I'm going to buy the next Fallout."

Worrying about whether every dollar you spend is going to result in a maximal level of enjoyment is for poor people. A great review can talk you into buying a game you weren't interested in, but the only way a negative review can turn you away is if $50 is a huge deal for you and you cannot dare mis-spend it. Leave the faffing about to the plebs and just pre-order it. One less thing to think about.
 
I agree that you shouldn't pre-order Fallout 4 yet. Mostly because: Why would you? There is nothing to gain but you might just find yourself looking at a 2018 release. Even at today's interest rates, that money is doing better in your bank account. (Never mind all the things that could happen between now and 2018).

That said, I don't share some of the other opinions expressed here. I rarely read reviews for games if they are from a developer that has done good by me in the past. Frankly, I trust a good track record more than I do most reviewers. Am I disappointed from time to time? Sure. That'll lessen my trust in that particular developer in the future. But that actually happens less than me being disappointed by a game I bought after reading/watching positive reviews.

And that doesn't include the whole Kickstarter mess. If you can't trust a developer with a good track record, how can you throw your money at random people and has-beens on Kickstarter? I have yet to be happy with a single video game I backed on there. And talk about unclear dates of delivery...

No, I don't buy into the whole "pre-orders are bad" spiel, no matter what TB might say.
 
I agree completely. If I pre-order a game, it's within a month of it's actual release date. But for a game that was just announced and has no actual release date, it could be years before we see the game. I'll keep my money until your product is ready to launch. Pre-orders like this are just pathetic and stupid.
 
@Random_Phobosis / @Michael the argument against pre-ordering is notabout the personal risk of buying a bad game. A much bigger issue is the belief that increasing pre-orders reduces the quality of games. This is because more money is being spent on marketing and generating hype than on actually developing and polishing games. Money spent on marketing has a huge impact on pre-orders and day one sales whereas money spend on game development is only going to pay off after the game is released and people see how good or bad it is.
 
I've been reading for a while, and generally find myself agreeing with you -- especially when it comes to D&D and DM'ing. But sorry, not going to do this. Well, actually, I can't do this, I've already pre-ordered for both XBox One and PC, and for both my son and myself.

I don't consider myself either pathetic or stupid. I know Bethesda's work; their prior games in both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series are my favorite games of all time. I made more characters in Morrowind than I can remember, but I think I'm challenging that number in New Vegas. Yes, I know, FNV is Obsidian, but with the same engine and philosophy. Based on hours played, I've made out like a bandit on Bethesda games.

So my reaction on being able to pre-order on the day of the announcement is basically "Take my money, damnit!" I can see the issue with kickstarter games and such, but Bethesda is an established publisher with a proven track record. I'm confident enough of their ability to deliver a solid game that I will spend hundreds to thousands of hours playing, that I'm more than willing to pre-order.

I may not make the same decision for other publishers, and I basically consider funding anything on Kickstarter a non-deductible donation with no promise of return...but for Bethesda this is my decision and I'm happy with it.
 
>A much bigger issue is the belief that increasing pre-orders reduces the quality of games. [...] Money spent on marketing has a huge impact on pre-orders and day one sales whereas money spend on game development is only going to pay off after the game is released and people see how good or bad it is.

But this is clearly not what's occurring here. People aren't pre-ordering because the trailer is pretty. They're pre-ordering directly because of the quality of the previous title. That quality level doesn't guarantee the new game will be high quality, but it's probably the best predictor around.

Shouldn't we reward companies that release great games by pre-ordering the follow-up? Doesn't that give incentives to release quality products if you have any hope of making it into a franchise?

Whatever money they're spending on marketing has had absolutely zero impact on me at all. I was already going to buy it, and now I still am. o.O
 
I can't see any possible advantage of pre-purchasing Fallout 4 already now, with no idea even when the game will be released. Wouldn't you be much better off if you waited until a month before release?
 
