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Forums - Gaming Discussion - It Doesn't Make Sense to Buy Games at Launch


Do you agree or disagree?

Agree 20 28.57%
Disagree 14 20.00%
Take it case by case 36 51.43%

Just a topic I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I think the gaming industry has conditioned us (or maybe just me) into not buying new games within the launch window at full price anymore. Obviously that is when sales are most beneficial and profitable for the publisher and developer. If supporting the industry is your goal then it is good to buy games at full price.

However the widespread trend is to quickly discount titles, put them on sale frequently, and release later editions that include more content/dlc at a reduced price.

This is the reason I almost never buy new games anymore. If you have a massive backlog like me it really doesn't matter how old a game is if you haven't played it before. It is still a new experience. A recent example is Resident Evil 4 Gold Edition, which was just announced. I knew this was coming and that is one of the reason I did not buy the base game last year even though RE4 is one of my all time favorites. Game of the Year and Complete Editions are pretty much expected at this point. This is the same reason why I am waiting for complete editions of Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

Typically what I do is add a game to my wishlist on the PS Store. Then I will receive an alert whenever that game is on sale, which happens a lot. In fact just yesterday I bought Deathloop ($12.99) and Dragon Ball FighterZ ($8.99) this way. At checkout the store told me the discount was $99. Insane. Just a few days before both of these games were listed at $59.99.

Now of course there are exceptions. If a game is multiplayer focused and you care about being competitive you may want to buy it early so your not at a skill disadvantage to early adopters. If a game is story based and you really want to avoid spoilers, you may want to play it soon after launch.

Also of course Nintendo games don't drop in price as reliably or deeply as games from other publishers. There is not complete edition on sale for a game like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Buying all that DLC will cost you a lot. Generally I do buy Nintendo games physically because they can become scarce.

Even then it might make sense to wait for a game to be re-relased and ported to a later generation console. Take Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, New Super Bros U Deluxe, and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury for examples. I am much happier I bought those games than their Wii U originals. The same can be said for a game like Last of Us Part II. I didn't by the PS4 version because I expected a PS5 Remaster (with Factions). Now that the PS5 version is here, I have it in my wishlist and will buy it on sale.

So I think the message the industry is sending me is clear. Wait to buy games, get them cheaper, get them more polished, get more content.

What are your thoughts?

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Depends how badly I want to play it. A new Zelda, Mario, Naughty Dog game I'm going to want to play pretty quickly. Most games I can wait, I got Final Fantasy XVI and Resident Evil 4 Remake on sale in November during Black Friday sales. I have games on my wishlists that have been on there for 3+ years that I see go sale all the time and I haven't pulled the trigger on.

If you're talking about digital games or Nintendo games (cause they keep the launch price regardless of how old the game is lol) then sure, it's fine to wait.

But if you're a physical game buyer then waiting isn't always the best choice.

(copy/paste my reply from your post in the RE4 Gold article)

Buying physical games these days have become a struggle. This gen, I've noticed most physical games disappear off shelves after a year or so tops, like its gone before the price even dropped. After that they stop printing and hope gamers would just buy from the online store, increasing profit cutting the middle man out.

So you're left battling yourself whether to pick up the game at launch (or sometime after), or hope for it to drop in price and pick it up then before it disappears.

This mostly pertains to 3rd party games as 1st party games likely will try to keep a steady flow in stock to keep supporting their console.

Over the last 10 years I have bought so many games I haven't even booted up yet. In the case of my unopened WiiU games, unless I get my console fixed (memory issue), I may never play them. I have PS3 games I never started up. I have paid full price for almost none of them. So you are not alone.
The reasons you listed for adopting early are valid and I would think the top 2. Nintendo continues to march to the beat of their own drum but 3rd party also seem to drop more quickly in price for their systems than their own software. It SEEMS like the Nintendo versions are still more expensive on sale than the other console versions though.

What if you... wanted to play them at launch?

*thinking emoji*

I can wait for a first-day or week patch if needed, though.






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Unless it's Nintendo, since those almost never get any cheaper anyway, I fully agree

I buy games at launch if I want to support the developers. I bought RE4R at launch even though I knew I wouldn't play it until the end of the year in VR. It depends on the track record of the publisher/developer whether I buy at launch while I rarely ever playing anything straight at launch.

Conversely I refuse to ever buy CP2077 no matter how cheap and future CDPR titles are firmly on my Year 2 maybe buy list. Same for Bethesda, Ubisoft, they simply won't deliver finished games. Activision-Blizzard is on the bench as well, same as EA but I have little interest in their stuff anyway.

If I want to play a game as soon as possible and I dont wanna wait, then ill buy it at launch, that makes sense to me.

I respectfully disagree, and instead of thinking it's bad in most cases to get a game at launch, or almost always getting games I want at launch, I go case by case.
Nintendo is the publisher I buy the most often at or near launch because they have less frequent physical and digital sales and less steep discounts. And forget price drops during the Switch's lifespan (where are Nintendo Selects?).
I know video games tend to cost a lot more than watching a movie (though admittedly games are a better value most of the time), but the argument you're making seems to apply to films as well. If this logic is used for video games, extend it to movies and rarely if ever see movies in cinemas. Heck, rarely if ever buy new digital and physical releases for home viewing because they'll probably go on sale.
I've very rarely had buyer's remorse for a full price game at or near launch. The Last of Us Part II stands out, though. I preloaded the Deluxe Edition (so $69.99+tax) and the game was not worth that price at all. The gameplay is at least great, but the story sucks.
Persona 5 Tactica is probably another example of a game I should've waited on or gotten Game Pass and tried to play it on PC. It's a pretty good game, but worth the $79.99 (plus tax) I paid for the Digital Deluxe? No way. And it's already discounted to 51.99 on PSN for the Digital Deluxe.
I preordered Persona 3 Reload from Target (with some accumulated earnings from my Target account) and I'm planning on preordering Final Fantasy VII Rebirth near launch.
There are times where I want to play a game right away, and the price is worth it.

Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 156 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million, then 125 million, then 144 million, then 151 million)

PS5: 115 million (was 105 million) Xbox Series S/X: 48 million (was 60 million, then 67 million, then 57 million)

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

My day-one buys these days are limited to Nintendo, or to physical copies/collectors' editions of niche games (Falcom games are a good example of this). The latter is also a case of "support the developers." since a lot of them can't really afford to wait for a long, slow burn through sales.