When Will Fallout 4’s Price Drop by 50%?

By now we’re all familiar with how new video game releases and Steam promotions work. One day, inevitably, Fallout 4 will be available for half its retail price (and less). If you already placed a pre-order for the game and its collector’s edition strategy guide, you probably couldn’t care less. However, if $60 USD is not something you part with lightly, the waiting-for-a-Steam-sale strategy becomes a lot more interesting. But how long would you have to wait until Fallout 4 is likely available at a 50% discount? We dug up the answer.

Major Factors in Price Cut

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A cut in the leg is only equivalent to a 30% cut thoough

After a while, it almost becomes possible for fans to predict when a game is going to have a major price cut. There are numerous factors that go in to a publisher’s decision to discount the price on a game. The most obvious is time in the market. The longer a game is available, the less likely it will be able to command top dollar. This is especially true of games in popular categories like shooters, sandbox, and building games, and even truer when it comes to games in a series. While the first game in a series is always going to have a certain advantage due to it being first, by the time the fifth installment in the series is on the shelf, it’s not likely that the first game is going to be able to sustain a high price.

Retail events are also a major influence on a game’s price. Steam holds regular sales which serve as enormous promotional opportunities for publishers. Sitting out on a sale is far too expensive in terms of visibility, so publishers are almost guaranteed to join in, even if it means the price of their game might drop precipitously. Brick and mortar retailers also relentlessly push sales, giveaways, contests, and one-of-a-kind events which only increases the pressure on publishers to elbow their way to the front by slashing prices and reaching for a bigger fan base.

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Price History of Popular Titles Published by Bethesda

Bethesda

If we look through the history of popular games published by Bethesda Softworks such as Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, Dishonored, and the Evil Within, the first major price drop for most games occurred during three periods: middle of July (Steam Summer Sale), end of November (Black Friday), and the end of December (Christmas). Most of these price drops are temporary, but if you’re serious about saving a bit of cash, you’ll set up a price alert at Cheapshark or Killer Game Deals.

After the first release of Fallout 3 on October 28, 2008, its first 50% drop was in December 2010 at Amazon. Fallout New Vegas, released on October 19, 2010 with a price tag of $49.99, had a temporary 40% discount of $29.99 on the December 24th Steam sale. The second significant drop was on July 5, 2011 which was during the Steam Summer Sale. We saw a huge 70% drop this time, and the price went down to only $14.99.

Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011 at $59.99 for the standard edition. It didn’t see a significant drop until the middle of July. The first 50% drop was on July 14, 2012 on Steam and the second was during the latter halves of both November and December 2012 on Steam and Amazon.

Dishonored, released on October 9, 2012, rapidly had its price cut in half on November 28, 2012.

Interestingly enough, one of the latest games from Bethesda, The Evil Within, still hasn’t seen much of a discount after its initial release on October 13, 2014.

Looking at the pricing history of the above releases, there seem to be two requirements for a game to be available at a 50% discount—there needs to be a major sales day, and the game has to have been out for more than half a year already.

Impact from DLC

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Another interesting factor that should severely impact prices is the release of DLC. It’s widely known that the price for the standard edition of any game will be permanently decreased once there’s new downloadable content available. Are these pricing strategies going to affect Fallout 4? First, let’s take a look at Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim.

Fallout New Vegas has around 5 DLCs total and all of them were released in February to September of 2011. The first price change from $49.99 to $19.99 was on August 9, 2011 which was almost a year after its initial release. Two years later starting on March 6, 2013, Fallout New Vegas fell to only $9.99 and stayed at that price.

The first major price change of Skyrim—from $59.99 to $29.99—occurred on May 7, 2013 which was one and a half years after the initial game release and three months after the latest add-on called Dragonborn. A year after that, on April 21, 2014, its price decreased to $19.99 and stayed there.

In the cases of both popular games, the original game price wasn’t discounted until a new batch of DLC content arrived. Most DLC releases tend to be around one and a half years after the release of a game.

How About Fallout 4?

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Fallout 4 is slated for a holiday season release in 2015. It is likely that the game will retain its high price until well into 2016, since aside from the Christmas buying season (where it will likely recover most of its costs) there will be few reasons for price cuts.

Later in the year, Bethesda will likely participate in various summer events like E3, Comic-Con and PAX, where very early whispers of future Fallout installments may begin. There is also the Steam Summer Sale where a considerable discount is always possible in order to keep the game at the forefront of the promotional curve.

By the time the 2016 holiday season rolls around, Fallout 4 will be a year old and will likely have a little more trouble staying at the front of the pack. That is probably the time when the first major price concessions will happen. While they may not be 50% of the list price, they will probably be well into the double digits. That discount will give the game one more surge in sales.

Following the 2016 holiday season, rumors and previews of Fallout 5 will very likely be in full swing, which will take the spotlight squarely off the fourth installment. At that point, Bethesda will have little to lose by offering really substantial price cuts. The best time to announce those cuts will be at or near the summer season of 2017 as part of the promotional push for the next game in the series.

The Verdict

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Fallout 4 is going to be a massively successful video game. It will take at least a year before we see any significant price cuts for the latest Bethesda title. However, $10 and $20 price cuts are likely to pop up every once in a while, and gamers should jump all over them if given the opportunity.

Several deals for Fallout 4 have already been announced, and these will be available prior to the game’s release. As of right now, Microsoft is offering $10 off of Fallout 4 for gamers who pre-order the game. Best Buy is also offering a Fallout 4 deal, but it will be in the form of a $10 gift card with the purchase of the game. The best deal right now for Fallout 4 comes from a gaming website known as CDKeys.com. The website is offering $20 off of Fallout 4, but it’s only available for the PC version of the game.

Fallout 4 is set to release on November 10, 2015. The game will cost around $63 with tax. However, since the game will release during the holiday season, there is a chance that Fallout 4 could receive a significant price cut for Christmas. When Skyrim came out in November of 2011, gamers were amazed that Steam was offering 33% off the game. Since Skyrim is a game developed by Bethesda, there’s a good chance that Fallout 4 could receive the same price cut during this year’s Steam Christmas sale.

The first time a 50% price drop should happen will be either during the middle of July during the Steam Summer Sale or on December 22th, 2016 if we base our predictions off last year’s Steam sale which began on December 18th and ended on January 2nd. After that, from around May to June 2017 there should be new Fallout 4 DLC to enjoy which will cause the standard edition to be permanently discounted to $29.99—a 50% discount.

Can’t wait for the price to drop? Get Fallout 4 from Amazon today and you can be in a Wasteland adventure of your own within minutes from now!

Worried about missing an amazing side quest in Fallout 4? Then this deal is for you: Use the coupon code FALL41 to get 10 USD off when picking up Killer Guides' Fallout 4 Guide. In this guide you’ll find all undocumented quests as well as proven builds, weapon modification tips, and building settlement strategies and much, much more! Click here to read a review from one of the most popular community sites for Fallout 4.



  • Josh Javage

    If you know where to look, you can already find Fallout 4 (for PC), $15-$20 cheaper then regular retail…

    • Me

      No Share. No Proof. No Cool.

  • BH nullvalue

    Unfortunately I was one who payed for the game at launch. Don’t really mind so much it will be half price. Do however mind that the game itself wasn’t worth the 60$. 30$ I can see…

  • TheMoonRover

    “Following the 2016 holiday season, rumors and previews of Fallout 5 will very likely be in full swing”
    Clearly you are not familiar with how Bethesda works. Fallout 5 is unlikely to be out before 2020.