When do you (if you do) buy full-priced games?

Hey everyone!

So, I'm sure some of you have heard about the recent video interview featuring Days Gone creative director, John Garvin, speaking on the topic of video game pricing and his self-labelled “controversial” opinion of “If you love a game, buy it at f****** full price.” (article link)

He said this opinion while in discussion with David Jaffe and continued to double down, critiquing the idea of getting a game on sale or playing it through PS+.

Early this week, Lead Designer from Bend Studio Eric Jensen said almost the exact opposite, going as far as thanking individuals who simply watched streams of the game.

I've been thinking about this in relation to the insane sales we see on steam and the number of unplayed games in everyones libraries, and I'm curious to see where everyone lands on this topic.

I'm seeing a lot of this "full price or on deep sale" talk currently going on with Housemarque's Returnal and it's making me think a lot about the topic of voting with your wallet. I'd love to see more risky AAA games like Returnal in the future, so I'm eagerly awaiting a day one purchase, but I've seen a lot of internet discourse about waiting for the deep sale a year down the line or so and it's making the Days Gone discussion hit a bit differently now that it's about a game that, if it undersells, runs the risk of furthering the homogenization of Sony's exclusive games.

Returnal rambling aside, how do you guys feel? Where do you land on this topic?

[“When do you buy full-priced games?”,“When do you (if you do) buy full-priced games?”]

I've long been a cheapskate and have mostly been behind the times because of this.

But I will pay full price for certain games. Usually, I'll do it if it's part of a series I deeply love (eg Dragon Quest) or is being made largely by someone whose games I normally like (eg Koji Igarashi). I'll also do it when the game stands out somehow, although usually that's just an aesthetic choice or if its on an older piece of hardware I like. Sometimes limited physical editions will motivate me to get a certain game when it's new.

But for the most part, I don't like to buy full priced games! I've got a massive backlog and I usually don't play games right as soon as I get them: why would I pay full price for a game I'm not going to play right away when I know I'll be able to get it for cheaper down the line?

When I can afford it, and when I think it‘s “deserved” I pay full price. I preordered nier for example, and after getting Yakuza 0 and the kiwamis on sale and liking them so much I decided to buy the rest at full price. (on the other hand, if I just happen to see a cheap sale, like I did for yakuza like a dragon at $30, I’ll just go ahead and do it because it‘s in front of me). But moooost triple-A stuff, I figure they’re gonna get the money one way or another, and I‘m not generally interested in playing it right away. I’ll play the new call of duty if you give it to me for free, but I‘m not gonna pay for it, and I’m not gonna pirate it. Games I‘m not that excited by but maybe look kinda interesting, or which somebody told me to get, I’ll wait for a sale. Astral Chain is would be good example of this, if Nintendo games ever went on sale. I assume I won‘t like it that much, but enough people have told me I will that I might as well wait and see (I did already buy that one though, still haven’t loaded it up).

On the other hand, indie games on itch or whatever, I usually round the price up to whatever the nearest round-feeling number is. Is this a $6.66 game? here's $10. In that case I know I'm giving the money directly to the creator.

Also, any physical release on a weird platform I'll pay full price for obviously because it's the only option. There's no Xeno Crisis discounts for the genesis version. I will go to EXTREME LENGTHS to make this happen as well. I wanted Ultracore, which was released by Strictly Limited Games, but it was a limited printing and they were all out. I could pay $100 for it on ebay, but that doesn't give the devs, manufacturers, or publisher money, plus it rewards a jerk scalper. So I contacted (somebody associated with the game) and we came to An Arrangement where I got an original copy and donated the money to charity, and no scaplers saw a dime.

I guess overall that's how I go about it!

The last few times I bought a console new, which were the Nintendo 3ds and PS Vita, I bought some new games with it at full price. In college I bought The Last of Us (to play on a ps3 that wasn‘t mine!) just because of all the hype and discourse around it, like I had bought Bioshock Infinite before it. To be honest, I have not been good about this. I think I’ve paid for a lot of those higher-production indie games at close to full-price (like when they go on a very small sale or when they have a discount around their release), but I‘ve been cheaping out. I worry it’s all my fault we almost certainly will not get a Shenmue IV. Of course for the few games on itch I‘ve bought, I’ve tried to be generous.

I buy full price big realease games two or three times a year. I might buy a few indie games too.

I almost never buy digital games at full price becuase sales are so frequent and I can usually source a physical copy for a cheaper price.

I've often found the complaints of games being over $60 USD kinda weird becuase that for me is a low price for a new game ($84). Games here during PS4 were usually around $90-$100 (65-70 USD) depending on if you pre order or not. Looking at stores now PS5 has jumped up quite a bit with Demons Souls being $129 (92 USD) and various deluxe editions hitting $160 (115 USD).

