What percentage of games do you buy new/full price?

I buy Ubisoft DRM games used or at a significant discount whereas I will generally buy RPGs at full price because I enjoy them the most and I want their publishers to continue funding them. I’ll buy FPS games off Steam sales usually (or in the case of Borderlands, a 4-pack discount) unless it’s something sandboxish like Crysis or Far Cry 2.

I don’t know if there’s a percentage in there somewhere.

I used to buy full price at release all the time.

This has been drastically reduced. I’d say it’s between 10 and 25%, depending on time of year and releases, because of the effects of

a) prices dropping ridiculously fast (sometimes less than a month to get 25-50% off a game)
b) good sales even at release
c) having a backlog, I can wait

Nowadays, looking at these price cuts that happen in such a short amount of time (especially compared to ‘the past’), I would feel like a moron to buy most games at full price.

The only games I buy at release/for full price are games like Starcraft 2, with significant multiplayer that I want to play with friends, and that are unlikely to drop price quickly.

Every time there’s a big Steam sale, my percentage drops!

I have a big enough backlog that it just doesn’t make sense to buy something at anything even close to full price then have it sit on the shelf (or in the “my games” list). There are some games from last fall I got relatively cheap (30 ish): Borderlands, Red Faction: Guerrilla, AOE3 Complete, Majesty 2, Dawn of Discovery that I haven’t played or played minimally that have already been on sale for under $10.

I am getting Civ V on the day it comes out, however.

Only Collector’s Editions or games that will be banned in Germany so I need to get them ASAP are bought full price.

Interestingly some Wii games don’t get significantly reduced at all or stay full price compared to the rest.

Currently I have on my watch list for Xbox 360:

Red Dead Redemption

For PS3:

3 Dot Heroes
God of War 3
Heavy Rain (staying impressively long at full price!)

For PC:


For Wii:

Endless Ocean 2 (not reduced anywhere and already getting rare -> ebay)
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Trauma Center: 2nd Opinion (quite expensive on ebay)
Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies

I had to pay quite some money (ebay) for:

Super Mario Galaxy
Metroid Prime Collection

Somehow a lot of Wii games bar shovelware or total flops (Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, Deadly Creatures etc.) manage to keep a high price.

I buy a lot more games now than I ever did when I was younger, so even though only 25% of my games are purchased new, I think I’m giving a lot more money to the games industry.

Yeah, I went in to pick up a copy of the first Mario Galaxy game a few weeks back. To my surprise it was still fifty bucks. Suffice to say I passed, but I guess enough people will pay full price for a 3 year old Wii game that they don’t have to drop the prices. (I wonder if you get a free T-shirt that says “Chump” with purchase.)

Maybe, but it’s about profits. If they aren’t making any money off of the sale to you, it doesn’t do them much good. I’m not saying that’s the case. I’m just curious about the margins in the industry.

Very few of my game purchases are now at full price. Civ 5 will be as well as SW:ToR but that’s about it. I’ve been burned too many times by lousy games at full price to want to buy many more. So unless it’s a MUST have (Civ V, Diablo 3) or a MMO that I highly anticipate, then I’ll pick it up on sale.

There was a time not too long ago when I would have said 100%, because all the games I bought were new releases and were pre-ordered. Since I got into Steam, GoG, etc, I’ve bought more games and at far cheaper prices than the original. ME2 was the only full-priced game I bought online.

I’ve tossed my answer down to half for now.

I usually buy my games at Half Price Books, sometimes at thrift stores, once at GOG.com, and one of the Avernum trilogies at a modest discount from the Spiderweb website. I got burned last time I pre-ordered at full price (Homeworld 2), so I’m loath to do it again.

I buy practically none of my games at full price, except perhaps for the occasional $10-is-full-price indie game. Really, with the third-week sale markdowns, it’s pretty easy to knock $5-$10 off the retail price. Waiting 6-12 months after release also means you can get most titles at a significant markdown, even for Collector’s Editions.

