I just wanted to share with all of you my principles for game buying and get your input on them!


#1

Principles for game buying

  1. A great game stays great. Don’t rush solely to be a part of the game-launch conversation.
  2. Don’t be afraid of a game having a small playerbase.
  3. Full price is only worth it in limited scenarios.
  4. ‎Renting games is a possibility.
  5. Buy games only when you intend to play them in the immediate future. A cheap game that you will never play is still a waste of money.
  6. NEVER pre-order.

Suggestions are welcome!


#2

I would add a caveat to the “small playerbase” rule. Sure, a game that’s less known about/played may still be a great game, but if a game is multiplayer (specifically online multiplayer) oriented, and has a small playerbase, that can cause issues later on unless several of your friends also own said game. So, don’t be afraid of lesser known games, but make sure there will still be enough people around for you to play the game in the foreseeable future.


#3

I absolutely agree. The multiplayer principle was what I struggled with the most.


#4

My general process is to decide on what price I’m willing to pay for a game then buy it once I see it for that price.

I’m usually behind a year or so for most games, but I don’t mind. I do let myself Day 1 once or twice a year. This year it was Horizon: ZD and BoTW. Next year it’s probably just going to be Spider-Man.


#5

don’t buy video games. don’t even think about them. respect yourselves.


#6


#7

This is my first major foray into the waypoint forums. Let me just say, I think I have found a new home :heart:️.


#8

Hard agree on #5, although I’d probably disagree with #3. It’s absolutely contextual, but I am happier to spend full price for a game that I know I’ll play rather than, as you say, purchasing a cheap game I won’t. The momentum of a game being ‘in the conversation’ can make playing it much easier, although it depends on what sub-communities one is embedded into.


#9

I see this as good advice from a consumer standpoint, but I have kind of a different perspective.

  1. Pay people what they’re worth. Lots of indie devs are scraping by. Don’t devalue their hard work. If you really want a game, don’t wait for it to go on sale.
  2. Buy any game you’re interested in if you have the money. Even if you don’t get around to playing it, your support helps those people continue to make interesting things.

(Note: If your financial situation makes these unrealistic, they don’t apply. I’ve been there. By all means, save money where you can.)


#10

Very good points!


@davemakes Absolutely. I was looking at this from a consumer perspective. I wrote them out for myself because I have been strapped for cash lately. In reality, if someone can support a developer because they enjoy what they are making? I think it’s great to do it.


#12

Since I mostly play the same multiplayer games online for years and free hobbyist stuff on itch.io or Glorious Trainwrecks, time and enthusiasm are a much bigger factors for me than how much money it takes to unlock play.
That said, the part of games I find myself valuing the most is the discussion of them.


#13

sadly, #1 is the reason why i think games are moving towards ‘service’ as a ruling methodology. an interesting coinciding of the strength of emergent gameplay/narrative also being recognized as good business practice. multiplayer games are temporal: you’re more likely to get the best experience possible at launch (motivating players to buy and not wait), and what’s better than a player themselves making the narrative? PUBG is perhaps the finest recent example of this. time and time again proves that people really do value the culture around something.

my main principle now is buying japanese ports on pc in the hopes that we’ll continue seeing more japanese confidence in the pc market. not much of a burden, i get great games after all! i’m ready for you, Nioh.


#14

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!


#15

These line up fairly well with my principals. The one difference may be with number 1. Although I probably play as many older games as i do recent games, I think there is something to be said for buying a highly acclaimed or discussed game in order to participate in the ongoing conversation with an informed opinion, and without getting spoiled.

Edit: Point 3 also seems incredibly vague. My “limited scenarios” may be vastly different from yours. For me, it’s almost never about a value proposition, but more relating to whether I feel a burning urge to play the game immediately, or whether I want to participate in the surrounding conversation.


#16

All good advice, but my favorite one that I do my best to keep in mind is #5. I figured that one out a couple years ago, and it really helped me curb my spending on cheap games that still add up if you’re buying 3+ a week (and not playing them). So my personal rule is not to buy it if I don’t want to play it so badly that I know I’ll make time to play it in the next week. If I know I’m not going to make time to play it, then I don’t need to spend any money on it. It will almost certainly go on sale again. Probably for even less.

Target was doing a B2G1 promotion on video games this last week, and that’s a pretty great deal for new release games. But I don’t have the time to play one big game a week, let alone three. So dropping $120 on 1 game I’ll play a little bit and 2 games that are just going to sit there, probably for months, is nonsense.


#17

I only buy games if the pre-order DLC looks really good from E3 preview trailer uploaded two years before final release date.


#18

I only pre-order games in very, VERY limited circumstances. Generally these two must be true:

  1. It is a first party Nintendo game in the “core” Zelda or Mario series
  2. Amazon Prime is giving the 20% pre-order discount

Then, and only then, will I pre-order because I’m getting $12 off of a game that won’t be dropping in price any time soon.

Other than that, I almost never pay full retail for anything. I carve out exceptions like groups of friends I want to play online with buying day one or particular devs I want to support. I bought Heat Signature immediately because I heard great things and loved Gunpoint, so I figured that guy deserved my money seeing as I paid practically nothing for Gunpoint back in the day.

I’m also pretty good about playing things after I pay for them. I’ve got some backlog bloat, but almost all of that is humble bundle extras where I was paying a pittance for one or two games I really wanted and got the others as a bonus. The only game in my library I can remember paying for separately that I’ve yet to crack is OlliOlli 2.


#19

I agree with all your rules, but I will also break any of them whenever I want :rofl: But that’s me, I can be very impulsive. Rationally speaking you’re absolutely right.


#20

While I’m sympathetic to the point you’re making and have acted according to this principle in the past, I think there are reasons not to do this beyond simply not being able to afford it. There are so many worthwhile games out there, just as there are so many worthwhile works of all kinds of art. It’s really not feasible to feel some sort of duty to always express your support financially.

I don’t presume that that’s necessarily what you’re actually saying, but that’s the literal read I took from it, and it’s kind of how I operated for a while. I felt good about supporting creators, but I also felt a kind of obligation which I didn’t feel with other art, and although I wish developers of interesting games all the best, I don’t feel fully comfortable with the amount of money I’ve put into games in general, let alone games I barely or never played. I’ve by no means spent myself out of house and home - I could have afforded to spend even more if I really wanted to - but that wouldn’t have been responsible.

I guess my point is don’t feel guilty about spending some money just to support something, but also don’t feel obliged to do so. Interesting games need support, but don’t see that as a personal responsibility. Unless you’re super wealthy or something.


#21

I used to have a rule where I wouldn’t buy a new full-price game until I finished the game I was currently playing. That’s fallen by the wayside in recent years, particularly as I tend to play long RPGs and it would take me months to finish something like Witcher 3 before moving on.

Regarding #3, I don’t mind paying full price to support certain games, because I want those games to continue to get made. Particularly with all the ‘single player is dying’ handwringing - which of course is not exactly a new conversation - I’ll gladly plunk $60 on Wolfenstein 2 so as to up the chance that we get more campaign-style games in the future. The day gaming is Destiny-ified is the day I clock out of this hobby.