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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is Buying a Game at Launch a Bad Idea?

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47 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 1474

OP  12/17/12 4:45:26 PM#1

Are game companies teaching us that it is wrong to invest in new games right away?  My example is The Secret World.  If you purchased the game at launch you paid $50 and then if you played a second month you paid another $15 for a total of $65 for two months.  Last week the game was on sale for $15 and is now free after that.  You also only need to pay $5 every 6 weeks to keep up on DLC’s.  It has also happened with many other games, I’m not picking on FunCom.

It just seems to me that gaming companies are continuing to show us more and more that their products only have value for a few months followed by a sharp decrease in worth.  It is also showing us that if a person does not care for cosmetics, then lifetime subs are way overpriced as that money could buy points for the actual game content for many years and probably longer than you would actually play the game.

I am currently thinking of starting a New Years resolution for 2013 and not buy any new games until they have been out for 6 months.  Think of all the things this saves you from, classes you trained for getting nerfed, first month server queues, high priced/low level items on auction house and terrible bugs following launch.  Sure I don’t get in on day one and level with people but on purely financial and entertainment value, at least to me, it seems that game companies continue to show us that waiting 6 months is the best idea.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 2541

Hype (noun)
1. to trick; gull.
2. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
3. swindle, deception, or trick.

12/17/12 4:49:54 PM#2
Originally posted by Talonsin

I am currently thinking of starting a New Years resolution for 2013 and not buy any new games until they have been out for 6 months.

I think that's a fantastic idea, I'll be doing the same. I've been burned too many times and I can't trust developers anymore.

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky


Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/12
Posts: 392

12/17/12 4:53:54 PM#3
I've been doing that already. I give the game a few months to clear the initial "Wow this game is amazing" or "Wow this game sucks!" reviews. Give them a bit for the initial influx of gamers, work the bugs out and avoid the launch day issues. I don't really feel like I have to play that first day it comes out. From recent launches, a lot of the people who do try to play can't because of the issues. Instead of buying into the hype of another 2 month MMO, I've been better with my purchases.

Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
Tried: EQ2, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Runes of Magic and countless others...
Currently Playing: GW2

Nytlok Sylas
80 Sylvari Ranger



Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14702

12/17/12 5:24:59 PM#4

Yes, buying a game at launch is a bad idea.  It's much easier to manage an online game if there is a steady stream of new players over a long period of time than if everyone who will ever play jumps in on launch day.  So it makes a lot of sense to charge a premium to be the first ones in, and then get rid of that premium some months later.  Games also become more polished as bugs and imbalances get fixed after launch, so you not only pay less if you wait several months, but you get a better product, too.

How long to wait really depends on the game, and I don't think a hard and fast rule of 6 months makes sense.  A few months is plenty for some games, while some others are such a mess at launch that they need years to get fixed up.  Many games will never be good enough to be worth playing, but you don't know which ones those are if you jump in on launch day.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

12/17/12 5:34:46 PM#5
Depends on game, last 3 I for at launch were
Very polished - ps2, gw2
Or fairly polished - tsw

I wouldn't have done tsw at launch if I wasn't in closed beta, after what Aoc was like at launch.

Other good launches would have been coh and rift

Other baduns would have been war and swtor although neither were as buggy as Aoc.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

12/17/12 5:35:30 PM#6
Oh wow was a bad launch too, despite launching 6 months later over here.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 3098

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

12/17/12 5:38:52 PM#7

I woudl much rather get started in a game from the ground floor then come in at a later point in time.  In fact theres not one MMO I joined after release that I lasted for longer then a few weeks as opposed to starting at release.


Besides for me, the anticipation and hype of discovering a game that fits your needs is half the fun.  As opposed to joinging after release based on some others testimony *which I never put any stock in what so ever).  I enjoy following a game from announcement through alpha and betas till release.

Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

  User Deleted
12/17/12 5:39:54 PM#8
I wouldn't say so. If you support the vision of the game, then support it and buy it. Stick with it. These things take time to improve. If you're skeptical from the start, then hold off. No point in getting burned out and wasting your money. If you feel burned out, I'd suggest taking a break from MMOs for a while.

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 4513

RIP City of Heroes!

12/17/12 5:40:58 PM#9
Originally posted by Talonsin

Are game companies teaching us that it is wrong to invest in new games right away?  My example is The Secret World.  If you purchased the game at launch you paid $50 and then if you played a second month you paid another $15 for a total of $65 for two months.  Last week the game was on sale for $15 and is now free after that.  You also only need to pay $5 every 6 weeks to keep up on DLC’s.  It has also happened with many other games, I’m not picking on FunCom.

It just seems to me that gaming companies are continuing to show us more and more that their products only have value for a few months followed by a sharp decrease in worth.  It is also showing us that if a person does not care for cosmetics, then lifetime subs are way overpriced as that money could buy points for the actual game content for many years and probably longer than you would actually play the game.

I am currently thinking of starting a New Years resolution for 2013 and not buy any new games until they have been out for 6 months.  Think of all the things this saves you from, classes you trained for getting nerfed, first month server queues, high priced/low level items on auction house and terrible bugs following launch.  Sure I don’t get in on day one and level with people but on purely financial and entertainment value, at least to me, it seems that game companies continue to show us that waiting 6 months is the best idea.

 What is your real goal?

What are you trying to avoid?


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/15/05
Posts: 483

12/17/12 5:45:00 PM#10

Depends on the game.

EVE was da shait on launch. SWG had hard times but was also pretty cool. WOW had craploads of trouble, so did AO. It's about each individual game, not about the principle.

