Gamers can be a pretty resilient but passionate bunch, and when a bad release comes around, they’ll quickly speak up about it whilst quick to pre-order the next big release in hopes that things get better – in terms of big releases, however, it has been a tough few years with lots of disappointment. More casual titles have been thriving whilst setting record figures with microtransactions like here with these favourite games of chance amongst many others, so are pre-orders really needed for games to succeed and with the issues seen lately, is it time for pre-orders to end?
The big story this year has certainly been with Battlefield’s latest title, Battlefield 2042, which was certainly far from the bar previous titles have set in the past – given the premium price to buy, the early beta build fell far from expectations whilst being riddled with bugs and other performance issues too, whilst the day one release patch did fix a few of these, many issues persisted and are still an issue now almost three-weeks on from release. Whilst there has been a commitment to fixing these issues, focus instead turned to more criticism with the release of a Santa’s robe costume in the game where game-breaking exploits still remain a huge issue. Players and critics alike have since questioned why the game was allowed to be released in such a state, drawing comparisons to titles released earlier in the year too.
Cyberpunk 2077 has certainly been the biggest comparison drawn of a release that didn’t go to plan, and whilst CD Projekt Red have made efforts to make things a bit better in recent patches, it’s hard to remove the stain of a very poor early release that left the game unplayable for many of those looking to get stuck in. It was yet another example of the negative experience players have had over the past decade with pre-order titles often arriving in a state that is very far from polished, and with prices only increasing over time too it may become much harder to justify a sixty- or seventy-dollar price tag for a game that ultimately should’ve been delayed in order to really pull the best out of the game.
Battlefield 2042’s player base has taken over a 70% hit since its release back in November, with a daily peak struggling to surpass 20,000 players and steam reviews sitting firmly in the Mostly Negative bracket, it’ll be a hard path back as it’s difficult to see a No Man’s Sky level redemption arc from this, and for many perhaps a little more caution when it comes to pre-ordering future EA and DICE titles after a string of not so stellar titles.