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The Almighty Buck Games

The Nickel & Dime Generation 358

Posted by Soulskill
from the talking-cents dept.
Phaethon360 sends in a piece that looks at how quickly game costs can add up these days, now that DLC, microtransactions and standalone expansions are commonplace, writing, "If you were trying to the think of the most expensive games to play, Rock Band or a monthly-fee MMORPG would come to mind. But Halo 3 is right up there, too." It's reminiscent of a recent post at IncGamers where the author tallied up how much he'd spent on World of Warcraft over the past several years, and was astonished to realize it numbered in the thousands of dollars.
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The Nickel & Dime Generation

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  • DLC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:02AM (#29578207) Journal

    That's a total of 4 years and 8 months as of right now. That means that I've paid $14.95 a month for 56 months. That's $837.20.

    Considering that's almost 5 years of entertainment and actually a good game, is that really so much. Like he notes, it comes down to $14.95 a month - pretty much every other hobby costs a lot more per month, while still providing less in back in terms of time spent.

    Microtransactions and DLC's is a good way. If you like the game, you get more of what you like. It's not like you *have to* buy them. Patches in my opinion should be for game balancing or bug fixes - DLC's and expansions for things that add content to the game. However some companies, like Valve, release DLC's (TF2, Left4dead) for free on PC too.

    • Re:DLC (Score:5, Funny)

      by cjfs (1253208) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:21AM (#29578313) Homepage Journal

      it comes down to $14.95 a month - pretty much every other hobby costs a lot more per month, while still providing less in back in terms of time spent.

      Considering 3 games per month, $40 avg price, you're saving 105 right there. Then consider the cost of tuition, gf, wife upgrade, and possibly kids. The savings are astronomical!

      • Re:DLC (Score:5, Funny)

        by selven (1556643) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:53AM (#29578539)
        I think wife + kids addon and games are incompatible. You could try installing a different distribution of gf but I haven't had any successes yet.
        • Re:DLC (Score:5, Funny)

          by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:01AM (#29578613)

          There's no way to get it to work in the long run, trust me. Reformatting's just plain prohibitively expensive and time consuming which only leaves dual-bootying which is almost impossible to start up properly and usually ends in a complete system failure if they ever interact in the slightest way.

          • Not to mention that those child processes invariably sometime start to mess with the games and in general pose a really big security risk simply by opening random files. In general, not worth having unless you can spawn them on different machines than yours.

        • Re:DLC (Score:4, Funny)

          by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:02AM (#29578629) Journal

          I find it more interesting if the gf doesn't herself play that much, so your whole life doesn't start to be just one thing. Of course it sometimes sucks to be sucked in to "boring" sounding places, but its a good change.

          And when she does play something then, its more fun. I can take a beer and watch while she plays GTA Vice City. Or when she comes get me to bed at 4am after a long hours of Left4Dead, while watching me finishing the game all sleepy.

          For that matter my father plays a lot too (and used to play when we we're kids too). Even so that calling to come to eat was sometimes done in WoW whispers :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by mrboyd (1211932)
          From what I saw wife is a mandatory upgrade for gf if you want to keep playing past a certain level. I've heard of account being canceled when some player tried to avoid it. The kid dlc is a sneak update, you can install it yourself on both gf or wife edition but if you don't it will be pushed to your account at some point anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      >>>>>I've paid $14.95 a month for 56 months. That's $837.20.
      >>
      >>pretty much every other hobby costs a lot more per month

      Yes but it's not necessary to spend all that cash on just ONE game. I bought DDR for just $20 and it still entertains me all these years later. Why spend hundreds of dollars when a single twenty will give just as much fun?

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        I bought DDR for just $20 and it still entertains me all these years later. Why spend hundreds of dollars when a single twenty will give just as much fun?

        If I want to play exactly that game, another game isn't going to do it even if it's just as fun. This is the same reason a gamer wont be moving to Linux even when it has some good games working on it too. But it's not the game he wants to play.

        Games aren't like food or a home which you pretty much need for living. If the games entertainment value is justified for the price for you, then buy it and play it. If not, be without and play something else. It's not required for your living. That's why whining abou

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by poetmatt (793785)

          This is asinine. The reason a gamer won't be moving to Linux is because wine is a pitiful implementation (as good as it is right now) and doesn't support most games that are forced upon by microsoft and nvidia in collusion to be DX11, etc.

          Lets leave that shit out of it, eh?