I think the move towards digital goods has increased this idea of "dont buy full price" becuase it is far easier when all the sales are located in a singular store front that has ads when you turn on the console.

I almost never bought games full price until the last few years, simply because I couldn’t afford it. I bought a lot of games maybe 1-2 years old pre-owned for $30. That was kind of my sweet spot. Nowadays I’ve been buying maybe as many as a half dozen new games a year, which feels like a real indulgence. For instance I plan on attempting to buy Nier today.

Speaking of which!! Can anyone answer this for me? The internet tells me Nier’s release date is today, but every store I could find selling it says it won’t be stocked until tomorrow. I’m confused and am wondering if I can walk into a store today and buy it or if I shouldn’t bother until tomorrow.

I wish I practiced this much as I preach it, but for me personally I have found it more mentally and financially sound to just pay whatever a game costs right at the time you are planning on playing it rather than constantly filling up on deals.

This, of course, assumes a lot of things. For example, you _know_ to some extent that you will enjoy and put some time into a game, whether it is by a series' reputation, credible word of mouth, or a demo. This also assumes a non-constrained supply, which is more of a reality with the advent of digital stores. I also realize that being able to pay full price is a privilege that shouldn't be taken for granted, but I genuinely believe this approach is more fulfilling and may actually cost less in the long run. Taking the Switch as an example, I'm glad I went all in with MH Rise at launch, which is easily less than the cumulative cost of 4 years' worth of impulse buy eShop bargains that I have yet to even boot up or spend more than 15 minutes with.

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@exodus#27350 when I think it’s “deserved” I pay full price

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@exodus#27350 indie games on itch or whatever, I usually round the price up to whatever the nearest round-feeling number is

These comments really resonated with me. Unfortunately, with high-profile releases I am not sure how much, say, paying full price for a AAA game at Best Buy will ultimately reward individual developers. However, I really respect storefronts that allow you to more directly reward and support creators. This is one reason I have gravitated toward Bandcamp for music, and often round up or toss in a few extra bucks with digital or merch purchases.

@kory#27432 this has become my philosophy precisely since I’ve entered a slightly more financially secure part of my life. Since I don’t do PC gaming I don’t have a huge backlog of games I’ve bought for a buck and will never play. Switch sales sometime do approach this and I bought a bunch of indies this way. I’ve gone back and played almost all of those though. I wish that console storefronts had more (or any) opportunities to pay a little extra to developers like you and @exodus are talking about.

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@CidNight#27420 Can anyone answer this for me? The internet tells me Nier’s release date is today, but every store I could find selling it says it won’t be stocked until tomorrow.

22nd for Japan, 23rd for rest of world.

And that's actually my answer for this thread - the only time in recent memory I've bought a game at full price is the Nier remake. Too excited not to get it on release day, and I figure it's only fair since I played Automata on gamepass and it only turned out to be the greatest work of art I've personally experienced in the medium. And the old heads tell me the original is better, storywise?! Yep, full price is A-OK.

Wow, just like everyone else in this thread I’m popping in to say I bought Nier full price lol

I usually pay full price for indie stuff when I can and occasionally pay full price for anything else. For whatever reason, I'll pay full price for Nintendo, Dragon Quest, and E.D.F. games but the thought of paying full price for other things is foreign to me.

I tend to think about it in terms of support. I pay full price when I‘m excited about a game/developer and wanna show full support. I do this a lot with indies. Skin Deep, which I posted about in the new games chat thread, will be a preorder or near release purchase. I also show full support for niche genres like with the stg or fighting games. Aleste collection being the most recent example. Last case I can think of right now is with multiplayer games that I’m going to immediately play with some pals. Did this with Monster Hunter rise which probably would've been a “wait for a sale to try it” purchase otherwise.

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@kory#27432 I wish I practiced this much as I preach it, but for me personally I have found it more mentally and financially sound to just pay whatever a game costs right at the time you are planning on playing it rather than constantly filling up on deals.

Yeah, this would be healthier for me for sure when it comes to sales. I'm a try to be more conscious of it!

I used to buy a whole bunch of stuff on sales that I still never played and have decided I’m fine with not playing! I bought some of that stuff just because of the dollar amount rather than really wanting it.

So I pay full price when I know of prior work of the team and feel a reasonable expectation that I’ll have a good time. I have done this with Shovel Knight, the Steamworld series, I’m gonna do it with Toby Fox’s new game. And I know I’m gonna do it for anything with Tetsuya Nomura because I love Kingdom Hearts.

If it‘s a big tentpole experience type game, I won’t hesitate to grab it at full price. Like the upcoming RE8, I‘ll buy it day one. If I know that I’ll play a good chunk of the game over the first couple days of owning it, I just don‘t even think about it. A recent example where I waited and waited for a sale was DMC 5 for PS5. I knew the previous releases went on sale under $20 all the time, so I couldn’t justify paying full price. I had to wait about 3 months after release for it to drop 20%, and as soon as it did, I grabbed it.

