It’s pretty well known that if you want a AAA game cheap, you don’t pre-order. If you pre-order a game you are beyond the razors edge here and you are going to pay for it. Sometimes, in more ways than one.
In today’s competitive market, video game companies are attempting to work in closer relationships with gamers. A way for them to do this is by running open and closed beta sessions and then following that up with intense feedback sessions. I have talked before about the clouding of this process by trolls and haters. This is something game companies AND gamers need to look beyond. Maybe more stringent insider programs with screenings for participants? I am not sure. This is something they need to work out though.
Bottom line also, is that so called “influencers” out there will throw the hate for views too and there isn’t much you can do about that. The recent rash of hate on Fallout 76 and Anthem come to mind. Both Bethesda and Bioware are trying their best to make it all work out for the best. Still, haters gon hate. Well, what can you do? Be positive? At least that is what I try to do. Don’t address or acknowledge the haters and certainly do not follow or endorse the “influencers’. It is easy to say you hate something. I hate lima beans. See…easy.
To write about how you like something is harder. Or, to write about something that might not be your bag of chips yet is still good is REALLY hard. For instance, I am a Sony photographer. I have been for as long as Sony has made cameras. But, I have to talk Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, etc. on a regular basis. It’s tough. But, I remind myself, those cameras all got to where they are by some sort of means.
I think a major contention is that these games are costing WAY too much money. I remember paying $49 for a boxed version of a game. No trials, demos, videos on Youtube. Just a box with some screenshots, artwork and a bunch of sales pitch. And, on top of that, a 5 day return policy if unopened. In 1996, that was a lot of money to shell out for one game. Nowadays, AAA games go for $79 at release, $89 for a deluxe version (usually NOT worth it) and $99 and up for a 1 year season pass version. No box. No tangible artwork. If you want that stuff you get into the Collectors edition stuff and that budget is limitless. It’s a racket for sure. At the onset of digital delivery we were all promised games at LOWER prices due to reduced manufacturing costs. Boy, that didn’t happen.
So what is a poor gamer to do? Well, use the interwebs to find better deals after release. Sure, you will have to wait a bit for the game, but really THAT is the only downside. You get a chance to witness gameplay via Youtube and twitch. And best of all you pay a LOT less. One of my favorite sites is Humble Bundle. For $12 a month I get a bundle of games that always contain at least a couple AAA games and best of all, a bunch of indie games that I might not find otherwise. As a streamer, this is a GOLDMINE! For the stuff I get that I already have, I can give away to my viewers. You also get regular bundle deals on all sorts of software other than games from them as well in their pay-what-you-want program. I have bought full video and audio editors for $12!! You can check them out AT THIS LINK.
Another place to get great deals on not only NEW games but all sorts of softwares as well is Kinguin.com. I have to admit, when I first bought a copy of Windows 10 Pro there for $19.99 I was quite sceptical. But, it was $20 so I gave them a shot. Now I look there first before purchasing ANY software included new AAA games. Quiet often a week after release they will have copies for sale for a pretty steep discount. I have an affiliate link there if you are interested check them out AT THIS LINK.
If you are into surprises and the like, then check out some of the subscription services out there. XBox Game Pass on PC (and xbox) is a great deal. I got Sea of Thieves, State of Decay II (thank god), Forza Horizon 4, Gears of War 4 and more for just 9.99 a month. I bought it just for Sea of Thieves but then ended up keeping it because of all the new games and they are releasing more all the time.
Then there is PSNow. Another subscription service for the Playstation 4. But, it has a great side effect, you can also play/stream PS4, PS3, and PS2 games on your PC! And you don’t even need to own a PS4. All you need is the subscription, PS4 Dual Shock controller, and a decent internet download speed for PC play. If you don’t own a PC and/or care about playing PS games on your PC and just want great games on your PS4 then the decent internet download speed isn’t needed. Just sign up, and play over 750 games, BOOM!
Obviously most people know of Steam, Origin, uPlay, and Battle.net so I will just give them a quick mention here. Origin Access is a great 2 tier subscription service and Anthem was included on the service and available a week early for Premium members. They have 189 titles in their collection right now and they are downloadable to play offline (non-DRM titles) or with minimal internet. Most of the titles are AAA as well.
nVidia has also jumped in the ring with Geforce Now. <–You can request beta access at that link. One account enables gaming on Windows PCs, nVidia Shield Devices and now on MacOS as well. The subscription does require high-speed internet with at least 50Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream capability. I have tested it extensively and can say that it works really well and is hardly discernible from playing natively. Some games are in 4K HDR as well. It’s pretty chill to just lay back on the couch and play on the big 65″ screen.
And finally, recently Google completed testing of their game streaming system featuring Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Upon completion of the program they gave all participants a free copy of the game. I was a beta tester for this and though it had early hiccups, the last 4 weeks of testing was flawless. I really hope they run with it.
In conclusion, you NEVER have to overpay for a game if you choose not to. If you are going to pre-order and run on that cutting edge…you are going to bleed once in a while and even get hurt bad. That is the chance YOU take. And you have every right to complain about it. But, that doesn’t mean I am going to care or even listen to it. I hope you find these links useful. I would love to hear down in the comments about any other services you know of. I am always checking out new things and passing along what I have learned to others. Until next time!
Ooh, side note, check out https://Dealzon.com a custom notification service for finding your games on sale!