09 June 2017

Cheap gaming

50 cent per hour. 

What is a good price for a game? For some people 60 € is fine, for others its outrageously expensive. I tend to lean towards the "too expensive" group of people. Which doesn't mean I wouldn't buy a game right away if I'm really curious or hyped about it.What can I say, the flesh is weak.

History however has thaught me that such behavior can go both ways. Either the game is what you expected and super cool (Starcraft 2), or its a total miss (No man's sky).

But when do you know if the price is worth it? For me I did a little research last week and checked the prices I payed for my games and the amount of hours that I spend on them. Fallout 4 for example would be 103 hours and I payed 25 € for it. On the other hand, Torchlight 2 only has 5 hours , but I only wasted 3.79 € on that one. Also, I spend a shamefull 339 hours on Minecraft. At least the time that has been kept in the statistics, I'm sure I've spend more on it but the data just got lost over time.

This gives me (price / time played = €per hour)
  • Fallout: 0.24 € per hour
  • Subnautica: 0.09 € per hour
  • Torchlight 2: 0.75 € per hour
  • No man's sky: 0.71 € per hour 
  • Minecraft: 0.03 € per hour
After having done that with all my games I came to the conclusion that I have an average of 0.50 € per hour for the games that I have. Thus in the future, whenever I want to buy a game I'll just ask the following question. 

"How long do you expect to play this game?"
With that in mind I can see if the time played and the price that they offer comes close to the 0.50€/h. If it doesn't then the price is not good enough yet.

This has of course the odd effect that I don't play games when they are fresh from the AAA oven. But at least I won't burn my fingers because I'm wearing the mittens of patience.

A lot of gamers might think its strange not to play a game as soon as its released, but I find this technique to be very beneficial for me. I'm not saying its good for the companies, oh no, I'm the worst customer they can have.
But whenever I buy a game a few years later I'll end up with a product that has all its bugs fixed, probably has some free DLC in it, there'll be walkthroughs all over the net and of course its cheap as hell.

A fine example for this would be Fallout 3, it was released in 2008, yet I only bought it last week. It was the fair price of 10 € and having checked average playtimes of people I got 0.08€ per hour for this game. As this is well below the 0.50€/h benchmark it was ok to get this game. Especially because there were no bugs left, and all the DLC was already included.

All I have to do is play this game for at least 20 hours to get my 50cent, and heck that's the easy part.