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Pre-Order Bonus

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Wait until the game drops in price... or pre-order at full price and get a nice hat? Decisions...

So you've followed all the press about your favorite video game for months; watching every trailer, reading every interview, playing every demo, until you finally get a release date. You're anticipating this game so much that you head on over to your local Trope Co. game store to pre-order, because you have to be the first person to play this amazing game. But that's not the only reason you pre-order. Only the first shipment of 10,000 units is going to have the super ultra limited edition behind the scenes DVD and bonus cloth overworld map with limited-edition action figures not sold in stores! The game developers just lured you in with a pre-order bonus.

This is a limited bonus offered by retail chains or publishers to incite you to pre-order an upcoming game. Is commonly the game's official soundtrack, a free Strategy Guide, "behind the scenes" featurette, a demo of another game, or the usual suspects. Occasionally, there will be different bonuses depending on the retailer; to get them all; there's a healthy trade on eBay for the codes of such things.

The really cool ones probably won't reach Europe, or be standard there. Though on the other hand, the really really cool ones will probably never leave Japan.

Many game retailers have different Pre Order Bonuses for the same game, meaning that if you're a completist you have to either buy the game several times or hope that some of it later becomes DLC.

Pre-orders are also common with music - digital downloads will often come with pre-order exclusive bonus tracks. Occasionally, independent record stores will provide something extra with a pre-order as well.

In these days where people buy stuff and receive only a download, pre-ordering something became kinda irrelevant since there isn't the problem of the product going out of stock, so pretty much all pre-orders have bonuses or discounts so people will still be tempted to buy the game before anyone from the public knows if it's going to be good or not.

Compare Demo Bonus, where playing the game's demo will unlock a bonus in the full game.

See also Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition.