          The point is, buying a couple *PC* games is cheaper than buying into MMO's.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xaxa (988988)

      Considering that's almost 5 years of entertainment and actually a good game, is that really so much. Like he notes, it comes down to $14.95 a month - pretty much every other hobby costs a lot more per month

      Hmm... that depends. It's easy to find cheap hobbies: knitting, painting (some kinds), writing, many sports (football, running, swimming), gardening, reading, walking.

      There are also plenty of expensive hobbies: flying/gliding, skiing, motor racing.

      Then there are ones where you spend as much as you like: watching sport or live music are the most obvious -- see a big band/team for £60, or a smaller one for £12 or one that's not very good yet (almost free, or free).

      And ones with a large upfront cos

      • Re:DLC (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:21AM (#29578773)
        It's easy to find cheap hobbies: knitting, painting (some kinds), writing, many sports (football, running, swimming), gardening, reading, walking.

        I play soccer. I spend more playing that in a recreational league (the cheapest one in the state that I know of) than on a WoW subscription. I enjoy reading. I admit that I don't work at keeping reading costs down (I'm often buying books and then giving them away to others), but I spend more on books than a WoW subscription. Swimming? Where do you swim? Swim once a week at a pool and you pay more than WoW, own your own pool and you are way way above that. Every gardener I know pays more than a WoW subscription for their hobby. If you like popcorn, WoW is cheaper than one movie a month. Wow, as hobbies go, is cheap. You have to work hard to find hobbies that cost less. 5 years of WoW is still less than what my coworker paid for his PS3, and he pays 3-5 times WoW's subsctiption on top of that in games.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kokuyo (549451)

        Knitting isn't cheap. My wife's been knitting for only a few months now and she goes through enough material to cost way more than WoW would.

        Because, you know, once you invest hours into knitting socks or a sweater, it suddenly makes sense to buy quality material. Like alpaca or merino wool. You don't get those for free.

        AFAIR, a pair of socks already costs more than a WoW subscription and it will definitely not take her a whole month to finish the socks.

        This does not mean I don't see knitting as the superio

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Abcd1234 (188840)

          Just as a bit of advice, if your wife really gets the knitting bug, you might want to look at online yarn suppliers. You can usually get superior prices for nice, high quality stuff.

          Oh, and if she's not already a member, send her over to Ravelry [ravelry.com]. Best knitting resource *ever*.

    • by MrLizard (95131)

      Ding! Got it in one!
      "ZOMG!!! I haz spended mah monies on t3h WOW!" might be a good hook for an article, and will now doubt gull the credulous and get some AP hack to pick it up and run a headline like "How much is your family *REALLY* paying for videogames??? The TRUTH will SHOCK you!", but when you look at the cost of total entertainment, WOW and suchlike is a bargain. 15 bucks (less if you pay in bigger chunks of time) for unlimited gameplay? Movie tickets are pushing 12-15 dollars in some areas, and are

  • See title. 'Nuff said.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:14AM (#29578267)

    Don't play the game. It is only a game.

    I can see whining and bitching about prices for things that we need to function in modern society. Homes, Transportation, energy, food etc... But video games just let the market decide what will happen if it is too expensive and you don't want to pay that amount then don't buy the game. It is only a game you don't need it. If you think you do then you are a shill to marketing.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:25AM (#29578327)

      I agree. The only problem with the entertainment industry is that unlike the housing, transportation, energy industries, if a mass of people vote with their wallet then some companies will write it off as piracy increasing as opposed to people being turned off by gouging and making a monetary vote.

      As it is right now, I don't buy any new blockbuster game not only due to its price, but due to the fact that if I wait two years I can get a "gold edition" or a "game of the year edition" with all the content people were nickel and dimed for at 40% of the price of the standalone game.

    • by turing_m (1030530)

      But video games just let the market decide what will happen if it is too expensive and you don't want to pay that amount then don't buy the game. It is only a game you don't need it.

      Aye! I am happier now and I have nothin'. I play tiny old games with ascii characters instead of sprites.

    • by uhmmmm (512629)

      > But video games just let the market decide what will happen if it is too expensive

      Part of the way the market decides on the price is that people complain when it is too expensive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:14AM (#29578271)

    is called The Road to Serfdom. I think you would make an excellent beta tester. Are you interested?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Be ready for nickel and diming across the board. I see strategic war games on Steam selling sprite packs for $2.50.

