Up For Debate - Does it Annoy You if Games go on Sale Too Soon?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Oct 27, 2018 4:00 PM
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When the Steam store updated its weekly deals before last weekend, I’ll admit I wasn’t surprised to see Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s price slashed by 34% just a month after launch. It’s the Square Enix way, to be honest. Anyone looking to save their pennies will be all too aware that waiting just a few weeks could net a significant discount, and if you wait a year you’ll probably be able to buy a complete edition for 20 bucks.

It’s very short-termist of a publisher though. Do it enough and it sets a precedent; fewer and fewer people will be willing to pay full price when they know a discount is almost certainly right around the corner.

That’s kind of by-the-by, a discount is a discount, and those paying full price should only have paid full price if they believed they were getting their money’s worth. The review bombing that’s occurred on Steam due to the sale price seems a little out of whack, you pay more for getting something earlier than anyone else, that’s generally how these things work.

However, the 34% discount on the Season Pass and the 47% discount on the Croft Edition are different matters entirely. The Shadow of the Tomb Raider Croft Edition is now available for less than the standard selling price of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, effectively giving away the Season Pass content for free.

There’s nothing really out of the ordinary here on its own, but what’s particularly egregious is not one single bit of Tomb Raider Season Pass content has actually been released yet.

Taken on its own then, Square Enix has sold a Season Pass for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, priced at £22.99, released absolutely nothing so far and then dropped the price 34% to £15.17. Those who committed to the game and stumped up the cash at launch will get the exact same content at the exact same time, only they’ll have paid £8 more for it. To say this is treating your biggest fans like doormats is an understatement. It’s a betrayal of the implicit trust between customer and provider, and all it serves to do is line Square Enix’s pocket in the short term while pissing off a whole fanbase for the long-term.

Now, Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn’t alone in this approach. Telltale games have been notorious for this over the years, but we’ve rarely seen Season Pass content receive a steep discount when literally none of it is even out yet.

The flip-side to all of this is that review bombing a game because it’s now available for a cheaper price is, logically, churlish in the extreme. The game isn’t any worse just because someone’s paid less than you for it. That removes the human element though, and Square Enix should be all too aware of how this looks and more importantly feels to its fanbase.

How do you feel about game discounts then, do you feel short-changed if a game goes on sale after you buy it? Would you prefer the price stayed higher for longer? Is it all just nonsense? Let us know!

Does it Annoy You if Games go on Sale Too Soon?

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19:49 Nov-04-2018

I haven't paid full price for a game in years. Even when I bought Monster Hunter World I got 20% off. So the sooner the sale the better for me.

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01:01 Oct-29-2018

I only say yes for the fact that it means to me that the publishers don't have the confidence in their game for the game to sell well enough at full value for the full first year of the games life. It seems the faster it gets closer to zero the worse the game quality.

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00:55 Oct-29-2018

Really my back log is 2 years behind. It saves me a ton of money on games and hardware.

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10:46 Oct-28-2018

Nah, but then 99% of the games I buy on sale anyway. So, I don't mind them going on sale quickly.

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09:30 Oct-28-2018

I only ever buy on sale, gave up buying non finished buggy games over a year ago. I have so much in my back library I'll never get to finish them all...

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13:29 Oct-28-2018

The bane of have too many games, and not enough time.

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09:03 Oct-28-2018

It's not bothered me,But I kinda feel Pity for this kind of Panic Sale that publisher desperately need to hit the mark on their sales record(to appeal for investors by showing them statistic paper). That's why they did a quick dip sometimes

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07:01 Oct-28-2018

Thats a pretty stupid question, why would anybody feel bad for having cheaper games? are there idiots out there who actually get upset that they don't pay more?

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09:39 Oct-28-2018

Shadow of the tomb raider is getting bombed with negative reviews because it went on sale one month after its release. It's stupid.

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06:55 Oct-28-2018

I remember a developer who said that he was so pissed of at this practice that he does the opposite. His game will get more expensive as more features are added. Can't remember the dev or the game sadly.

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22:03 Oct-28-2018

Paradox? $60 dollar game to start...$500 dollars after all the DLC are out. lol

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06:43 Oct-29-2018

sad but true... till this day, only have the base with only the most important expansions/DLCs of Europa Universalis 4 and Crusader Kings 2 and just cough get the rest of the expansions/DLC the not so legit way cough
My biggest problem with their DLC is that they release 4x DLCs a year of which 3x should really be free patches and only 1x is worth something.

