Reposted from writing.com with permission of the author
Everyone loves to save money. Everyone also loves to get the most value out of the products they purchase. Video games are an expensive hobby, costing players a few hundred dollars annually for the latest and greatest titles being released on an almost monthly basis. Buying at least one new video game a month will cost a player $720 a year without the tax rate of their respective state included. To some consumers, that amount might not make a dent in their wallet, while others may not be able to spend this much. Regardless of what category a gamer may fall into, buying video games on release date may not be the best way to get the most value from the product.
Patience is a virtue and in today’s society where instant gratification is the norm rather than the exception, waiting may benefit gamers in the long run. Video games, much like cars, depreciate in value over time. The proof is in the greatest hits rack in local Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart retailers. These games are older titles priced from $20 to $30 each. Gamers will find games like Mass Effect 1 and 2, Fallout 3/New Vegas, and Assassins Creed 1 and 2 on sale for $20 each. These are critically acclaimed games being sold for 1/3 of their original value, saving gamers $40 per title purchased.
DLC is another reason for players to wait before purchasing their games. For example, Borderlands was released at $60 and now there are 2 versions of the game being sold at retail. There is $40 version that includes the 4 add-on DLC released for the game and a $20 version without the DLC. With each DLC costing $10 each, players who purchased this game later in the product life cycle ended up saving an amazing $60 compared to $100 for the game at launch and the DLC overtime. That extra $60 can be turned into 3 greatest hits titles with their own DLC and extra features included, therefore saving the player much more then the anticipated $60.
Waiting for games has a dark side as well. If you have recently tried to play Call of Duty: World at War, you will notice that the online multi-player is virtually unplayable. The screen is filled with scrolling text that does not allow you to see very much. Some players are also using mods that don’t allow them to be killed, even if you empty an entire clip into them and knife them repeatedly. All the cheating takes the fun out of the game. This is a risk of waiting too long to play a game. Publishers may not support their games anymore or the gaming population has already moved onto the next big title. This makes it extremely difficult to pick up achievements and trophies if they require an online component.
Another dark side to waiting is the waiting itself. It might take a long time until the certain popular game is dropped down in price. It may take the publisher releasing a sequel or enough time on the market that retailers may drop the price just to be rid of the inventory. The final issue with waiting on price drops is that depreciation on the games will reduce their trade in or selling values significantly. The game is already old to begin with and now it is an old, used game. Gamers might be able to get something back from it but don’t expect too much.
The trick to choosing what games to wait for and what games to pick up right away is rather simple. Players should wait on the single player games because they will never change nor will there be any difference in getting them later at a lower price. As discussed above, there is good reason to be a little patient and wait. Games like Fallout: New Vegas, God of War 3, and L.A. Noire will never change. The only aspect of the game that will change is the price dropping.
For games that have heavy multi-player experiences like: Call of Duty, Halo, and Killzone waiting is not recommended if the player wants the full online experience. While all of these games have very strong single player campaigns, the multi-player aspect shines brightly. Gamers will have an ample supply of people playing online, the support of the publisher behind the title, and online friends will most likely be playing the games as often as the player will be. If a gamer is not interested in the multi-player mode or is sure that players will continue to play the game long after its release, they can wait on these titles as well.
In the end, gamers are looking to have a good time with their video games while getting the most value for their dollars. This article was not meant to criticize those who pay full price on release date. Some games are just too awesome to wait until a price drops. But those with the patience to wait for price drops will end up saving several hundred dollars a year and more video games to play – but ultimately they will be several months behind everyone else. Is it worth it to be patient or is keeping up with new titles more important?
Last Updated: September 20, 2011