Why Are PC Games So Cheap?

In Game Guides, Guides by AustinLeave a Comment

When something comes out of course it’s going to be expensive, but when you go to a store to get some games it just seems never goes down, at least until a year has passed.

And even after that year has passed, it may be a little cheaper than when it first came out, but it just seems to maintain that price.

Why does it seem like physical games never go on sale unless it’s a holiday! Why do digital games go on sale more than physical games? And even if nobody is going on sale, why do PC games always seem to be like $10 cheaper?

(A lot of PC games are even cheaper than that! I’m talking dirt cheap!)

And even in the digital world, it’s always the PC games that seem to go on sale more frequently than digital games from other platforms. Why are PC games so cheap and why do they always seem to be on sale?

The Certification That Comes With A Cost

PC games are usually cheaper because they aren’t usually charged for the certification process.

For example Sony and Microsoft usually charge $10 more, so that is why it’s common for PC games to be priced at $50 while games on the Xbox One and PS4 tend to be priced at $60.

It’s because the companies want to make up for the $10 they are going to lose for the certification process so they have to make it back by charging the gamer more for the game.

Now I’m not saying all console platforms do this certification process, but a lot of popular ones do.

The Cost of Creation

It doesn’t cost very much money to make physical copies of games. Each disc probably costs a couple of pennies to make and the DVD cases they come in are fairly cheap as well.

So why are they so expensive compared to digital games if the physical copies don’t even cost that much to make? Another factor we got to consider is shipping.

They probably have to pay to ship all those games… err, still not quite adding up though right? Okay I’ll spit out one of the main reasons…. retailers!

Retailers act as the distribution channel for selling the physical games, but they need to make money too so that is why they cost so much more than digital games.

If retailers aren’t getting enough profit to distribute their games, then what’s in it for them to sell the companies games.

Digital Games Aren’t As Costly For Companies To Distribute

How in the world are online game distributing companies like Steam even able to make money if they are always going on sale!? How are the game developers even making money too?

Doesn’t Steam take like 30-40% of the profit made by their games? Steam and the game developers are still making money and here’s why.

The Deals That Drive More Sales

They are still making money because these sales actually create more profit than normal.

Consumers usually don’t like to pay full price on Steam games, but when a game goes on sale it drives more of an urge to buy it because it’s such a good deal that they don’t want to miss out on.

They find themselves making more money from selling these games so cheaply because the profit usually exceeds what they were making before they put the games on sale.

Also, it doesn’t cost as much to sell digital copies of games when comparing it to physical copies at retailer stores because they only really have to worry about things like bandwidth cost.


Notice when I talked about the disc production, I said that they don’t cost very much to make the discs. Notice how I specifically said discs. For more clarification, don’t assume I think that games don’t cost that much to create.

I was saying the disc itself is cheap to make. The whole game production process (like designing the game and everything) is a whole other story and costs a lot to make.

Both digital and physical games cost a lot to create in terms of the actual game and more money is even spent on licensing, advertising, and distributing.

But digital games tend to be cheaper because distributing costs are cheaper than physical games.

You see, digital game distributors don’t need to really worry as much about retailers or worry about the physical DVD cases, discs, shipping and certification process cost contrary to physical distributors.

Yeah, digital distributors like Steam need to get paid a 30-40% cut, but it doesn’t cost as much because they only really need to worry about things like storing it on their server.

And when games go on sale, Steam actually finds themselves making more money because it urges people to spend money they weren’t planning on spending because they want to get the best deals before time runs out.

And that is why PC games are so cheap! I hope you found the information you were looking for, I encourage you to leave a comment so I can get back to you!

If you are interested in finding what games you want to play and/or want me to provide you with some resources and tools I use for predicting the next Steam sale you should definitely read up on this post.

Happy Savings!


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