    Browsing around yesterday, I knew that when I saw a "Buy today and get four landmarks free" advertisement for CitiesXL [citiesxl.com] (MMO SimCity) that if I were look into its pricing scheme a bit more, I'd be in for a doozy: $9 a month to play with "free" content each month, followed by add-on packs called GEMs. Right now people are in an uproar over it because the general impression is that people will nee

  • It's reminiscent of a recent post at IncGamers where the author tallied up how much he'd spent on World of Warcraft over the past several years, and was astonished to realize it numbered in the thousands of dollars.

    Don't forget to include the cost of Cheetos and HoHos.

    But seriously, it's entertainment, and, compared to a lot of other things one could be doing (going to the movies, fly fishing, buying new hardcover books, restoring classic cars, etc.) it's relatively inexpensive. Yeah, sure, the cost adds up

  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:24AM (#29578325) Homepage

    for the developers:

    CEO: "Are we going to meet the release date?"
    Project Manager: "Most of the game is done, but not all the bonus maps have been completed or tested yet"
    CEO: "You'll just have to pull all nighters until it's done"
    Project Manager: "Well I was thinking that we could just release that stuff as (paid) DLC when the game launches"
    CEO: "Kind of like how you'd release a patch to fix a hideous software bug you only noticed just before game went live?"
    Project Manager: "Exactly, and that leads me to my next point..."

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Xoron101 (860506)
      If you've ever worked for a software development development company, it goes a little more like this:

      CEO: "Are we going to meet the release date?"
      Project Manager: "Most of the work is done, but we still have some bugs to work out"
      CEO: "Release it, we need the revenue"
      Project Manager: "But it's still pretty buggy, users are going to notice and not be happy about it"
      CEO: "Release it, we need the revenue"
      Project Manager: "I really think we should push the release date out a couple of weeks"
      CEO: "You'r
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Rik Sweeney (471717)

        I'll see your scenario and raise you a more wacky one:

        Ballmer: "Is Windows Vista ready?"
        Project Manager: "Not even close"
        Ballmer: "OK, release it anyway, finish the OS later and re-sell it as a new version"
        Project Manager: "?????"
        Ballmer: "Profit"

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:30AM (#29578359)

    It's reminiscent of a recent post at IncGamers where the author tallied up how much he'd spent on World of Warcraft over the past several years, and was astonished to realize it numbered in the thousands of dollars

    TV services will add up to thousands of dollars in ONE year, not several.

    If your hobby is auto tuning or off-roading that souped up sports car or SUV will gobble through even more money a year in parts and gas than the afore mentioned TV bills.

    Is your hobby reading? Only a fraction of titles are available in the libraries of most municipalities, this means at least as much as WoW a month if not more.

    The point is this is nothing new. Every generation has had its "nickel and dime", it's the nature of all hobbies.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Totenglocke (1291680)
      Because companies intentionally cripple games and then charge you extra to get the full game. THAT is why. When you pay for HBO, HBO doesn't leave out certain shows that you have to pay extra for or only show you 3/4 of an episode and you have to pay extra for the rest of the episode. When you buy a car, they don't sell you the car and then say "oh, well you have to pay another $5,000 if you want a FUEL tank. What? You want to be able to turn it on? Well that's another $4,500 for the ignition!" That
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They sell you a car which works completely, but for extras like leather seats, a fancy paint job, cruise control, etc. they charge you. That's what DLC is.

      • by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:57AM (#29578579)

        Because companies intentionally cripple games and then charge you extra to get the full game. THAT is why. When you pay for HBO, HBO doesn't leave out certain shows that you have to pay extra for or only show you 3/4 of an episode and you have to pay extra for the rest of the episode. When you buy a car, they don't sell you the car and then say "oh, well you have to pay another $5,000 if you want a FUEL tank. What? You want to be able to turn it on? Well that's another $4,500 for the ignition!" That kind of garbage is the problem with DLC.

        When you pay for cable though you don't get all the channels. You have to pay for HBO, Showtime, ESPN sports packages, then there's pay-per-view, on demand fees, and lets not forget a separate category for HD feeds.

        When you buy a car you don't get all the features either. You might say "oh those aren't necessary", but I hear stories from my mother about cars and HOMES without air conditioning a few decades ago.

        Do I think the practice is abusive? hell yeah! It should be fought tooth and nail too!, but this article makes it seem unique, which is far from the case.