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    Video Games 

  • The North American version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker gave a bonus that was a disc that contained an updated Nintendo GameCube port of Ocarina of Time and a version of the same game previously unreleased in the West that featured harder, alternate dungeons, dubbed "Master Quest." Of course, the European version of The Wind Waker had this as standard.
  • Kamen Rider: Seigi no Keifu had a limited edition Kamen Rider #1 metal wristwatch, modeled on the Typhoon belt.
  • Manhunt 2 had a very limited doctor costume including bloody scrubs and surgical mask if you pre-ordered it.
  • Journey (2012) was made available for purchase one week before its official release date. Buying it within this time frame gets you a free dynamic PlayStation 3 theme; in addition, Playstation Plus subscribers can access the game a week early.
  • Many, many DS games offer a custom stylus as a pre-order bonus (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin are two examples).
  • Most Harvest Moon games offer a plush cow keychain.
    • Now, they, and their fantasy counterparts, come with plushies. Usually, cows or chickens.
    • Continued with its sister series Hometown Story, which comes with a dragon plush if you preorder in different colors depending on where (green for Gamestop, red for Amazon, and yellow for Natsume's store).
  • Galaxy Angel Eternal Lovers offered an Expansion Pack for the previous game, Galaxy Angel Moonlit Lovers.
  • Ōkami pre-orders came with a water-sensitive calligraphy board.
  • Civilization 4 came with special packaging, a print-out of the tech tree, and the CD soundtrack.
  • Online games tend to come with in-game bonuses:
    • World of Warcraft preorders got early entrance into the game's beta test.
    • City of Heroes came with a special animation for Sprint for those who preordered the game, while City of Villains gave out special hats.
    • City of Heroes: Going Rogue gave out early access to it's Dual Pistols and Demon Summoning powersets. (Primarily because Kinetic Melee and Electrical Control aren't quite as finished.)
    • The pre-order packages for the various Guild Wars products tend to include infinitely-available in-game weapons for your game account, as well as trial account keys and access to preview event weekends for the product you've just pre-ordered. The quality of some of those weapons is sometimes worth the pre-order alone.
    • Tabula Rasa gave those who pre-ordered the game access to beta, a 3-day headstart and two purely decorative pets. Also, it had an event that gave out several bonuses of its own during that headstart, effectively making them a limited preorder bonus.
  • Dewy's Adventure and Elebits both came with limited edition stuffed toys of the main characters.
  • Pre-orders of The Orange Box from Steam came with a puzzle game called Peggle Extreme (effectively an Orange Box themed demo for Peggle Deluxe) and the ability to play Team Fortress 2 immediately.
    • Team Fortress 2 itself loves to Crossover with other games by way of this trope - three times out of five, any given new release on Steam will award players who pre-order it by letting them use weapons or wear hats taken from that game in TF2.note 
      • Pre-ordering Total War: Rome II on Steam gave you the usual nice hats, however, it also added a "Romevision" mode for Mann vs. Machine—having the Hardy Laurel equipped (or playing with a player who has it equipped) reskins the robots, the Sentry Buster, the tank and the Carrier Tank to resemble ancient Roman society. As an interesting note, the robots' reskins are just regular items, as they had been available on the Mann Co. Catalog for a while.
    • This seems to be extending to other Valve games now: pre-ordering Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will give you content for Dota 2, including the franchise's iconic Chocobo.
  • Pre-ordered copies of Lost Odyssey include an additional dream and an otherwise unobtainable accessory that teaches a Game-Breaker skill, leading some to claim that only those people who preorder will get 'the full game'. In fact, the content in question is available as free DLC on the Japanese marketplace, allowing all players to get the pre-order bonus if they create a Japanese XBLA account.
  • Dark Souls
    • Preordering Dark Souls II would give you a DLC which provided an early access to several weapons. Prior to the game's release, fans speculated the weapons were exclusively for those who preordered the game. As it turned out, the weapons are available late-game as they are sold by Chancellor Wellager in Drangleic Castle. Players who preordered the game can obtain them right from the beginning for each character and they can purchase duplicates of the weapons and dual wield them without having to enter New Game Plus.
    • Preordering Dark Souls III would give you an exclusive dynamic theme, a handkerchief with the map of Lothric printed on it, and a digital soundtrack.
  • Preordering Soul Calibur V provided an early access to Dampierre (of Broken Destiny fame), who's later on available as Xbox 360 DLC. For PS3 otherwise, preordering is the only way to get him.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Diddy Kong Racing had a Diddy plushie, but these were later sold individually.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns came with a banana-shaped Wii Remote holder if pre-ordered from Gamestop.
