Anyone employ a delayed purchase method for games?

harmattan

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When I research and buy games, I generally do it in the following way: every 5-6 months check reviews of games I may have missed from the past few years, then buy 4-5 on discount in bulk/at the same time. Apart from Cyberpunk, I can't remember the last time I bought a game at release and paid full price. Being behind the curve in this way has saved me money, allows the beta code that publishers try to pass for retail nowadays time to mature/be patched, and gives time for communities/fans to develop (and often mods), makes me relatively impervious to initial marketing/guerrilla hype.

Does any else follow this methodology? If so, any pointers on how to discover the best games over the past year or two quickly e.g. review sites (I find aggregators like metacritic unsurprisingly skew towards big-money titles), forums etc.?
 

criccio

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If its single player and I'm more or less ignorant to it coming up to its release, sure.

But I have friends, friends who talk about and are excited about video games, myself one of them. If its multiplayer and a game we've all been talking about i'm not going to just sit it out and wait for reviews, i'm going to jump in with my friends.

Depends on the game and the hype levels surrounding it. Zero regrets.
 

vegeta535

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I buy games I look forward day one. I do check out sales and see if anything perks my interest.
 

MrWrong

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My backlog is already big enough that for single player games I will generally wait for a good sale. Multiplayer games I will buy closer to launch but usually a week or two after to make sure its not a complete turd.
 

jmilcher

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I do the same thing as OP unless it’s a well reviewed multiplayer game. I’ve wasted a lot of cash in the past with pre orders based on hype. I haven’t done that now in at least 5+ years. And each time a release happens that should still be in beta, I just chuckle. Then I buy the patched and polished game 3 months later for half price. Thanks for beta testing for the rest of us.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Yes. Most of the time I don't play games until 1-2 years after release. I mostly play single player games so they don't benefit at all from being played immediately. I'd rather play games that are known quantities, patched, and at heavy discounts. With the exception of CP2077, I more or less haven't purchased a single game in the past 10 years that was at or near the launch window or anywhere close to MSRP (I only paid $30 for CP2077 using the GOG region VPN trick - and of course bought into it being a CDPR game... a rare misstep for me). I played both the DX:HR and DX:MD as an example around 2 years after their original releases and got each for $5 on whatever Steam sale.

I have far less time for games anyway, I don't give into hype and whatever I play I generally want to be exceptional gaming experiences (in other words I'm never playing yearly released, multiplayer, 'competitive', FPS' ever). There is literally zero benefit to being early for anything in the gaming industry anymore. This as helped me dodge plenty of bullets. I skipped titles like Anthem and ME:A to name but 2, but there have been scores of hyped titles I haven't bothered with that I wouldn't have enjoyed or had the time for really anyway.
 

harmattan

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I played both the DX:HR and DX:MD as an example around 2 years after their original releases and got each for $5 on whatever Steam sale.

Someone should do analysis on the correlation between initial game hype and pricing. My impression is, after a few months, the sale price of most games drops precipitously, closely in line with hype/marketing momentum. But I still don't completely understand how, while some games e.g. DX:MD and Shadows of Mordor sell for $5 a year after release, others e.g. GTA, most Assassin's Creeds retain value and sell for ~$30-40 a year later. Is it purely a game's popularity that influences it's price over time, or are their other factors e.g. supply and ecosystem/distribution control?
 

n0ob3r

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These days, I game more socially. If I have friends that are playing a game, I will go ahead and purchase it, even if it is new and high priced. I look at how many hours I would get at it and the enjoyment with friends that will result.

Interesting discussion! (y)
 

twonunpackmule

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I have over 2000 games at this point. I don't NEED anymore. If I feel like the devs did a good job, I'll buy on release or close to it. However, I also realize the amount of time I actually have. So, I tend to not actually purchase day 1 very often unless I know I'm going to play it within a certain window of time from release. A person needs to realize when they have an acquisition problem.

