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Pre-Order Only Items and the Monopolization of GameStop
Posted on Sunday, December 6 2009 @ 01:40:35 Eastern

Hey guys, sorry it's been awhile since I've posted here, but I'm back with a bone to pick.  Gamers for the past two to three years have had to notice the steady increase in pre-order only items in stores like WalMart and GameStop.  But while WalMart will give away items like special T-Shirts for games like Madden 10, GameStop gives away parts of games that will never be unlocked unless you buy the game from that store or have to pay extra for it via downloadable content.  I believe this to be a classless form of stepping up against the competition and it shows a lot of shame in my eyes when the video game companies allow this to be done.

Now to set this straight, I don't mind when companies give special items to pre-ordering customers that include special posters to find secret items [ala Prototype] or access to weapons that people can obtain later in the game [ala Call of Duty: World at War], but what kills it for me is what X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Batman: Arkham Asylum did.  Pre-ordering at GameStop got you exclusive maps that were never given out to the public unless you pre-ordered from that retail store, and if you didn't, well you were out of luck and never got the chance to play that part of the game.  Locking a part of the game that was made for the public for the sake of a retail store's sales is cheating the consumer out of the $60 they're paying for that title.  It almost feels like a ploy to heighten sales because that company does not feel safe about their project's projected sales.  So what better way to boost sales then to add a part of the game that should already be unlocked by every one, and give it to customers who happen to buy from this particular store?  It just seems wrong to have to barter people like that if the company is already getting increased business by lofting food over the animal that he can't get unless he follows the certain path.  It's almost like GameStop is trying to monopolize the gaming-marketing industry, and it's working.

This has turned into a terrible ordeal in my look on where I buy games.  Remember when games were made to brighten one's imagination and take them through a journey of rememberance and hours and hours of gameplay?  Does anyone remember a part of that game that was locked due to not pre-ordering or paying for that part through "DLC"?  Though it's not a pre-ordering issue, Street Fighter IV is suspect of this when near $20 costumes only take up about 1MB; hmm.  Not pre-ordering the game as New and giving the company more share of the cut is like only getting 95% of the game because you didn't want to spend $60 at that moment for the game...really?  Now game companies & GameStop are punishing customers because they didn't pre-order and buy first day at that store?  As if getting money for video games isn't bad enough, you know.  Now we get gameplay tacked off if we don't sacrifice money at that time.

So what can be done to stop this from happening?  Not much honestly, but I hope gaming studios won't tamper with their finished game to tempt customers to stores like GameStop so they all can make more money off of us.  It just kills me seeing the commercials saying, "Receive this game content only when you pre-order at GameStop!"  Ugh, and the best part of it is their slogan:

"Power to the Players!"

Power to the players?  The power to fork over cash to your store so we can actually get all of the game we wanted to buy?  Beautiful.  Games get an incredible amount of sales nonetheless if it's pre-ordered or not.  If people believe the game is good, they'll pre-order it.  If they don't want it, they won't.  But GameStop is screwing the middle men who aren't going to slap down $60 for a game they're uncertain of yet.  So I don't get to get that challenge map since I didn't kiss your feet at your release date?  Screw that noise.  This is why I haven't played either of those.  I'm not buying a 95% completed game for any price.

Until next time,
Diesel
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