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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Preorder Now For Dishonesty, Bad Business, And The Weapon Pack

Posted on Thursday, February 14 @ 21:15:00 Eastern by

[Because you need the statue to remember that you bought a shitty game.]

I walked into GameStop today and saw that the window dressing had changed. With February came The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite preorder posters, but for most of January, my eyes were accosted by the drool of a large Alien every time I wanted to go eat at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.

Yes, the problems with Aliens: Colonial Marines are many. There's the development time. There's Sega, who just wants to leave the core-game publishing business and retire with mobile games and Amy Rose. Then there's TimeGate and the question of "Who developed this game?"

We know that the game was sold to consumers as a Gearbox Software title. Randy Pitchford evangelized the game and his studio as Aliens fanatics. He spoke excitedly about the way they were working closely with the producers of the movies. Of course, we don't know if that's true.

The Aliens franchise is one of the most beloved licenses in nerd culture. Developers and publishers continuously disappoint that rabid fan base, so of course they're suitably outraged at the final product. Look at Jim Sterling, Gearbox! How could you do this to him!

It's true that Aliens fans are upset, but they're not just upset because of poor quality. Each time Hollywood makes another Aliens vs. Predator movie, they take it on the chin and stick it out with the series. They've survived worse games. They're upset because they were lied to. They paid, in full, well ahead of release and they expected something based on the material released by Sega and Gearbox. Still, it's time to stop pointing fingers and realize that we've encouraged the industry to this point.

[It's named Ripley's Flamethrower because of Ripley from the movie. They totally get me.]

We continue to buy in, day after day, putting money down for a product that we've never really seen (or experienced) or may never even materialize in the end! Why? For a little digital gun? For a cheap plastic statue? Things that gather dust, things that go on the wall, a T-shirt, a temporary tattoo, a pizza box with men's underwear in it… [The only reason is to help out GameStop employees you like, because they are graded on how many pre-orders they get... ~Ed. Nick]

It's exhausting and it's unnecessary. Stop preordering games. Stop paying companies in advance. Vote with your dollars. Don't open the game until you've read a review. Be patient. This is an important lesson to learn before the next-generation of consoles arrive and we're pushed even further into the all-digital age.

The point is to see through this... incident, past the finger-pointing and name-calling and hearsay and learn something as a consumer. We don't have to pay for it upfront. Believe me, they're a business. They'll want to sell it to us after it releases too.

*Disclosure: I spent $5 at GameStop that day but not on a preorder. Planet Puzzle League… can you believe it? $5.

**Full Disclosure: Boxes and boxes of Collector's Editions in my house. Even when they're on sale because nobody wanted them.

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