While a gaming PC might cost more than an equivalent game console (a lot more, if you want enough power to run new games at the highest visual fidelity), you can save a lot of money on the games themselves if you’re mindful. And most PC gamers do, according to a new consumer survey. The data says that only about a third of players on the PC will buy a game at its full, initial retail price (stretching into $70 USD for AAA games at this point) while the rest will wait for a sale or a bundle.
The data comes from a consumer survey performed by secondary market Ultra and Atomik Research. According to aggregate answers from 2,000 PC gamers, only 36 percent of them will buy a new game at full price, while 32 percent will wait for a sale or a bundle (like the Humble Bundle). A further 32 percent say their games are “obtained for free.” We’ll just assume that they’re all taking advantage of free-to-play titles or the Epic Games Store’s weekly PC game giveaways because there’s certainly no other, extralegal way to obtain them. Ahem.
Other insights published before the full release of the survey are less helpful. Three-quarters of responders said that PC games are too expensive…but that blanket statement doesn’t really factor in that indie games (which the same 75 percent said they buy) are generally far less pricey or that PC games are usually less expensive than console games due to pricey licensing.
Ultra is certainly trying to drum up interest for its gamer-to-gamer digital store, so even though I’m not doubting the validity of the data, I’d take what statistics they do choose to share with a grain of salt. I’ve found that the best way to save money on PC games is to exercise patience. That hot new title that’s getting all the headlines will probably be half off at some point in the next year or so…and your backlog of unplayed Steam games you got from half a dozen Humble Bundles isn’t going anywhere.