Poll Question 269 – Would you pay more to get a game early?

6th April 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I love reading more than any other entertainment activity. I couldn’t imagine not reading.

I have my favourite authors, like everybody, and very occasionally if funds allow I like to buy a hardback book.

That said, with the financial crisis biting pretty hard here in Spain it’s a little extravagant when the paper is less than half price. But I don’t think I can’t wait another 8 months to read to read Alastair Reynold’s Blue Remembered Earth. In this case, it’s only 3 pounds more expensive in hardback than paperback.

And don’t get me started on Iain M. Banks’ The Hydrogen Sonata due out in October for 16 Pounds. I doubt I’ll be able to wait for a paperback for that.

Now, I consider this extortion. Publishers know that many readers will pay for the hardback version because they want to read the book immediately and I think that is wrong. I should be encouraged to buy the hardback version because the quality is so much better or contains extra material – NOT the story itself, but maybe text about the development of the story etc.

Just like Valve released the Collector’s Edition of Half-Life 2. This gave the purchaser something extra AND was released at the same time as the normal version.

So this week’s question is this: Would you pay more to get a game early?

In fact, let’s take it a little further. Imagine that as each month passed the price dropped. Here’s an example.

Half-Life 3 is released 1st January 2013 and costs $60.
on 1st February it costs $55, 1st March $50, 1st April $80 (April Folls! Only $45) and 1st May $40. At this point it stays at $40.

When would you buy it?

Time to Vote!


  1. Maybe. Depends on the game and how hyped up I am.

    Half-Life 3? Definitely.

    Some game I am perhaps thinking of getting? I’d be more likely to wait for the price to drop.

  2. I remember paying $60AUD for the last book in the Stephen King’s Gunslinger saga. Found, bought and read in a day or two.

    I am quite happy to pay full retail on the day of release, depending on the title.

  3. Valve games, yes : I preordered portal 2 for 70€ or so, some weeks later it was 20€.
    Other developers : are you kidding me ?

  4. Noface/GeorgeC

    Portal 2, yes. Half life 3, definitely. That’s about it. It’s usually best to wait for games to get cheaper, doesn’t usually take that long.

  5. bobdog

    I tend to wait until the dust settles and the first bit of large-scale beta-testing is done (i.e. by the first purchasers) before I leap in. I have to say Valve games are the only ones I pay close to release price on, but generally I wait until a good sale to pick them up several months after release. In the past, their releases have been in fourth quarter, so you can find someone pushing them on sale before Christmas.

  6. Would I pay more to get a game early? Of course not! I would pay the price on its release in the shops, which these days mean the supermarkets!

    Would I pay more for something I really wanted? Yes I have done quite a few times!
    “Cinefex” issues 2, 3 & 8, cost me £250, £150 and £70 for a magazine that cost around £1 at the time! But that was a few years back.

    Games come in special collector’s editions now, which are more expensive than the standard version and they offer DLC, steel boxes, tea shirts, etc to entice. So I guess I would be one of those to pay more in that case! Damn.

  7. Derbler

    Buying HL3 on release day (unless I win your contest and have you buy it for me).
    Even if it is something ridiculous like 100 bucks, still buying it.

  8. Herr_Alien


    No, because it creates an incentive to release a game poorly tested, for an even higher price.

    So, no.

    1. I don’t agree with that. Is a hardback book poorly written? No, of course not.

      I am talking about a fully tested game ready to go, not an unfinished release.

  9. Gypsy_Jim

    Why not wait for all the bug-fixes that there almost undoubtedly will be, no matter how much testing they do… and be more certain that your first impression isn’t a nightmare, like HL2 was for a lot of people…?

    Call me stingy if you like, but after all the years waiting for HL3 or Ep3 or whatever it’s going to turn out to be, a few months more waiting can’t hurt that much, so no, I won’t be one paying over the odds for a pre-release at a premium price.

    & yes, I’m a Yorkshireman…..”short arms & deep pockets” as we say.


  10. Kyo

    Depends on the game. There’s no question with a game like Half-Life 3 that I’d have it on day one though. Valve has proven themselves not just with fantastic, quality gameplay, but also great value when you factor in the modding angle. I paid $20 or $30 for Half-Life 2 and it’s the best gaming investment I ever made because it has given me hundreds of hours of modding fun.

    I think a game that can prove its value is on my short list. For example, I got dozens of hours out of Fallout 3 and New Vegas, so if they made another Fallout I’d be all over it. Saints Row 3 is not the longest game ever, but the fact that I’m replaying it cooperatively with a friend has essentially doubled my playtime to about 30 hours.

    But there are very few titles that make the $60 list to me. The vast majority of games are not worth it and I’m personally glad that platforms like Steam, XBLA and PSN have opened the doors for cheaper games from smaller developers. Likewise, games that aren’t worth the $60 price tag, but perhaps worth the $20 price point a few months after release, are easier to acquire.

  11. Hec

    Maybe if I had the money for it, and I mean to be rich to buy anything I want, but im’not so I don’t think soo, the only thing I know 4 sure is that when EP3 or HL3 is out, i’ll inmediately purchase it.

  12. I would never preorder/buy at launch an AAA game because it’s way to risky nowadays, but I would probably preorder a indie game, especially if there are reputable people behind it.

  13. Voted no because I can wait, no matter big a game is or how much I want to play it. I’m not that kind of person who needs everything as soon as it’s released, plus I’m sort of nostalgia hehe

    It took me 8 years to buy HL2 (yes, this year) cause I’m no more that much into gaming but as I’ve got a new computer now it’s obvious to finally get HL2 and it’s Episodes and start playing HL2 SP maps / mods.

    So the Orange Box was exactly € 9.99 for me 🙂
    Therefore it’s clear I can wait again until buying HL3 for example, I don’t need it instantly, altho it would be pretty cool of course hehe

  14. In fact, let’s take it a little further. Imagine that as each month passed the price dropped. Here’s an example.

    Half-Life 3 is released 1st January 2013 and costs $60.
    on 1st February it costs $55, 1st March $50, 1st April $80 (April Folls! Only $45) and 1st May $40. At this point it stays at $40.

    When would you buy it?

    You mean like Game Devs/Creators/Publishers SHOULD be doing instead of complaining about Used Games?

    And the question you proposed? Depends on the game really.

  15. I shouldn’t…but I would want to. It depends on how well I can resist the temptation, which unfortunately isn’t that well.

    I guess it depends on the hype as well. I would get HL3 on day 1 just because hearing people talk about it would drive me crazy. I would constantly be reminded of what I’m missing out on. If this 2013-release hypothetical universe were also a world in which nobody talked about HL3, I might wait to get it for $40.

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