Up For Debate - Are Game Prices Discounted too Quickly?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Nov 26, 2017 2:00 PM
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Now, I know what you’re thinking. From a consumer point of view, yes, we do want things as cheap as possible. There are some additional wrinkles to this line of thinking though, including the possibility of a sequel ever being made. If everyone’s happy to wait for a $5 copy of DOOM, DOOM 2 wouldn’t get made.

But first of all, I’d like to think of this from the publisher point of view, and one publisher which really set me off down this line of thinking was Bethesda. While Bethesda is happily pumping out great games, it’s also becoming equally well known for having sizeable discounts shortly after a game’s launch. At this point, you’re being taken for a fool if you bought Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus or The Evil Within 2 on launch day. Both are a matter of weeks old, and they’re available for a 50% discount on all platforms.

This information may not be harmful in the here and now, but anyone who bought either of these two games is probably going to think twice when Bethesda’s next game arrives. Just a tiny bit of patience would get these folks the same games for a fraction of the price.

Now, becoming known for this is unsustainable. The bulk of any games sales take place around launch, and it’s here where the greatest profits are to be made. Bearing in mind that Bethesda doesn’t really engage in the whole games as a service thing (for now at least), these are one and done experiences that rely on solid launches if a sequel or similar game is to see the light of day. Once word gets out, there’s a danger that those familiar with the pricing strategy choose to opt out and wait for a sale, no matter how great the game may be.

So this question doesn’t necessarily apply to all publishers, but do you think some are too quick to discount their games? And does this cause you to think twice about buying their games new? Which publishers do you think discount their prices quickest? Let us know below!

Do you avoid some publishers' games at launch because you know they'll discount quickly?

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18:58 Nov-27-2017

I noticed games getting discounted way faster than they used to, I'm not complaining.

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17:36 Nov-27-2017

I wait for sale no matter what, if they come sooner then I buy sooner.

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10:06 Nov-27-2017

This year especially it seems that games got discounted by a large number really quickly. Recently you could get this year's heavy hitters (Ghost recon: Wildlands and For honor) For 50% off and even less. Same with Wolfenstein that is barely a month old. And that's just a couple of examples. I would much more prefer for games to lower their price slower instead of getting their money from microtransactions etc.
I know it doesn't work that way, but a man can dream

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08:04 Nov-27-2017

This^
I actually held off on buying a few games at launch because I was certain there would be a discount (or sales) on the horizon soon. I was right. I ended up getting two games for the price of one :)
The way I see it, people who want to play a game as soon as possible will go stand outside GameStop at midnight to get it will do so regardless. For people with cash-constraints (like myself), waiting a few months (and weeks in your example) isn't all that bad. Another point that factors heavily in my launch-buying decisions is an unfinished game. As Thecookiemonster below me aptly pointed out, most games need more than one patch to actually run as it's mean't to be. That's a nice excuse for me to not go for launch-buys :)
Anyway, a fantastic topic, Jon! I read many comments here and they all echo the same sentiments. Mostly anyway :)

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06:09 Nov-27-2017

Not only that, but I avoid buying games before they're released (pre-orders), or when they're released, simply because most of them are pushed out too fast by publishers who don't care whether the game has been properly polished to squash out the bugs/glitches. It's frustrating how AAA publishers are increasingly launching broken games, which in some cases are barely playable until the customary patch #1 arrives.

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00:20 Nov-27-2017

Truth be told these sales are one of the only reasons I don't pirate. And since I don't have the time I used to for gaming I'm usually not in a rush to buy the latest and greatest game. For me you can never be too quick when it comes sales.

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22:15 Nov-26-2017

The ones I really want to play (Wolfenstein, DOOM, GTA V, HITMAN, Mafia III, etc) I buy on day one or pre-order. The rest I buy as I go along...maybe on a sale, maybe not...

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06:12 Nov-27-2017

How'd you like Mafia III (at launch, and overall once they'd made it less broken) :P ?

