How much for your gaming entertainment?

In a recent comment, Naithin mentioned that Krikket recently also talked about getting your money’s worth out of playing games. I headed over to her blog. She is mostly concerned about her impulse purchases and lays down some strict rules for game purchases in the coming year. And apparently, Naithin has also pondered about this more lately.

I’ve got this rule of thumb that before I buy a game, I take a look at the price (as one should, of course!) and estimate whether I’ll be getting an hour of entertainment per Euro spent. This is a very arbitrary rule. Compare the price per hour for a movie in the cinema, for example. But it is easy to memorize and works very well for me. Some games, like city-builders, get around 80 to 100+ hours from me. Theoretically, this means I could spend just as much on them. But quite often, they also do come with lots of paid DLCs. And even if I bought a game at release for its full price, I know I can also buy the DLCs later one, because I’ve spent so much time in the game already. Other games that I only play through once (games heavily relying on story as the Unheard game) do not get as much money from me. But entertainment-wise, I compare them more with a good movie. So in the end, it works out quite well.

Both Krikket and Naithin took a look at their Steam account’s “values” (and playtime). I got curious and took a look at my own.

That’s actually not too bad! Average price per hour is 9.12 € ($ 9.58), but it doesn’t take into account the games that I bought on sale and those I got with bundles. So I did not fail half of the time with my own rule of thumb! But there’s still a lot of games that I bought and then never played. I usually put a game on “favourites” and install it after buying it, so it will be easier to spot in my game list.  But even then I forget about games quite easily. I also have a tendency of buying a game “to play later” which is something I really shouldn’t be doing. Who in the world needs close to 600 games, after all?

I like the average playtime, though. Top on my list is still Rift. And there are lots of simulation/management and strategy games. I’m just your typical average German…  So overall, I think I can stick with my rule of thumb as long as I don’t forget playing the games after buying them. No more “buying now to play soonish”. This money is well spent somewhere else (or saved).

Apart from my November gaming goals, I was also eyeing Planet Zoo. I knew I would play it immediately and a lot. However, I also know that they’re going to push out a lot of DLC as they did with Planet Coaster and I was certain that once I had the game, I would be tempted to get these as well. Alas, my husband saw me watch some streamers on Twitch play the game and since he gets the 20 % discount from Humble Bundle as a subscriber, he gifted me the game. Well, that is something completely different, of course (let us ignore the fact that it still comes out of our collective money).

I have been progressing in my own gaming goals, however. But if Tropico 6 is better than Tropico 4 is still an open question. If somebody asked me for advice on which one to get, I would definitely go with the safe bet: Tropico 4. It’s a great game and cheaper nowadays. It could be that my warlock in WoW Classic won’t get to level 40 and maybe Guild Wars has to wait as well. I recently also decided to hop back into LotRO with my runekeeper on the live servers (that is, not the progression server). She is level 65, so far away from the content of the expansion that released this week. But this just shows me how much content they released which I’ve never seen so far. My previous main is level 74 and the max level is now 130! So I may not stick to all of my gaming goals, but I am getting lots of game time in the evenings to relax after busy days.

(IntPiPoMo count: 6 in total)


  1. I’ve used the dollar per hour scale for anticipating how much value I’d be getting out of my purchases as well. I just forget sometimes that in order for something to actually be a deal, I need to USE it.

    I do really enjoy seeing how others look at their gaming purchases, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In my case it’s pretty simple: I only play games gifted to me or games that are free. Anything else falls into the “too expensive” category.

    If it’s board games however, I look up the players/time per game/replayability factors and compare the price and time to a movie ticket. I also try to be meticulous about the ones I get as they have to meet certain criteria – the first being true co-op. If it isn’t a co-op it has to be bloody fantastic to get my attention.


    1. Hehe, yes, that is quite simple!

      I do not have a metric for board games, actually. We also don’t known 600 board games, obviously! But we own a lot. So when we see something that’s interesting, we read reviews about the game and yes, replayability is a huge factor unless it’s a legacy game that we really really want (like Pandemic which is the only legacy game we have!).

      We bought several co-op games lately, because we both enjoy the social aspect of playing games WITH friends as opposed to AGAINST friends and each other. But some games are also competitive. I’m just not really a fan of games that make you lie or bluff.


  3. Converted the average price per hour from NZD to Euro, we’re close! 9.46 Euros per hour for me.
    Average game price 15.02 Euro.

    Funnily enough, Rift was my longest played for quite some time too. :D It isn’t any more. It’s beaten by a few things actually, but my main game by Steam time is Path of Exile at 361 hours, Warframe at 192 hours, Final Fantasy XIV at 162 hours and then finally Rift at 155 hours. Stellaris snapping right at its heels on 153.

    Still rookie numbers compared to some of the tracking I had back in the day on XFire. xD I was well over 1000 hours for Neverwinter Nights 1. I don’t think any non-MMO game has ever come close to that since.

    Anywho, quite the sidetrack there! I don’t tend to view games in dollar / hour sort of basis. And though I do want to chase some more value out of games, I don’t think this is a metric I would chase.


    1. In hindsight, after purchasing a game, I’m using my own “metric” to see whether I made a “bad buy”. No Man’s Sky is one such game, unfortunately. Two hours played – but I did get it on sale and the main reason I haven’t been playing it is that I’m a bit overwhelmed and don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But it does make me keep that mental note of “I need to check it out again!”.

      Rift is close to 1400 hours for me. Unfortunately, this is a game of my gaming-past now… unless gamigo do decide to get the game out of maintenance mode. Then there’s Star Trek Timelines which was a very guilty pleasure for some time (it mainly has these many hours because I kept the client running in the background, but it’s a game that requires clicking a lot with no skill whatsoever attached to it). Then Star Trek Online with almost 300 hours. Followed by Civ VI, Tropico 4, Prison Architect, Two Point Hospital, Tropico 5, Civ V… :p

      I’m not playing any other MMOs through the Steam client, so these aren’t showing up there at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. tbh if been spending too much money on games myself. Great that I’m not the only one


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