Never pay full price - Here’s when you should buy video games! Gaming is an expensive hobby. Not only do you need to pay for the hardware to game on (if you could find an RTX 3080 or PS5, that is…), big AAA games are also pretty costly at launch. You want to know when to buy the newest Assassin’s Creed game for example? Get your paysafecard code ready and read on to find out when to buy games and save a lot of money throughout the year!
Wait for a sale!
Best thing you can do is wait. Yes, that’s lame, we know. We all want to be part of the “zeitgeist” when the newest game comes out, but if we’re strictly talking money, then you should absolutely wait a couple of months - sometimes even just a couple of weeks - before getting that shiny new game you want.
Sales can happen for multiple reasons. At times a game is so hyped before launch that it can only disappoint once it’s out. Other times it’s so riddled with bugs *cough Cyberpunk cough* that sale numbers drop off a cliff, which makes sellers nervous and hence they lower the price themselves. We don’t want hype to turn into disappointment, of course, and that’s not what this is about. Throughout the year there are also regular sales on great games, that’s what we want to take advantage of. Let’s take a look at Steam.
If you’re gaming on PC, chances are you’re using Steam. The biggest store for games holds regular sales you should absolutely use. Valve, the owners of Steam, even integrate meta games and events during sales, in which you can collect stamps or vote on which game to go on sale next. Here’s a rough outlook of when sales should happen in 2021.
- Steam Lunar Sale: February 11 - February 15
- Steam Golden Week Sale: April 29 - May 6
- Steam Summer Sale: June 24 - July 8
- Steam Halloween Sale: October 28 - November 1
- Steam Autumn Sale: November 24 - November 30
- Steam Winter Sale: December 21 - January 4
Keep in mind there are even more sales sprinkled throughout the year. The list shows the big ones with the most attention from publishers. Thousands of games go on sale so your best bet is to keep your wishlist up to date. The longer you wait, the bigger the discount will be. One final warning: expect Steam to be very slow during the first hours of a sale, servers usually struggle to handle all the sales-hungry gamers, so just be a little bit patient.
“In my days, consoles didn’t really have good sales!” Yes, grandpa, we know. But times have changed significantly, as the PSN store on PlayStation consoles demonstrates every year. There’s a sale going on all the time. Visit the PSN store right now and you’ll see games on sale. But of course we want to talk about the big ones, the highlights each year.
On PSN things aren’t as clear as on Steam. You can expect big sales every 2-3 months, during the holidays at the end of the year, for example. Sony also has an event each year around May they call “Days of Play'', in which gamers can participate and collect points for exclusive goodies such as PS4 designs or avatars. There’s always a sale going on as well and as it is a Sony event you can expect their own games (such as God of War or The Last of Us - Part II) to get some pretty steep sales!
Games to look out for
So now you know when you can expect big sales to drop, let’s talk a bit more about what games you should expect to drop in price. One big publisher who loves to put its games on sale is Ubisoft. Even the newest Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dogs game will be on sale shortly after launch (on PC more than on consoles). If you can wait for a couple of months, you should be able to snag it at a significant discount. Same goes for EA games (sports games like FIFA are a bit different, as they release every year). Activision games are usually a bit more stubborn when it comes to sales and let’s not even talk about Nintendo games… But even there you can save *some* money thanks to the eShop sales during the holidays or big events like E3 in June.