Stop Paying Full Price for Video Games

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It’s November, which means it’s Black Friday season once again (the Friday after Thanksgiving now somehow lasts a whole month), and retailers at the Internet- and brick-and-mortar chains that remain Are- leaving the deals. Traditionally, this is the best/worst time to be a video game fan. Best of all, because a lot of A-level games are selling well, some of them for the very first time. And worst of all, because you probably bought a lot of those games at full price when they came out and — if you’re anything like me — you’ve barely played them since.

That’s why, in the interest of never feeling the sting of unrealistic savings, I’ve vowed to never pay full price for a game again — and you should too.

FOMO vs reality

Before you tell me I’m wrong, I’ll start with a caveat: If you’re the kind of gamer who just essential When it’s at its newest and hottest game, by all means do it. But before you pre-order, be honest with yourself: How many games are in your backlog? How likely are you to actually start your play on launch day? Waiting even a few months can net you a substantial discount off that $50 or $60 list price, whether due to a sale at Target or price drops on digital downloads.

I’m not exactly a hardcore gamer—I currently only have a Switch, which I didn’t pick up until last year. Still, I’ve accumulated dozens of games over the past year and a half, almost all of them purchased at a deep discount, to the extent that I currently have more titles than I can possibly play, You probably do too. So why not just play one of them while you wait for the hot new games to go on sale? I promise you, Celeste It’s still as good as the day I first downloaded it,

Bonus: If You’re Not Freaking Out for the Latest Games, You’ll Feel More Content Too waiting to buy That PS5 or Xbox Series X without tearing your hair out—and by the time you finally score one, you’ll have a huge library of old, cheap games to choose from.

Avoid Bugs, Enjoy DLC, And Don’t Get Burned

Waiting a bit also means you won’t have to deal with the frustration of a launch day mutiny – which actually hurts more big-name titles than it does (two recent examples: cyberpunk 2077 And pokemon scarlet and violet, By the time you pick up a game on sale, most major bugs are likely to be patched—or too big to fix, which means you’ll be able to steer clear if necessary.

Relatedly, you’ll also be able to see more reviews. Yes, the biggest games are usually reviewed by major outlets (like our sister site Kotaku) within the first few weeks. but a review From a pro trying to cram 20+ hours of gameplay into a few days so they can file critiques on time That can tell you less than a writeup or video from a smaller outlet or content creator published weeks or months later that applies to your own gaming preferences. And because of the sheer amount of games being dropped every week, many indie games aren’t widely reviewed until weeks or months after their release.

Furthermore, many titles these days—both from major developers and indie studios—receive new features and gameplay enhancements through DLC, which can arrive weeks, months, or even years after the initial release. Sometimes these updates are free, so if you wait you can enjoy them right away. Other times, the DLC will cost you a few bucks – but again, the wait often means you’ll be able to buy a “deluxe” version of the same, Including all DLC All for less than what you would have paid for the base game at launch. (A good recent example of this: indie hit children of morta It was $22 on Switch when it released in 2019; Earlier this year, I raised Children of Morta: Complete Edition, Includes $7 worth of DLC for about $10.)

There’s also the fact that even after doing your research and reading all the reviews, you might not like any given game. And since returns are rarely an option these days — especially if you favor digital downloads — you’ll be far less pissed about it if you paid $7.99 instead of $25, or $40, or $60. did. ,children of morta Actually here’s a good example too: I’m really glad I only paid the $10 because, despite enjoying the vibes, it turns out I’m really bad at it and can’t progress past the first dungeon. )

It’s easier than ever to skip paying retail for a new game

In the olden days, it was very difficult to buy cheap games. (I’m ancient in gaming years, meaning I remember the only way to get a Nintendo game for less than retail was to hope it eventually earned “Player’s Choice” status.) Now, though, The magic of the Internet probably means you don’t need to do much to find every game on your wishlist on generous sales — other than developing some healthy patience.

sites like DekuDeals (for Switch games), cheap ass gamer, Serious efforts Allows you to create a Wishlist of all the games you’re interested in and sign up to receive alerts when prices drop. My DekuDeals Wishlist is currently about 30 strong titles, and on any given day, four or five of them are on sale. Helpful bar graphs tell me how that day’s price compares to previous sales, so I can make an educated decision as to whether this is a really good time to buy, or if I should wait and return to my backlog instead. Must come. This week, in a flurry of early Christmas shopping, I picked up both newest mario party And critically acclaimed Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga For a total of $60 – that’s about what I would have paid for either of those on the date of release.

And that’s not even mentioning subscription services like PlayStation+ and Xbox Game Pass, which give you access to dozens of top-shelf titles each month for a monthly fee cheaper than the cost of a single game on sale. Many major titles will eventually make their way to one of these services, giving you plenty of other content to play with in the meantime.

the exceptions prove the rule

Sometimes there will be games that capture the zeitgeist and demand to be played immediately: eldon ring And animal crossing There are two pandemic-era examples that come to mind. But think how rarely these jugglers come together. Examples like the recent indie sensation are all too common neon white, which created a lot of buzz before its release and got everyone talking… for like five days. Then the gaming media’s interest shifted to the next thing, You have enough time to pick it up on sale,

I’m not saying I’ll never buy a full price game again. But I don’t buy each one unless it’s on sale and shaves off $10 or $20 or more of my gaming budget that I can put toward older (cheaper) games that will be just as satisfying. Just don’t wait too long-You don’t want to risk turning your must-play title into a vintage collectible,

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