The Buy Now Play Later Mentality Needs To Stop


Games are never going to be released perfect, I get that, we all get that games are hard to make and that’s not what we are discussing here today.

Buy now play later is where a game will launch and be either broken to an nigh on unplayable state or have hardly any content or anything in general that stops you being able playing it. Think of games like Cyberpunk 2077, it released and was a buggy mess with a lot of issues, or No Man’s Sky which came out and had nothing of note and didn’t even match up with its own launch trailer. The list is a long one and any game could be affected by it. We’ve all had a game which we started playing and for whatever reason have said the words “this is alright but I think I’ll wait for a few updates”, then you shelve it.

This is buy now and play later in a nutshell. It’s happening more and more, and some companies have made it part of there business in a way. Ubisoft are an example of sticking by your product, their games release and have issues or features missing but they stay on it and keep adding or fixing it up and turning it around. Just look at Rainbow Six Siege, The Crew 2, Assassin’s Creed and so many more. Whilst I appreciate and commend them for sticking by their games it still doesn’t help the stigma of buying games day one being a bad thing.

I hate that it’s becoming normalised and is almost excepted but I think it could be fatigue with it all or the fact that the line between broken and a bad game is so thin it skirts between the two constantly. We could get into the whole “should game Dev time be extended all the time so they launch properly?” or is the “release now fix later” acceptable so we can at least have the game.

With every release the fear of it being good or even finished becomes a strong buying basis. I mean, what does likely end up happening? Do reviews and influencers have a place? Are they the be all or end all of sales? I think pre order to get early access or whatever is never good enough because you are already locked in at that point. You are not going to get the blanket return procedures that Cyberpunk gave everyone for every game and instead return policies could and will dictate which platform you buy it on. PlayStation are a generally a nightmare to get refunds from but Steam is so much easier, so which do you go for? (outside of specs obviously)

I may not be articulating my words very well but the point comes across that there is a problem and it’s getting worse. I don’t have all the answers, only suggestions and I am excellent at just bitching at the problem and doing nothing about it but this time I pass it off to you, what games have you bought that fall into the buy it now, play later? What would you like to see happen? Sound off and let’s start a discussion.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!