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

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#1 Posted by ChangeTheL1ghts (90 posts) -

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!

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#2 Edited by Justin258 (15689 posts) -

1) But being part of the "zeitgeist" or whatever you want to call that fervor right after release can be fun. Also, not necessarily. That first Mass Effect's gameplay just got worse over time. Playing GTA IV is a massive chore. The first Half-Life has the whole Xen section.

2) Sure

3) By full price, do you mean $60 or just whatever it is at the time? Either way, sure. Games go on sale often enough these days that patience can help you save a few bucks.

4) Not on PC! And actually not even true for a majority of releases these days. Rental stores are almost nonexistent these days and Redbox/other renting kiosks don't have much stock in my experience. Gamefly might be a better option but sometimes what you want is out of stock.

5) Sure.

6) I'm not above preordering but I rarely do it. When I do, it's for something that I'm going to play at launch regardless of anyone else's opinion.

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#3 Posted by ChangeTheL1ghts (90 posts) -
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#4 Posted by Neurogia (148 posts) -

@changethel1ghts: All of those points are great guidelines to purchasing videogames. My Steam backlog of unplayed games all acquired through dirt cheap sales testifies that an unplayed game is always a waste of money.

Although, I disagree about "never preordering". It all depends on each game's situation. For example, I saved a lot of money on Super Mario Odyssey ($30 off) because I preordered it back in June. If you are able to return the game and get your full money back, then there's no harm in preordering.

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#5 Posted by ChangeTheL1ghts (90 posts) -

@neurogia: I actually totally agree with you here. I just try to keep "Never" as the baseline and then trail off in very few circumstances. I know that sorta conflicts with the "never" idea. Perhaps "pre-order with caution" is better.

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#7 Posted by ThePanzini (744 posts) -

A good trailer in a genre I'm interested in and I'm there pre-ordered day 0, I know what I'll like and have had no regrets so far.

Vermintide PS4 has no one playing during the week/day small player base's are a legit concern.

A cheap game I'll never play is a game I might play in the furture, you can never be in the mood to play something you don't own.

My Steam/PS4/Xbox library is the best thing in the world.

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#8 Posted by Dray2k (884 posts) -


1. Apart from this being entirely subjective I kind off agree with you still. Let me phrase it this way, it already starts that everyone has a different opinion of what a "great game" even means for them. On the other hand, some games you believed were not so good may be great for you nowadays, a factor of this is since your tastes may change over time. As an example I hated management and racing games but now I'm loving them. Same goes for fighting games, though I love watching them rather than playing.

2. This ignores the logic that a playerbase that is "too big" can also be detrimental to the game at large. PUBG is the most recent example as there are millions of people who bought it and dislike it because they expect it to go to a different direction for whatever reason. And depending on the game, a game with a small userbase can also be benificial to the fun. If you ever played MUDs you may exactly know what I mean, otherwise this might be difficult to explain.

3. It depends on you, and you only. Some people can spend a thousand dollars worth of content on literally one game only and it may not even be as good as other games. Yet they would still defend this sort of decision like it is their hill to die on but who are we do argue against this as we don't even know from what position they initially came from? I know a person that spent around 20 grand on train simulators only and I can't find a reason to tell them they're "wrong", now that would be a super silly thing to do.

4. 100% true as renting should always stay as a important part of the industry, even though realistically this is just wishful thinking because in that regard the industry turned into a heap of garbage.

5. I agree, but also disagree in parts. Some people already found happyness in mostly just buying cheap stuff, some of those games they may never touch or look at for more than a few seconds. For some of those who life such a life, buying stuff already became part of the fun.

6. There are exceptions of this but for the most part this is true. Some personal, some parts that others already mentioned.

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#9 Edited by ripelivejam (13227 posts) -

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!

I'll bite.

1. Pretty true, but sometimes I do like to be part of the zeitgeist.

2. If something is more multiplayer focused I like there to be a decent guarantee of playing against people, and for them to be of reasonably near skill level to me. If I get into something this caveat is fine. Typically something that has a small but devoted following is pretty impenetrable, or takes too much time to git gud at that I just don't damn have.

