MMORPG.com's Jon Wood uses his column this week to express his displeasure with the concept of both pre-orders and lifetime subscriptions.
In the past, I've complained about the current trend in marketing practices leaning toward offering access to beta trials as a selling point for pre-orders, collector's editions and the like. It's a bad idea that sets up strange expectations among even your game's strongest supporters and makes it difficult to have your game judged on its launch merits rather than the "way it was in beta".
So, having time and time again given flack to the developers over that subject, I think that it's high time that we turn our focus back onto ourselves, the players, and talk about a couple of the ways that we are shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to getting the kinds of quality releases that we're looking for in our MMOs.
The first thing that I want to talk about is pre-ordering. The long and the short of my argument is that no one should do this. Ever. There are only a couple of reasons that I can see to pre-order a game: