Double-dipping, or the art of buying the same games multiple times, is more prevalent than we’d ever dreamed of according to a report published by PlayTracker. Earlier this week, PlayTracker claimed 45% of Grand Theft Auto V players had bought Rockstar’s game multiple times, accounting for 37.3% of all copies of the game sold.
They claim a margin of error of 2% on this data, which seems suspect at best. Taking them at their word though, that’s 37.3 million copies of GTA V sold to people who already owned the game. At an average of $40 per copy, that’s $1.5 billion.
Where the numbers are out of whack or not, among PlayTracker’s user base at least there is decent evidence that gamers are doing this in large numbers. There are numerous reasons for this, whether it’s buying a game on console before it comes to PC, buying the same game of two generations of hardware, buying a game on multiple platforms to play with multiple groups of friends, or even buying a game on several different platforms so players can unlock several different sets of achievements.
The figures being touted are massive though. It’s much higher than I’d personally expected. I’d always figured the number of players actually double-dipping was almost inconsequential, even suggesting there was a bit tinfoil hat theorising from those suggesting it’s a plot from publishers to extract some cash, rather than a matter of resources. Clearly, there’s an abundant amount of cash to be made, from the bigger titles at least, from staggering releases across platforms and generations.
Thankfully, if you’re gaming on PC alone then double dipping is practically non-existent these days. There was a period about eight years back where I was snapping up digital copies of the games I originally owned on disc, but now our libraries can stay with us forever. There are still a few opportunities to double dip though, including rebuying games DRM-free through GOG that we already own on Steam or, if we’re pushing the boundaries of the definition slightly, paying out for a paid remaster like Dark Souls Remastered. These instances are few and far between though, so double-dipping now tends to revolve around buying the same game multiple times across various console platforms, or picking up a console-exclusive game before it comes to PC.
It does happen though, so it would be great to get a feel for how widespread it is among GD’ers, which should provide us with a more PC-focused answer.
I’ll go first and say I have double-dipped, but the number of times I’ve done it are few and far between. For single-player focused games I basically don’t do it at all. If I’ve already completed games on one platform, I’d rather play something new than purchase it for another platform and play it again, no matter how much better it’ll be. There’s no chance I’m buying Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, for example, I’ll probably be busying myself with Cyberpunk 2077 by then.
I have been known to buy multiple copies of a game if it really digs into my nostalgia though. I’ve bought Super Mario World on SNES, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console, Wii, and the SNES Mini, and I’d probably buy it in a flash if it resurfaced on Switch. It doesn’t make much sense but I do it anyway, mainly because I find it gaming comfort food. Something I can tuck into and already know every intimate detail, running through the motions.
Multiplayer games can be a little different though. I’ve got copies of Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League on both PC and PS4, the same with Battlefield. If people I know are playing on different platforms, I generally think it’s worth it as long as I plan to put considerable time into the games.
Over to you then, do you double dip on games? Get voting, and let us what games and why in the comments below!