      • No, but for a new car the paint is a separate cost. Yet I can't get an unpainted car. You don't get pay per view shows (wrestling) without throwing out something extra. Server companies will charge you for a piece of paper to run more processors on their servers. When the socket is there either way. ISP and phone companies are legendary for charging extra without even asking you. I would say this is the systemic. Do I like it? No. Should something be done about it? Maybe. The only thing that I see fixing it
      • by paulhar (652995)

        We don't have HBO here but we have Sky with Sky Sports. You pay for the Sports channel and get it, except for the premium content (boxing matches etc) where you have to pay extra to see the event (PPV).

        When I buy a car I'm asked "oh well, if you want bigger alloys and a bad boy spoiler then you have to pay another £5,000".

        Instead of complaining that once you've got something that everything else derived from it must be free (included) why not just be happy with whatever you get for whatever you'

      • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:04AM (#29578643)

        Because companies intentionally cripple games and then charge you extra to get the full game. THAT is why. When you pay for HBO, HBO doesn't leave out certain shows that you have to pay extra for or only show you 3/4 of an episode and you have to pay extra for the rest of the episode. When you buy a car, they don't sell you the car and then say "oh, well you have to pay another $5,000 if you want a FUEL tank. What? You want to be able to turn it on? Well that's another $4,500 for the ignition!" That kind of garbage is the problem with DLC.

        No but they might offer alloy wheels, metalic paint, a sun roof, cruise control, built in GPS, a Carlos Fandango trim kit, and an upgraded stereo at extra cost. Is that so different?

        • Yes, it is, because the car still functions 100% correctly without those unnecessary options. GM doesn't build a Camaro and then the dealer pulls the engine and charges you to have it reinstalled.
          • by Chrisq (894406)
            I can't believe that game manufacturers could get away with selling a game that would not play. They certainly would not in the UK (sales of goods act). Therefore the additions must be for extra features.
            • No, they are removed features. Just because the game runs does not mean it's the full game. Very few companies actually develop NEW things for the DLC - they simply remove features and then charge for them (such as the new Gran Turismo game only including a handful of cars and then you have to pay for all of the other cars individually).
      • Damn it, don't give HBO any ideas and especially the cash strapped car companies.

  • Cost per hour (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:44AM (#29578471)

    wonder what his /played totals? I can't look at mine. The money is nothing compared to the time wasted. Generally I think of WoW as saving my entertainment dollar. What other entertainment could you possible find for $15 a month. Heck Netflix costs more. Of course if you want to go crazy add in the net connection, the new PC every couple of years, the junkfood for raiding, and the gym membership that you got to take off the raiding pounds (but have never used)

    • by Tridus (79566)

      Yeah, I agree. WoW costs $15/month, or more like $12 if you're on the 6 month subscription. That's what, the equivalent of an Xbox game every 4 months (or 5 on the cheaper plan)?

      Very few 360 games provide four months worth of play time. If you actually enjoy MMOs, they are a bargain. (And if you don't, then you should take your money elsewhere.)

  • Three Words (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigMeanBear (102490) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @06:44AM (#29578475)

    Magic The Gathering

    • Re:Three Words (Score:4, Informative)

      by Acer500 (846698) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:43AM (#29579609) Journal

      Magic The Gathering

      Indeed. That was (is) the highest money sink I've ever played. And the Online version is ludicrous (you pay MSRP for DIGITAL cards !!! ) yet many people (myself included) play it (the "trick" is that the game is subsidized by heavy prize support, which you don't get if you just play casually).

      And they added even more ridiculous stuff recently.

      That said, it's only insanely expensive if you play competitively, or the "limited" formats (which are basically where you pay for a tournament where they give you the cards, as opposed to "bring your own cards", and you get to keep the cards afterwards, but they do charge almost retail for them).

    • by servognome (738846) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @10:28AM (#29581035)
      I was a pack a day player, I think that's why I never started smoking.
  • Warcraft is a poor example of where it is hurting the player, MMORPGs have always charged and if they provide new content it usally saves the player money because they are not out purchasing new $50 games.
    Where you can see DLC hurting the player is with Fallout 3 and similar. It use to be you could purchase an expansion pack for $20-$30 and it had plenty of new content to last the average player a few extra weeks. With Fallout 3 you have them charging $10 per DLC with the DLC aimed for 2-3 nights of play
    • In other words, you're a WoW fan but not a Fallout 3 fan...

      I, on the other hand, have never played WoW & have no plans to, so cannot really comment on it.

      But I do play Fallout 3, which I bought some months after release in a "3 for £25" offer ($40 approx or $13 per game). So far, I've bought two of the DLC expansions, one of which adds additional levels over the original limit of 20 to 30 - so I could argue that expansion alone increases the gameplay time by an additional 50%.