  • Alan

I usually pay full price, but I don’t buy as many games as other people seem to do. If it’s a game in which I’m interested, I’ll buy it when it comes out.

When it first came out, Mario Galaxy came with a $20 gift card at Toys R Us. And then the first christmas after it came out, I saw it discounted heavily at some places, down to as much as $30. But you know, that $30 was equivalent to having bought it on Day One at Toys R Us, really.

But then, after the post-Christmas discounts, I never saw it that cheap again. I guess they figure they already enticed all the bargain buyers of that game already, and anyone who is going back and searching for it on the back catalog really wants it at this point. So this time when Mario Galaxy 2 launched at $50 w/ a $20 gift card at both Walmart and Amazon, I figured why not buy it on Day 1 this time? Even if I don’t play it for a long time, I’m still getting it for the cheapest price it’s likely to come to for years.

When I own so many games already, why would I pay the “early purchase tax” to get a new game in the first week? Plus, digital distribution services, as was said above, hold so many great sales with huge discounts, it’s hard to justify paying so much more for a new game than an older one. And of course, there are many excellent games available as freeware.

Still, I do occasionally buy indie games at full price on release, so, yeah, I’m probably at about 10%.

10% or less. I only buy games brand new at full price if it’s something I’m dying for, or if it’s from Valve. Generally works out to 1 or 2 games a year. This year the only thing I’ve picked up brand new was Red Dead Redemption. Last year I don’t think I bought anything brand new (I technically got Dragon Age and Mass Effect 3, but both were 50% off). Just don’t care about most games enough to buy them at $50-60.

My normal price ranges for games go something like this:
$30-ish for games I’m really interested in that are fairly large/open/replayable/multiplayer.
$20-ish for games I’m interested in that are again fairly long.
$10-ish for games I’m even somewhat interested in, doesn’t matter if it’s linear or short.
Under $10, just about anything that looks or sounds appealing even if I know next to nothing about it.

There’s of course some wiggle room in there depending on if I’m particularly in the mood for whatever genre of game, but that’s my usual rule of thumb. For example, I didn’t buy Metro 2033 even though I was interested in it when it was $25 on Steam, since I recently loaded up on a lot of other shooters from the Steam sale. But when it showed up for $12 and could be activated on Steam during the THQ sale, I bought it even though I’m still playing new shooters.

10%, though that’s volume as much as anything. In the last year or so, I’ve paid full price for Dragon Age, Final Fantasy XIII, Uncharted 2, Demon’s Souls, and Just Cause 2. I would say I only really enjoyed 40% of those games, so I try to avoid paying full price nowadays.

I only pay full price for games that I like and I know will help the developer continue to make great games. My recent full priced games are Fallout 3 and GTA IV (and Episodes from Liberty City). I would pre order Red Dead Redemption if it ever come out to the PC.

I kind of cheat in the sense that if I’m just “interested” in a game I can borrow it from work. If I know I definitely want to have a game in my library or support the developer, I will always buy it at release. Recent examples of the latter include Mass Effect 2, No More Heroes 2, Yakuza 3, and Super Street Fighter IV.

I have a constant backlog of 3 or so games. Each time I buy a game on sale it slots into my backlog queue depending on how badly I want to play it.

A couple of times a year a highly anticipated game comes out (like Dragon Age). I buy it on release day and it jumps straight to the top of the queue. But the rest of the time I’m happy to play from my sale backlog.

The main disadvantage of this system is that the games I’m playing are always “old news”. I don’t get to join in those excited release week conversations (here and IRL). “Something awesome happened in my game last night” conversations are never as much fun when you’re posting on page 150 of the thread.


The same, being burned by games has made me very weary of getting any game at full price regardless of it’s pedigree. That honor goes to only a select few games per year, 2-3. Of those all are from companies I know and trust, Stardock, Bioware, and one or two others. The only games I’ve bought this year at full price have been ME2 and Elemental and the only other game I’m anticipating getting in addition to those two is the new Dead Rising.