As I am ending another job rotation cycle in my life, my financial security is a big thought-point for me. Whether or not I’ll be able to afford tires on my car next month to prep for winter and to also pass inspection is questionable. I simply don’t have a lot of money to spare right now, so a budget is becoming more necessary. I’ve never really been one to rely on a budget, as my income has roughly been enough for my house’s lifestyle. But my debt keeps gradually accruing, so some lifestyle changes need to be made. The largest money-saver I am able to have control over is my video game hobby. So how do I save money as a gamer and also keep the fiery passion alive?
My first thought–and the thought that I’m going to keep running with–is to find a good addiction to preoccupy my mind. MMORPG’s have addictive elements that I enjoy. I get to progress a character via leveling up and gear acquisition, and build a social atmosphere that I can escape to after a long day at work. They have an illusion of being expensive due to monthly subscription models, but in reality, fifteen dollars a month saves me quite a bit of cash.
When playing an MMORPG–like currently I’m playing World of Warcraft–I get entranced with the idea of hitting the next goal. Whether it’s achieving a certain level or collecting particular items, the goals keep my mind occupied. If it’s the right game, I can lose weeks and not realize that I’ve spent so much time online. The same has happened with first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield. They focus on personal progression via leveling and raising other stats.
Now what do MMORPG’s and FPS titles have in common? They both ask for additional money beyond the original purchase price. Hence, they look like they are becoming expensive experiences. But that’s only true if you are battling relevancy and the market, and spending a lot of your money on multiple titles. I had an issue with that for a long time: being relevant with my game library and spending a bit too much on said library.
So, back to my opening statement: I’m pretty damn broke right now. What do I think of Battlefield 1’s newly announced season pass and DLC plans? I’m cool with it. Bit of a sloppy transition there, but eh, I’m tired.
The game will be released at the typical $60 price point. The season pass will cost $50 and give buyers early access to the future downloadable content. That brings the game to a whopping $110. That’s roughly one third of the price of the console I am going to play the title on. This shows me that hardware is taking a backseat to software! I mean, a Playstation 4 can be picked up for $300 these days, and our video games are over $100?!
Yeah, I’m totally cool with it. No, really. I am. I think that DLC plans are good for adding longevity to our purchases. The video game market is going crazy with indie and AAA development, and there are a lot of titles coming out. Like, all of the time. So for someone in a position like myself (broke AF), getting the most out of my money with a video game purchase is a big deal. I want to buy quality games that will demand hundreds of hours of my time.
Now, as a side note, I think that two to five hour long, twenty dollar experiences have their worth. I’d go to the theaters weekly if I could, and that’s me valuing two hours of my time at sixteen dollars (cause I have to take the wife with me, so cost is included). There are a lot of beautiful, worthwhile games that are hitting the mid-price range mark. I simply can’t afford them.
My current mindset enjoys the idea of playing Battlefield 1 semi-exclusively for a year or two. That puts my video game purchasing at let’s say $150 for one to two years. $110 on Battlefield, and then like forty bones for random things that catch my eye. That’ll probably be forty towards a new Pokemon title. That’s two huge titles that are worth hundreds, upon hundreds of hours for the low price of half a console.
The times are changing and people are able to vote on the success of an IP with their wallets. Enough people are seeing value in the current season pass model. Hence, the season pass model continues to grow in popularity–and price–and will not be going anywhere any time soon. I’m alright with that.