We all like to save some cash in this economy and there is a variety of ways to save money on video games, especially MMOs, if you know the tricks of the trade. Sales happen at reliable intervals and are always going to provide you with some savings over retail, especially on DLC and in-game purchases, while a variety of other tricks can help you find the deep deals you crave.
While you can luck into a deal, often times research is going to be the best suggestion. The more you know about min and maximum prices, how much a game has gone on sale for before, and what retailers carry it, the better off you are.
Use Your Search Engine
Search for the name of the game plus "deals," where usually you'll find a wealth of information for that specific game on sites like dealzon, along with forums that'll discuss what you're looking for. You can be creative too, if you want say a key to a lockbox or a specific costume, there is a good chance there is a discussion about if and when it'll go on sale. For retail games, obviously, there is often a bounty of information available on lowest prices.
Ultimately, this is all about research and should be the first step to any purchase.
During any holiday, no matter how small, in-game items will often go on discount, especially if they keep anything from the last seasonal event in the store. Games will likely go on sale during minor holidays, and obviously everything goes on major sale during black friday / the holiday shopping season. Like for instance, Valentine's Day will bring a host of discounts and sales across the board, and Steam will usually run a holiday sale at the same time too.
Steam sales happen at:
- Black Friday
- Christmas / Winter Holiday
These are set in stone and will likely happen each and every year. The times vary a smidge, but they're the biggest sales in virtual gaming I know of. If you want to take advantage of a steam sale, there is lots of strategies, up to and including only buying games the last day unless they're on a flash sale, only buying games during the flash sale, etc. Steam will, now, let you refund a game and have given clerance to refund in order to repurchase at a lower rate. So my advice is you see something at a price you like during a sale, buy it, but don't play it until the sale is over, unless you're sure that's the lowest price.
Sites like SteamDB et al will list prices and historical data for games.
Big box stores like Toys R' Us, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, et al run sales frequently and are often overlooked, including in-game DLC that is available in scratch cards in the physical stores and often as cd-keys online. You might not think there are good deals there, but often you'll find blockbuster games heavily discounted, to stay in competition with online retailers.
I don't suggest you sign up for emails, but doing so can often land big deals either in the form of short-term discount coupons for simply registering or often times email specific coupons delivered to you. If you enjoy a retailer a lot, it's not all bad news to sign up for some email spam willingly. Plus it can give you regular updates to their sales.
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