Being A Cheap Gamer (New Game Sales, Not Used)
I love video games so much that I want them all, seriously. I've been that way since I was five years old and played my first video game ever. I was hooked the second I saw a friend of my mom's playing one. They let me play and I didn't ever want to stop and I pretty much haven't since.
The Price Of Games
Video games are expensive though, especially now. $40 was expensive, $60 is just insane, then you top that off with DLC and the normal push of Season Passes--now that brings a game to a bare minimum of $90. Don't buy three to five games and you can buy a whole new console, that's pretty ridiculous. And that's, of course, if you can even afford that $90 per game.
This brings up used games. I don't trust used games anymore; times are of course different and systems can read scratched-up discs better than they could twenty years ago, but I still don't trust buying them. That aside, even used game prices aren't that great. $35-$40 for a used game? You could wait a month for that same price of a new one on sale. Of course that's hard to do if you want to jump right into the game when the multiplayer is most popular. I tend to wait a year for games to drop in price to $20 and that really sucks if I want to play a multiplayer game. Some big name titles like CoD and Battlefield's multiplayer are still quite lively after a year, but smaller titles don't last much longer than its first month, which is very sad. I know that not all used games sell for $35-$40--let's not pretend that isn't the normal used price for newer games tho.
Move to PC gaming. New games tend to be about the same price as console games for PC, but the sales are incredibly better; there's a huge, noticeable difference. For several months now, you can buy a game like Batman Arkham City for $7.50 on PC--not only that but you get the GOTY version which includes all DLC. This is something I didn't even know about until about two years ago. Mostly because I spent several years playing MMORPGs and not bothering with single player games as a result of having to choose one game. But also because I loved playing them and love playing online.
The average price drop for console games is $20 which is fine, it's not bad or anything. It's rare for a console game to be spotted anywhere from $10-$15 so if you see a game you wanted that cheap you should probably pick it up.
PC game sales are all "new" games. Of course it isn't exactly the same, you can't get scratched discs or anything and there's no packaging required. Buying games anywhere from $2.50-$15 is amazing for sure, those prices are hard to pass up for any game.
Cheap Games Worth It?
A problem I have seen is that some gamers seem to think the low price of the game reflects the quality. For example, the new Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. I've seen tons of posts by people asking why it's so cheap, insinuating that it's not worth it which blows my mind and I want to slap them. People are judging the "worth" of a game by its price? No wonder publishers have such an easy time pushing them around. If you are this type of gamer, you have no idea what you're missing out on. You should be watching gameplay videos and judging it off that, or even play the demos. I think it's absolutely ridiculous to judge a game based on its price.
That said, I do seem to be different than most gamers; I love all games for different reasons, I just can't help it. I end up in arguments with people over almost every video game because I enjoy them all.
I don't want to be cheap; I have to be. I want every game though, so that makes it much harder to even be able to look at games on release day. I want to give these developers as much money as they deserve, I do--I just can't. So every time I see a game I want on some super cheap sale I snag it up and then I go send a message to them (hoping they'll even have a chance to see it) thanking them for allowing me to experience their incredible product for such a cheap price. And I do apologize that I couldn't spend more on it. Sometimes I get a response and it's nice, most times I don't, which is fine.
Again, I'm not cheap because I want to be, I really am grateful every single time I see a $60 game go on sale for $5-$15 months later. Even though these price drops are regular and expected, I still appreciate them.
Could I choose to be more picky with my video games? It's possible, but I am so incredibly passionate about the genre that it's not something I want to do. Could I buy used games? Yes. But since I follow sales relentlessly, I usually don't see the point of buying used when I can just buy new for the same price--and usually cheaper.
There have been a few times where I played a single game for three to six years: Diablo 1 and 2, Everquest, and of course World of Warcraft. It is possible to play a single game for so long, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to play others also.
Thinking about it that way, it suddenly became hard for me to make this argument. Yeah, I can pick one game and stick to it, but do I want to? Of course not. Also if I were to pick one game and stick to it, that would just mean even at super cheap prices, the devs wouldn't be getting my money for those other games. Do I think that's a valid argument? No, but I do think it's a valid point.
When I look at it from the point of view of the poor person that I am, sticking to one game makes sense and I have been happily forced through it. It's not like I hated playing Diablo 2 for five years or World of Warcraft for six years; I loved them. It's just that when I finally saw that I could get games at a much more affordable price, it plopped me right back into the wider world of which I love--the world of gaming.