Published on August 27th, 2013 | by Jeff Derrickson12
Question of the Week: Are Games Worth $60?
Welcome to Critically Sane’s Question of the Week, where we do our best to answer an inquiry posed to us by the community. Have your own question? Tweet it to us @criticallysane or put it in the comments below!
With game prices dropping so quickly after release, is saving a few bucks more important than being part of the conversation during launch? If so, are there any instances where you’d bypass your cheap ways so as not to miss out on an experience?
If you are patient, it is true that most games will drop in price $10-$20 at some point within a month of launch. Being part of the conversation at launch should never be more important than saving 33 percent on a game for waiting just a couple weeks. I, however, don’t practice what I preach. I am all id; when I want something, I need it right away. If the thought of buying something crosses my mind, I will obsess about it until I pull the trigger.
This most recently happened to me just last week. DuckTales Remastered launched on Aug. 13, and I held back on buying it, because I wasn’t sure if my memory of the original game was accurate, especially since it released to such mixed reviews. A week later, and I couldn’t resist anymore. I needed to play it. I waited a week, but I didn’t wait for a sale or a price drop.
I purchase most games day one, and I prefer owning over renting, regardless of a game’s length. I’ve always been like that. In the age of Twitter, being part of the conversation is just an added bonus.
Of course, if you’re a GameStop customer, you’ve probably bought into their “buy, play, trade” model. You buy a game for $60, beat it, and then trade it in for store credit toward your next purchase. If you beat a game, and you’re done with it quickly enough, you can trade it in for maximum value (usually) of $25. Taking advantage of trade promotions, such as putting your trade toward preordering an upcoming game, will push your credit over $30. If you do this regularly, you can always buy games on day one without paying full price. In most cases, you will pay less than $40 for a new game.
The downside of using that model is you are getting less than half of what a game is worth, and GameStop will turn around and sell it for $55. If GameStop is able to sell a used copy of a recent release for $55, you can get at least $45 by using sites like eBay or Amazon to sell your games. GameStop gets away with its model because it’s convenient, and some consumers still don’t know how to use the Internet. I will admit, although I keep many games I buy and replay them, I occasionally trade with GameStop. I have sold directly to other people before, but having to ship stuff is not as convenient as simply going to the store. I also don’t like how Paypal holds onto your money for weeks now.
The smartest play is to always wait for a deal. Unless the game is only available digitally, you won’t have to wait long. And since you’re presumably not trading in your games, you will always have something to play in the meantime. Maybe you will be playing a game that you recently bought on sale but is still totally new to you. And yes, there are rare cases where it is appropriate to pay full price for a new game. GTA V probably won’t go on sale any time near launch, and I’m willing to bet it’s worth every penny of $60. In most cases, you can wait.
Although I have many games and often replay them, I usually don’t follow my advice. I’m foolish with my money, and I’m always excited for the next new thing. Don’t be like me. You won’t be part of the conversation at launch, and you will risk seeing spoilers out there in the wild. That is a small price to pay for being smart with your money.
Or you could be like me, because video games.