Video games have risen in price in recent times due in large part to the long-term decline of the South African rand.
This has resulted in prices in excess of R1,000 becoming common for major video game titles.
For many gamers, it is difficult to justify spending this much whenever they want to play a new game.
Thankfully, there are several subscription services and other options which do not require you to pay such expensive prices.
These options are detailed below.
Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass is the gaming subscription services offered by Microsoft for its Xbox and PC gamers.
It offers access to over 100 popular games, with new games continuing to be added on the same day that they are released for individual purchase.
The pricing of these services is as follows:
- Xbox Game Pass for PC – R99 per month
- Xbox Game Pass for Console – R99 per month
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (PC and Console) – R149 per month.
This translates over 12 months to the following (excluding new subscriber special deals):
- Xbox Game Pass for PC – R1,188
- Xbox Game Pass for Console – R1,188
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – R1,788
Given that a single AAA game can cost a similar price to a year’s worth of Xbox Game Pass, the service offers incredible value.
The extensive range of popular games on Xbox Game Pass includes:
- Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC)
- Wasteland 3 (PC)
- ARK: Survival Evolved (Xbox)
- Fallout 76 (Xbox)
- Forza Horizon 4 (PC and Xbox)
- Gears 5 (PC and Xbox)
- Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox)
- No Man’s Sky (PC and Xbox)
- Minecraft (Xbox)
- Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (PC)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (Xbox)
- The Outer Worlds (PC)
EA Play, formerly known as Origin Access, is another subscription service that offers PC gamers great value.
It comes in two versions – EA Play and EA Play Pro.
Pricing for these two services is as follows:
- EA Play – R48.50 per month or R299 per year.
- EA Play Pro – R199.95 per month or R1,199.99 per year.
EA Play Pro allows users to access all new releases 10 days before launch, as well as access to all of EA’s latest games.
EA Play subscribers also get access to all new releases 10 days before launch, but can only play these games for up to 10 hours.
These subscribers also get access to the latest EA games, but these games also can only be played for up to 10 hours.
They still get full access to the majority of the EA Play library, however.
The EA Play library includes popular games such as the following:
- FIFA 20
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Madden 21
- Battlefield One
- Need for Speed Heat
- The Sims 4
- Dead Space
- Titanfall 2
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
Ubisoft’s subscription service offers gamers unlimited access to over 100 games.
Subscribers get access to new Ubisoft titles the day they release, as well as the opportunity to join early access and beta programs.
Users will get access to Deluxe, Gold, and Ultimate editions of popular games which provides these gamers with expanded content.
UPlay Plus is priced at €14,99 per month.
Games available through uPlay Plus include:
- Assassins Creed Valhalla
- Watch Dogs Legion
- Far Cry 6
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
- Anno 1800
- The Crew 2
Humble is a long-standing website that has become a popular avenue for gamers looking to source games for lower prices.
The most well-known product offered by Humble is its regular bundles.
Key to the Humble Bundle’s popularity is that users can pay what they want.
“The core of our bundle ‘philosophy’ is flexible pricing,” explains Humble on its website.
“When you buy a bundle, you can choose the price you want to pay. You can even choose how your money is divided – between the creators, charity, Humble Partners, and Humble Bundle.”
Humble Bundles are usually available in a tiered system, meaning that the more the user pays, the more they will be able to get.
Humble Choice is another option from Humble and is a monthly PC game subscription service which gives the user the choice of at least 10 PC games and allows them to choose a number of these games to keep forever.
Grey market websites
There are a variety of grey market software websites which offer popular game keys for a significantly reduced price.
This discount is usually achieved by the sellers purchasing game keys in bulk in regions where prices are lower, and then selling these keys to people for other regions where the prices are higher.
It is important to note that these websites are controversial as they exploit international pricing structures, resulting in less revenue for the games’ developers.
Many are also less secure, gamers may encounter problems due to the localisation of their grey market key in certain titles.
To read up on the legality of grey market game keys in South Africa, click here.