Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Economy and Ethics of Game Purchasing - Part 4 - Analysis

Continued from Part 3

Analysing a choice

Let us illustrate the available choices using this point-in-time look at the market on January 22nd 2022 for the standard edition of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla which has an MSRP of €59.99:

  • Ubisoft Store: €19.80 (in a "Lunar New Year sale)
  • Steam: €59.99
  • GOG: Unavailable
  • Epic Games Store: €59.99
  • Microsoft Store: Unavailable
  • Fanatical: €17.99 (in a "Lunar New Year" sale)
  • Green Man Gaming: €17.42 (in a "Lunar" sale)
  • Humble Store: €19.79 (in a "Winter" sale)
  • GamersGate: €17.61 (in a timed sale)
  • CDKeys: €16.59
  • G2A: €18.49
  • G2Play: €17.69

While the cheapest price is clearly CDKeys remember that through this site, the publisher/developer only benefits from the original sale price of the game in the Third World country where it was purchased. We can presume this could be less than the equivalent of €16.59 as CDKeys obviously don't operate at a loss.

The same game price as of February 6th 2023:

  • Ubisoft Store: €59.99
  • Steam: €59.99
  • GOG: Unavailable
  • Epic Games Store: €59.99
  • Microsoft Store: Unavailable
  • Fanatical: €59.99
  • Green Man Gaming: €52.79 (Standard sale)
  • Humble Store: €19.79 (Limited time sale)
  • GamersGate: €59.99
  • CDKeys: €16.59
  • G2A: €19.96
  • G2Play: €17.18

In either case, just by spending at most about €3 more purchasing from an authorised key vendor instead of the grey market means Ubisoft receive the the revenue they expect from your purchase.

Forspoken, the most ridiculously priced new game has a different story as its a recent release. Square Enix is not directly selling it on their site so it redirects purchasers to Steam, Microsoft or Epic.

  • Steam: €79.99
  • GOG: Unavailable
  • Epic Games Store: €79.99
  • Microsoft Store: €79.99
  • Fanatical: Unavailable
  • Green Man Gaming: €63.99 (Standard sale)
  • Humble Store: €79.99
  • GamersGate: Unavailable
  • CDKeys: €54.69
  • G2A: €56.18

Here the price advantage of CDKeys is more evident as the price difference is more than €25 which is a difficult offer to ignore for some. The moral choice however is getting a €16 discount from Green Man as Square Enix have authorised them to sell Steam keys for the game.

By using key vendors like Green Man Gaming and Humble Bundle, and not a key reseller, the key vendors prove themselves and can continue providing excellent customer value. Third World gaming price inflation will not increase due to the immoral practices of CDKeys and will allow Third World gamers to buy games at their regionally acceptable prices. Most importantly you have an authorised guaranteed legal Key that you can have much more confidence in actually working at the end of the day and you should be proud of yourself that you are continuing the sustainability of the games industry.

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