To pre-order or not to pre-order?

Many times, I’ve spoken about the physicality and feeling of buying games – it can be an addiction, collecting each new title, with new packaging or even (Gasp!) shiny special editions. I’ve also spoken about pre-ordering and the bonuses different companies offer just for pre-ordering a game with them. You’ll hear things like “Pre-order the latest GTA with us and get $1,000,000 to spend in game” or “Pre-order the new Zelda and get Link’s cap” and even “Pre-order this new game and we will give you a goat too…” ok, I may have exaggerated a little, but you get the idea.

Super Mario Odyssey was released Friday October 27th in the UK and I, stupidly like many a gamer before me, thought it best to pre-order and Nintendo were offering a cap too – so out came the credit card and transaction complete.

Mario odyssey

I did not receive my copy of Mario Odyssey on the release date. Instead, I received an email stating the game would be delivered Monday 30th October. Now, I know it is only 3 days later, but I pre-ordered the game directly from Nintendo expecting to receive my copy before the release or latest on the day of release! But no. I contacted Nintendo straight away via email and this was their reply:

due to an unforeseen issue at our dispatch facility a small percentage of orders were not dispatched before the release date.

After checking the tracking I can see that this is now on the way to you and will be with you shortly.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused.”

Now this post isn’t just a for a rant and rave at Nintendo, I can understand mistakes happen – but my issue is the fact I’ve waited since January to get my hands on the game, why should I be punished and wait a further 3 more days than everyone else even though I pre-ordered the game direct? I am a loyal customer of Nintendo’s for many years since NES days and this is how I am treated?

It’s not just this rare instance this has happened either – I’ve pre-ordered games before from a variety of websites and they often do not arrive on release date. I’ve heard many others getting games early whereas I seem to be the unlucky one not to receive my copy.

Mario odyssey cover

I went out and purchased Mario Odyssey from a local retailer in the end and have returned the copy when it did arrive back to Nintendo. The lesson learnt? DO NOT PREORDER. What is there to gain from it? Most pre-order bonuses are just a gimmick and often do not make much of an impact on the actual game you are buying.

My solution would also be for pre-ordering would be to scrap away with the bonuses and give gamers the option to receive the game a few days early than release. Surely, rewarding gamers for paying up front would be to get their copy early? Though if it were to happen (and I seriously doubt that it will) we may end up in receiving the game late territory… Like what happened with my beloved Mario Odyssey.

I guess whatever you choose to do as an individual will be whatever your preference is. While Nintendo apologised for their error – it took for me to contact them to receive even that. Games companies, pay attention. We, as gamers, hold the power here. If you don’t treat us well, we will strike back!

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