Do you mind waiting a few months or years after launch to buy a game you were excited for? Do you often look through older titles to discover something new to play? If so, you can probably consider yourself a patient gamer!
There are many online communities centred around this practice, where people look for titles released a long time ago that they could be interested in. The PatientGamers subreddit, for example, has almost 300,000 members and is constantly growing.
We thought it would be a good idea to look into some pros and cons of patient gaming, and see why people are willing to wait so long, instead of buying games instantly. Let’s start with the positives.
- Games are cheaper
The most obvious reason, but also the most important one. The price of many video games decreases every time there’s a sale or a promotion, and after a year it’s generally possible to grab a game for 50% of its original price. There are some exceptions, of course, but if your main goal is to enjoy video games without breaking the bank, it’s usually a good idea to wait at least a few months after the premiere.
Lowest price history for Dishonored II (regular vs best) via IsThereAnyDeal.com
- No launch-related issues
Everyone remembers the controversial launches of games like No Man’s Sky, SimCity or Fallout 76. It’s quite common to encounter bugs, connection issues or other problems in video games that came out very recently, and sometimes even minor bugs can ruin your experience, e.g. by blocking your access to an area you need to visit. In most cases a few months is enough to fix the majority of those problems, so always pay attention to how people rate the performance and optimization of any game you’re planning to get.
- All DLCs are available
If you’re not a fan of buying more game content for additional money, be it brand-new missions or just cosmetics, being patient is (once again) a good option. A year or two after a game has launched, all the bonus game content is already out and often discounted, so you can grab everything for a lower price. This doesn’t apply to games like The Sims 4 that have 20 different DLCs and full-priced expansions, but let’s be honest – if you’re really into The Sims series, you’re not really worried about saving money.
- You can save on hardware
Not everyone has a top-tier PC, and every major next-gen game (e.g. Cyberpunk 2077) will push your computer’s limits even further. Some people will treat the launch of a game like Cyberpunk as an opportunity to upgrade their graphics card or processor. But if you’re patient enough and wait a year or two, getting that required upgrade should be much more affordable, as hardware prices will naturally go down.
- The hype has died down
If you’re really excited for an upcoming title, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the hype around its premiere and make a bad judgement. Months or years after the game was released, you can browse all the reviews, read the opinions of people who’ve played through all of it and make an informed decision. Sometimes a game that seems fun before its launch may actually not be your thing at all.
- You’re late to the party
Playing a game years after its original release can sometimes feel like visiting an abandoned amusement park. If it’s an online title, finding other players is definitely more difficult. If it’s a single-player game, nobody is talking about it on forums and subreddits anymore, and there’s none of the excitement that was present around its premiere.
- You’re not supporting the developers as much
Studios usually earn the biggest money from pre-orders and copies of games bought near launch (and microtransactions, but that’s a whole different story). Not every game studio has a good reputation, but if there’s a franchise or a developer that you’re particularly passionate about and want to support, buying a game early could make it easier to produce the next one.
It’s quite clear that there are plenty of benefits to patient gaming, but there are also a few downsides. Do you tend to buy games close to their launch, or are you okay with waiting a few months to save money or ensure that you have the best possible experience?