Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Following a launch from the time of its announcement to the time of its release can be fun and exciting, especially if production takes a long time. However, gamer culture creates an unrealistic expectation that in order to be a "true gamer" one must invest in every new game that generates hype.
While dropping $60 on a long-awaited game can be perfectly benign when done sparingly, spending that much on every new release is not feasible for most gamers. Waiting to buy a game can result in significant price drops, largely because demand for most games tapers off after a certain period of time. Still, many gamers choose to purchase games the moment they are available. Why? Hype. Everyone wants the newest, coolest launch - even if they could buy it a few months later at a significantly reduced cost.
While the quality of a game still impacts whether or not the gaming community will hype it up, video game companies inflate the amount of attention their new releases receive. In other words, at least some of the hype surrounding the games is manufactured by the companies themselves. They have mastered modern marketing. They utilize every major social media platform and continue to run ads on traditional television channels. They offer paid sponsorships to streamers who have millions of fans. Their marketing strategy is nothing short of brilliant. However, it does raise concerns about buying games based on hype when the hype is at least partially generated by the companies selling the games.
There is nothing wrong with buying a game on or before its release date, but consumers should give considerable thought to which games they purchase at full price. Are you genuinely bursting with excitement to play that new title, or are you following the hype? Have you been waiting months for that game to drop, or did you only learn that it existed yesterday? Part of being a smart gamer involves making wise decisions about how to invest your money. The next time your hand is hovering over the "add to cart" button, take a moment to question why you want that particular game. Consider waiting a month or two after the game has launched before you decide to buy it. Painful though it may be, you will likely find yourself making more purchases that make you happy (and fewer overall purchases). Ultimately, you will end up with a curated game library that reflects your preferences - and leaves more money in your pocket.