Pokemon Just Can’t Win With Its Preorder Bonuses

Preorder bonuses are absurd in general, but Pokemon preorder bonuses might be the most nonsensical of all. Retailers need not collect preorders to more accurately determine demand. It’s Pokemon. Order as many as you can get and you’ll sell every copy. We have decades of evidence that support this, and at this point it feels like preorder bonuses only exist out of some kind of respect for tradition.

Maybe Amazon realizes that too, because the preorder bonuses it’s offering for Scarlet & Violet are laughable. If you’re willing to let Amazon hold onto $60 for a few months you can be rewarded with a download code for some potions, revives, and antidotes. Insert Dipper Pines’ “This is worthless” meme. There’s a similar item bundle available for preordering in the eShop, and if you splurge for the double pack they throw in 100 Poke Balls that will likely be useless after the second gym.

There are better preorder bonuses for Scarlet & Violet out there. If you head over to the Pokemon Center you can score yourself a backpack for your character. It's unclear if this is a preorder-exclusive backpack, and it has a weird shape, but hey, free virtual backpack. The only problem is that Japanese players who preorder get an art book and a Pikachu promo card. Can you feel the gamer rage bubbling over yet?

The preorder rewards are terrible, but folks would be just as upset if they were too good too. Pokemon Colosseum is the perfect example. Its preorder bonus was a bonus disk that included the movie Jirachi: Wish Maker and a Jirachi that could be transferred to Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire. Seeing as how this was really the only way to get a Jirachi at the time, the bonus was a point of contention for fans that felt like they were forced to preorder one game to complete their Pokedex in another. People can say they miss when Pokemon used to offer valuable things for preordering, but at the time, people hated it.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a preorder bonus that was enticing enough to get me to loan a retailer some money. Most of the time they’re just like the Amazon bundle – consumables that you could easily farm or craft in the game. Sometimes they’re cosmetic items or XP boosters, but they’re rarely anything that would have an actual impact on your gameplay. Their value is proportional, since you aren’t paying anything extra for them, but at this point I have to wonder why they even exist.

The solution is the same it has always been: don’t preorder games. Unless you’re looking for some kind of limited edition collector’s edition that will sell out if you don’t, you shouldn’t be giving anyone money before the game is available. If you simply must preorder, Gamestop has the best deal around right now. It’s a pin set of Koraidon and Miraidon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some new Pokemon cards I have to go preorder.

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