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Checkpoint: Tough Economic Times For A Gamer Edition


Game industry impervious to the recession? I don’t think so. These are tougher times for most folks, but for some it is business as usual. I’m a frugal person; even when it comes to purchasing things for my favorite hobby.  I’ve already written up some advice for helping people search for deals, but I thought it would be nice to follow up on it with some of my own personal tips.

Do not spend over $60 CAD after taxes

It was a nice 5-6 months wasn’t? To have the Canadian MSRP at $59.99, I mean. Now prices are reverting back to the old $69.99 price tag and there’s nothing we can do about it. Well that’s entirely not true: you can refuse to pay that amount. If you keep tabs on the weekly deals, you can find shops who will have reasonable price tags.

I’m using the old “$10 off with a new Amazon.ca account” trick to save myself a few dollars. So far I am meeting my personal goal of not spending over $60 CAD after taxes. This excludes collector editions.

Do not spend money on collector editions

I remember when collector editions weren’t so prevalent; they were typically reserved for your Final Fantasies and Metal Gear Solids. Nowadays, it seems like every title has some frivolous additions and a $20 mark up.

I’ve only purchased two CE’s thus far: the Metal Gear Solid 4 one with its lengthy high definition “making of” Blu-ray disc and Street Fighter IV‘s with its 90 minute animated story feature and Ryu action figure. What I didn’t buy was Resident Evil 5‘s with its shoulder patch, survivor bag and Chris Redfield action figure.

Collector’s Editions should be special and every piece of it should be something you’d actually use. Don’t pay for sew-on patches and extras you can’t see yourself admiring 6 months down the line.

Keep digital spending in check

This includes Steam, PSN and XBLA. With the ease of digital spending, it’s easy to lose track of all the stuff you’re spending on. $10 here and $5 there adds up and before you know it, you’ve spent $50 on costumes, tracks and discounted games from 2001. Did you really want all of that nonsense? Probably not.

Obviously the key to saving money is will power, but I also keep my credit card separate from these online services. It serves as a barrier of entry.

IF backlog = ‘yes’ THEN newgames = ‘no’

Friends, ads, previews and other external influences will undoubtedly tell you that game “X” is awesome and you should buy it. You will also find amazing deals on games that you fancy and will be tempted to spend the funds on it. And while all of this is happening, you still have yet to finish Metal Gear Solid 4 which you picked up in June of 2008. Don’t let your backlog grow beyond a handful of games.

Out with the old. In with the new.

I want Valkyria Chronicles, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and even Burnout: Paradise, however until I am able to sell or trade away Fallout 3 or Far Cry 2 I am keeping my money. Plenty of games out there appear to be great investments, but I didn’t see myself revisiting them in the future. So why keep them?

I’m trying not to sell them to the likes of EB Games who don’t believe in offering fair prices at a consistent basis.

Tiered approach

Prioritize what you want and what you like. I liked Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and Valkyria Chronicles, but I didn’t believe they were worth the full price tag or didn’t believe I had the time for them. There’s no need to rush out and pick up a game that will sit unplayed; the last thing you want to do is accumulate an unsurmountable backlog.

Title MSRP Paid
SFIV CE89.9979.09
Killzone 269.9949.71
Resident Evil 569.9949.71
Totals 229.97 178.51
Savings 51.46

This year, I’ve decided to keep track of my gaming expenses. So far I’ve already spent $178.51, but I’ve saved $51.46 — that’s enough for another game. I know gaming is s an expensive hobby, but let’s see how expensive it really is. I’ll have an update on this at the end of the year.

I watched Rambo for the first time; it was also my first Rambo movie ever. I thought it was alright. Violent and hilarious, but it was also served as a powerful message about Burma and how cruel humans can be to one another.

Gaming wise, I’m playing through Persona 4. I’m loving it.

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