Unfortunately, on PC I generally just wait for sales because I know most games I want to play will drop in price.

Sometimes I‘ll get the full-price physical of something I want to play if I think it’s going to have a small print run. Like the Great Ace Attorney collection or Ys IX recently(which did go up pretty quickly).

Otherwise it's kind of just a combination of stuff I know I want to play right away(Nier Rep, Nocturne HD, most FF games) and stuff I know I will eventually want to play but want to show support for at launch(NEO TWEWY).

Video Games Consumer Culture disgusts me more nowadays than ever before. Anti capitalism and consumerism are part of my core so IDEK what I'm doing in this thread. I agree with exodus:


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@exodus#27350 When I can afford it, and when I think it’s “deserved” I pay full price.

... But it is rarely deserved these days IMHO...
Of course "full price" for indies is a different story, they're not usually that expensive, I love sending money to those small creators.

But truly most of my money spent on gaming goes towards complete-in-box Japanese imports of games from the 16-bit and 8-bit era, and when they don't cost 99 cents to $30 dollars, they cost as much or more than a modern retail release, lol. I'll easily shell out over $100 for a cib copy of something like Umihara Kawase, Gunman's Proof, Bushi Seiryuuden, Pulseman etc.

Now that I got a PC, I'm extremely reluctant to purchase PC versions of games I've already purchased or owned (sometimes multiple times) in the past. For example, Dark Souls 1-3 is not something I need to pay for again. So I pirated it. I bought Downwell, but that game is always cheap, and it's Indie... I actually gifted Downwell to multiple people. Which is another great way to support the industry if you love a game so dearly you'd buy it multiple times to gift to people!

(Keep in mind, I've been in extreme poverty most of my life. Never made over 10,000 in a year afaik)

But you know, over the years I've bought plenty of games at launch and paid full price. When I had a job I was buying 3DS games a lot, mainly was supporting the RPGs coming out like Etrian Odyssey, Bravely Default, Legend of Legacy. In recent years though, for example with the newest console generation, I would buy the console/game just to play it, then resell on ebay or craigslist as near to full price as I can. I bought a Switch three separate times, each time making a profit of 20-40 dollars, until I eventually bought a switch bundled with hard copies of games for so low that I don't feel the need to resell it, lol.

While I have been boycotting gamestop since about 2012, I broke my boycott while on a road trip, to purchase link's awakening for switch. I 100%'d it in three days and took advantage of gamestop's generous return policy, only to buy a used copy from craigslist a month later.

Two days ago, I bought Dragon Quest XI on steam, mainly because it is a more reasonable $40 rather than $60.

The bottom line: In these uncertain times, It's usually not worth it to buy new games at $60. But there's also rarely new games coming out that I absolutely must play at launch. The exceptions have been:

  • - I bought a PS3 to play Noby Noby Boy in 2008, and resold the console to a friend
  • - Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II had me buy a PS3 again in 2011.
  • - Dark Souls III, Bloodborne (bought a PS4, resold it both times.)
  • - Splatoon 1. I used my roommates Wii U (I was living with smash bros players at the time) and the launch for this game was a wonderful summertime experience!
  • - Death Stranding (used friend's console, **rented it from redbox as one of the last games available before redbox ceased all video game rentals nation wide**
  • - Final Fantasy VII Remake (used friend's console, resold game after 30 days of slow, savory crunchtime totalling 70 hours)
  • - During the PS2/Wii era and before (2008 and before), I was buying new games sometimes, but that was when I was a kid with allowance and stuff. Plus I would rent games just to rip them and return it with Blockbuster's rental return program.
  • - 2008 and before, used games were **dirt cheap** and easily available.
  • But I hated the past three console generations for the most part and was never interested in collecting for them. Nothing compares to getting a fresh, plastic-wrapped gameboy box or playstation game from wal-mart or eb games when I was a kid!

    Most games I buy months after launch and pay 20-50% less than MSRP on sale either physical or digital. I don‘t buy many games at $60/70 full price, but I’ll buy new games at full price. Usually these are sub $30 though. Two “recent” examples:


  • - Bought Streets of Rage 4 day one and loved every moment. This game totally rules and I'm still confused at the opinions some of the IC regulars have about it.
  • - Bought _Shiren the Wanderer 4+_ for Switch the first week and had a complex relationship with it, but was happy with the price once I figured the game out. Enjoy it now quite a bit.
  • Nintendo games you don't have a choice for in general. A recent example is _Mario 3D World_ as our kids were ready for another 4 player game - bought it at full price.

    My primary counterexample is the new _Guilty Gear -STRIVE-_ that I'm going to buy day one full price because I'm going to be playing that fighting game for the next several years.

    Oh, I will probably buy this full price, too.

    @goonbag#27622 I still haven’t played Celeste