Gaming can sometimes be expensive. Or is it, really ? If you are one of those who buy every big licence for sixty bucks on pre-order, duh. If you just download entire games in ‘playable demo’, not at all. But buying your games and owning them is always better, and there are so many ways to keep your money in the safe. Instead of buying titles that just came out and are the most expensive they can ever be, waiting for promotions is already a pretty efficient manner ! Then, there are several tricks to get games for very cheap, all the time, and even get money from them.
Gaming for cheap
Alright. First thing worth mentioning : gaming platforms. Steam, Desura, Origin, U-play… Instead of buying your games physically, you get everything through downloads. Legal downloads. You buy your titles and get them on the platform forever. No more scratch on your CDs, no more dozens of boxes all around your room. Just a list of hundred games on your screen. In general, digital games are cheaper, and the price is lessened now & then. Desura is mostly for indie games, and you will find cheap or free pieces of work on it. Origin is made by EA and U-play by Ubisoft, for their own games only. Now let us speak a bit more about the last one : Steam is by Valve Corporation, with games by Valve, and so many others. It developed incredibly over the last ten years, and now counts more than 3 000 available games, as well as non-gaming software since 2012, and some social features associated with your gaming experience (community, sharing, friends, groups…). Since 2012 also, Steam Greenlight lets developers introduce their games to the community to vote for the ones that will be newly added to the platform, and early-acces (alpha / beta) games became an option too. Every day, there are offers. Sometimes, you get coupons. Every holiday there is, the steam sales make everyone go crazy, throwing money at their screen(s) : games become very cheap, from -10 to -90%, and deals change each day. This is truly paradise. To make it even crazier, you get achievements from participating in the sales by buying games.
Then : Bundles. They are the future. From 5 to 10 games worth around 150 bucks, for just 5$ during several days, usually already profitable if you only want one or two of the whole package. That is how I got my 350 games worth 2 000$ for not even a quarter of it. On the deepness of the internet, lie multiple websites made just for these. Not to mention sometimes a key for Steam AND Desura are given, so you can gift to your friends – DRM-free too. Here is a list of the mostly used ones.
Humble Bundle ( X ) : name your price starting from 1$, beat the average (usually between 3.50 & 6) to get more games, support charity. Bundles for PC & Android, weekly bundles, as well as the humble store with promotions all the time. Apart from the bundles, a store with discount is also on the website.
Indie Gala ( X ) : a new bundle every Monday, three other bundles available at the same time. – ” Pay what you want. Support causes. Get awesome games. “ – Same as HB, there is the GalaStore full of promotions.
Indie Royale ( X ) : the more people buy the bundle, the pricier it gets. If you pay more than average, the price goes down for the others.
Bundle Stars ( X ) : up to 15 games for 2 to 3€. Also with a store.
Groupees ( X ) : various bundles, being games, ebooks, music or others. I am buying the current Be mine 13, by the way.
Nuuvem ( X ) : Brazilian website where prices are sometimes cheaper than Europe, considering 1€ = 3R$.
G2PLAY ( X ) : discounts on games.
Green Man Gaming ( X ) : fantastic deals all the time. From indies to big licences – even pre-orders -, -25% on a long list of games every week, most of the time addable to other promotions. My personal all-time favorite. I probably got a quarter of my library here !
So, in short, yeah. If you want to spend less, be patient. Watch out for the daily deals, and grab them while you can. Just check once in a while, when your wallet lets you.
Playing to earn
Again, I will write about Steam. And why, again, it is an awesome way to either spend, or earn money. Since last summer, cards drop while you play a participating game (as of yet, almost every game) – and when I say “while you play”, I mean you can actually idle through five games launched at the same time, and bake some cake listening to your computer roaring. What is the point ? Collecting the cards, exchanging them, crafting badges to get a higher Steam level – and show how much of a real gamer you are -, customizing your profile with backgrounds and showcases… If you choose the collector’s way, you will very likely spend money to get the badges. If you do not, on the contrary, you will earn, bit by bit. Sell the cards that drop, and here you go ! You could even be able to get few games for free in the next sale.
Associated with Steam, there are the GalaGiveaways ( X ). The more games you have, the more point you get. Points are used to enter a giveaway. A giveway is made by a player to distribute a key for a game he does not want/already has. After a random choice is made, the winner gets the key. You will need luck, but, come one. It is free.
This year, another method appeared. Playfire (picture above is the slogan – and it is great). Playfire is a game tracking website/software by the same people doing GreenManGaming. Right now, this is still a quite buggy beta, but this is what most of you probably though at least once : “I wish I could get paid to play video games…”. Well, you can, dude. For launching a game for the first time, and achieving this or that, you can earn credit (from £0.10 to £0.50) to buy yet other games ! Cheap, and cheaper. There are currently a lot of rewards every day, and because it is summer, it is the occasion to get to work – as one of my steam-friend always says. Good way to encourage you or motivate you to play one game more than another when you do not know which to chose, too. To register, go there.
GMG and Playfire are currently talking about a closed beta… Hope to be in, and see what little wonder they will bring to us.