Ludicrous   Leave a comment

The buyer of games.

On Saturday I did some wallpapering and painting. I know, right? That’s my exciting, spontaneous, high-flying, jet-set, rock’n’roll lifestyle in a nutshell.
Both long walls were papered (green. I like green) by the end of the day, so only the two short walls (blue, because they didn’t have enough of one shade of green to do the entire room and I thought two slightly different shades of green would be annoying) left to do, although the window’s in one of them.

Of equal import (ie. none) and far more interest was buying Drakensang for £1.74 from Impulse – probably my last purchase of the seasonal summer-sale silly season.

So, how much have I spent adding to my massive pile of unplayed games (about sixty before the sales), and how many new games do I have to show for it?

GOG

Freespace + Expansion
MDK
Castles + Castles 2

Total: £5.71

Steam

Games
ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead – £9.99
The Sims 3 – £10.20
Atom Zombie Smasher – £1.79
Sanctum 4-Pack – £6.65 (two copies sold for £1.66 each)
Portal 2 – Two Pack £26.98 (Spare sold for £13.49)
Terraria – £2.99
Fate of the World – £4.99
Wings of Prey with Wings of the Luftwaffe – £4.50*
Frozen Synapse two-pack – £9.49
Naval Combat Pack – £4.25 (688(I) Hunter/Killer, Dangerous Waters, Fleet Command, Sub Command)

Total (after selling spares): £65.02

Expansions/DLC
ArmA II: British Armed Forces – £3.99
Gratuitous Space Battles: Tribe Expansion – £0.99
Gratuitous Space Battles: The Order Expansion – £0.99
Gratuitous Space Battles: Swarm DLC – £0.99
Gratuitous Space Battles: Nomads – £0.99
Gratuitous Space Battles: Galactic Conquest – £1.24
AI War: Light of the Spire – £1.04*

Total: £10.23

Steam Total Total: £75.25

Impulse

Drakensang

Total: £1.74

Grand total money frittered away on electronic amusements: £82.70 (on 20 games and 7 DLC/expansions)

So just the 20 games (excluding DLC and sold spares, but including unsold spares**) cost £68.22, giving an average price of £3.62 per game.

This is a little more than in the similar Chrimbletide sales; then I only bought one quite-expensive game (Spore for £7.50, I think), not three, so they worked out about three quid each.

The whole lot, however, only comes to about the cost of two new boxed console games (and considerably less than their RRP, but if you pay RRP you’re an idiot so that doesn’t count).

Which all shows a few things (a point after the tedious list, hurrah! As if anybody’s read this far):

1. I consider £7.50 a quite-expensive game. In the early to mid ’90s Megadrive games had an RRP of £45 each, with a few being sixty or seventy quid (Sonic 3 and Virtua Racing for instance). A decade ago, £30 on a new PC game was expected, and four or five years ago £18 was pretty good. It just goes to show how the various price wars caused by online retail and digital download sales have reduced the perceived value of computer games, even outside of platforms where cheap’n’cheerful is the norm, like iOS and Android. (That said, Game have had 3-for-£10 on some budget titles forever, but never the range or promotion of download sales.)

2. Computer games are now an incredibly cheap hobby, even ignoring the massive number of free games around. Hardware costs aren’t humongous, either***, thanks to the PS3 and 360 hanging around for so very long. Even a bog-standard “work only” PC will play plenty of graphicsability-low indie fare which is often far more interesting (and cheaper) than fancy AAA console-ports anyway; until I get this dump tarted up I’m playing on a 3.5 year-old laptop with Intel integrated graphics.

3. I’m in this for the collecting at least as much as the playing, or possibly I’m just an idiot. Fourteen more games added to the not-played pile!

4. I don’t understand why people pirate PC games any more. Why bother? It’s more effort than buying them, barely any cheaper, and doesn’t support people you clearly want to keep making games!

5. One of these days Steam will explode, my account will be killed, or Valve will be bought up/sold on the stockmarket and become Evil, and I will cry forever as all my games vanish. I wish somebody would come along and copy Steam’s sale prices and GOG’s DRM-freeness. GOG are the best digital distributor, but their catalogue is intrinsically limited.

Thank goodness the Steam prize achievements gave me an excuse to play some of the games I already had!

Edit 21:40: Forgot the Naval Combat Pack! Four more games and brings the average price down a bit.

* I bought these together and didn’t get a breakdown email; they were £5.54 together. The prices work out within a penny if they were both 85% off their current price. Wings of the Luftwaffe is technically DLC, but never mind.

** Don’t worry, they’ve been found loving homes; they’re not sitting in my gifts list unplayed.

*** Unless, of course, you use a Mac. But in that case it’s not like you care; the point is they’re expensive.

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