A reader looks forward to Black Friday 2019 but is surprised to realise he hasn’t bought any new games since the summer because of it.
I count myself as a major games fan and yet I have to admit I haven’t bought a new game since Fire Emblem: Three Houses in July, and that’s only because it’s a Nintendo game so it means it will never go on sale. And that’s the reason I haven’t bought anything else: because I know it will all be much cheaper if I just wait till the end of November and Black Friday.
Video games are strange in that they’re very expensive and yet, as long as they’re a good game, offer excellent value for money. They haven’t increased in basic price for something like 20 years and even with a 20 hour long single-player game (which are now quite rare) you’re talking a rate of value per hour is that is vastly more than movies, TV subscriptions, or anything else I can think.
I’ve spent 80 hours on Fire Emblem so far and it only cost £50. That’s 60p an hour and I really don’t think you can argue with that. However, like anyone, I don’t like spending money unnecessarily and so with everything else I’ve just been playing the waiting game, making a shopping list ready for Black Friday.
At the moment I’m hoping for The Outer Worlds, MediEvil, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, FIFA 20, and Borderlands 3. After the lukewarm reviews I’m also more hopeful than I was that Death Stranding might be cheap, although I don’t know about Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare as it may be a bit soon after release and the game was a major hit.
In terms of consoles I don’t need anything but I will be very tempted by the PlayStation VR if it’s cheap again, although with the next gen starting next year I’m still in two minds about that – it’ll depend on exactly how cheap it is and how many games you get with it.
I imagine other people have a similar list and there’s nothing strange about that. Except… since I haven’t bought another new game since Fire Emblem I’ve realised that my entire way of buying games has been changed by Black Friday. I now basically don’t buy anything in the second half of the year because I know it’ll be much cheaper by Black Friday. And since less games are released in the first half of the year anyway, I’m doing like two-thirds of my games buying in one day.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing necessarily, but it seems odd even to me who is benefiting from it. And it can’t be good for publishers who are putting these games out and expecting people to pay £50 for them and find what they’re really doing is waiting three months to pay half the price.
I wonder whether this is part of the reason why there’s been a big push towards streaming and subscriptions lately. Black Friday is the genie you can’t put back into the bottle and there’s no way companies can avoid the fact that it completely changes how some people buy new games. I imagine publishers hate it almost as much as they did second-hand sales.
The good thing about this though is that there’s nothing they can do about it except offer even better deals, which is a real win for us gamers. The only downside is that it’s always digital copies you’re left with then, which I’m not a big fan of. But I am a big fan of bargains and while it does feel a bit odd to be buying everything at once I can’t wait for this year’s bumper harvest.
By reader Gabbo
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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