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18:26 Oct-29-2018

It was an indie developer from what I remember.

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02:35 Oct-28-2018

no, i bought an R6 Siege and summer sale came up. but its okay. what annoys me is, i paid $412 for this gpu

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07:49 Oct-28-2018

You paid 400$ for a 300$ GPU that should have costed 150-200$ to begin with, ouch

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02:26 Oct-28-2018

i bought some games on sale and felt like i paid little for such a masterpiece so i loved it more

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02:07 Oct-28-2018

I never pre-order or buy games on the 1st week of release. Always wait for patches and price reduction (sometimes I tend to wait for GoTY and Definitive Edition if I know there will be some DLCs launching soon). Never had technical problem with any game on PC, and I save a whole lot of $. Sales are never bad for me :D

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00:31 Oct-28-2018

Well, no. If I bought a game at full price it means that I found the price fair for what I wanted to play. Same goes for pre-ordering games, although I've never pre-ordered one, nor do I ever plan to.
Being mad because some game was put on sale a short while after its release and you buying it just feels entitled.

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00:34 Oct-28-2018

Absolutely agree, I said the same too, minus the last part. :)

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00:41 Oct-28-2018

It seems common sense to me. If you are mad someone got the cheaper deal on the game because they waited a bit longer, then you don't seem that happy with your purchase in the first place, and if that hurts you, then why did you buy it?

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00:41 Oct-28-2018

Absolutely.

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23:38 Oct-27-2018

Why would it bother me? If I buy a game I want more people to buy it so there is a larger playerbase. You have to be a snobby motherducker to be bothered by it.

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23:25 Oct-27-2018

No. It's not my problem if people are dumb enough to pre-order a game.

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23:19 Oct-27-2018

As for the answer, in case of The Shadow of Tomb Raider, yes, that was too soon. Sure I expected it to go on sale for Winter Sale, but not just like month after release. It is very ****ty thing to do to people who bought it at full price. Yes, Square Enix has right to do it, but this doesn't make it right thing to do.

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23:21 Oct-27-2018

Winter sale would at least be few months after release. If I paid full price, I also would be very disappointed and unhappy to support Square Enix in their future releases, if they pulled crap like this right after release. Also you start to question whether full price was just a rip off and proper price is on sale.

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23:17 Oct-27-2018

No offense, but this question could be phrased better, since everyone has different definition of soon in this case. And most people probably answered no,because of course in general you don't mind.It would be better to phrase it "Does it annoy you if games go on sale very soon after release?" Or "month after release".

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21:28 Oct-27-2018

Jon, "Does it Annoy You if Games you bought at full price/pre-ordered goes on Sale Too Soon?" would have been a much better title.

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21:18 Oct-27-2018

Not at all,because I always buy games on sale xD

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20:35 Oct-27-2018

No, it's a good thing if a game goes on sale. In my opinion SOTOR was priced ridiculously high, to begin with. The first two games of the series were released for ?999 (like $14). As far as I see, SOTOR being sold for ?3499 ($50) might have dissuaded quite a lot of people from buying the game when released. They would have thought it would be a better option to get it during a sale. The sales wouldn't have been as good as Square Enix expected and therefore they might have slashed the price.

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00:34 Oct-28-2018

All 3 games in the series were released for the full AAA price of 60$. I haven't even seen them on sale for less than 20$. So if you have, that was either a fantastic sale or some shady business occurring so close to their release.

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10:21 Oct-28-2018

Steam has regional pricing. In certain countries, like India, the games are sold much cheaper compared to the US.

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11:38 Oct-28-2018

I thought they got rid of that 2 or 3 years ago and standardized the prices all across the globe. I remember it being a problem for them because people would use VPNs to get their games for much cheaper. They introduced Region Locking but there was a huge outrage about it so they just standardized the prices everywhere.

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12:22 Oct-28-2018

Nope! Games are still somewhat cheaper in India when compared to the US. eg: Assassins Creed: Odyssey is being sold for Rs 3000 here (Around $40) while in the US it is priced at $60.

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12:23 Oct-28-2018

Plus region locking is still in place. I regularly come across games with warnings that they could only be played in India and the neighbouring regions.

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20:10 Oct-27-2018

No, I always wait a while before I buy a game. Not only let the price come down, but also let all the bugs get worked out.

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