      So I cannot make a co

  • Might not have been his intention, but the author has basically proven that MMOs, in terms of the game fee itself, are incredibly cheap entertainment.

    He also demonstrates that stupid people will spend stupid amounts of money on MMO-related bits and pieces. That's not the cost of playing the game.

    And surely paying the 1-month-at-a-time fee of $15 is fine when you're trying it out, but surely at some point in the 4 year 8 month saga you realise you're going to stick with it for a while, and take one of th

  • the author tallied up how much he'd spent on World of Warcraft over the past several years, and was astonished to realize it numbered in the thousands of dollars.

    So the author's incompetence in 2nd grade mathematics is suppose to make this news how?

    He knew what he was getting into when he signed up. Just because he's reflecting on the price years into it doesn't mean it's a rip off. This isn't like getting your car tuned up for some amazing low price only to find out they stack fee after fee that double
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amoeba1911 (978485)
      People are stupid. If you tell someone it's $500, they'll say "Holy crap I can't afford that." If you tell them it's 25 easy payments of only $49.99 they'll think it's a lot cheaper.
      This is not rocket science, it's basic arithmetic. Unfortunately, the average American failed basic arithmetic so it might as well be rocket science.
  • by Skraut (545247) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:10AM (#29578687) Journal

    As a big hockey fan I picked up NHL 10, to play with friends on their online league, the EASHL. In past years the game just featured "real" equipment that the players in the league wore, and you could chose any of that for your character.

    This year they featured customized "cool" equipment with boost slots. So a piece of equipment could be unlocked with 3 boost slots, and then up to 3 boosts could also be unlocked and added to it. So suddenly if you decided you wanted your character to look like he rides the short bus, you could actually increase your character up to 60 points, which is a major increase, considering leveling up your character fully only gets you about a 75 point increase.

    EA set most of these "unlockables" to some really impossible tasks. Play 4 seasons, manually playing at least 40 games each season and score X number of goals each season. If somebody has a month, they could probably achieve this, but because these would be used in a competitive league, people wanted them now and EA allowed people to purchase them. $3 per equipment, $2 per boost. Maxing out the boost equipment on your guy comes to roughly $40, yet if you don't you're at a disadvantage from those who either have too much time and can unlock, or too much money and can just buy it all.

    I bought one or two pieces to try and keep up, and would probably have bought more but my 360 RROD'd and its given me time to think. I doubt I'll buy a $60 game in the future where the part of the game I'm most likely to play will cost me a full $100, then I'll be fully expected to do it again next year.

  • The irony is that this system works. Almost all software companies envy the MMO's and would love to charge you a yearly/monthly/hourly/etc subscription rate to use their products. It means that you've a garanteed clientele and enables marketing to focus on content and improvements as the product matures, rather than having it all perfect before it is sold. It is not nearly as unpredictable as the model that requires a certain number of sales to break even, because the server support is scalable. Personally
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644)

      Subscription based payment makes a lot more sense for MMOs because you're constantly using their server whenever you're playing. At an abstract level, separate from the question as to whether or not I'm getting good value for my money, just the basic concept makes some sense to me. I'm continually using their resources, and so I give them a few bucks each month.

      At my job we use AutoCAD and Autodesk basically forced us into a subscription the last time we upgraded. So now instead of paying a big chunk of cha

  • Oh no! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's OK that I've wasted thousands of hours of my life playing games. But now that I've realized I'm spending money too, well, that's just ridiculous!

  • Just to translate into real UK prices we have FTA:

    * Halo 3 (standard retail SKU): £30
    * Heroic Map Pack (DLC): £7
    * Legendary Map Pack (DLC): £7
    * Mythic Map Pack (DLC): £7
    * Total cost: £51

    and here's the important point, OR:

    * Halo 3 (standard retail SKU): £30
    * Halo 3 ODST (st

  • by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:19AM (#29578765) Homepage Journal

    Did someone say microtransactions? You can easily blow $20 a month on buying Linden Dollars to buy clothes and skins and hair and animations and gadgets. Then if you want to buy land that's another $10 a month for a premium account, $20 to actually get some land, plus now you're buying houses and trees and furniture. And that just puts you into "lower middle class". The real status symbol is owning a whole island.

    Private island: $1000 down + $295 / month.

    That's US dollars, not Linden dollars...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bicx (1042846)
      People are still using Second Life? I thought that died off years ago.
      • by vadim_t (324782)

        No, it's very much alive. It seems to be still growing, just not as fast as before. But since it's about 6 years old that's not very surprising.