Also, I've been spending more and more time with older console catalogs. So, yea...not really buying much new stuff these days.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Someone should do analysis on the correlation between initial game hype and pricing. My impression is, after a few months, the sale price of most games drops precipitously, closely in line with hype/marketing momentum. But I still don't completely understand how, while some games e.g. DX:MD and Shadows of Mordor sell for $5 a year after release, others e.g. GTA, most Assassin's Creeds retain value and sell for ~$30-40 a year later. Is it purely a game's popularity that influences it's price over time, or are their other factors e.g. supply and ecosystem/distribution control?
You can study this in other markets that have to do with distribution and adoption demographics. I don't have any of that info for gaming, but basically you'll always have people willing to early adopt, people willing to adopt later (and still pay full price), and then there are various sub categories of people that will never pay full price or have a very specific price that they're willing to pay. And essentially all of those models have been studied.
Basically, you'll never convert everyone (by convert, we mean, turn an interested customer into a paying customer). But there is a curve. The goal is to get the maximum number of poeple to pay full price. And then get the maximum people to pay a discounted price. Before ever reaching a massively discounted price. Obviously the goal being making the maximum amount of money every step of the way. The people looking for those different discount tiers will never be full price paying people - so by discounting you're still getting more conversions than you would otherwise. The control is again maximizing at every step so you're not discounting people that would've paid a higher price.

Then there is the science behind giving sales in general, especially on a commodity that has zero overhead cost (after a game is made it costs devs nothing more to continue selling it in a digital distribution model, they no longer have to print copies). So any profit is better than no profit and selling 5x as much at a discounted price is still better than selling 1x as much at full price. In that case again it's having the pricing mapped out in such a way that you'll get more sales and more profit during the sale than you would leaving it at full price. This again requires math and projection, but basically those are the theories behind it. Marketplaces like Steam I'm sure do a lot of this work for devs because at this point they have so much buyer/seller information that they more than likely can make a lot of these projections automatically.

Companies like Blizzard and Rockstar and Nintendo are basically against commoditizing their games and are going for a prestige model. And that's a whole other thing. But basically their brand to their customers is the same idea as a luxury good. "If you want the best: pay for it" kind of deal and therefore the customers they're trying to reach buy into that culture. This isn't right or wrong or better or worse, it's basically a different structure and style of doing business. Of course you have to have a product that you can market that way - but it's just as much about perception as it is about the other factors.
 
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Flogger23m

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If you can't play every game you want at release, which is many of us, then you'll always have some that you'll get around to 6-12+ months later. Which should hopefully mean they are patched and have DLC.

MP games you typically want early for obvious reasons.
 

M76

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If I want to play a game I usually don't wait around. There aren't that many games that interest me, so the few that do, I want them as soon as possible. Cost is not that big of a concern. I can afford to buy the few games that interest me at release.

I think, like many other things nowadays, the state of games at release is also blown out of proportion. I can't remember a case where a game was literally unplayable or compromised to the point of not being enjoyable, and I had pre-ordered games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Mass Effect Andromeda. The games that were not enjoyable were not due to bugs or technical issues, but questionable design choices, like in the case of Ghost Recon Breakpoint or Far Cry New Dawn. One of which was fixed, the other turned out to be a waste of money for me.

My biggest concern for games is not bugs, but the live service insanity that publishers try to push. I have no desire to be trickle fed content, especially when you must play it within a specific window of time. No thanks, I'll decide when to play a game. Even for games where I do have access to the content I end up ignoring it. Case in point Assassin's Creed Odyssey, I liked the game well enough, but have no desire to go back to it to play bits and pieces of content they might have tacked on since it was released.

Their goal is obvious, they want you to keep paying in between releases, that's why most have subscription services now. But in my case that totally backfired for them. Instead of buying Assassin's Creed Valhalla for $60 or thereabouts, I paid one month of UPLAY+, and finished the game with a few days to spare within that, cutting my cost significantly, after which of course I cancelled the subscription. I couldn't care less about small bits and pieces of content they add later after I completed the main story.

I even managed to squeeze in some time on Watchdogs Legion, which just wasn't interesting enough to keep the subscription going.
 

harmattan

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If I want to play a game I usually don't wait around. There aren't that many games that interest me, so the few that do, I want them as soon as possible. Cost is not that big of a concern. I can afford to buy the few games that interest me at release.