  • Metroid:
  • Trauma Center: New Blood came with a paper and a syringe pen.
  • Buyers that preordered the American version of Pokémon Colosseum for the Nintendo GameCube also received a bonus disk that allowed them to download a Jirachi, a Legendary Pokémon. Japanese players also got a bonus disc, but theirs contained Celebi and a special Pikachu instead.
  • has been getting into this for the past couple of years. People who paid a little more got a load of extra stuff for Grand Theft Auto IV (which included stuff like a Lockbox, Dufflebag, and Audio CD). Also, those who wished to pre-order Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army got a Plushie of the main character (Raidou Kuzunoha) and other bonus stuff.
    • Pre-orders for Persona 3 at Amazon included an artbook. For Persona 4, Amazon pre-orders recieved an art book and a Teddie plushie. Persona 5 has a Steelbook case in the US, and various pieces of Downloadable Content Continuity Nod equipment in Japan.
    • Oddly enough, they have even offered store credit as a preorder bonus...
  • Chrono Trigger DS, for some locales, gave out a CD with the main theme and a melody of some music in the game.
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon came with an animation cel if you preordered it from Gamestop.
  • Gamestop is absolutely abusing this lately, to the point where there's an in-game bonus for NHL 10 if you preorder it there. It's getting to the point of absurdity.
    • And a challenge map for Batman: Arkham Asylum. They gave it a semi-catchy tune that we all know!!
    • They like providing either extra bonus levels or extra characters. It got messy with the Juggernaut in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, in large part due to advertising that you'd get the DLC code on purchase, and then instead switching it over to directing people to a website that would give them the code. The issue with this was that the website did not require proof of purchase to get the code, and it gave out a limited number of codes so that many people who had not pre-ordered the game (or had pre-ordered it from a different retailer) got Juggernaut while many other people who had pre-ordered from Gamestop didn't get the game.
    • Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time gives extremely early access to the Insomniac Museum as one of the four bonuses. Otherwise, you'll have to find every Zoni and then defeat the Optional Boss to enter it.
    • inFAMOUS was particularly annoying because preordering got you an exclusive power, and there were only like 10 in the game otherwise. It eventually became free DLC, but not until 6 months after the game's release.
      • In Italy, inFAMOUS: Second Son came with a pack of glow-in-the-dark condoms and two cans of Red Bull. We kid you not.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has a character skin with the appearance of Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid along with his sword as a bonus weapon.
      • Now if you get an artbook of Shinkawa's art as well.
  • Scribblenauts comes with the main character's nice hat, and Super Scribblenauts came with a pair of headphones with three randomly selected colorsnote - black, polka-dotted, or camouflage.
  • Halo does this often.
    • Preorders of Halo 3: ODST came with a code to play as Sgt. Johnson in the Firefight game mode.
    • Halo: Combat Evolved: Anniversary gave players who preordered access to the Grunt Funeral Skull, which caused the weakest mooks in the game to explode upon death.
  • UK retail chain GAME does this often.
  • Tales Series
    • In the US, Tales of Symphonia game with an artbook and (for some people) a wall scroll.
    • Tales of Legendia had an artbook for preordering, as well.
    • The PC version of Tales of Zestiria had an event where more bonuses would be unlocked when enough people pre-ordered the game. Most of them were just accessories and alternate costumes based on protagonists from past games in the series (and God Eater 2), but the final milestone (which was reached) would give everyone who pre-ordered a free copy of the then-upcoming PC port of Tales of Symphonia once it came out.
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles came with a T-shirt that had a zombie face printed on the inside. That way you can pull front of the shirt over your head and, as Nintendo Power says, "munch on tasty brains and/or do the 'Thriller' dance!"
  • Brütal Legend gives players the chance to use The Love Giver guitar, made famous by Jack Black and his band Tenacious D.
  • Pre-ordering Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 would get you a free golden Naruto action figure.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 preorders came with an exclusive baseball bat weapon, plus those who preordered it specifically on Steam gained Bill's hat for all classes in Team Fortress 2. This unbalanced the game a bit, since if anyone on the team had preordered, the entire team could gain melee weapons where there otherwise would be none. Since the release of The Passing DLC, however, the bat is available to all players and spawns the same as every other melee weapon in the game.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pre-ordering Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky at Gamestop would net you a bonus DVD that contained the final part of the anime based on Explorers of Time and Darkness.