No fate but what we make, so make me a ham sandwich please.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/03/12
Posts: 497

12/17/12 5:49:06 PM#11


I've made that mistake in the past, and in the not so distant past.. (screw you FFXIV)

Pretty much I'll demo / trial / try a game's F2P model before I'll give any game company a dime now. Same goes for my mobile and console gaming. Luckily Nintendo's relaxed their 'no free game minute' stance.

It's best way to go for the market. This blustering and buying crap games based on hype seems to set a trend with companies & investors who don't care about the business after the first 9 weeks of release.

Honestly that culture is killing good gaming.

a yo ho ho


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1668

12/17/12 5:52:54 PM#12

Its a decision that every gamer has to make individually as its kind of personal to how you approach your hobby. For some shelling out £40 for a game is chicken feed and they love getting in on day one for the thrill of the chase to get game firsts and such, others just like being there on day one and feel that £40 is worth the risk of a buggy unplayable mess though thats becoming a bit of a rarity in the AA world these days. Or £40 might be a difficult financial decision on who gets it with the amount of games released these days so B2P/F2P might be their bag so they wait. I personally don't play at release unless I've been in the beta and tried the game out, and yes I know beta's are for testing... haha yeah really .


What you suggest is certainly true in respect to gaming companies changing tack a few months after release but in a highly competitive world that is the MMO market these days thats the only thing that can do to survive sometimes. MMO's cost so much in terms of money, time and complexity they are unlike SP games and with them being relatively young there will be teething problems and we are seeing companies struggle to innovate quick enough to appease the appetite of modern gamers but they'll get there, its how you want to enjoy the ride thats the key to all this, find what you are comfortable with and just accept that not all things can be perfect from the get go.   

This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 241

12/17/12 6:11:16 PM#13
Someone has to do it. I personally don't buy games at launch, I also don't play P2P games. With F2P, there's only a time commitment and that is determined by you.

I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

12/18/12 2:18:38 PM#14
That's what I've done for years, I will not buy any new MMO until it has been "in the wild" for at least 4-6 months so they can fix all of the launch problems and I can see by people who have really played the game how it is.  In fact, I pretty much won't play any of these games unless there's a free trial too.  There are too many horrible games with horrible communities that I don't want to waste my money on.  They have to prove they're worth paying for.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None


Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/07
Posts: 343

12/19/12 12:38:39 AM#15


The problem is with the design philosophy and the VERY predictable pattern.


Now almost every game is designed with such a linear content (Quests, Itemization and what have you). Which you will consume in no time. You KNOW all your effort is going to be trivialized soon (The WoW philosophy, your raid gear is reduced useless every expansion).

We also learned the pattern of "Every MMORPG is going to be Free to Play eventually." and usually after ~6 months. So, whenever you play an MMORPG you have this kind of though "I can't invest my time on this because I know it's going to go Free to Play with a cash-shop and this whole content and effort I'm doing is going to reduced to nothing very soon."


The designers lost track of what an MMORPG should be about. Unfortunately, the problem is due to the very core of the design concept (the WoW-approach) of Quest Driven, Hand Holding, VERY linear experience (whether gear progress or content spoon-feeding or even the world itself). With nothing else to do besides Combat, Combat and Combat!


If retards creating games or making the decisions still want to do such stupid and shallow game concept; then of course they're going to Trivilize the content eventually to attract new players and of course due to their game lacking depth they will turn it into a FTP in hope of grabbing more cash before their stupid game crash and burn.


Conclusion: The core of the design philosophy is the problem. MMORPGs need a designer with balls to convince these boring-suits why they should keep their mouth shut and just let the designer make the game.



Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6686

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

12/19/12 12:48:18 AM#16
Nowadays buying mmos at launch is a terrible idea. The only mmo i dont regret buying at launch was GW2. Before GW2 i bought 4 mmos at launch, Rift, Tera, TSW, SWTOR.... - Rift is empty so i get very bored and wont waste my money without playing, and the other  3 went freemium / no sub option. Im sure GW2 is the last mmo i buy at launch, unless i am guaranteed to try the game for free before buying it to decide if its worth it or not (beta, trial, whatever).


Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1238

hatred is a prison, death a release.

12/19/12 12:54:56 AM#17

preordering a game is always risky.  i have sense stopped preordering any games (coh2 is my very last preorder) for the simple fact 

1) you dont actually know what you are getting until you get it (conscept art/videos mean squat when the actual game is totally differant) 

2) the final product may not be what you actually want. (changes during development dont always get published until the end)

3) it a pain in the ass trying to return a preorder copy to stores if the game is a brick. (brick being a turd in a toilet is a more enjoyable game...)


so yes buying a game via preorder or directly at launch 00:00:01 is typically a bad idea. given game companys (both indy and high end) track record for piss poor Q&A pre launch that leads to 1-3 months of patches upon patches to fix launcher/quest/zone/game bugs. 

CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHz
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Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17726

12/19/12 12:59:30 AM#18

Yeah, it is a bad idea. MMOs are usually in a sad shape for the first few months and people waiting a while makes a lot less misstakes.

Not to mention the prices and the fact that many P2P MMOs really cant survive as P2P anymore and will convert to F2P soon...

Unless you are 100% sure, wait a few months. Saves you a lot of pain.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3565

12/19/12 1:48:50 AM#19

I buy games at launch all the time.

D3, GW2, SWTOR, ME3, FIFA13, COD etc etc.

Most have been good experiences though so pretty happy with that.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  User Deleted
12/19/12 1:55:51 AM#20

If you have the money, and it's a game that you know you'll love, you should do it. Support the devs, they're the ones taking on a complex and trying project, and they should be rewarded for making you the game's that you like.

I wish that I could support my favorite developers in such a manner but money is tight. 60$ at lanch for me is simply out of the question.

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