I think, like many other things nowadays, the state of games at release is also blown out of proportion. I can't remember a case where a game was literally unplayable or compromised to the point of not being enjoyable, and I had pre-ordered games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Mass Effect Andromeda. The games that were not enjoyable were not due to bugs or technical issues, but questionable design choices, like in the case of Ghost Recon Breakpoint or Far Cry New Dawn. One of which was fixed, the other turned out to be a waste of money for me.

My biggest concern for games is not bugs, but the live service insanity that publishers try to push. I have no desire to be trickle fed content, especially when you must play it within a specific window of time. No thanks, I'll decide when to play a game. Even for games where I do have access to the content I end up ignoring it. Case in point Assassin's Creed Odyssey, I liked the game well enough, but have no desire to go back to it to play bits and pieces of content they might have tacked on since it was released.

Their goal is obvious, they want you to keep paying in between releases, that's why most have subscription services now. But in my case that totally backfired for them. Instead of buying Assassin's Creed Valhalla for $60 or thereabouts, I paid one month of UPLAY+, and finished the game with a few days to spare within that, cutting my cost significantly, after which of course I cancelled the subscription. I couldn't care less about small bits and pieces of content they add later after I completed the main story.

I even managed to squeeze in some time on Watchdogs Legion, which just wasn't interesting enough to keep the subscription going.
Completely agree that live service scheming is rubbish and an insult. It's yet another reason I hold off on buying and has had exactly the opposite of the intended affect on me. I didn't pick up Odyssey until 1.5 years after release, at which point I was able to pick up the "Ulitmate" version for $25 and most of the content had been fleshed out.

Noted on Legion. I have it sitting in my backlog (came free with my 3080) -- will probably stay there.
 

M76

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Noted on Legion. I have it sitting in my backlog (came free with my 3080) -- will probably stay there.
If you already have it, you might as well play it. It wasn't bad, but I had better things on my plate at the time, and I'm reluctant to pay again to get back to it. For what it's worth, I think it is better than Watch Dogs 1 and 2.
 

Choopyplz

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I definitely tend to lag behind a bit with game releases. It is usually not something that I actively employ as a rule, though I guess it still comes with the same benefits mentioned in the OP. I will occasionally buy a game at launch though if I'm definitely going to be invested in it, like if it's a fighting game and I know I will stay current with the competition, or if it's a game I know that I will play for sure (like the upcoming The Binding of Isaac: Repentance).
 

J3RK

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I don't have a policy. I'll buy a game at release if I feel like it, or wait if I'm not chomping to get it. I also have a pretty good sense after decades of playing of whether I'm going to like something, whether it will release in a good state, etc. I've been surprised maybe 2-3 times ever by a bad release, and even those games (Ultima Ascension comes to mind) eventually got fixed. (though it could have been WAY better if EA hadn't pushed the deadline) I was also surprised that I didn't enjoy Doom Eternal all that much due to over-use of the chainsaw mechanic. However, in that case, the game is actually top notch, absolutely polished, and a prime example of a good release. I just didn't like some of their design decisions. I still would have bought it anyway though, if I had known it played like that earlier. :D

I generally have a good feel for games.
 

Aireoth

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Completely agree that live service scheming is rubbish and an insult. It's yet another reason I hold off on buying and has had exactly the opposite of the intended affect on me. I didn't pick up Odyssey until 1.5 years after release, at which point I was able to pick up the "Ulitmate" version for $25 and most of the content had been fleshed out.

Noted on Legion. I have it sitting in my backlog (came free with my 3080) -- will probably stay there.

Legion just felt stupid, the car chases where short and lame, enemy ai was dumb as a brick, and the recruiting and changing character mechanic was just to gate skills behind them rather than adding meaningful gameplay. It felt rushed and like they where scared to make it too hard due to the death mechanic, I did about 60% of the game because its relatively pretty (got it for free) and walked away.

The few interesting things it did felt bolted on (a proper spy car with gadets) and not overly useful or relavent to the gameplay.
 

M76

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I also have a pretty good sense after decades of playing of whether I'm going to like something,
It's the same for me, sans for some misteps:
Rage 2 : I thought it will be similar to mad max, being the same type of game by the same developers
Far Cry New Dawn: I expected it to play exactly like Far Cry 5, but they added idiotic grind and tier mechanics.
 
