What are your thoughts on video game preorder bonuses, bonus content, and incentives?


Games back in the mid-2000's to 2015 often shipped games with a plastic case, an instruction manual, a warning insert and the disc. These were considered CIB (Complete in Box).
There would also be preorder bonuses to incentivize and gauge early interest and reward those who put money down on these games, they were often rewarded in the forms of extra content such as bonus discs for example.

Pokemon Colosseum Bonus Discs.

Mario Kart Double Dash Bonus Disc

Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Master Quest

These were the pinnacle of preorder bonuses. It had substantial weight and value. Over time preorder bonuses relegated themselves to DLC and the infamous store exclusive preorder bonus DLC, meaning if you bought the game you owned a fraction of it and couldn't experience the other parts like:

Lollipop Chainsaw Preorder exclusive bonuses.

Gamestop/ EBGames:
if you are a Powerup Member:


Best Buy:

Hunted Demon's Forge Store Exclusive Preorder Bonuses:

Gamestop/ EBGames:

Best Buy:



Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Store exclusive preorder bonuses:

Gamestop/ EB Games had Ninja Monkey skin (right), Best Buy had Robot Trip skin (middle), and Walmart had Classic Monkey skin (left).

Mind you that these store exclusive preorder bonuses never made their way to the Playstation Store or Xbox Marketplace digital storefronts for purchases. Such a scummy business practice for the completionist.
It was a clusterfuck when the store managing preorders failed to send codes out or day one buyers who never preordered couldn't gain the content unless it was on a physical card with the code, later on these codes were printed on the receipts and retailers were extremely stingy about it especially publishers when contacted usually requiring proof of purshase.

Games also had physical preorder bonus rewards which were awesome and PRACTICAL.

999 watch for preordering 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons. Nine Doors.

Mirror's Edge bag for preordering Mirror's Edge.

Scribblenauts headpiece for preordering Scribblenauts DS.

Sonic headpiece for preordering Sonic Colors.

Lost in Blue 2 Stylus for preordering Lost in Blue 2.

Palkia and Dialga Stylus for Preordering Pokemon Diamon and Pearl.

Ho-Oh and Lugia figurines for preordering Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold.

Giratina figurine for preordering Pokemon Platinum.

Those were the good days and bad, depending on if you got them or missed out, but those days are behind us. Some of those marketing rewarded those who knew ahead of the time and to put money down, at least $5 bucks back then.
Games now are digital. There are no incentives really to speak to as people expect a complete and unbroken mess these days.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on preorder bonuses?
Did you miss out?
Did you resent publishers for doing this?
Are you a completionist and failed to get all the DLC intended for the game?
It bothers me when it is platform exclusive. Also, at least make them timed. Like, even in Control UE we can't get the pre-order outfits from the OG base game that launched two years ago and now has an Ultimate Edition. IT would be cool if after a year or so everyone could download all the extras on their platform.

I get why they exist, I get they will never go away, but maybe be a little more flexible with them. I LOVE Insomniac, and I can't wait for Ratchet, but locking a weapon behind pre-order bonus? (the Pixelizer) I dunno, not ideal?
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Neo Member
For some reasons I avoid games that have these, and it's not a rule of mine, it's just an interesting coincidence. "It just works", not for the consumer, though, If I imagine a person who is about to purchase a deluxe edition of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, it's rarely a person that is filled with joy that they're about to lose extra $10.


It's definitely irritating when:
- you can't buy the pre-order content in the store (after the launch)
- there's exclusive content tied to certain platforms or store chains

Pre-order bonuses have never influenced my decision whether to buy something early or not. I very rarely pre-order these days and it's for selected titles only I really want to play.
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IIm happy for game companies to give early buyers incentive to jump in, but NEVER having the chance to buy/obtain that content at a later date, is something that I dont like.


More so now than ever, we need these fuzzy, warm bonuses back in our lives. OoT/MM was king for me back in the day. I believe Metroid Prime had a gooder too.
Lately it feels like there's a little less value for the dollar.


i think if it's on the disc/download it should be available to all people no matter when they bought the game, having said that these things usually don't matter and are easily skippable.


I get why they exist, I get they will never go away, but maybe be a little more flexible with them. I LOVE Insomniac, and I can't wait for Ratchet, but locking a weapon behind pre-order bonus? (the Pixelizer) I dunno, not ideal?
The preorder just unlocks the weapon early in game iirc that is what it said


I like basically anything which isn't a code for an overpowered in-game add-on which butchers the game's intended difficulty.


Gold Member
If the incentive is some cheap plastic trinket then it's not something that motivates me to preorder. I don't want clutter.

If it's content then it pisses me off because that means people who may not be able to preorder either miss out on content or end up paying more to buy the content later.

I still think it's funny how Crackdown was the bonus content for the Halo 3 beta. Crackdown is a tremendously fun game but it wouldn't have sold without that beta code packed in. I ended up selling my beta code for 45 bucks on eBay.

Kev Kev

Gold Member
are we including in game content? if so, then i dont care for any of it, personally. i just want a good, solid, finished video game.


I have never preordered anything with bonuses. I have also never felt like I have missed something.


Ehh it’s cool I guess, as long as it doesn’t really effect gameplay too much it’s fine. I wish they had better reasons to pre-order, like beta codes to up coming games, or exclusive demos only if you pre-order. I think they use to do that.


Gold Member
Seeing as it is becoming the norm to release broken games now, unless I can get a garunteed refund, no amount of free dlc would tempt me to preorder. I'll be waiting on a solid review from a trusted source that doesn't take bribes with a CyberSpunkBubble chair/merchandise.

alien high kick GIF


Pre ordering now is almost pointless... Used to pre order to insure my copy on release day because sometimes games would sell out. Extras were always welcome of course... But nowadays... You can't exactly run out of digital copies. So it's pointless to me unless you really want that DLC content

Kagey K

They are all shit, and when they started splitting off different bonuses to different retailers so you couldn’t get everything unless you preordered it in 4 different stores it became worse.

There should be early adopter bonuses you get for buying within a certain timeframe from launch, (1 week or 1 month) I mean we are long past the days where if you didn’t preorder the game you might not get it on launch night.


I don't mind them except when there's multiple different store exclusive bonuses that are in-game things or if they never release the digital items later for purchase as DLC so that if you didn't preorder you're forever screwed


Gold Member
Never cared for pre-order goodies.

Only pre-order perk I cared for is when disc pre-order would get 30% off or buy 2 get 1 free. It'd usually happen around E3 time.


Is 'That Pure Potato'
I think they're great for people who want them. Some get really into a particular franchise, for example, or just want some extra in-game goods. I hardly ever opt in though. I could count on one hand how many times I preordered for bonus content or physical items.


A very ResetEra thing.

I always thought preorder incentives were cool. Though I really wasn't a fan of the ones that provided different incentives with different retailers. Because if it was a game you really wanted and you wanted all of the incentives, you'd have to go about getting them however you could.
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