For some, buying games full price at launch is a fool’s game. And, to be fair to them, it’s difficult to argue with their logic. The arguments for buying a game at full whack are often floaty and ephemeral - whether it be riding the hype train, wanting to get in on the ‘zeitgeist’, or good old-fashioned impatience. Whatever your reason and no matter how cogent your logic seems to be, it’s difficult to argue against waiting being the smarter.
But we’re humans, not computers, we’re more often fuelled by emotion rather than logic. We’ve been sat around waiting for Doom Eternal, we want to play it RIGHT NOW goddammit. Give it three months and Doom Eternal will be 50%; give it a year and you can probably pick it up in a sale for the same price as a McDonald’s.
A further nail is driven into the Day 1 coffin by the simple fact that you are paying the most money for what is typically the worst experience. Typically, a game will come out with a few teething issues which are subsequently patched out in the months after launch. It could be game breaking, like Red Dead Redemption 2’s widespread boot-up and crashing issues, or it could just be frustrating, like Death Stranding’s unskippable cut-scenes, or The Witcher III’s input lag, or No Man's Sky’s, well, everything. Most of these widespread problems are patched out, usually be the time a game is half price. Folks are turning up a few months later and getting a superior experience for half the price.
For multiplayer games, things are arguably a little different. There’s a definite advantage to getting on the ground floor with an online game and learning its ins and outs. There’ll be plenty more content for new players further down the line, but they’re always going to have a knowledge hole compared to a seasoned player.
You’d think that would be it but really we’re only just scratching the surface on why anyone would or wouldn’t pick up a game at launch. For some, price is a total non-factor - they’ve simply got enough cash they don’t need to even think about waiting for a game to go on sale. Then there’s picking a game up at the same time as your mates. Wanting to buy a game at full price to support a developer. Running out of games to play. Banking on it retaining resale value. Being a first-party Nintendo title that’ll conceivably never drop in price. The list is practically endless.
But now it's over to your - are you into day one culture, do you often find yourself buying games at full price? Are your a bargain hunter who patiently waits until the cheapest possible deal?
Get voting and be sure to let us know why below!