    • If you pre-ordered Platinum, you got a free 6" Giratina figure. HeartGold and SoulSilver also had the pre-order bonus of either a free 6" Ho-Oh or Lugia figure or both if you pre-ordered both.
      • In Japan and Italy, if you pre-ordered them both, you'd also get an Arceus figure. Whilst game shops in the US and UK didn't do this, a special Trading Card Game set was released stateside that contained the Arceus figure.
    • Pre-ordering Diamond or Pearl got you a stylus with a Dialga or Palkia topper respectively. They're actually quite durable and easy to hold.
    • Pokémon Rumble U gave out Black Kyurem and White Kyurem figures to those who pre ordered the game, though one is randomly selected. And they are both a Disc-One Nuke.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet pre-orders from Amazon include... ten potions, ten antidotes and three revives. You can literally just defeat two or three trainers on the first route to get enough Pokédollars to buy all of these items. By comparison, Japanese pre-orders come with an artbook and a unique TCG card, which would genuinely be desirable items for collectors.
  • The preorder bonus for Luminous Arc 2 have the game comes in a very pretty, shiny box, along with a soundtrack and artbook.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete came with a punching doll of Ghaleon, one of the major characters. The PC release of the game was supposed to come with the Alex doll to go with it, but the game was never released, and Working Designs went bankrupt soon afterwards.
  • God of War III was pretty bad about this. There was only 1 bonus costume on the disk, several others that were preorder bonuses, from different places, and another one obtained through a code bundled with the interquel Ghost of Sparta much later in the year. Unless a bunch of friends give you their codes, you would have to spend several hundred dollars on preorders to get all the costumes available.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Pre-ordering Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep nets you free stick-on decals for your PSP (one for dark models and one for light models).
    • Likewise, preordering Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] gets you a set of AR cards that will unlock special Dream Eaters for your game.
    • Preordering Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX would get you a variation of the usual box case, which included a book containing illustrations from Kingdom Hearts.
    • Preordering Kingdom Hearts III netted the player a different Keyblade depending on the source: a PS4-themed Keyblade for the PlayStation Store, an Xbox One-themed Keyblade for the Microsoft Store, and a 7-Eleven-themed Keyblade for either 7-Eleven stores in Japan or Amazon in North America. All three Keyblades are currently available to purchase as DLC. (The Epic Games Store, Switch, and Steam versions also come with their own platform-themed Keyblades, though these Keyblades are available from the start.)
  • Pre-ordering Rock Band 3 worked this way for multiple retailers: with Amazon, you got an exclusive in-game guitar, with Walmart you got $10 off on your next purchase and with Gamestop you got three songs for free that didn't become available for weeks otherwise ("Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads, "Shove It" by Deftones, and "Blue Monday" by New Order).
  • Preordering Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the Xbox 360 gave you a code that allowed you download the original Banjo-Kazooie for free, 2 weeks before it was released to the general public.
  • In the UK, if you pre-ordered Dead Rising 2 from GAME stores/online at their website, you could get the exclusive 'Outbreak Edition' that included the game, a making of DVD and a special edition figure with interchangable parts. You could also preorder the 'Zombrex Edition' that came with the DVD and a Zombrex injector pen that was packaged in a steelbook case, but this edition was sold alongside the normal edition in stores like HMV.
  • Preordering Poker Night at the Inventory gives you a visor for the Heavy to wear in his native game, as well as a price tag that was reduced by 10%.
  • Pre-ordering Worms Reloaded gave the user access to extra forts, team hats and early access to the game on top of the reduced price.
  • Pre-ordering Transformers: War for Cybertron at Gamestop gave early and free access to Shockwave in Escalation and use of his chassis in multiplayer. Doing the same elsewhere gave you similar rewards for Demolisher and Jazz.
  • Dragon Age: Origins had a whole lot of vendor-exclusive pre-order bonuses in the forms of various pieces of equipment. If you bought the PC version, a lot of these could be manually installed using special lines of code. If you bought the console version, you were SOL.
    • Pre-orders of Dragon Age II before January 11 2011 were upgraded to the "BioWare Signature Edition," which included DLC codes for the Black Emporium, the Exiled Prince, the game's soundtrack, and five exclusive items. BioWare also got players to play the demo and follow them on Facebook by promising more items for it.
