I think many of us will agree, most aspects of pre-order bonuses straight-up suck. We could get into how having multiple retailer-exclusive offerings is terrible, and how the entire system needs to go away, but for today, let's leave it at "generally speaking, the rewards themselves aren't good."
Can we at least come together there? Even Lionhead Studios' Peter Molyneux has had enough. The designer expressed his distaste in an interview with USA Today: "I'm kind of bored with pre-ordering stuff and getting a little bit more content that doesn't make any difference at all to anything. So what?"
"The industry takes an enormous indication behind pre-orders," says Molyneux. "I thought there must be a design thing we can do around that." Enter Fable III's Villager Maker.
He then went on to briefly mention Fable II Pub Games, and how Lionhead is "doing something equally, if not more innovational [for Fable III], before launch." There you have it, games industry. If you absolutely must do the whole pre-order thing, at least attempt to put some originality into it.