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harmattan

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It's the same for me, sans for some misteps:
Rage 2 : I thought it will be similar to mad max, being the same type of game by the same developers
Far Cry New Dawn: I expected it to play exactly like Far Cry 5, but they added idiotic grind and tier mechanics.

I've picked a few stinkers (at least to my taste) as well that I thought I'd like that we're otherwise highly rated: Devil May Cry, Evil Within, basically any CoD or BF game. I've also picked up a few surprise gems on discount I didn't really expect to spend time on: Stellaris, Obra Dinn, Titanfall 2. I'm actually really enjoying Rage 2 (couldn't get into Mad Max, felt like a grind).

I normally buy them sans DLCs or special editions, notwithstanding games I know have had a lot of content added via live service.
 

n0ob3r

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I've picked a few stinkers (at least to my taste) as well that I thought I'd like that we're otherwise highly rated: Devil May Cry, Evil Within, basically any CoD or BF game. I've also picked up a few surprise gems on discount I didn't really expect to spend time on: Stellaris, Obra Dinn, Titanfall 2. I'm actually really enjoying Rage 2 (couldn't get into Mad Max, felt like a grind).

I normally buy them sans DLCs or special editions, notwithstanding games I know have had a lot of content added via live service.
I also second Stellaris. However, if you value your social life, I would think twice :p.

Me: 10:30 PM: Just need to play a little longer.
Me: 3:30 AM: Man, should really get to bed. Just need to play a little longer.
Me: 6:30 AM: Welp......Poo.
 

M76

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I also second Stellaris. However, if you value your social life, I would think twice :p.

Me: 10:30 PM: Just need to play a little longer.
Me: 3:30 AM: Man, should really get to bed. Just need to play a little longer.
Me: 6:30 AM: Welp......Poo.
That's fine as long as it's not followed by:
7:00 AM Need to go to work.
 

M76

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I've picked a few stinkers (at least to my taste) as well that I thought I'd like that we're otherwise highly rated: Devil May Cry, Evil Within, basically any CoD or BF game. I've also picked up a few surprise gems on discount I didn't really expect to spend time on: Stellaris, Obra Dinn, Titanfall 2. I'm actually really enjoying Rage 2 (couldn't get into Mad Max, felt like a grind).
I was avoiding Titanfall 2, always were suspicious of it, but finally bought it a while back, and realized I was right all along, I don't like it much, played maybe 1 hour and it has been sitting in my backlog since.
 

harmattan

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I was avoiding Titanfall 2, always were suspicious of it, but finally bought it a while back, and realized I was right all along, I don't like it much, played maybe 1 hour and it has been sitting in my backlog since.
The game itself is a pretty standard FPS with some RPG elements and neat mechanics. It was really the great single player game with an excellent, heart-felt story and soundtrack that was worth the ride. The single player was better than it had any business being -- something that's all to often and afterthought for FPSs nowadays.

Anyways, I bought it for $5 I think and got more enjoyment out of it than games I've paid 4x as much for.
 

deadrody

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When I research and buy games, I generally do it in the following way: every 5-6 months check reviews of games I may have missed from the past few years, then buy 4-5 on discount in bulk/at the same time. Apart from Cyberpunk, I can't remember the last time I bought a game at release and paid full price. Being behind the curve in this way has saved me money, allows the beta code that publishers try to pass for retail nowadays time to mature/be patched, and gives time for communities/fans to develop (and often mods), makes me relatively impervious to initial marketing/guerrilla hype.

Does any else follow this methodology? If so, any pointers on how to discover the best games over the past year or two quickly e.g. review sites (I find aggregators like metacritic unsurprisingly skew towards big-money titles), forums etc.?
I actually use the GiantBomb GOTY roundup to look for games I may have missed. With all the guest top 10 lists, I always find some hidden gems.
 

Mizzer

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Sort of. I’ve used Steam’s refund option 3 times in the last 3 months. One was for Cyberpunk. Once the bugs are fixed I’ll probably try it again.
 
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