View Full Version : When do you buy AAA games?
10-10-2011, 12:22 PM
I was sitting here, thinking about buying Rage, when I realised something. I haven't bought a new AAA game in years. I've stopped doing it. I only really buy AAA games when they've been out for a while, had the crap patched out of them, and have all the DLC bundled together with it. And then I'll happily pay 30 squids for it.
The only game that I seriously considered buying in the last six months from a major studio was The Witcher 2; as the DLC is free and their patching is always excellent. That said, I've not finished The Witcher, so that's on the back burner for now.
So I now ask you all; when do you buy AAA games? Do you wait for a steam sale? Pre-order the hell out of whatever takes your fancy? After reviews are out? Or have you become old and jaded like me, only willing to pay when you're certain they aren't going to make you pay anymore?
And please, for now, let's limit the discussion to AAA games / major studio efforts. Indie games are a whole other kettle of fish that would warrant another forum topic.
Exclude Blizzard and Valve stuffs and I literally cannot recall the last AAA game I paid full price for on PC, and few enough that I've bothered to buy at any price.
In contrast I buy AAA games all the time on consoles because they aren't regurgitated piles of radioactive shit there.
10-10-2011, 12:28 PM
When there's a decent AAA game worth buying.
So about twice per decade or thereabouts.
10-10-2011, 12:53 PM
I don't have a strategy. I probably spend about the same amount on games each month. Whether that means I buy one full-price game or two or three lower-priced ones is not a decision I consider life-changing or even very interesting.
10-10-2011, 01:47 PM
As Gooseking really. I probably spend between £40 - £80 on games a month, though a lot depends on what's out and what's on sale. I have no issues buying games new, or pre-ordering because I get a lot of games coverage from various sites/podcasts and have learnt to favour certain games journalists opinions (whilst discounting others).
10-10-2011, 02:10 PM
I buy them when I want one and it's at a price I'm prepared to pay.
That's less often than it used to be.
10-10-2011, 02:23 PM
Simple really, If it's a game I really want to play, then I'll buy it. There just haven't been a lot of games recently that I've wanted to buy on release day.
So far this year, I've only paid full price for two 'AAA' games: Portal 2 and Human Revolution. Everything else I just wasn't that excited about and will probably buy when I can find it at a sale price.
The AAA games I've bought at release this year are:
Dragon Age 2
Apart from one they were all good. These days you can pre-order AAA titles for around £25-30 at retail, which in all honesty isn't that much in my opinion. Not when console game are coming out for £40-50. I've got BF3 on pre-order for £30 and will be picking up Skyrim around release time. Its been quite a busy year for me buying games at release so I might have to skip FM2012. Sad face.
10-10-2011, 03:27 PM
I probably spend between £40 - £80 on games a month,
Jessica H. Christmas, first I would like to thank you for subsidising the game industry. Secondly I'd like to ask you how much you of that you play? I am admittedly behind the curve and get heavily discounted games as a result but I'm swimming in things to play and its rare I spend even as much as £40 on games in a whole season not counting gifts for my kids.
10-10-2011, 03:34 PM
I don't buy AAA games.
10-10-2011, 03:41 PM
Same level as Kadayi, apart from the months where I'm broke for other gaming habits (like the upcoming Boardgametradeshow. I'm broke in advance.)
I have to say that the Steamsummersale holds me still in thrall due to Mount & Blade (and a few titles I haven't even played yet. Due to Mount&Blade. :D)
Next titles: Skyrim and Batman AC, full price, no questions asked.
10-10-2011, 03:42 PM
Whenever an especially interesting, massively exciting title I desire to play as soon as it comes out and which just happens to be an AAA title is released, really. About 1-3 times a year.
10-10-2011, 03:43 PM
If it'd something I want I buy it immediately retail (I need the box). Otherwise it doesn't make a difference whether the game is aaa or something with a smaller budget - I get it at a lowish price during a sale. Don't care which digital distributor so long ad it's reliable.
10-10-2011, 07:00 PM
Jessica H. Christmas, first I would like to thank you for subsidising the game industry. Secondly I'd like to ask you how much you of that you play?
One, my pleasure. Certainly I believe in getting value for money and I'll bargain hunt for the best price with the best of them. But I don't begrudge developers and publishers making a profit (money in the bank = more games down the road). Ultimately for me gaming is all about engaging with new experiences as the medium evolves, and I support that. I personally don't care much for agendas (like No Steam = no sale, DRM is teh evil etc, etc). You also have to bear in mind there's always lulls in game release schedules, so some months I hardly buy anything.
Two. Big AAA titles I'll generally try and play right off the bat. Bargain bin stuff gets assigned to 'play when I've time' category. I made a few mistakes buying AAA games at launch that I haven't gotten around to playing straight away (Starcraft 2, Fable 3 & Shogun 2 for example) that's made me reassess my approach more now though, in that I'll mark certain games as must plays, and others as maybes. From here to the end of the year I'm only planning on getting 2 more titles, BF3 & LA Noire respectively. Skyrim & batman I'll likely pick up, but sometime in 2012. They look interesting, but neither is screaming 'essential' right away (at least for me). No doubt I'll pick up a few old titles in the Steam Christmas sale as well.
