SGGAMINGINFO » Let’s Talk: Red Dead Redemption 2 and pre-orders SGGAMINGINFO » Let’s Talk: Red Dead Redemption 2 and pre-orders

Let’s Talk: Red Dead Redemption 2 and pre-orders

On October 25, 2016 by Aaron Meehan

When the Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer was released a few days ago, the trailer ended with “fall 2017, pre-order now”, and honestly the pre-order line took me by surprise, especially when I realised the trailer told me next to nothing about the game, I mean all the trailer showed was some establishing shots and people riding horses. To me asking customers to pre-order a game with next to no information made no sense. What helped my own internal argument was the fact that game retailers didn’t have a concrete description of the game, for example here is the description of Red Dead Redemption 2 from GameStop Ireland.

Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.

That paragraph doesn’t offer a lot of information. All it says is the game is based in the Wild West and that is has some form of online multiplayer. It is a vague description and honestly asking someone to pre-order a €75 game on that description alone is ludicrous.

Red Dead Redemption 2’s early call for pre-orders is a symptom of the times as game publishers and developers heavily push for people to pre-order their games, usually enticing people with an exclusive in-game item or exclusive beta access. However, while I find pre-ordering to be a ridiculous practice and something that doesn’t really need to exist anymore thanks to the ability to purchase and download games from the comfort of your own home. So, is there actually a reason for pre-orders to still exist? Well, reluctantly I would say yes.

It is a yes, not from a consumer perspective, but from a business perspective. From the business side of things, pre-orders help determine how many copies a store should order, I mean there is no point in ordering a hundred copies when say only twenty-five of those one hundred copies are sold. Essentially without pre-orders business could potentially have far more copies than they may ever need. Personally, I see pre-orders as way for game publishers to determine how many copies they need made and how many copies each retailer needs, because with pre-orders a business doesn’t use an estimate of a hundred, they look at how many people pre-ordered the game and use that figure to determine how many copies they need to order.

As digital download services such as Steam, PlayStation Store, and Xbox Live store become more popular the need to pre-order games will decline, although the onus is on the public and not the publishers and distributors.

In the end, as long as physical copies continue to sell pre-ordering will have a place, but pushing pre-orders as early as Rockstar Games did with Red Dead Redemption 2 is in my eyes insane as customers are essentially buying a game blind.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.

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