  • I think it's important to realise the context of the amounts being talked about. Lets say you play WoW for 5 years, at $14.95 a month. You earn $50K, you pay $2000 a month in rent/bills. You have a Starbucks $4 coffee every working day.

    Total income: $250,000
    Rent/Bills: $120,000
    Starbucks: $5,200
    WoW cost: ~$1,000 (subscription plus expansion packs)

    In that context, it doesn't look that much, does it?

    On the other hand, for about as much fun:

    Team Fortress 2 total cost: $20

  • by Francis (5885) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:32AM (#29578847) Homepage

    I've noticed that people in general seem to greatly prefer lower upfront fees compared to total cost of ownership (TCO).

    For instance, when AT&T halved the price of the iPhone and almost doubled the cost of the text+dataplan (raising TCO, but lowering the upfront fees), this made consumers happy and there was a bump in sales. We see this in other industries - to many car buyers, they only really consider the monthly payment amount, rather than the total cost of the vehicle, which is why car companies are now pushing 72 month leases. Even in the game industry, many people criticize the Playstation 3 as "too expensive", preferring the XBox's prices. Well, once you add in the cost of XBox Live ($50/year) compared to the Playstation Network (free) the difference is less significant.

    Companies are just getting smarter and more efficient at extracting money from consumers. In a capitalist society, this is really an inevitable consequence. The only solution to this is for consumers to get smarter, and start making better and more informed choices. I am sure this will never happen.

    Subscription services, paid add-on content and endless nickel & diming are the future.

    *Disclaimer: I'm not sure if these observations are specific to Americans, or this is how most people around the world behave.

  • You don't get your money's worth like you used to out of video games. I remember paying $60 for a copy of Fallout 3 a while ago. The game was quite short. I ended up spending another $40 on downloadable content. Don't get me wrong--the game is fun and so was the DLC, but I can't help feeling that the DLC should have come with the game in the first place. Not to mention the fact that most of the miscellaneous quests could be completed in under an hour.

    For instance, the Broken Steel add on extended the g

  • by BiggestPOS (139071) * on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:59AM (#29579035) Homepage
    People *used* to primarily treat good games like books, after you read it, on the shelf it goes. Sure you might not read it again anytime soon, but knowing you have the option is comforting.

    With more and more "casual" gamers buying more and more "awful but severely marketed" titles that offer no lasting replay value, the idea of a "long-term rental" utilizing GameStop as a middle-man, means EA can sell the downloadable content to 5 or 10 different people per disc instead of just 1! Burn-out Paradise is a prime example of this. Sure you can snag the disc for $15-$20 at your local used disc dealer, but after you install and update the game, you'll discover huge sections of the world closed to you (and cars unattainable) until you fork over $20 here and there for download-able expansions!

    Even better, if you buy all these trinkets and ever lose the disc/sell the game then EA still has a bunch of your money for bits you can no longer use, and the chance to sell them all over again to someone else!
  • Ridiculous FA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flibuste (523578) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:02AM (#29579093)

    This article is ridiculous

    The guy has 2 * 2 accounts with his wife, buys WoW normal AND collector editions, goes to BlizzCon and then finds out it costs quite a bit of money?

    There are many articles worth nothing and this is one of them.

  • $50 a year on line play is joke and pc side is free after a shout lived try out of makeing you pay for it.

  • but a fool and his money are soon parted. I feel terrible for parents that are screwed into their childs addiction by this nickle and dime crap. cellular "family plans" started it in my opinion, and micropayments will be the death of it.

    is there ever a tipping point? is there a point where the wendys hourly guy or the dominos pizza jockey sets the controller down, unclutches his preorder preorder receipt and says "not another god damned dollar"? is there a point where the average gamer even pops thei
  • by jonpublic (676412) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:16AM (#29580037)

    Seriously, WoW saved me thousands of dollars over the 2 years I was addicted to it. I stopped going out. I stopped taking my lady out. I stopped seeing friends. Of course all those things are bad, but I've never had such a tremendous rise in my savings.

    I was a pretty social guy before WoW, I probably went out 4 times a week. Let's say that each night was $20-40 dollars.

    So WoW equaled about $15 a month. Going out was probably closer to $500 a month. So that's about $485 dollars in savings.

    Or course I had no real life except the PVP ladder grind. I'm lucky my lady friend didn't abandon me. Luckily I was able to recover from my addiction.

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