Buying games on release day is a terrible idea

Bad Idea

It’s a discussion that’s been had by gamers in our comments section and forum multiple times: should you pre-order a game/buy it on release day?

Normally developers throw in some free bonus content with the title if you send them your money before the game is out, but there are drawbacks in doing in investing pre-release.

We take a look at the cons of buying a game on the day it releases.

The Price

If there was any motivating factor to sway you from buying a game on release day, it is the price.

The cost difference between a pre-order price and buying a title three or four months later can be as much as 30% – as shown in the table below.

We chose a few games and compared the various launch prices to what you would pay today.

Sniper Elite 3 – 27 June 2014
Platform Pre-order price Current price Difference “Discount”
PC R399 R367 R32 8%
PS4 R799 R493 R306 38.3%
Alien: Isolation – 7 October 2014
Platform Pre-order price Current price Difference “Discount”
PC R450 R450 R0 0%
PS4 R600 R549 R51 8.5%
Xbox One R600 R399 R201 33.5%
The Evil Within – 17 October 2014
Platform Pre-order price Current price Difference “Discount”
PC R429 R349 R80 18.6%
PS4 R687 R499 R188 27.4%
Xbox One R687 R599 R88 12.8%
Dragon Age: Inquisition – 21 November 2014
Platform Pre-order price Current price Difference “Discount”
PC R499 R399 R100 20%
PS4 R670 R670 R0 0%
Xbox One R670 R549 R121 18.1%

As you can see, a little bit of patience can save you a lot of money – especially if you buy multiple games over a six-month period.

DLC and Additional Content

I will keep this section short, using two games as an example.

First up, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Coming to the PS4 and Xbox One in March 2015, the game is a “built for current gen consoles” package which contains Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, all campaign add-ons, characters packs, and all other available DLC.

All for the price of one game.

Admittedly, not buying the original games when they came out means you would have missed out on the action while all your friends played, but now you get to have all the fun for a fraction of the price and with better visuals.

Besides, friends are overrated.

Next up is Evolve.

Evolve recently released for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and came with a whole lot of DLC – of which the various skin packs feature strongly.

Looking at the PlayStation Store, the skin packs alone for the game cost more than the game itself, coming in at R881.

In a few months they will most likely be free, or packaged with an “Evolve Gold Special Edition” or something of that nature.

Why then would you buy the game new and the DLC as soon as it comes out?

Evolve Add Ons

Evolve Add Ons

Patches and Fixes

Buying a title on launch day also opens you up to non-financial losses, like having to play a broken game.

Ubisoft has given us two examples of this in recent times: Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity.

As most of you may remember, Watch Dogs had a few, um, issues, which prevented the game from running optimally. Apparently these were addressed by the developers, and the game improved over time, but I stopped playing after one week so I cannot confirm or deny this.

Assassin’s Creed Unity also suffered several performance and gameplay issues following its launch, with multiple large patches released to fix the title.

Recently released Dying Light and Evolve also came with a a day-one patches, which raises the question: why not just wait a month or two until the issues are resolved and all the patches are out before buying the game?

Obviously with online multiplayer titles like Destiny this will see you fall behind the pack, but at least you would not have had to replace the three controllers you smashed against the wall out of frustration.

Assassin's Creed Unity

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Steam Sales

Nuff said.

Should you pre-order anyway?

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Buying games on release day is a terrible idea

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