10-10-2011, 07:46 PM
Oh, and crap Christmas sales! I probably spend more then than the rest of the year.
10-10-2011, 08:40 PM
Oh, and crap Christmas sales! I probably spend more then than the rest of the year.
I think everyone does.
Then you sit looking at your games list and work out how many you've yet to even install, let alone play. Braid, Arkham Asylum, Amnesia, Chronicles of Riddick, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light ... I should probably feel really guilty at this point, right?
10-10-2011, 08:49 PM
This year I've pre-ordered many more AAA games then I normally do. I already have my pre-order in for Arkham Asylum and Battlefield 3, whilst I also put my money down to get DE:HR, Portal 2 and DOW2: Retribution on release, the later of which ended up being a bit of a waste of money, as I've only played it 3 hours (according to Steam time.) I also got Brink and Section 8 as pre-orders, although I'm not sure I would class either of those as AAA. The Witcher 2 I bought a few weeks after release too, certainly before any price reduction.
I still didn't pay full price for any of those games, with the most expensive being Battlefield 3, which I spent £30 on (when you take into account the fact you get free DLC for that, which is probably going to be priced at £10, it isn't a bad deal.) The majority of those were only £25.
Edit: Oh, forgot Shogun 2, which I pre-ordered as part of a complete Total War pack on Steam.
10-10-2011, 09:19 PM
When the price comes down. If it's something I really want I might spend $30. I've had a few moments of weakness where I've paid dearly for a game and I've always regretted it. Though, to be honest, many AAA games don't really look that interesting (ertainly not $60-$70 worth of interesting) so waiting doesn't bother me that much.
I've also never understood the concept of "pre-ordering." They knock a tiny bit off the price (usually I've seen $5-$10) and you're paying for something that isn't even finished yet. I wouldn't pay to see a movie 3 months from now.
10-10-2011, 10:31 PM
If I know I want the game, have the money to pre-order it now, why wouldn't I pre-order so I can forget about it and have it turn up on the doormat / online account on release? What's the alternative, drag my arse out of bed on release day and spend three hours trawling game stores to try and find a copy? Buy it on the day and sit waiting for it to download, and hope demand doesn't cause the providers servers to grind to a halt?
10-10-2011, 11:28 PM
My gaming dollar is in direct competition with my drinking dollar. My usual thought process is to weigh the two on a weekly basis. Drinking usually wins out.
I'm blanking on the last AAA game I bought. Most of the ones of the last few months have left me cold, and while the holiday lineup look nice, I don't see a "must buy" until next March at the earliest.
10-10-2011, 11:54 PM
Maybe twice a year, depending on the game. Since I'm not in the US/UK, Amazon is almost the only place where it's cheap enough to pre-order or buy at launch.
The last were Human Revolution and AC:Brotherhood, and Fallout:New Vegas and Mass Effect 2. All at 25£ tops (thanks to Savy Gamer). Otherwise it's Steam sales and indie games for me. Even being conservative I still have a pretty big backlog, at least 5 games that take ~30h to play, like Alpha Protocol and The Witcher, as well assorted smaller games.
11-10-2011, 01:53 AM
DX:HR was the first AAA game that I've bought at release in years. Can't remember the last time I did that. I generally like to wait until it's fully patched before I hand over my money. By then the price has come down and there's often some interesting mods too, depending on the game.
I did think about getting Skyrim at release but you just know it'll be riddled with bugs. I'll wait a little while for that one I reckon. Otherwise it's only Mass Effect 3 that's tempting me to pre-order.
11-10-2011, 05:58 AM
If there's something I really want to play right away I'll happily pay full price for it, but there are usually only a few games released each year that fall into that category. I think Portal 2 and The Witcher 2 are the only games I've paid full price for this year, and Portal 2 was the only one I pre-ordered. I rarely specifically wait for a game to go on sale though and even though I buy a lot of discounted games it's usually impulse purchases happening when I come across something that looks neat at a price I'm willing to pay.
So, it depends, I guess?
11-10-2011, 06:37 AM
I buy games when I want them. If I buy them day 1, it's because I value it enough that I want it now. If I wait, then it's not as important to me. And I do this for indie games too; I won't buy something day one just because it's an indie game.
11-10-2011, 08:15 AM
Generally only a couple per year. This year it has actually only been one, which I would describe as a landmark release: Dragon Age 2. Oh wait it was tosh, who am I kidding, The Witcher 2 ofcourse.
Gentleman Jim Stacey
11-10-2011, 08:21 AM
When they're less than $20.
Notable exceptions include the Total War series (tripe A for PC) and Valve games.
