In a nutshell: Are you the type that avoids pre-orders and day-one launches, and instead prefer to wait for a sale before adding a new game to your collection? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey from Atomik Research and Ultra, three-fourths of PC gamers believe AAA PC titles are too expensive.
What’s more, only 36 percent of those surveyed said they acquire PC games at full price, meaning the remaining majority prefer to wait for discounts or bundles, or otherwise obtain games for free.
Game prices are a hot button issue for many, and likely will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Arguments for and against current pricing structures and marketing tactics are aplenty. The Internet hasn’t helped – and really, it’s only made things more complex with additional variables.
Before the Internet, the gaming market was pretty straightforward. Developers didn’t ship a game until it was ready, DLC wasn’t there to tempt devs to intentionally leave out content in hopes of an additional payday down the road, and games were sold as physical products that had resale value.
The pendulum has since swung in favor of game makers. Now, it’s common for devs to launch games before they are ready for market because they know they can fix things later with patches. DLC squeezes even more money out of consumers for content that, at least in some cases, should have otherwise shipped as part of the main game. Physical sales are practically dead (or are a total joke). Further complicating matters is the rising MSRPs of new AAA games, but I digress.
Discovery is also apparently an issue for some. The survey revealed that 36 percent of respondents struggle to find new PC games. YouTube, word of mouth, and promotions were cited as leading avenues of discovery, with the survey noting that Steam is the most familiar PC game store followed by the Epic Games Store.
Ultra plans to release its complete PC Gamer Study in January 2024.