Game Question: When does the price drop?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 17, 2012 7:10 PM GMT
    I just a casual gamer. There's a game I want, but I don't want to pay full price. Is there a pattern to how publishers drop the price of games? For example, do they usually drop the price six months after the release date or something? Thanks much.
  • monet

    Posts: 1120

    Mar 17, 2012 8:06 PM GMT
    Look into buying it used on eBay.
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    Mar 17, 2012 11:15 PM GMT
    Are you referring to PC games? Or console games?
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    Mar 17, 2012 11:31 PM GMT
    yikes, don't buy PC games used!
    If you want to play it online, the other person has already made a username/password for it and you'd have to use theirs. Also there would be some concern over the Product Key being used more than once, but it might not be a problem.

    For games which have a monthly subscription price, they never ever seem to drop.

    I don't know how soon prices for regular titles drop, but look around in different places, some will overcharge.

    And then there are digital downloads, which are games that you pay for online and you download the game and are given a product key. Since you don't get a DVD, paper manual, packaging, shipping, it's cheaper to get games this way.

    Steam sometimes will have good sales on games if you watch and want to get a game attached to a Steam account.
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    Mar 17, 2012 11:35 PM GMT
    xrichx saidAre you referring to PC games? Or console games?

    Console games - PS3 to be specific.
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    Mar 18, 2012 11:14 AM GMT
    I think it can also depend on if it's a best seller. I've seen Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception has just started to come down in price (in Australia it was $119 on release then it usually goes to $98 in 3 months and now it's $68 at EB Games) but in discount and department stores it was $78 on release so it could also depend on the buying power of the stores.
    But a game that was really hyped like Brink sold terribly so I saw that it was heavily discounted almost immediately.

    And if a store isn't near you with the cheaper price you could try and get a closer store to match the price.

    I buy second hand from game stores which means if it's a new release it might be $5 or $10 cheaper than brand new or go to a second hand/ pawn store and get it for half the price. I bought Infamous 2 on PS3 a few weeks ago for $16 instead of what it is now brand new ($47) so I prefer to wait.
  • agro

    Posts: 199

    Mar 18, 2012 11:36 AM GMT
    As others have stated, it all depends on how well the game sells. Usually waiting half a year is more than enough time for any game's price to go down; AAA titles like Uncharted or Assassin's Creed may take a little longer than something that didn't sell as well.

    Games are almost universally cheaper from online retailers as well, especially from the US - and since you're using a PS3 region lock is not an issue.

    Hope this helps!
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    Mar 18, 2012 4:42 PM GMT
    Thanks guys! I think May will be the six month mark. I guess I can wait until then.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Mar 21, 2012 4:58 PM GMT
    It depends on several factors. There's no hardfast rule as pricing will be specific to the performance of that title.

    Most important is performance in the channel. If you have a hot title and it is performing will you will hold onto it at full price for as long as you can. We (I work for Warner Bros. Interactive) kept Mortal Kombat at full price for almost a year.

    You will do your first price drop if the title is doing poorly for obvious reasons. This can also be factored by how much inventory is in the channel. If you sell in too much and retailers have too much inventory on their hands they may insist that you price protect to get their inventory down. Some of the bigger players (Gamestop, Best Buy) might even say "we're dropping our order on this title you're releasing in two months if you don't get your channel inventory down".

    If it's a hit title, you might also wait 9 months for it to go Greatest Hits. That's a program Sony has where if a title hits a certain threshold you get a royalty break. Games when they go Greatest Hits are generally $19.99 - $29.99 retail price.

    Probably more info than you were asking for. A little games business 101.
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    Mar 22, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    @gwuinsf - That's very good info, and it makes a lot of sense. As a consumer, I would I be able to tell how well a game was performing? There are probably sales numbers somewhere, and I could get an idea of how well the game was selling for its genre.
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1510

    Mar 23, 2012 3:29 AM GMT
    Depends on the publisher and the seller. Sometimes they have promotional sales all the time, sometimes virtually never.

    If you can tell us what title it is or even the publisher, some of us could give some advice as to whom will have the best price and when.

    I.E. I'm sure you already know of Steam; just a few weeks after Skyrim released, they had a 1-2 day sale of Skyrim for 33% off, just because they do promotional sales all the time. An example of a 3rd party seller having frequent deals.

    However, if you are buying an EA game that was released in the last couple years, they almost never have any sales on any of their titles, especially their large EA-only ones such as Mass Effect 3. Even though dragon age, both I and II, are many years old now, the largest sale they almost never have any promotional sales, the sole exception to my knowledge was for Black Friday where they let you buy Dragon Age II for $10 off via Origin only.