As a guide, this one is two fold. First and foremost, this is the best way to save money and get the best bang for your buck. As a gamer, you know that buying new releases can be a burden on your wallet, so I hope to point you in the direction of options you may not have heard of. An added benefit is the fact that you can also use gaming to fuel your writing or other content creation. Getting extra games means having more awesome stuff to discuss and share. If you make YouTube videos, you can add more gameplay and commentary to your channel each time you add a game to your library. In some ways the two hobbies can very effectively feed each other, and given the right rhythm can allow your passion and expertise to shine through.
There is no “correct” way to write a blog. This is your space on the Internet and you can do with it what you will. That being said, it is advisable that you aren’t a complete troll, asshole or bigot. We’ve all gone on that tirade a time or two, where we said not-so-nice things about developers, titles, business models, or other people’s opinions. There is nothing wrong with this, and you will invite all sorts of discussion, but as long as you keep your cool you may still learn a thing or two from this sometimes-rowdy community. I really don’t have much advice outside of that. Find something you love and write about it. The content will come. It won’t all be great, it won’t all be terrible, it will just be. We will read it, you’ll read our stuff, and all will be well in the world. Honestly, the NBI is a great idea and I love the community support that comes along with it. But you know what I love more than writing about games? Actually Playing Games!
So how do we go about saving a ton of money on our video game habit? The first thing you should probably ask yourself is, “how often do I want to play new games?” If you answer once a month or more, then you’ll probably have some sort of benefit from checking out some of my suggestions. If you are a really hard core gamer that buys new games on day one all of the time, you still might save a buck or two if you pay attention, but it’s likely that you don’t care about saving money, and you probably bought the $80 collectors edition too. I have money to spend on games, and probably spend more than I should already, but getting a deal is still saving me money overall, or is a spread out across more games. Either way, who cares, MOAR GAEMZ.
Most people have a limited gaming budget, and you’ve probably already figured out what your personal number is. The chunk of my disposable income that I typically use on video games will go further if I make sure to capitalize on the market. I’m not stock market guy, so I’m not going to pretend to know a thing about that. But there is sort of an art to your timing on when to buy a new or popular video game. Games tend to be in the $60 range on release date (for standard editions) and can stay there for months. In most cases, you aren’t getting a day one discount on a game. So if you’re dying to get it (and trust me, I still do it) you should probably just pre-order just to get some lame bonuses (and maybe a 10% discount). I don’t know, just get the game cause you need it. But, if you can be patient and wait a day or two, Green Man Gaming tends to have 20%-ish off deals on week to two week old titles. If you’re really patient, you can wait for the Steam Summer Sale, or the Humble Store sale, and if you really prefer DRM-Free stuff, you can always hit up the GOG.com store.
There are several developers who have created their own launchers, which also serve as a store front and a way to market their sales. However, most of us tend to forget to load up those launchers, so we probably miss sales on Origin, Battle.net, or UPlay. Keeping track of such things is a pain to do manually, but if you are on Twitter, it’s handy to follow the developers and publishers that make the games you play. You’ll be more in the loop, and won’t miss out on flash sales that won’t last forever. Jumping on a good deal is always the best way to save a buck or two. Another site that does a good round up of free games and sales is Indie Game Bundles. They will let you know the next time Origin is giving out a free game so you can at least add it to your library and play it at a later date. Options are good, or so they say.
Recently, more options have opened up. Most of you probably know about Bundle sites, Humble Bundle being the most popular. Bundle Stars is another that has saved me some coin on some classic titles that I missed in years passed. Humble in particular has started a LootCrate-esque subscription service called Humble Monthly, in which you pay the monthly fee of $12 and you receive an “early unlock” of a particular game (of which is advertised the month prior to release of the bundle) and then a bundle of curated games that the company picks. Contrary to their traditional bundles, in which they pick and you know what you’re getting before you pay, in this case you get a “mystery bundle” + a game that you chose to spend the money on. Oftentimes the game that you know you’re getting is worth far more than the $12 you paid for the month so even if the mystery games weren’t great, you got one game that you wanted and some other short term diversions. I have gamer ADD these days, so I don’t mind new shinies, even if they wear off quickly.
The ultimate question that I ask myself when a game is nearing release is: “How badly do I want to play this game?” If I’m super hyped for a game, let’s take No Man’s Sky for example. I will buy that day one, no questions asked and full price. But if it’s a game like say, DOOM where I didn’t want to pay full price? I waited a few days and caught a nice $15 off deal. If I really feel like I can wait, I’ll wait. Some games are shoo-ins for the Steam Summer Sale. Others, are bundle fodder. Indies are always cheap. There are daily sales nearly everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled. Watch your head explode.
Still with me?
I’m being a little ridiculous, but you guys understand where I’m going, right? TLDR; Click on those links and book mark them. They’re a gateway to saving money. Spend wisely, my friends. Don’t forget to write down your opinions on what you’ve been playing, and you’ll be well on your way to being a gaming blogger.