3. I play full price a goodly amount of the time. Sometimes out of excitement to be able to play, sometimes cause I want to support a particular dev. Maybe cause I'm an idiot that's bad with money. Should wait more for sales, maybe. That said, most things can be got at a decent discount at release on GMG.

4. Don't do this, maybe I should.

5. Don't do this, maybe I should. (my 400+ steam backlog screams in pain, though I tend to at least play around in what I buy for a bit when initially purchasing)

6. Sometimes I know what I want and am confident it will be good and I like to play right at the unlock time?

I would probably add a 7th: Don't be judgemental of other's gaming/purchasing habits or deign to tell them how to spend their money. This isn't directed at you, just generally to those who get so spiteful about others' purchasing habits when it doesn't affect them.

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#10 Edited by Slag (8159 posts) -

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!

Just my takes on them, Ymmv as everybody is different

  1. That's true, but it's also fun to be part of the conversation for many people (especially with something like Dark Souls where the community tears the game apart looking for secrets). Nothing wrong with buying at launch if that's something you enjoy. I think you just have to consider how that may or may not factor into what you enjoy.
  2. If it's single player sure. If it's online multiplayer I won't touch it. Been burned way too many times by games that are ruined because you can't get reasonable skill matches in a reasonable frame of time. e.g. lawbreakers may be a good shooter, but if it takes 20 minutes to find a match and you get matched with people way above or below you skill that's miserable. Also games with small population bases seem to have their servers not last as long either.
  3. I think it's almost always worth it, in fact I think games are probably too cheap. I don't want my favorite game companies to go under. But the reality is if that I'm patient I can usually get it for a lot less, and that's what I do. My backlog is so huge I don't need to pay full price for something I'm not likely to play right away anyway. So I don't need to pay full price, but I do think the games are almost always more than worth it.
  4. I'm mainly on PC so not really. PC game sales are often so steep it often feels like renting in a way, same with used games.
  5. That's probably smart, something I probably should do, but don't in practice. I'm trying to better about it. I think I usually get to 66-75% of what I acquire these days. I don't feel terrible about that. I think ultimately what matters is that my whole year spending stays on budget. As long as I don't go above what I can afford and I have fun with most of what I bought, it's not a waste of money. It's not like I'm guaranteed to have fun with everything I buy anyway.
  6. In 90% of cases I don't as well. The only times I will is if some of these factors are met a) it's from a dev and a series I love and trust, e.g. Nintendo games like Zelda b) if I get a discount to offset my risk c)and if I know I'll play it for sure within a week of release.

And I'll say @ripelivejam has a great 7th rule

In general I guess the main difference I have with you is mainly I view mine more as guidelines to follow as opposed to hard and fast rules.

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#11 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

Principle #0 There are no real principles, just do what you want. I think it's unnecessary to really delve this deep into this sort of thing unless you're trying to stop excessive spending or reduce an unhealthy gaming habit.

1. Yeah, never follow the pack, do what you want, always.

2. MP only, doesn't affect me :)

3. Full price is worth it if you want the game that bad. Since I don't have time or free cash to spend willy nilly, I do it rarely. If a new Rockstar game drops or a new Elder Scrolls, that is probably the only time I pay the full enchilada.

‎4. Yeah kinda past renting games tbh. Rental stores don't exist anymore where I live and online rental doesn't interest me.

5. Solid advice but we should all wear our backlog of shame as a badge of honour lol.

6. Pre-order if you want. I think I've only done it once before for GTAV but yeah, pre-ordering is not "evil" in my books.

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#12 Posted by ninnanuam (584 posts) -

My buying guidelines

1: Buy what you want, if you can afford it, Its your money. Dont feel bad about it.

2: Dont follow hype, trust your instincts. Just because something is getting massive positive reaction dosnt mean a game is a must buy.