  • Persona 3 Portable had Junpei's hat.
  • Portal 2 had a reduced price and a free copy of the original Portal (which can be gifted if the buyer already owns Portal) when preordered on Steam.
    • GameStop pre-orders gave exclusive skins to the co-op robots.
  • Dissidia Duodecim 012: Final Fantasy offered an alternate outfit for Tifa for Western gamers who pre-ordered the game with GameStop, along with a Kingdom Hearts skin for either Cloud (if you lived in the States) or Squall (if you lived in Europe).
  • Pre-orders of the expansions for Final Fantasy XIV all come with the following for the game: a minion, an earring that grants a 30% XP boost up to the expansion's level cap minus 10 with scaling item level, and early access to the expansion content a few days before release.
  • Final Fantasy XV: If you want all of the pre-order bonuses (there's 16 of them), you'll need to pre-order several copies of the game—directly from Square Enix, from Amazon, from the PSN and Xbox stores, and even from GameStop. Tough luck if you only have one console, or even if you live outside of America.
    • Then again, the only pre-order bonus exclusive for the Xbox version consists of items for your Avatar, so it makes sense.
    • The PC version of FFXV comes with its own set of pre-orders, and in order to get them all you need to buy the game three times: from Steam, from Origin, and from the Microsoft Store. Tough luck if you're not running Windows 10.
  • All preorders of World of Final Fantasy got a Sephiroth Champion summon, along with special variations of three other monsters (Tonberry, Moggle, and Chocobo to be specific). These are also included with the Limited Edition, regardless of whether or not you preordered it.
  • Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter gave those who preordered an extra player model for multiplayer modes: a Sam-sized version of The First Encounter's Final Boss Ugh-Zan III. The "Super 8" DLC includes that model alongside 7 new ones.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has the bonus (aside from the nigh-standard "Free month of game time") be early access to the game - which will carry over once it's officially released.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Colors came with a hat that looked like Sonic's quills.
      • Pre-orders in the UK came with action figures of Sonic and some wisps, with different wisps being exclusive to the version pre-ordered. Not everyone got the figures, though, since they ran out of supply.
      • The Ultimate port came with a keychain of Baby Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020).
    • Sonic Generations had several themes on the PS3, plus a pinball minigame based on Casino Night Zone.
    • Sonic Lost World had several from different retailers, usually small things like an Omochao RC gadget for use in multiplayer, but the most infamous is Amazon's: a code for 25 extra lives... and that's it.
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric had two: glowing TRON-like outfits for the player characters if pre-ordered from Amazon, and a figure of Sonic with the Ancients' Crystal if pre-ordered from GameStop.
    • Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice came with a DVD sampler, featuring three episodes from the cartoon; "Chili Dog Day Afternoon", "It Wasn't Me, It Was the One-Armed Hedgehog", and "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog".
    • Sonic Forces comes with a controller skin, as well as several items for the Avatar based on other Sega franchises, including Jet Set Radio, Puyo Puyo, NiGHTS into Dreams…, Super Monkey Ball, and Persona 5.
    • Sonic Frontiers had a major tie-in with hololive's Inugami Korone, whom they declared an "official Sonic ambassador". The preorder had a number of effects in game, such as replacing many sound effects with Korone's vocal noises, changing the Kocos to her fan mascot Listener-san, and giving Sonic a pair of Korone-themed shoes.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution had two different pre-order packs, both of which became Downloadable Content shortly after the game's release.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was initially announced with an extremely contentious "Augment Your Pre-Order" bonus scheme, with tiers of bonus content that would be unlocked as the game hit certain pre-sale milestones. After the plan received an extremely hostile reception from fans, it was quickly scrapped, and all bonus content became available to anyone who pre-ordered regardless of sales numbers.
  • Fallout: New Vegas had four different pre-order packs, depending on where you pre-ordered it. The week after the last major DLC (Lonesome Road) was released, all four packs were compiled into the Courier's Stash.
    • New Vegas might count as an unintentional subversion. Due to the game's rushed state on release, most of the Pre-Order items were poorly programmed and had a number of problems (for example, the weapons were almost entirely left off the lists for Perks, meaning that Demolition Expert increases the damage of all Explosives weapons except the pre-order Grenade Rifle). Since there was so much other stuff that needed fixing, these items never got patched, making them more of a pre-order load - fortunately, they're still worth quite a bit to vendors.
