It used to be similar in the U.S. back when retailers still sold PC games. I used to find cheap PC games regularly at EB Games and Walmart and other small mom & pop game stores. But I haven’t seen PC Games at retail stores in a long time, except full priced boxes sitting at Walmart and Target.
Consider yourself lucky that you still live in an area where PC games are still on shelves at retail. Because the more likely you are to see them at retail, the more likely they are to go on sale so that they can be sold and their inventory cleared to make room for new stuff.
I would like to buy games directly on steam without the hassle of chasing the best prices online. That’s would actually be one of the few positives of steam in my opinion: a one-stop-shop.
That’s certainly a good point. The game has only been out for a couple of weeks so it hadn’t have to be cleared already. The price in retail is based on free market economy. Steam is annulling the formation of prices. Steam is not part of a free market economy.
I assure you nowhere in US retail are prices much lower than Steam, if at all, outside of sales or other temporary discounts that Steam is not mirroring. I think you’re seeing an artifact of regional pricing that Steam asserts is publisher-forced.
Well, for us europeans, Steam being much more expensive (except for the sales, of course) is the norm rather than an exception.
It’s almost always more cost effective to have a physical item shipped halfway across europe than to pick up something digitally on Steam - this is often even the case for stuff that’s been discounted on Steam, except when it’s one of these crazy >75% off sales.
The sales come and go so fast that you really have to shop around with digital PC games purchases. Always check cheapassgamer.com and, at the very least, compare Amazon against Steam and vice versa when you’re looking to buy a particular game. I actually think Amazon has consistently better prices than Steam.
This conversation went down last week, when Best Buy didn’t have AC V in stock, and I had to go to Gamestop.
GS Employee: “Do you have a power up card?”
GSE: “Has anyone ever told you about the power up card?”
Me: “Ya, I’m just not interested. I don’t feel like giving out all my info and getting emails.”
GSE: “You don’t like saving money?”
Me: … “Just don’t worry about it, man.”
<rings up the game>
GSE: “Now, what games would you like to pre-order?”
Me: “WTF, JUST PUT THE GAME IN THE FUCKING BAG, OR ELSE IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN!”
You know why I have the card? To get the magazine. It’s one of the few physical gaming mags left in the US that covers all platforms (including PC) and still gets exclusives to upcoming games. Yes, it’s got a lot of marketing fluff, but it’s the only game in town.
Truth, and honestly it’s not half bad either. Sometimes an article will be over-the-top fanboish, but most of the time they are decently written and the Gamestop brand name gets their guys into just about every developer/publisher out there, so they can often have an interesting interview or game preview that is more in depth than the web articles.
I think the best thing is that the magazine is pretty much free if you buy stuff from Gamestop with any regularity. I originally got the PowerUp Rewards Pro for the magazine, but the discounts my son gets on all the used games he buys, plus the trade-in bonus on stuff, plus the ability to cash in points for $5 off coupons and the occasional “Buy 2 Get 1” offers, and in the end you end up saving as much or more than the $15 the membership costs, which equals free magazine. Deal.
Also, maybe it’s a total abberation or something, but the employees at the Gamestop my son and I frequent actually are pretty nice people, and I usually enjoy talking to them for a bit about games and game related stuff. Maybe it’s just because they recognize my son and I, so we don’t get the constant stream of offers and sales stuff, instead it’s just “Hey guys, what’s up?” followed by fun game talk.