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Buying Games Online Is Much Cheaper Than Buying Them Locally, But It’s Not That Simple

A few months ago, I wrote a post titled As Gaming Goes Digital, What Will Happen To Resellers At Avondale Flea Market? In that post, I mulled over what I believe to be the impending doom that belies local game sellers who sell hard copy versions of video games.

One of the comments in the post read:

Interesting view. But for African market i feel the discs will be here for a while. Firstly because one cannot appreciate full online gaming unless using unlimited wifi and the cost for that locally and regionally at large is still on the higher end and not accessible to plenty.


This comment is particularly what I wanted to focus on in this discussion to better exemplify how much trouble the local game resellers are in and how much of better deal consumers can get by going online.

When FIFA 20 came out, I was determined to get it during its launch week – though I’m not a big FIFA fan. I used to be and I decided that this year was the year I would get round to playing it again.

I took my rugged sling bag and put in 4 games: Red Dead Redemption 2, Spiderman, The Last Of Us & Horizon Zero Dawn along with $40. The idea I had was to go to Avondale Flea market pony up 3 of the 4 games (all of which I have completed) along with $40 and then get a shiny new copy of FIFA 20 and then get a second controller a few weeks later.

That wasn’t to be. Upon getting to Avondale I was informed that FIFA 20 would set me back an eye-watering US$110 and there was no swap and top for an in-demand game like FIFA. I wanted the game but not enough to part with a HUNDRED and TEN freaking dollars for a game I new cost around $68 online – a 39% difference.

Fast forward a few months later, I went on to the PS Store and I came across a digital version FIFA 20 on sale for US$48 (R699) and called the guy I usually get games from locally and he said the price was now US$90 for a brand new copy.

Whilst this lower price was a bit more palatable there’s still a problem in that there’s still a US$42-US$32 difference and I feel like if you have a decent internet connection this is still a great deal to take advantage of.

FIFA 20’s digital version comes in at around 45 GB which means you’ll need an internet package with at least 50GB to be able to download the title. US$32 – US$42 currently gets you around ZW$704 – ZW$924. How much internet can you get with that much:

Internet Package Size Price (ZW$)
TelOne Home Premier 60GB $491
TelOne Home Premier + Night 120GB $632
WiBroniks 100GB Top up 100 GB $758
Fibroniks- Family essentials 100GB $822
Fibroniks – come alive 150GB $914

All these packages will get you FIFA 20 and leave some few bucks extra but without a doubt, TelOne’s packages are the best for this undertaking since it will mean for the game and the internet to download it you’ll need US$70 – a $20 saving.

This becomes even more appealing if you don’t play popular games like FIFA which are rarely discounted and not as heavily discounted. Rise of the Tomb Raider is on sale for US$10 (normally costs US$68) and Metro Exodus which normally costs US$73 is on sale for US$22.2.

This is why I think digital (if you have the access) offers a far better value compared to buying games locally because it seems in many cases the money you’ll spend to buy a game can net you the game and internet to download the game.

It’s not all roses, however, as you’ll have to consider the internet speeds of whatever package you’re going to buy as that will affect how long it will take you to actually download the game you just purchased.

The same comment I used initially from the aforementioned post also raised this fantastic point:

Digital games are only available online meaning if i sell my console i incur another cost interms of wifi to download the same game again on my new console! Now why would i want to do that especially in this country where data is so expensive.


This is a fact and if something happens to your console and you had 7 digital games on that thing you’re going to have to part with a significant amount of money for the internet data to redownload those titles.

Due to the inflationary nature of Zimbabwe’s economy right now, the prospect of buying online might look better or worse in a few months time…

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