Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How much do you spend on games?

Portal 2 has been released to high accolades and fan fair (and the inevitable bit of controversy). It is a game I would like to play. It is a game I intend to play. Yet I am not playing it. Noticing that several of my friends on Steam were playing the game I thought about this and wondered why I wasn't joining them. The answer is very simple - it is too expensive for me at the moment. This is not a rant against the economics game industry or any part of it, It is purely a statement of my own personal situation and a query perhaps as to whether anyone else finds them self in a similar situation. 

What it boils down to is this: I spend about 20 hours every week playing games yet games come pretty far down the priority list of household expenditure. It isn't that we are badly off but I just don't feel comfortable spending more than  €50 or so on game purchases every month (last year for example I spent less than €400 on games). I need to squeeze 80 hours of gaming out of that €50 so a game that costs €49.99 for a dozen hours of game-play just doesn't make sense for me unless it is a very special occasion (perhaps Christmas or a birthday).

I will  play Portal 2, it's just that I will have to wait a few months until it comes down in price or is put on sale.

Is my situation unusual? Am I the only gamer who likes to play a lot of games while keeping to a tight budget?


Cap'n John said...

Unless it's for a birthday or Christmas gift I'm very reluctant to pay more than $30 for a game. I feel for my former countrymen who are asked to pay AU$100 (if not more) for their new releases.

Tipa said...

In this highly connected world, even single player games are multiplayer if everyone you know is playing at the same time. Portal 2 will be the same game in six months -- or six years. But the experience of playing it the same time friends are playing it happens just at launch.

Tesh said...

I definitely keep my gaming on a budget. That's part of why I detest sub games, actually. I buy games on sale and almost never spend more than $20 on a game. I play a lot of demos, too.

I will get Portal 2 at some point... later.

JThelen said...

I honestly don't even want to think about how much I've spent on games this year, but that's mostly due to me dropping the cash on a lifetime sub for STO. Ordinarily, unless I'm paying for an MMO though, it's safe to say I'll spend about $400 a year, and that's including 2-3 big ticket purchases.

As for how I do it, that's actually pretty easy: I buy a LOT of games on Steam Sales. I'm not above/below/beside buying a game brand spanking new and in fact heartily endorse doing so. Most publishers look really, really hard at sales for the first couple of weeks, and for titles that I"m very invested/interested in, I'll gladly drop the full ticket price so as to make sure the publisher knows that this title is worth supporting. Otherwise, I'll wait and buy it for some ridiculously low price from Steam.

mbp said...

@Tipa you make an excellent point. I have no problem with those who choose to spend €50 in order to be part of that new game experience. It is a personal choice to forgo that experience so that I can afford more games on my limited budget but I do appreciate being part of the buzz on the rare occasions that I do indulge in a new release game.

The advent of online sales has helped somewhat. If you buy a game when it goes on sale there will be an influx of new players to discuss it with. The Steam game forums are particularly useful because of this.

If you want to be a serious blogger though it probably helps to stay current.

mbp said...

@Capn John, @Tesh, @Jthelen it sounds like we all have similarly frugal game purchasing habits. JT's $400 spend is almost identical to my own when you consider that $1 has the same game purchasing power as €1 when you take conversions and sales tax into account.