There are certain types of pre-order bonuses I like, and certain types I don’t. Just about any sort of in-game bonus is always a plus, as long as it doesn’t give the player an advantage over others in a multi-player game. That’s all cool. What I don’t like, in general, are physical products with which a publisher or retailer tries to sell a pre-order. Its not that I hate the products themselves – in fact, I love art books and soundtrack CDs, especially. What bothers me is the fact that the retailer rarely has these items in when you pre-order or pick up your game.
In fact, the only pre-order bonus I recall getting in recent memory was the special LittleBigPlanet sackboy costume from GameStop and Best Buy (it’s a long story why I pre-ordered at both places). Sure, you are usually able to get special goodies if they’re packaged with the actual game itself, like the soundtrack CD with Persona 4. But when it’s a separate, physical item, it always seems like the retailer either didn’t get enough of the item or has never heard of a pre-order bonus for that particular game.
Case in point, I had pre-ordered Magna Carta II a couple weeks ago now, but I heard recently that there is a pre-order bonus art book. In fact, GameStop even has it listed on their site. So, I went back in yesterday to browse their used games, as I typically do once a week or so, in case something good shows up for cheap. While I was there, I asked them about that pre-order bonus art book. None of the guys there had even heard of such a thing. Now, I realize Magna Carta II isn’t the hottest game coming out in October, but Hyung-tae Kim’s art is second to none, in my opinion. Why they don’t keep up on what they should have available to customers in beyond me. Maybe this is just my area or region, I don’t know. Is it the same way with GameStop stores around the country?
So, I’m determined to keep bugging the living crap out of those GameStop employees with various calls throughout the week using different voice intonations and accents until they give me my art book. Things like this aren’t the publisher’s fault. They likely set up this pre-order stuff long before-hand. It just boggles my mind how so many times this incentive to pre-order a game can fail when its needed the most – for new I Ps or lesser-known titles. GameStop isn’t the only culprit – I actually quite like my local GameStop – but they are the retailer I frequent the most, so they get the unfortunate business of being on my hit list.