3: Sometimes youll need to pre-order especially if you are into a series and want the ltd edition. This goes double for japanese titles.

4: Sometimes you miss the boat on a game. This happens alot with mp games. I always think of Space Marine. The MP was great but the community couldnt sustain its self. When i logged in about 8 months after launch it was taking 10-20 minutes to start a game. That makes for a shitty gameplay experience.

5. Its usually worth waiting for a price drop on single player games.

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#13 Edited by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

I use gamefly and have been very satisfied with my experience with it. Here's some tips to get the most out of them

•you can buy more than 1 gift certificate (regardless of what the site says) and save a lot of money. I've been buying them for awhile now with no issue

•best option is 3 months, 2 games at a time, which cost around $40, which is insane. 2 games out is good, since their shipping times aren't great; you'll always have a game on hand!

•make sure to cancel your membership before it renews to the full price.

•if you want new games, keep a spot free in your queue a few days-a week before a game release. They usually ship a day before release, so keep that in mind. I don't live near a shipping center and get new games 95% of the time. Got Wolfenstein 2 and Assassin's Creed Origins at the same time with no hassle.

I used to be really picky about what games I play because of monetary constraints, and with this I play pretty much every major release. Obviously doesn't cover download only games, but they are usually much cheaper anyway.

•yes, it sucks that I don't support developers directly. Capitalism is a bitch.

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#14 Posted by TheHT (15875 posts) -

#5 is my worst offender. Buy games, don't play em, then get salty about it when it's free on PS+ or on sale for 90% off when I bought it for 30% off.

Sometimes I'll get drawn to a game because of the zeitgeist, wanting to get in on all the talk of the town. I'm fine with that as long as you're not breaking the bank.

No problem with pre-ordering itself. If I'm sure about wanting something I'm fine with pre-ordering it. Not against them in principle. If you get burned, you get burned. You accept the risk when you don't wait for reviews/more coverage. Pre-order bonuses are lame though. I've tuned all that shit out at this point, thankfully.

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#15 Posted by Bukktown (20 posts) -

re: the zeitgeist.

When I start to feel anxious about missing out on a new game, I remind myself that It is all archived in podcasts and OT forum threads throughout the internet.

I like to "re-live" the conversation for games that I am LTTP on.

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#16 Edited by Darson (557 posts) -


1. Very true, especially if you can arrange a time to settle down with the game during a sale at some point.

2. Also very true. Titanfall has fallen victim to this but has sustained itself with a consistent player base because the game itself keeps enough people coming back in a dedicated way. Although for some games it can really suck the fun out of it. I forget which CoD it was but the player count was about 1300 and I still couldn't get into a game. I figured because of a combination of NAT and regional player matchmaking so what would seem like a sufficient thousand or so players sometimes doesn't translate that well.

3. Agreed, although this ties in with 1/4/6. If I foresee myself playing the crap out of something, or maybe a deep single player experience (Witcher 3) that should prove itself worthwhile over a long period of time.

4. This option doesn't appear available to me it seems, though by the time I usually get to games I'd probably rent rather than buy, they usually cost cheap enough to justify permanently purchasing them.

5. I find that a cheaper buy that you've yet to play for months (or years) is easier to justify than buying something brand spanking new and not getting that mint-price worth of time out of it. Games I wait for sales/price cuts on never seem to dwindle, whereas games I feel like I can't wait out any longer on immediately drop fairly soon after buying or dramatically before I get to playing it. FML

6. If I know I'm going to get it pretty much no matter what, which I'll say is getting rarer and rarer these days, I'll preorder it for the little bonus gizmos and shit I'll get. Although I can tell you the last handful I ever have: LA Noire, Max Payne 3, GTAV (notice 3 yearly Rockstar releases in a row lol), MGSV, and Fallout 4. I usually do this maybe a week before the release, when I pretty much am hyped up to point of knowing I'll get it on release so I might as well get the goodies. I don't think I've ever preordered anything further out than that before. I mostly remember doing it for games that my local GameStop definitely would have a shortage of if I were to want to get without a preorder on release, but then again we're talking like 2007 here.

