This is my sixth time playing through Final Fantasy X. Each time I play through the game it takes between 60 hours (my first time) and over 160 (last time, when I did every stinking sidequest). Let’s take a wild guess and say the average is around 90 hours. When I’m done with my current play-through, I will have enjoyed this game for ~540 hours, or 221/2 uninterrupted days. My brother picked up this game in 2002, used, for $10.
So, the game has cost us $0.018 an hour. Nearly two cents an hour. However, that copy got scratched and I had to get another copy, this time for $12. This greatly devalued the game for us, since now the game has cost us an astonishing four cents an hour!
Compare to Doom3, for which I paid $50 and which offered perhaps (I’m being really generous here) 40 hours of gameplay on all of my play-throughs combined. This comes to $1.25 an hour, or about thirty times the cost of FFX.
Starcraft would be a bargian similar to FFX, but I’ve purchased about six copies over the years as I’ve loaned out copies that were never returned. They also got used a lot at LAN parties, which seems to be the most common way to end up with a scratched disc. Even now I only have one copy, and that one is a backup. (I still have a couple of original cases, though.)
Unreal Tournament is another astounding bargain. Once you apply the patch, you no longer need the CD. So, if you have several computers everyone can play from the same copy. (Note also that since the game doesn’t nag for the CD, my original copy is still in good condition even after 7 years.) I probably paid $40 for the game, and if you add up all the time my friends and I have spent playing the game over the LAN, PLUS all the time I spent online and in single-player, AND all the time I spent making levels like this one, then we’re talking about about hundreds and hundreds of hours of play. The game doesn’t clock hours the way FFX does, so I can only speculate at how many. Let’s say 600, just so we’re not here agonizing over numbers all day long. That puts UT at an affordable $0.06 an hour.
My brother and I played Diablo II for a long, long time, but the game was expensive ($50) and so was the expansion ($30) so the game isn’t that cheap, per-hour. Since we each needed our own copy, I’ll just calculate my side of it. I probably played for (total guess) 300 hours, and a paid $80. So Diablo II cost $0.26 an hour.
Half-Life 2 was by far the most expensive. Take the 45 hours I’ve spent playing the game, then SUBTRACT the three hours of my time the game wasted because of Steam. I pre-ordered the game for the very painful price of $60, which brings us to $1.42 an hour. This is being generous. I value my time quite a bit, and if I were to add the value of those three hours onto the purchse price instead of just subtracting those hours from the playing time, this game would cost more per hour than going to the theater.
I doubt I’ll ever see a game that is as much of a bargain as FFX, even though we bought it twice.
And no, I don’t have a point to all this, why do you ask?
Steam Summer Blues
This mess of dross, confusion, and terrible UI design is the storefront the big publishers couldn't beat? Amazing.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
What is Vulkan?
There's a new graphics API in town. What does that mean, and why do we need it?
Grand Theft Railroad
Grand Theft Auto is a lousy, cheating jerk of a game.
The Strange Evolution of OpenGL
Sometimes software is engineered. Sometimes it grows organically. And sometimes it's thrown together seemingly at random over two decades.