People say they hate preorders, but the game-marketing tactic still works.
The number of preorders made by consumers have gone up 24 percent in 2015 when compared to 2014, according to Adobe Digital Index’s new report on gaming trends. Preorder revenue is up 33 percent year-over-year. This is despite growing negativity around paying early for games from consumers. That sort of resentment caused Square Enix, for example, to cancel an elaborate preorder plan for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided where new incentives would unlock as more people pre-purchased the game.
Adobe Analytics found that sadness was the emotion most often associated with preorders, with 33 percent of those polled picking that feeling. More positive emotions, like joy and admiration, represent 18 percent each of those polled.
Publishers like preorders because they can show distributors that consumers are interested in their games, causing them to order more copies to sell. This is why companies create incentives, like exclusive in-game content, to get more people to preorder. Publishers even sell season passes, which promise future downloadable content, as another way to make money off of games before they even go on sale.
However, players are becoming frustrated as titles have frequent launch day issues, like the PC version of Batman: Arkham City, which was so bad that the publisher pulled it from shelves until it was fixed. Last year, triple-A games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Assassin’s Creed: Unity had a lot of bugs and other issues that left the games nearly unplayable for many.