Better off in what sense? What am I giving up?

If it takes 8 years to be released and by then I've completely given up on gaming and it turns into a completely pointless purchase, then I'm at most down by like $50. I make more than that an hour.

There's not a single thing I can think of that I'm refraining from buying, for lack of $50 I spent pre-ordering a game. So where's the harm?
 
I guess I agree (for non-MMO; I preorder expansions)

But the really logical answer is to buy on the second Steam sale, when you get much cheaper, with fewer bugs and much better reviews.
 
Well, I think it's the same issue as kickstarter games: do you want to support the developer with money while they are working on it. Which ultimately comes down to: do you trust the developer to actually make the game.

Unknown developers on kickstarter who just announce a game with nothing to show for? Certainly not. Bethesda who already made several Fallout games which are loved by many players? Much more likely that they actually make a good game. Personally the beginning of development would be way to early for me.

I'm currently thinking about pre-purchasing Shadowrun Hong Kong. They already made two kickstarter financed games (Shadowrun Returns was fun but quite short, currently playing Shadowrun Dragonfall).
 
I think it would have been a much more suitable choice to pick a tired, over-worked franchise with clear evidence of QA issues out the gate (i.e. Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed) to champion this issue over a long-awaited announcement on what for many is the most beloved of franchises and games of the last decade.

As it stands, the way I look at it is this: reward trusted publishers/devs for good work and releasing products you want, and do not reward those who continually hose us. Bethesda falls into the former camp (never met a Bethesda game I didn't like) while Ubisoft and whoever the hell was behind Evolve are rapidly occupying the latter space.

All that aside, I don't generally do pre-orders anymore.
 
A boycott campaign will never work, Tobold, because gamers have short memories and feel the need to spend money for their beloved game/franchise. By simply reading the above comments you can see how people just focus on the name (Bethesda) more than on the concept you expressed in your post (giving money for a hyped marketing announcement).

I am with you, I stopped preordering long time ago. But judging from Steam sales, I am sure I am in the minority.
 
There are some games that you are going to buy anyway. It seems silly to wait until release and pay full price when you can get an pre-order discount and/or free bonus content.

In related news, Fallout3 is on Steam sale (only 40% though, I'll wait until the summer sales).
 
It seems silly to wait until release and pay full price when you can get an pre-order discount and/or free bonus content.

You can get the same discount and a wider choice of different bonus content options if you pre-order a month before release. Why pre-order 2+ years in advance?

As it stands, the way I look at it is this: reward trusted publishers/devs for good work and releasing products you want, and do not reward those who continually hose us. Bethesda falls into the former camp (never met a Bethesda game I didn't like)...

For me The Elder Scrolls Online was pretty much a "let's milk our franchise for all it's worth" game. And how many devs from Fallout 3 released in 2008 are still going to work on Fallout 4 released 10 years later? I am not in favor of fanboi purchases, because as mbp said it encourages exactly that milking of franchises with more marketing than game development. Come on! A website with a countdown, and the trailer released simultaneously with the pre-order offer? That stinks!


 
I'm certainly not saying that you and everyone else should go out and pre-order this or any game. I'm just saying that I myself am pre-ordering.

There's a big difference between saying you're not pre-ordering for whatever reasons, and saying that you don't want anyone else to pre-order, and calling for a boycott.

There's also issues of agency and impact. One blogger calling for a boycott (or failing to) won't change anything, so it seems more like an excuse to get riled up and angry than anything constructive. o.O
 
I don't see how Elder Scrolls Online was milking the franchise. They have a world that people love, they undoubtedly fielded requests for an elder Scrolls MMORPG every day! It doesn't seem like a bad idea on the face of it. Why not try?
 
The end result suggests that they didn't know enough about MMORPGs to start such a venture.
 
http://www.destructoid.com/the-arkham-knight-pc-port-proves-yet-again-that-only-suckers-pre-order-294712.phtml
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool