I Survived 2015 Without Spending Money on Video Games

I managed to keep 2015’s new year’s resolution by spending nothing on video games. It was tough yet it was easy. The only thing that made it tough was the fantastic game bundles I’ve been addicted to purchasing. Even if I’ve spent about $2,000 on Team Fortress 2, I have never been the type to purchase full price games. They will all be $5 soon enough so I can wait. The thing that made it easy is that I already have 1,100 Steam games and physical copies of older games. To top that off, a lot of games are just free to play.

The first four months were challenging, because its tough to break a habit, but then after that it became a habit to never spend money on games. By the final month of December, I kept thinking well I could just buy games. No one cares about my resolution except for me. I could just lie and say I made it all the way or acknowledge the truth that I only made it eleven. After keeping up with it eleven months, I might as well go for the full year. Every game that was on sale will just be on a deeper sale later.

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Without new games, I played old games that were still new to me and even a lot of people. Purchasing bundles, you get a lot of stuff. What’s in the stuff? I have no idea, its just easier to buy the bundles rather than looking into each game and calculating if I want it or not. Sure there are always one or two games that stand out as desirable, but the rest just comes with the package. So I played a lot of things that most people would never play. Making a meal out of the fat.

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At some point thanks to this review site, I started to get free copies of games sent my way. I would ask for some, but others would just give me a key for them. Desura had its free Friday for a few months and that was always helpful. In the long run, Desura is now in limbo without an update for six months. Its tough to imagine a failed online shop when all you do is host games and sell them.

Then my friends started giving me games. I’m thankful for that, but I have given a lot of people games in the past. So it was payback in a way, but friendship always drives people to give multiplayer games. Your friends make any game fun, which is why they’re your friends. I managed to snag Payday 2, Don’t Starve Together, Meltdown, Contagion and other games that escape me.

Oh but then Steam always rolls out a free weekend of whatever games happen to need sales before their games are 75% off. I managed to play two weekends of Saints Row IV to finish the game for free, even though I will buy it at some point. Saints Row: The Third was in plenty of bundles, so the fourth will be no different. Other free weekends like Dungeon of the Endless, Endless Legend, Killing Floor 2 all come to mind. Now that I think of it, Steam sure had a lot of turn based and real time strategies on free weekends. Perhaps those are the ones that need a weekend to get into.

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Beyond the free games, the gifted games and the new undiscovered ones, there are always the old favorites. I managed to get into Skyrim after being burnt out from Morrowind and Oblivion for hundreds of hours. FTL, Prison Architect, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Team Fortress 2 kept the fun going when I needed it.

So now that the game buying hiatus is over, how did I spend my January first? By purchasing around 80 games for $35 because dirt cheap bundles still exist. Some I had to turn away from because purchasing that much in a short amount of time turns into a struggle to copy and paste all of the game keys into Steam. You need to pick and choose because with 1,100 games, they just turn into a number. I will never play the 80 that I purchased even if I stop buying games for the rest of my life.

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