Buying a game these days isn’t easy. You have triple-A titles like Monster Hunter World that is charged at $60 on Steam. Heck, pre-order for Division 2 starts at $60 as well for its base game and goes all the way up to $189.99 and more. Whereas indie games could be valued at around $15 (a reasonable price, I’d say).
You want to continue playing your games or maybe you’re just looking for video games on sale. Humans are natural hoarders of anything there is out there. Owning a library of approximately 100 games and more on Steam is just a means of satisfying that human instinct.
But hey, that’s why you’re here aren’t you? You wanna know how you can add to your huge collection of games despite being a poor man, just like me. Fear not because I’m about to tell you how. But before that, let me explain to you the reason why games are priced at such a ridiculous (for many of us) number.
Why Games Are Priced The Way They Do
There are 2 main reasons for games to be priced this way:
- Employee Salary and other corporate expenses
- Development subscription and license fees
Most of you have probably heard that game development is a long and arduous process. It typically takes 2 – 3 years to fully develop a game and considerably more for patches and content update that the developer produces for the game. This amount of time spent on game development causes the budget on producing the game to increase, after all, they have employees to pay for. Additionally, development studios may opt to use 3rd party software for their development which requires proper licensing and more often than not, includes a subscription fee to use their services. These can include the licenses for the game engine, subscription fees for 3D Modelling and 2D creative software and other forms of services that they may not have in-house.
This is true for indie game developers as well. In fact, because they are indie game developers, their finances become a more crucial factor in their development cycle. Indie game developers are just like you and I who tries to develop a game as part of the job and hobby, converting their passion into a product. However, unlike corporate employees, they do not have a fixed amount of income for themselves, thus relying on Kickstarter for their heart-filled projects to pay their bills and any required fees.
Enough beating about the bush and chickens crossing roads! You know why you’re here and I know why you’re here. Let’s get on to the real talk, shall we?
Where Are The Free Games?
Woah woah woah! Hold your joysticks. Where in my time spent talking to you about video games have I mentioned free games? Let’s be real here shall we? There’s no such thing as free in this world. When something is given to you for free, someone else has paid the price for it. It could be payment in terms of money, barter trading or even spending your time doing something. Everything in this world is obtained for something that’s equivalent to it’s perceived value, but let’s not head down that direction.
Cracking or torrenting a game you say? Well… I would personally advise against doing that. Downloading or torrenting a cracked game brings with it a certain risk that may or may not be obvious to you at first sight but that’s a topic for another time.
Basically what I’m trying to tell you is there’s no avoiding paying for a game. Buying a game can help the developers and publishers in a few ways.
One, you show your emotional support for them. There’s no greater joy in seeing a product that you’ve laboriously worked for being enjoyed by hundreds and thousands if not, millions in the world. It gives them the motivation to work on the next big hit. Who benefits then? All of us.
Two, you give them the financial support they need. Think about it. Would you be working for someone if they underpaid or require that you give them free labour? If that’s the case there would be no minimum wage am I right? By buying the game, you’re helping support their lifestyle, like how others would support your when they pay for YOUR services.
So do them a favour. Do all of us a favour. Give them the support they need and avoid torrenting cracked games. All of us are rewarded at the end.
I apologise for digressing but being a student in game design, in particular, has made me realised what we are missing out and surely you wouldn’t want others to do the same to you. I admit to searching for hours, a working, torrented version of a game before this but hey, let’s all be part of this new moment together where opportunities present themselves to us, where we can hope for a more price tag-friendly world for all of us.
Alternative Online Video Game Stores
Introducing, my very own list of curated online sellers that I’ve come to trust over the years. All of them listed here have built up a reputable brand for themselves and it is for the reliable service that I recommend them here. So I’ve decided to just include a short description of each of them. If you have no idea how to go about purchasing video games from these stores, fret not! I will be creating a guide that can be applied to all the stores. In addition, I will be reviewing these stores for their services in the future in order to provide all of you a better understanding of how each of them works.
Note that all of them would usually support all major platforms unless otherwise stated.
In no particular order:
- Kinguin.net. This site is absolutely one of my favourites. It boasts a nice user interface so you can be sure that you will not miss out on any sales that they have. Moreover, it sells various miscellaneous digital key codes for things that you might not know you need. You can expect to see your favourite game on a discounted price frequently and probably bundled with a free game too. Hey, it’s free. So why not? Check it out now!
- Instant-Gaming.com. This site is pure awesome. User interface is clean and you can easily navigate yourself around the site. If you’re one to focus on shopping experience, this online retailer would suit your needs. It also has an indie category if you ever want to browse through indie games that are currently on the market.
- Humble Bundle. Want a never-ending supply of games? This is the place to go. With just $12 monthly, you can receive games that are worth over $100 in total! The money that you pay is donated to a charity too! How cool is that? And that’s not all. From time-to-time, they have special promotions where they offer a game for FREE. Now, this is a legitimate way of getting free games plus knowing that your money is well-spent. Check out this month’s bundle!
- GamersGate.com. GamersGate offers a wide variety of games and they have a specific section for games that are less than a dollar! What more could you ask for? Check it out right now!
That’s all I have for you. If you have any comments, feedback or query, leave them in the comments section below!
Onwards to your next adventure!
Disclaimer: This list will be updated as time goes by to keep it fresh and current. it’s a promise from me to you.
Last updated: 11 Jan 2019