If you are referring to Oil Rush then much of your argument doesn't apply here since we're taking the pre-orders from the developers themselves, so retailers and publishers have nothing to do with anything here.Originally Posted by jubei
Second no one is forcing you to download an early unfinished build of the game when you pre-order. Some may be pre-ordering simply to show support to the developer and to help fund the game. Getting to play an early build is a privilege not a requirement. It states quite clearly when you download the early build that it is an unfinished product. If you go into playing said early build with the illusion that you are getting a finished product then you need to learn to read. I can't speak for others but I knew damn well that I was going to be playing an unfinished product that's rough around the edges when I downloaded the pre-release build.
Besides the whole request for taking pre-orders started in the forums where a lot of people were asking the developer if pre-ordering would be available. Many of us, myself included, mostly just wanted to show our support to the developer. The fact that we got an opportunity to play a pre-release build is a bonus. I'm not Michael so I can't say for sure what his motivations were behind putting up an article about pre-ordering but I imagine it was to let all the Phoronix members who have been inquiring about pre-ordering on the forums know that the pre-orders were available.
And last, what's so bad about letting people test out unfinished builds? What's wrong with people beta testing early builds and being able to give feedback to the developer about bugs and shortcomings? Community involvement and testing is pretty much how all open source software gets made, and many proprietary companies (such as Unigine here) have also partly taken the approach of letting the community test out pre-releases (albeit without access to the source code). What's so evil about being able to support a company and helping them iron out bugs?