The cost of playing video games has gradually risen over time. This is to be expected, with factors like inflation and the ever-increasing complexity of titles making them more expensive to develop. Game publishers, therefore, have no option but to find ways to increase their revenue from the games they game.
For several decades the solution was to just increase the retail price of a game. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the price of games rose as each new console was released. Blockbuster games for the original PlayStation would have set you around £30, while this increased to £40 with the PlayStation 2.
Today, an equivalent PlayStation 4 or Xbox One game will cost you around £50-60. These prices have been at this level for over a decade, yet games have been getting bigger and publishers have been making record profits.
The reason for this is that developers have been finding other ways to get money from players. Today, you might pay a fee to play online, and then regular fees for new downloadable content and microtransactions for character customisations and new weapons. Loot boxes have also become common ways to extract more cash from gamers.
Thankfully, if you’re feeling the pinch but still want to play great video games, here are some tips on how to save money on your gaming.
Games usually cost a lot more when you buy them immediately after they are released. Like almost every other type of product, publishers charge a premium for the newest titles as they know gamers are prepared to pay it to be one of the first to play them.
If you have the patience to wait, then you’ll be able to say as much as 50%. For example, Formula 1 2019 was £44.99 when it was released towards the end of 2019, however, it’s now available on Amazon for less than £30. Similarly, Call of Duty Modern Warfare is now £46.99 and has previously been sold on Amazon for as little as £34.99, despite costing £49.99 when it was originally launched.
No matter what type of game you play, there are promotions you can find to get discounts on the games you buy or play. For example, in May 2020 Epic Games was giving away a free copy of Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition while it’s also possible to get free in-game GTA$ through regular promotions run by Rockstar Games.
Meanwhile, online casino and sports betting brands also often run promotions like giving away free bets to new customers. This can be a great way to enjoy these games and betting markets for less.
Find Free-to-Play Titles
Free-to-play games used to be very primitive. Some of the early games available on Facebook, like Mafia Wars, were predominantly text-based and offered little in the way of exciting gameplay mechanics or detailed graphics.
Today, that’s no longer the case. It’s possible to play games of console-quality for free. Games like Call of Duty: Mobile bring you many of the best features found in other games without the upfront cost.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are where you’ll find the most free-to-play games, but you can still find plenty on your computer too. For example, Fortnite Battle Royale is free to play on every platform.
You are, of course, asked to buy in-game items which is how the developers make money on free games. However, in almost all titles, you can still enjoy the majority of features without handing over any cash.
Mobile games have the added advantage of being able to play them on the go, so you’re not tied to your computer or console.
No matter why you’re looking to save money, you can still enjoy the games you enjoy. Whether you wait a while before buying a new game, look for promotions to get discounts, or switch to free-to-play games, you can still have just as much fun.