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One offered early weapon unlocks, depending on where the game was pre-ordered from.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus offered the Volcanox armor, which only gave 5% damage reduction (which equated to just 1 point of damage) and after the first stage, and was basically useless as the first armor you can buy after the prologue is worth 20% damage reduction.
  • Japanese players who pre-ordered Baten Kaitos got a GameCube port of The Tower of Druaga.
  • The Atari Star Wars arcade game was the main advertising point for preordering Rogue Squadron 3: Rebel Strike in advance. The game was included, already unlocked, on the preorder exclusive bonus disc. Although its inclusion within Rebel Strike itself, even if you have to go through a little extra effort to unlock it, seems to make the bonus disc thing moot outside the hobby of collecting video games.
  • Preordering Modern Warfare 3, at least on Steam, netted players a free copy of Call of Duty 4 along with it.
  • Preordering Forza Motorsport 4 would give you the Mazda RX-7 Spirit-R (A "unicorn" car, which cannot be acquired through normal means) for use in Forza 3. You could then import the car into Forza 4. Multiple retailers had their own preorder cars, like the Honda CR-Z from the online Microsoft Store, a BMW 1M from Best Buy, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi from Amazon, Alfa Romeo Giulietta from GameStop, and the Mini JCW Clubman from Wal-Mart. The preorder store cars can all be unlocked for 560 MS points, but the RX-7 remains exclusive to people who preordered, or players who win official contests.
    • Preordering Forza Horizon at GameStop resulted in a special code which allowed you to download a special Forza Horizon edition 2013 Dodge Challenger.
  • Preordering Asura's Wrath from Gamestop gets you an official artbook that explains a few more details of the game's story as well as a Penny Arcade comic.
  • Preordering The Amazing Spider-Man game gave you different bonuses depending on where you ordered it from. Preordering from Amazon USA (or GAME stores in the UK) gave you the Stan Lee Adventure Pack, pre-ordering from GameStop (or Amazon UK) gave you the Rhino Challenge. Other stores had the Oscorp Search and Destroy pack.
  • Lots of games funded trough Kickstarter have this. More you pay, more goodies you get ranging from extra copies of the game to "backers only" stuff.
  • X-Com has taken a page from Kickstarter and runs three tiered pre-order bonuses, depending how many people pre-order the game. Tier 1 (achieved) includes new outlooks for soldiers other aesthetic stuff. Tier 2 (also achieved) has Team Fortress 2 hats. Tier 3, if reached, means that everyone who pre-orders the game gets Civ 5 for free.
  • To make up for the ridiculously limited number of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Collector's Editions that were available to Australians, EB Games had a free Special Edition upgrade on all pre-orders, which came with a steelbook case, art cards, and faux-leather notebook.
  • Dishonored had a full 78-card tarot deck as its bonus, with card artwork based on the game's characters and setting, plus instructions for a card game for 2-6 players using the deck.
    • In a more conventional use of this Trope, pre-ordering the game from various outlets got you various extra powers to use in-game. On May 3, 2013, Arkane announced a complication pack that would contain these bonuses that will come out on May 14.
  • The slash000 edition of Duke Nukem Forever may be the most extreme case of this.
  • Three words: Ni no Kuni. Preordering from a retailer like Gamestop landed players a collectable tin. Preordering from Namco's website, allowed players to order a Wizard's Edition which came with a plush of Drippy, DLC familiars and the Wizard's Companion Book in Englishnote ! Oh, and the instruction manual was in color too.
  • All pre-orders of Tales of Xillia were automatically upgraded to a limited edition, which included an art book, soundtrack, and in-game costumes along with the game.
  • PAYDAY 2 has two different types of pre order bonuses on the PC version. Pre ordering the standard edition of the game got you the PAYDAY Loot Bag, which contains a scope for rifle weapons, a unique mask, two templates to use on modifying your masks, and some in game money. The "Career Criminal" edition got you the loot bag plus even more bonuses, such as two beta passes to use for yourself and a friend to get access to the game's beta, the soundtrack to the game, in game discounts on all items, a guide to the game written by your Voice with an Internet Connection, and printable blueprints for every heist in the game. No matter what version you pre ordered, you were bound to get a good deal out of it.
  • PAYDAY 3: All versions of the game had a set of cosmeticsnote . Pre-ordering the Silver or Gold digital versions also let you begin playing three days early.
  • Epic Mickey came with a figurine of Mickey (with removable paintbrush), decals for the Wii and Wii Remote, and a behind-the-scenes DVD of the game, which also included several original cartoon shorts. Sadly, the "Clock Cleaners" cartoon is the censored version.
