Stores, launchers & key resellers: How, when and where do you buy new games?


With this Sunday question, the editors would like to know from you how, when and where you buy new PC games. Which stores and launchers do you use, how do you deal with exclusivity and what role do discount campaigns, free games and key resellers play? As always, comments are welcome.

Table of contents

  1. Discounts, exclusive games and ending exclusivity
    1. Epic Games rebels against Valve
    2. Steam won the Store Wars
  2. How did the community buy new games this year?
    1. How is your buying behavior influenced by discounts and exclusivity?
    2. Buy games cheaper or not at all?
  3. Participation is expressly desired
    1. Overview of the last ten Sunday questions

Discount promotions, exclusive games and ending exclusivity

Last week, offers, discounts and bargains were also omnipresent in the world of video games: Black Friday caused prices to fall in numerous launchers and stores. Examples include the annual autumn campaign on Steam that started on Tuesday evening, subsequent Black Friday offers on GOG, or the latest free game in the Epic Games Store. But the Epic Games Store was also in the headlines for another reason: Ubisoft's partnership with Epic Games has apparently ended.

Epic Games rebels against Valve

It's been almost four years since the Fortnite developer started his own store trying to break Valve's near-monopoly on the digital distribution of PC games. From the start, a higher commission for game developers was a lure on the part of the providers, while customers were to be brought to the new platform with free and exclusive games. To that end, Epic Games was willing to cross-fund the new store with up to $181 million annually in revenue generated largely from Fortnite: Battle Royale, according to April's court case with Apple. And the growth strategy worked; Earlier this year, the Epic Games Store passed the 500 million account milestone.

One of the publishers who have been helping the up-and-coming platform with at least partially exclusive games since 2019 was Ubisoft. The French company entered into an agreement with Epic Games, according to which its own games should no longer appear on Steam, but only in the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft's own launcher Uplay – now renamed to Ubisoft Connect. At that time, The Division 2 (test) and the development strategy game Anno 1800 (test), which has now arrived at the end of its fourth season (test), were initially affected all subsequent content was also provided for the relevant buyers; However, a new acquisition was no longer possible from April 16, 2019.

Anno 1800 – Rise of the New World (Image: Ubisoft)

Almost four years later, that is about to change. Starting with Assassin's Creed Valhalla (review), Ubisoft games will gradually become available again on Steam starting December 6, 2022; Anno 1800 and the arcade sports game Roller Champions, which was launched in summer 2022, are to follow at a later date that has not yet been announced. The Steam release of future Ubisoft games is also conceivable again. As before, it will probably remain the case that buyers of the Steam version of a Ubisoft game will still need Ubisoft Connect in addition – Steam acts as a kind of launcher for the launcher. Nevertheless, in a survey, around a quarter of ComputerBase readers said they would consider buying Ubisoft games more often in the future due to their availability on Steam.

Where do you buy Ubisoft games?

  • I used to buy at least one Ubisoft game on Steam.
  • I have purchased at least one Ubisoft game from the Epic Games Store.
  • I bought at least one Ubisoft game directly in Ubisoft Connect (formerly Uplay).
  • I haven't bought anything from Ubisoft lately, but that could change soon with the return to Steam.
  • Buy from Ubisoft' I won't do anything in the future!
  • Abstain (Show result)

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The publisher did not explain why Ubisoft is returning to Steam after years of Epic Games and Ubisoft Connect exclusivity. The assumption is obvious that Epic Games will no longer be willing to lucratively remunerate said exclusivity in the future. Ubisoft, meanwhile, once justified the withdrawal with Valve's “30 percent tax” – which was relaxed at the end of 2018 – whereas Epic Games, like most competing stores, charges a lower commission of 12 percent in this case.

Steam won the Store Wars

With the return to Steam, Ubisoft is following a trend that EA started a few years ago: More and more major publishers, who once switched to their own clients, launchers or stores, are now selling on Steam again. At the beginning of the year, Microsoft buried the acquired publisher's launcher to switch to Valve's platform, and Activision Blizzard recently followed suit with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II -User will ultimately have been the most serious argument for the relevant publisher. As a result, Steam is poised to emerge victorious in the Store Wars at the end of 2022.

How did the community buy new games this year?

But what about your purchasing behavior: Is Steam also the big favorite within the ComputerBase community or is it also being bought diligently in other stores? The editors would first like to know from which providers you bought at least one PC game in 2022 – this does not include any free games. It's also not about the launcher, which is ultimately necessary to start a game; the decisive factor is the retailer through which a video game was purchased. Particularly interesting: How many readers still buy games in physical form, maybe even from local retailers or used? And if you use shops that are not explicitly mentioned as an answer option, you are welcome to report specifically in the comments.

Where did you buy at least one PC game this year?

  • Steam
  • Epic Games Store
  • GOG
  • EA Origin
  • Ubisoft Connect
  • Microsoft Store or Xbox App
  • Another launcher or other reputable store
  • Online key reseller
  • For bundle offers such as Humble Bundle < /li>
  • Ordered online as a physical edition
  • Bought at retail as a physical edition
  • Bought on the used market as a physical edition
  • Abstain (view result)

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That would clarify where you buy new PC games – but how many actually? The next survey should work out how many new games you have already bought this year. The platform doesn't matter this time, so games for the PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch also count, for example. On the outside, however, are free games; also titles accessed through subscriptions do not count – they should in fact be individual purchases.

How many games did you buy this year?

