Since games between sales are so expensive, I guess you could say that only buying what you immediately want to play is a good move but I’d never actually go with that plan in the current marketplace.
I’d much rather buy 10 AAA games for an average £5 each and find a couple are golden, a couple I bounce off after a few hours, and six I barely even have time to touch vs the alternative of buying a single AAA game between sale events/promotions for £50. The question I ask is do I think this game will be cheaper between now and when I do want to play it/will find the time to play more than a few hours - only if so will I avoid a deep sale discount.
It used to be that most games had that period of shelf-cluttering where stores were desperate to get rid of them, then you also had the budget re-release or even bundled several titles release. Something was going to come along and as long as the game was still in stock somewhere then you’d be able to pick it up cheap with a permanently lowering price (and a few drops for short sales). Now it seems a lot more games spend a lot longer sitting around their launch price and only dropping down for small blips before they go right back up. They often have the same discount applied sale after sale and only rarely do we see them slowly drop in price outside of making way for a sequel. Not that it never happens but often it only happens because they’ve really been replaced with the next, (mechanically/visually) better game in the series.
I will also take a few risks on pre-orders due to how the pricing works out (and being free to cancel some of them) when a studio has a good record. If I pre-order a AAA game I can find it for £20-30 due to the right coupon or retailer trying to build their audience/customer base (months before release). If I want to buy it during that first month of release, it’s probably going to be £45 at a good retailer and £50 elsewhere. That’s a pretty good saving to have (betting on launch quality and that it won’t drop like a stone after a failure of a lunch period).
Who needs loot boxes, we can gamble just on buying games. Thanks capitalism!