  • PlanetSide 2 (a free-to-play game) could be "preordered" for $40 with the "Alpha Squad" package, which gave immediate access to the game's closed beta (instead of random chance for an invite like other players), $40 worth of Station Cash, 4 weapons immediately unlocked per faction, exclusive camouflage, decals, and a title, and 6 months of +10% XP. The package was sold until the weekend before the game launched.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier had different permutations of the same preorder bonuses depending on where you got it from - some gave you AK-47 and Mk 14 assault rifles, some gave you M40 and Mosin-Nagant sniper rifles, and some gave you all four.
  • For the Western releases of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, in the US, pre-ordering the game would get you one of two DLC character early. Pre-ordering from Amazon would get you Shigekiyo "Shigechi" Yangu while pre-ordering from Club Namco directly would get you Yoshikage Kira's original self. If you lived in the EU though, pre-ordering the game would get you both of them.
  • Pre-orders of Sunset Overdrive got you some bonus weapons and an extra costume in-game.
  • Before its replacement, Club Nintendo would occasionally have a list of upcoming games. If you clicked on them before the games were released, when you register them on your Club Nintendo account, you will get bonus credits. Club Nintendo offered for those who buy both versions of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U a soundtrack CD and the DLC character Mewtwo.
    • Additionally, those who Pre-Ordered Mario Kart 8 and registered it with Club Nintendo would allow you to get a free downloadable copy of either New Super Mario Bros. U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, or Wii Party U. Predictably, while this was going, it was near impossible to load Club Nintendo's site outside of the early mornings and late at nights with how many people were trying desperately to get their free game mid-day.
  • Preordering Splatoon from GameStop would give you costumes for your Mii Fighters from Super Smash Bros. resembling Splatoon characters (an Inkling Wig and an Inkling Squid Hat for all three kinds, and an Inkling Outfit for Gunners), which wouldn't be available for the general public until June 14.
  • Preordering Mighty No. 9 gives you access to the Retro Hero DLC, which lets you "play as a retro-inspired version of Beck, complete with classic sound effectsnote  and direct access to a challenging insta-death mode." The RAY Expansion DLC was also included as an extra bonus.
  • Preordering Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z gave players a few exclusive skins, such as a camouflage outfit, a Nuigulumar costume, and a mascot costume of Beck from Mighty No. 9.
  • Preordering the Xbox One version of Fallout 4 would give you a copy of the previous title for the Xbox 360note , while preordering the PlayStation 4 version from Best Buy would give you, along with the Season Pass, a pair of socks adorned with the Vault Boy.
  • Pre-ordering Valve's Steam Controller and/or Steam Link hardware would give you a copy of Rocket League, along with Valve's own Portal 2 (if you already own any of these games, you gain an extra copy to gift to a friend).
  • Preordering Xenoblade Chronicles X from Best Buy will give you $10 to buy pizza. No, seriously.
  • All three of the Zero Escape games have a preorder bonus of that game's watch.
  • Just Cause 3 has 3 weaponized cars as well as a tourist's guide for Medici (which is much more practical than you'd expect - it shows where every base and town is so it's easier to find and liberate each).
  • Preordering Disgaea PC gives you the "Digital Deluxe Dood Edition", which includes the soundtrack and an artbook.
  • Preordering South Park: The Fractured but Whole will give you Towelie as a "gaming bud" (IE, he occasionally shows up to act as an Exposition Fairy), along with a free copy of South Park: The Stick of Truth.
  • Pre-ordering Injustice 2 will give you Darkseid as one of the playable characters.
  • RAID: World War II had a 10% price cut for preordering, combined with further cuts for owners of PAYDAY 2, 5% off the regular edition and 15% off the Special Edition. Preordering also gave an "Army Crate" with several goodies, including a golden skin for one of the in-game weapons, and preordering the Special Edition also included the Ultimate Edition of PAYDAY 2 for free.
  • Preordering LEGO The Incredibles from GameStop would give you a LEGO minifigure of Edna Mode.
  • Pre-ordering Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid got you a digital art book and an exclusive alternate skin for the Green Ranger.
  • Pre-ordering Psychonauts for the original Xbox got you a deck of playing cards.
  • Pre-ordering a physical copy of the Doki Doki Literature Club! Updated Re-release, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!, provided access to feelies such as a sticker sheet, standees of the characters, a club membership card, and a special poem from Monika.
  • Pre-ordering Super Robot Wars 30 gave players access to a bunch of bonuses, including extra missions, extra items, extra money and access to two heroes - Masaki Ando and the Cybaster and the SRX team and the SRX.
  • Destiny 2 provides special emblems and cosmetic items for pre-ordering expansions. Additionally, the base game, Shadowkeep, Lightfall, and The Final Shape all provide instant access to exotic weapons if pre-ordered.note 