11-10-2011, 12:43 PM
It seems that most buy as they please, which is in stark contrast as to the way I do things. Interesting.
My buying habits are motivated primarily by the fact I currently have a backlog of 14 games that I need to play / complete. Rather than buy stuff I see immediately, I now use any excuse I can to avoid buying new games as to ensure I don't add to the pile. So AAA games get left until they've got their DLC all sent out and are available for the original price of the game. Or, in the case of Ubisoft games, I don't play them out of principle to how badly they're handling the PC market.
To put it succinctly, the large selection of potentially interesting games means that instead of quality, I'm now using my own demented sense of ethics to stop myself buying too many games.
11-10-2011, 01:22 PM
This year I've bought three games at full price whose prices were in excess of $40: SotS 2, Close Combat: Longest Day, and the Witcher 2. I suppose that last one might qualify as AAA. Generally I only buy games at their launch price when I actively want to support the developers, and generally the developers I want to support release their games at lower price points than your average AAA game. AAA's which look interesting (few and far between as they are) usually get scooped up in holiday sales unless they represent some truly outstanding deviation from the mainstream norm that I wish to encourage.
11-10-2011, 01:54 PM
The only times I buy AAA games new are either when my woman wants them, (Sims, Assassin's Creed series, Wii/Kinect games) when I'm so terrified of spoilers I feel I have no choice, (Mass Effect 2, Portal 2, Deus Ex:HR) MMOS, (Rift, Guild Wars 2) or when they're Child of Eden.
Other than that, I usually wait for a Steam sale, or if I see 'em for less than £15 at Amazon or Play.com or summat.
11-10-2011, 01:56 PM
Usually when they're on sale. The only game I bought at full price (even preordered) this year was Human Revolution.
13-10-2011, 04:14 PM
I buy stuff when two conditions are met:
1: I know for a fact that I want to play it and I'm not going to regret buying it
2: I feel it's good value
No exceptions. I will wait years, and have on occasion. Nowadays there's an extra proviso - it also has to be on Steam. As nearly everything I tend to want is, that's not a huge issue.
13-10-2011, 04:32 PM
when they're good.
as a poor graduate student, i can't really afford a $50 swing and miss. so if i'm interested in a game, i'll pirate it to see if it's shit or not, and then i either buy it or uninstall it.
13-10-2011, 07:08 PM
Hmmm, this year I'm already up to one (Trackmania 2, but that was €19,99) and one to come (Football Manager 2012). Last year it was three (Just Cause 2, Civilization 5 and Football Manager 2011). Next year will be Crusader Kings II and Football Manager 2013. I just don't find AAA games all that interesting, usually. At least not €50 interesting.
Now games on sale and indie games, well, that's entire different matter...
13-10-2011, 08:19 PM
I tend to buy only MP FPS games at launch simply because it's often the best time to get on board and learn the maps. THis year my only AAA purchases will be RO2 and BF3 (although i did buy the Witcher2 in the GOG sale)
Wooly Wugga Wugga
14-10-2011, 05:32 AM
I'll buy one when I have the disposable income and it is something I'm looking forward to. I generally buy four or five of them a year and it the collectors edition looks nice I'll buy that. Oddly enough DLC might be the cause of me not buying AAA games on release. I'm tired of pre-ordering collectors editions only to be shafted because if I had the patience to wait for a year I could get the game plus all the DLC for the same price or less. I miss the model of one big release and two or three expansions packs over the course of two years.
14-10-2011, 07:03 AM
The only AAA games I bought on release day in 2011 so far were DX:HR, Portal 2 and The Witcher 2, and I haven't even started to play the latter. I usually tell myself that I can get some of them at a lower price later, but once I get over the initial buyer's itch I realize that I did pretty well without them so far and never buy them, even at bargain price.
14-10-2011, 09:20 AM
i typically don't nowadays because i know there's going to be bullshit DLC saddled onto the package down the road
however, when i have the money, i end up seeing what's available
(i just pre-ordered battlefield 3 for cheap)
14-10-2011, 10:02 AM
The only AAA games I've bought on release day/week, or preordered, have been Portal 2, DXHR and Space Marine. And The Witcher 2 as a birthday gift for a friend, but I waited until it was a little cheaper to buy it for myself since I never finished the original.
Edit: I grabbed Bulletstorm for a tenner last week. No way in hell I'd have paid £30 for it given the length and the enormous GFWL tumour hanging off of it, but I definitely had a tenner's worth of fun out of it.
14-10-2011, 10:43 AM
I think I've bought more games in total this year than I ever have before including a number of AAA release games:
Dragon age 2
So mixed quality to some people but I enjoyed all of them (even if some are undeniably flawed) and 4/5 of those were bought for ~£20 as a pre-order. I may well look towards picking up skyrim and arkham city as well, I have a fairly large backlog but all of these games are ones I want to play straight away.
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