Lunchtime Discussion: Value

How do you judge value?

Value for money comes up more and more in recent years. I don’t know what’s changed. Maybe games are a little more expensive than they used to be, but I don’t honestly think they’ve gone up enough to justify what seems to be an uproar about prices. Maybe it’s the after-market costs that have undoubtedly grown this generation, or maybe it’s just the internet amplifying disdain that was always there.

Does a longer game equate better value for money? Well no, not really. People make this argument over and over but it’s frankly ridiculous. Look at Desert Bus, that game is essentially infinite in length with each run between Tuscon and Las Vegas taking 8 hours to complete. I don’t think anyone would argue that due to its length its actually worth more than other titles. Perhaps there should be some link between length and value, but it’s shouldn’t be an exact link.

What does length actually mean anyway? Do you mean just the length of the core campaign? What about the hours that you can wring out of a game’s multiplayer or co-op play? How about replay value, or games with collectibles? Length really does seem like a very poor way to judge almost any form of entertainment. It only really makes sense when you’re looking at buying something like cloth or wood, and even then you want to consider a significantly more important variable – quality.

Surely we should judge a game’s value for money on how much we actually enjoy the experience, it’s far easier to judge than the length for a start. It does have the downside that it’s harder to judge before you play the game; although a review can give you some idea of what to expect you really have to play it for yourself to see how much you enjoy it.

So that’s my take on it – judge a game’s value on how much you enjoyed it, not how much play you got out of it. What’s yours?

19 Comments

  1. Certain games I finish quickly, but others I kind of hold off and come back to a few weeks later. Dead Space I raced through on normal, then replayed it a couple of times for the Platinum because I really enjoyed it. Same goes for Arkham Asylum. RDR though I put down for a while after getting probably half way through the campaign or so and have recently picked it up again and still enjoy it.

    Thing is though, it’s rare that I buy a full price game these days, I have so many stacked up unplayed games that I can happily wait about until a Zavvi monday madness or shopto deal comes up for anything I might fancy.

    I feel that my gaming is pretty good value for money.

  2. For me it comes down to the quality of the game and how much I enjoy playing it, it’s as simple as that.
    The tricky thing is that it’s not the easiest thing to judge before buying a game though, especially if there isn’t a demo.

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