  • None
  • 1-5 games
  • 6-10 games
  • 11-15 games
  • 16-20 games
  • 21-25 games
  • 26-30 games
  • More than 30 games
  • Abstain (Show result)

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How is your purchasing behavior influenced by discounts and exclusivity?

Especially in the course of the numerous discount campaigns of the past few days, it is of interest to what extent you are guided by the purchase price when buying new games. The vast majority of new triple-A productions are released these days with a price of around 60 euros for the standard edition. However, more and more publishers are recently increasing the purchase price to around 70 euros; the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is an example, as is Need for Speed ​​Unbound. Before or at the release, the costs are therefore high – so do you wait consistently? Or do you buy when you want and have time?

When do you usually buy video games?

  • I usually pre-order games that interest me.
  • I usually buy interesting games at or shortly after the release.
  • I usually only buy games when I actually find time to play them – but then don't wait any longer.
  • I usually wait until they are heavily discounted before buying new games.
  • Abstain (Show result)

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Ubisoft's upcoming Steam renaissance has already been discussed in detail. But some games still appear exclusively on certain platforms, in selected stores or require a launcher that has not yet been installed on your own PC. Unless it is a title available exclusively on the PlayStation or a Nintendo game, buyers have a choice: Install additional programs on their computer to play the game of their choice – or is this hurdle too big?< /p> How do you deal with exclusive games on PC?

  • If a game requires a specific launcher or store, then so be it – it doesn't stop me from buying or playing.
  • The compulsion to use certain launchers or stores has a negative influence on my purchase decisions, but that is not a knockout criterion.
  • If a game isn't available on my launcher or store of choice, then I don't play it.
  • Abstain (Show result)

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One reason for committing to a specific store from the outset can be, for example, that you only want to buy games that are DRM-free, i.e. without copy protection. Does the ComputerBase community value it? The editors welcome any comments.

Buy games cheaper or not at all?

Free games have already been mentioned. Epic Games, in particular, draws attention to itself with weekly free giveaways, but are the readers going to be captivated? Do you always take free games with you, do you always reconsider them or do you categorically ignore the topic?

Do you take free games with you?

  • Yes, I always add them to my collection when time allows.
  • Only if I'm generally interested in the free games.
  • Really only if I wanted the game beforehand.
  • No, that's too much work for me and play' the titles are not, after all.
  • Abstain (Show result)

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Game subscriptions are one way of playing games that is not free, but still cheaper overall. Microsoft's Game Pass in particular is now very popular, while other offers such as Google Stadia are being discontinued. So the question is: Which offers did the community subscribe to at least temporarily in 2022?

Which games subscriptions for PC games did you use in 2022?

  • Microsoft Game Pass
  • EA Play
  • Ubisoft+
  • Amazon Prime Gaming
  • Google Stadia
  • Humble Choice
  • Abstain (Show result)

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Buying from so-called key resellers, or key sellers for short, who sometimes sell license keys for computer games without the authorization of the respective rights holder, is also generally legal, but has fallen into disrepute in many places. Common addresses are, for example, G2A, Kinguin or MMOGA. The platforms are regularly accused of selling stolen keys and financing the low prices with tax evasion and receiving stolen goods; the business model is sometimes equated with that of file sharing providers. Does this bother the community or are the savings too tempting? Licensed dealers such as Humble Bundle or Gamesplanet do not count as key resellers for this question.

What do you think of key resellers?

  • I always buy games as cheaply as possible – and accordingly often from key resellers.
  • I occasionally use key resellers when the savings are particularly large.
  • I only buy from key resellers if I can't afford a game otherwise.
  • I would never buy from a key reseller as a matter of principle.
  • Abstention (show result)

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It is not surprising that unofficial key resellers have always been a thorn in the side of publishers and developers. Ubisoft's actions in January 2015, for example, caused a stir when the publisher blocked access for players who, for example, activated Far Cry 4 with license keys from key resellers. Kinguin obtained the corresponding keys in a big way via stolen credit card data and ended up with refunds worth over 150,000 euros. Later, Ubisoft presented a concept called Silent Key Activation to get rid of license keys completely in the long term.

Since the expense of reversals caused by key resellers in turn causes costs for game developers and again no income can be generated from stolen license keys, individual developers even called for playing pirated copies rather than buying from key resellers. This is by no means a recommendation; so-called cracks deprive the developers of their wages. However, pirated copies have always been an illegal way to play computer games for free. Or does the community always get their games legally?

Did you always get new games legally in 2022?

  • Yes, I've always gotten new games legally.
  • Yes, this year I only sourced games legally. But that used to be different.
  • No, sometimes not.
  • No, never.
  • Abstain (Show result)

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Participation is expressly desired

The editors would be very happy to receive well-founded and detailed reasons for your decisions in the comments on the current Sunday question. If you have completely different favorites, please write it in the comments.

Readers who have not yet participated in the last Sunday questions are welcome to do so. In particular, there are still exciting discussions going on in the ComputerBase forum about the last surveys.

Overview of the last ten Sunday questions

  • What is the community thinking about Ray tracing in games?
  • Graphic settings, presets, image output and peripherals
  • Are you still relying on air or already on water?
  • Would you like to know more about efficient or economical hardware read?
  • Have you reached your gaming PC pain threshold?
  • GTA I & II or rather San Andreas, Vice City & GTA V?
  • What grades do you currently give AMD's AM5 platform?
  • Is the power consumption of new hardware still up to date?
  • How does Ada Lovelace calculate for Nvidia?
  • How do you rate the separation of the two GPU specialists?

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