Non-video game examples:

  • It’s common in Japan for manga publishers to give out bonuses for people who preorder new volumes of a manga in certain stores.
  • Occasionally, anime licensors also give out bonuses for that preorder the DVDs. For example, Emma: A Victorian Romance included everyone who preordered the first boxset of the anime by a certain date in the credits (since they were able to use the money they made on preorders to actually help fund the release).

  • Pre-order bonus tracks have been common since the advent of digital downloading. They are often kept exclusive to the pre-order, and not reissued after the album has been released. Examples include:
    • Megadeth's "Black Swan" for those who pre-ordered United Abominations from iTunes. The song was however, rerecorded for Thirteen.
    • The Pretenders' "977 (New Version)" for those who pre-ordered "Break Up The Concrete" from iTunes.
    • Scooter's "Firth Of Clyde" for those who pre-ordered "The Ultimate Aural Orgasm" from iTunes Germany.
    • Funeral for a Friend's "Wrench (Demo)" for those who pre-ordered "The Young And Defenceless" from their Pledge Music account (which was set up to finance the recording of the EP).
    • Funeral for a Friend's "Red Is The New Black (Acoustic)" for those who pre-ordered the vinyl reissue of "Between Order And Model" from their website.

  • The Big Lebowski had a variant - early purchasers received a small, Lebowski-themed rug (complete with bowling references) that can be placed under the game.
  • Rick and Morty also had a variant, in that the bonus was added after the fact as a show of appreciation for the game completely selling out within a day. In this case, Spooky Pinball gave every purchaser a free topper featuring the title characters and a rotating, flashing portal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • For a little while in the early Aughts, Wizards of the Coast was getting into this action. For example, d20 Modern came with a cloth patch of the symbol of the in-game faction The Knights of the Silver Dragon, and the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Epic Level Handbook came with a plastic replica of Olidammara's Dice.
  • In the spirit of the trope, Kickstarter campaigns usually offer exclusive extras to backers that will never be available at retail. For example, The Others (2015) had two products (the stretch goal collection "Omega Team" and the "Men of FAITH") and two extra heroes for backers who went in for the Apocalypse expansion.

  • Parodied by Penny Arcade here, where Gabe pre-orders My Stop Smoking Coach with Allen Carr (an actual DS game) and receives a carton of cigarettes as a bonus.

    Western Animation 
  • In 2003, people who pre-ordered the second season of South Park from Best Buy received an extra disc containing the unaired pilot episode.


SGt. Johnson

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