The Most Affordable Backlog

Three things are true. I don’t have a ton of extra money throw around. I am frequently a sucker for a deal. I collect video games.

In this age of digital distribution, there is an argument rumbling just beneath the surface of society that video games are getting devalued and between people’s judgement and inflation and such, they should cost a lot more money. Despite these sentiments, video games cost a lot less than they used to, primarily for the PC platform.

Having a long-time interest in deals, I subscribe to several newsfeeds that just aggregate home goods, electronics, and video game related deals. Daily, I skim past 99% of everything I see, either because I don’t need it, or don’t want it, or can’t afford it. But something is an ever more frequent phenomenon: free PC games.

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Many of us have heard of Steam and their legendary sales. You may be aware of other distributers such as EA’s Origin, Ubisoft’s UPlay, as well as less sinister overlords like Gamersgate (not to be confused with the anti-social-justice movement) and GreenManGaming and GOG (formerly Good Old Games). Also of note is the Humble Bundle and the Humble Store, as well as Twitch.tv, which skirt along the primary point of this article:

These companies occasionally just GIVE games AWAY.

Like a late-night infomercial host, I want to share the wealth. Serious gamers and casuals alike should know about these things. Every so often, all the above-mentioned services will make games of all sizes available for free. All you pay is the price of registering a free account with your email address. The only other catch is that the deals are almost always fleeting, usually topping at about 48 hours for the window of redemption, sometimes as little as maybe six hours.

Ubisoft just gave away Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Watch Dogs, and World in Conflict for free. They’re still free if this goes live before December 23rd, 2017 elapses. Right now Oxenfree is no charge on gog.com and will be until the 26th. Twitch Prime subscribers get free in-game loot all of the time in many major games such as Overwatch, and sometimes Twitch just drops in a free complete game like Superhot, the first person not so secretly actually a puzzle game. No cost except the price of Amazon Prime until the 24th.

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So at this very moment of writing, I’ve grabbed six critically acclaimed games for no money unless you count my Amazon Prime membership. If that’s too much, Superhot gets knocked off the list or can be purchased on Steam for about 9 dollars (not fact checked).

Recently, the Grim Fandango remaster was on gog.com for free. Layers of Fear was just free on the Humble Store as were Company of Heroes 2 and Homefront.

The prime place to be in is a place of awareness. Let a little spam into your inboxes from these guys and they’ll tell you when they’re giving something away. It seems worth it, at least to me, a guy who lets nearly all major game releases pass him by due to finances. And even if everything languishes in your backlog forever, it’s okay! It isn’t any wasted money.

I was not compensated in ANY form for the writing of this article. I wasn’t even directly given anything free. I just went out and found it. And you can too.

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