Opinion: E3 and pre-ordering games

It’s the most exciting time of year to be a gamer because of one thing, the E3 Expo!

Kiara Hayward

If you aren’t into video games then you’re probably wondering what E3 is, so I will explain.

The E3 Expo is where most of the game developers and companies come together to show off what they’ve been working on and to announce release dates for projects. They release trailers and basically try and create as much hype as possible for their games (and of course check out their competition).

Some lucky attendees even get the privilege to try out some of the game demos available (if they’ve gotten that far into producing the game though).

Even though the expo is in Los Angeles, word spreads fast through the masses of media that attend the event. Many fans will flock to their nearest game store following an announcement and do the one thing I personally never do: pre-order those games.

Now, it doesn’t sound so bad right? You know you’ll end up with the game eventually, or you know someone you want to buy it for. So, you buy it sooner rather than later and just keep the receipt in a safe place.

You also may have seen the word ‘exclusive’ when viewing what comes with the game when you pre-order, and you really want that 30cm high, cheaply painted, plastic character statue you only receive if you pre-order.

It all ends up seeming almost okay when you think about it. You spend around $100+ on a game to ensure you get a copy, and also get some bonuses (such as the statue, or even early access to downloadable content).

I’ve heard all of the sales techniques before. “If you pre-order it now you don’t have to worry about it later,” or “If it’s on sale when you pick up your copy we’ll give you the difference back,” are just some of the things I hear when purchasing games.

It really doesn’t matter at all. What does matter is that I’m not going to pay $100+ for a game that I won’t even get to play for another 6 months or more.

This should worry every gamer out there- just because you have pre-ordered your game, or put a deposit on it, there is no guarantee that you will receive it within that timeframe.

Sometimes it seems as if you will never actually hold the game in your hands. You can’t always predict what may happen behind the scenes of a game.


Dead Island 2 is a first-person game set in a zombie apocalypse. It was announced at the 2014 E3 Expo and was due for release in 2015. You could pre-order the game, and I’m sure many fans of the series did.

But they are still waiting on their game in 2016.

The game disappeared from the online game store Steam in May, making fans question whether or not Dead Island 2 is still going to be released.

Contributing to the doubt is the change in the development studio behind the game. Originally, the game (and its predecessors) was being made by Deep Silver. Now they have passed the game over to another developer, Sumo Digital, which resulted in the removal of the game from Steam.

It’s events like these that make me not want to pre-order games and encourage those around me to do the same.

Why put yourself in the stressful situation of not knowing if you’ll get your money back if a game ends up being cancelled?

Or in the case of Dead Island 2, are fans even sure of what they paid for anymore? It’s doubtful by this stage the new developers will make any drastic changes, but it still makes you worry what the final product of the game will be.

I’m obviously not trying to say my way is right or wrong, however. If you seriously enjoy buying unfinished games and all the bonuses that come with them when pre-ordering, keep doing what you want.

I’m just trying to say that it’s a risk that I’m not willing to take, and it puzzles me that so many people do.

I would much rather wait for the game to be released, and compare prices, before finally purchasing it for a lot less than that original $100.


These are the views of the individual, and not JCNN.