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19:34 Nov-27-2017

[replied on feed]

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19:39 Nov-26-2017

when your game gets pirated less than 24hrs after you release it , how much are you really gonna cash in?? you are only left with reducing the prices drastically if you want to still want to make some coins

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23:39 Nov-26-2017

You know not everyone pirates right? (vast majority of gamers)

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09:42 Nov-27-2017

Why the hell is he getting downvoted?! He's not saying " go ahead and support piracy", he's just stating the obvious - developers are indeed suffering from day one pirating and the only way to break even sometimes is if you quickly give out discounts, if you're gonna sell at all.
Previous years the discounts didn't come so early, but ya can't blame them for doing it

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11:53 Nov-27-2017

ofc they will downvote, this is GD say anything bad about piracy and you get slapped with downvotes from all directions

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12:23 Nov-27-2017

Umm because he's not right?They don't suffer from piracy,that's just an excuse for the sad excuse of a game they release recently(looking at you SW:BF2).No,all the publishers and devs make a ton of money,you're just gullible.Piracy is still too low to actually mean something over the huge crowd of buyers games have.Instead of investing on a useless war on piracy,they should fix the damn games first.

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13:02 Nov-27-2017

tell what was wrong Wolfeinstein 2 when it released?

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14:30 Nov-27-2017

I like how you cherry pick from an argument only what suits you.Wolfenstein 2 is a great game(in my opinion,and judging by the reviews quite a few mroe people agree),it was easily pirated because no stupid protection whatsoever,it still crashes for many people(someone i know with a pc much better than mine still has the problem) and we have no official sale figures from devs as far as I know.Point moot.Anything else?

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14:37 Nov-27-2017

And if it's not clear,I'm reffering to the major publishers that make a ton of money.I don't think Bethesda is doing very bad for themselves,eh?Piracy on big games is expected and accounted for,and even on indie games.There are many indie developers that sure as sh*t make a profit if they make a good game.I'm sure Stardew Valley is pirated like hell,but it still turns in a nice profit.

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15:13 Nov-27-2017

sherry picking ?? are you kidding me? Isn't this article about Wolfenstein 2 and The Evil within 2? or it's about COD. Yes we don't know say sale numbers but saying that a good game will still make profits even if it's pirated is bs. Piracy is bad end of story whether it's an AAA title or indie game as small as Hellblade!!. you wanna play a game just buy it!

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16:06 Nov-27-2017

My point went over your head mate.And by the way,the article is about ALL games.Those are just some examples ffs.And the piracy discussion is not just black and white,it's a much more complex discussion.No one here is supporting piracy,but you're just blabbering some nonsense.

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18:47 Nov-26-2017

Contrary to popular belief and old business practices, discounts are actually a good thing. It can help sell copies building momentum for a game that might have lacked it at the start and thus ensuring more sales in the future.


It is the consumer's right to hold off on their purchase if they feel like it but that does not guarantee that the game will be discounted quickly. Also people should buy at the start if they feel that the developer deserves their money to support.

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18:38 Nov-26-2017

They aren't discounted too quickly. If someone is planning to buy the game at full price he usually does so in first week or first month. When you wait for 6 months or a year or more to buy a game either that game is poorly optimized and you are waiting for patches or you are waiting for a discount.

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19:36 Nov-26-2017

or you pirated it, you forgot to add that one

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22:46 Nov-26-2017

sorry, GD don't support piracy...don't talk about that...

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16:21 Nov-26-2017

I almost always wait for a sale, last game i bought on day 1 is Dark souls 3.

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16:15 Nov-26-2017

Games are quite expensive at my country so the only choose I have is "wait for sale" or "pirate"

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22:47 Nov-26-2017

unfortunately...yes :(

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15:18 Nov-26-2017

I literaly only buy games at sales, the last game I preordered was The Witcher 3.

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16:01 Nov-26-2017

I'd buy Witcher 3 again :)

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19:11 Nov-26-2017

I actually did buy The Witcher 3 again because the GOTY Edition was on sale for cheaper than the season pass, and I wanted the DLC :)


Gotta love GOG.com (CDPR made GOG btw)

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