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#17 Edited by Coryukin (109 posts) -

I think #1 is only a thing for people who like to follow gaming press and the gaming industry - which is becoming less and less people as game reviews are largely useless as purchasing advice now. It seems like more and more, consumers look to things like quicklooks, twitch, or let's plays to see if they actually want to play a game.

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#18 Edited by BaneFireLord (3570 posts) -

I really only agree with 2 and 5 (though I don't adhere to 5 as well as I should).

For 1, I like being in the post-launch conversations/critiques a lot and find that to be a big part of the fun of games, so I'll usually get a game at launch if it interests me.

For 4, I don't live in an area where renting is easily available and I like to come back to games, so renting has never been something that interested me.

As for for 3 and 6...at risk of sounding like a shill (I swear I'm not! It's just a really good service!), for me subscribing to Best Buy's Gamer's Club Unlocked has eliminated the risks of both for console games and boxed PC games. GCU's perks effectively knock the price of a lot of launch games down to $40 with their regular $10 gift certificate preorder bonus on top of the usual 20% savings. It's cheap enough that I don't mind much if the game winds up being subpar and I can resell console games (and have done so) for more than I bought them for if something winds up not being my cup of tea. GCU is one of several reasons why I still largely prefer buying physical media.

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#19 Posted by elmorales94 (373 posts) -

Huh, I disagree with basically all of these points.

  1. Being part of the launch-window conversation is at least a third of the fun for me. If I don't have a full grasp of the conversations happening around launch, I can't be aware of the nuances of people's opinions and I am depriving myself of useful or intriguing insight which may be applied to future artistic reflections.
  2. I will not buy a multiplayer game if the player base is non-existent. I want to actually be able to play the thing I spent money on.
  3. I semi-frequently buy games for the purpose of sending a message that that type of game is wanted. I literally did this for Wolfenstein II. I was uneasy, imagining a world in which MachineGames didn't get to finish their trilogy, so I bought it day 1. It doesn't mean as much once the sales are on, imo. I'll also usually try to buy indies at full price.
  4. This one I agree with the most-- although, again, I'd like to support most devs, so I would only rent if I really didn't like the creators or messaging behind a game. The problem is that most rental services are garbage. I've had GameFly on two separate occasions and I've never consistently gotten what I wanted out of it. I don't want to have to play a meta-game to receive satisfactory service, as so many GF subscribers seem keen on.
  5. Having a pile can be nice at times. I like having a plan, something I know I can bounce into once I'm done with whatever I'm playing. It's a good way of keeping track of classics I'd have otherwise forgotten and guilting myself into playing things I'm interested in but otherwise wouldn't go out of my way to make time for.
  6. I've always had all-around good judgement, and this applies to games as well. I know if I'll like something. I can smell a turd like Mass Effect: Andromeda from miles away. If I can just set a financial obligation aside by pre-ordering a game (while somewhat helping devs in the process), I'll do it. Call me crazy, but I had a hunch that Super Mario Odyssey would be a pretty good video game. Also, some special editions are only issued in limited quantities, so pre-ordering for those is essentially required.

Diff'rent strokes, as they say.

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#20 Edited by Rasrimra (523 posts) -

For 2017 onwards: Avoid bad microtransaction systems like loot boxes. Reviews may not mention them. Wait for the microtransaction system to be fully implemented before buying, because sometimes they implement it after reviews.

Hmm personally I have pretty different methods than the ones that you describe. But I don't think they are wrong, it's just a different way to go about it. I don't like renting stuff because I have to worry about returning it. Or do you mean like online rental services? Hmm I've never really explored those... and maybe I should.

I like to preorder some games because I want to support the developers. That list is shrinking though, because of all the anti-consumer practices going about.

Your 5th point is very important for me to keep in mind. It's so easy to pick games up on sales just because you know they are great... but if you are never in the mood to play them then it's just a waste.

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#21 Posted by Vampire_Chibi (496 posts) -