Average cost per hour of gaming



“Massively dangerous,” I dunno. I wish I knew I’d be getting so thoroughly ripped off when buying the game Inside. Still bitter over that. It was absolutely not worth $8.46 an hour.


Really? It’s “massively dangerous” to believe that I should pay more for longer games? I’ve had cinderblocks dropped off rooftops at me. That’s dangerous. How I spend my gaming money is none of this guys business.


Yeah, rather than “massively dangerous” I’d just say “kinda stupid”.


Yeah massively dangerous is a massive overreaction to others analyzing data in this way. I ask about approximate hours of a game as well as replay-ability but never really tried to calculate money spent in this manner.


I guess f2p ruins the curve.


It’s a dangerous way for consumers to spend the most valuable commodity, which is time.

As always, the metric should be joy per hour, not hours per dollar.

Anyway, howlongtobeat already tells me the hours so this seems kind of useless.


I’d much rather pay $60 for an awesome three-hour game than $20 for a decent thirty-hour one, so this doesn’t do much for me at all.


Yeah, I’d agree. I’ve spent probably $150-200 on EU IV, yet it is one of my greatest gaming deals. Both in hours and how much I enjoyed it.

There are games I’ve spent very little on that were not worth even that though.


Which is a valid argument unless you only have 20 dollars that needs to last you 3 months. There are reasons people want a game to last. When you only have a 20 dollar budget for entertainment it kind of sucks not knowing what you’re getting. I think reviews are better for that than graphs about price per hour though.


But cost per hour spent is a meaningless metric. Do you only read long books? Watch only long movies? No, because that makes no sense. Why does a game’s value need to be tied to how long you spent playing it?


I’m guessing you’re not talking to me because I said reviews are a better indicator than what is being presented here… right up there.


I’m talking to anyone and everyone, but especially to anyone who thinks cost per hour of gaming will tell them anything useful.


Oh, I know I can’t speak for anyone other than myself here. I’ve reached the point where my time is more limited than my money. In fact, all else being equal, I’d actually prefer a short, 3-12 hour game over something 30+ hours long. The former I’ll likely finish and experience in full, but I’d probably get distracted and peter out on the latter. Persona 5 and Yakuza 0 were recent casualties in this regard.


There are lots of good reasons to play games, and wanting to kill time or get some respite from the real world is as good as any. I’m happy for anybody who’s was born into wealth and always had lots of important stuff to do, but most people who play games have at least had some period in their life where wanting to get the most time for your buck was entirely reasonable.


I still don’t get why some people try to tell other people what is and isn’t useful to them. While I’ve never directly used cost per hour to decide if a game is worthwhile, I probably wouldn’t buy a 2 hour game for $60 even if it was great. There are plenty of other games I can get for that price that I’d enjoy. Like @Nesrie said, if someone only has $20 to spend on a game and they can get one that they’d enjoy and play for 100 hours vs 5 hours, the 100 hour one is a better choice / value.


I am in the same position. I feel hugely fortunate that these days I am looking for a good experience, for a good price still, but I am not limited to a 20 dollar game lasting me a whole quarter and then being bitterly disappointed when it didn’t work or didn’t deliver… which was my experience in my twenties. But those were the days when i hunted through Software Etc. and Department store bins for leftover games that dropped in price to twenty dollars and a GPU might not play a triple A game 6 months after you bought it.

Today, in the PC world at least, you can find games that are two dollars, good ones. If someone paid 2 dollars for it now but someone else paid 60 dollars last year… that just doesn’t tell you much.

So I am not opposed to data, but I question what it’s really telling anyone. I suspect a quality review is likely to tell someone where to put their limited dollars better than an average cost per hour, but there isn’t anything inherently dangerous about this information.


I’m not interested in telling anyone what is or isn’t useful to them. If you think a longer game is “better” than a shorter game, or a cheaper game is “better” than a more expensive one, have at it. It’s your dime. What I do object to is somebody turning two completely unrelated variables into a metric and thinking it tells them anything whatsoever about whether that game is worth buying/playing.

Or as Douglas Adams put it, “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”


All else equal, a cheaper game is better than a more expensive game. That’s why we get excited by Steam sales, isn’t it? It’s the exact same games, but suddenly cheaper! And that means we are suddenly more likely to buy them.

And game length is also good to know, especially since variance is much higher than it has been. I just finished Kamiko, a cute little action game. The whole thing only took 90 minutes start to finish. Most people finished it faster than I did. Of course, I knew it was a short game when I bought it, and it only cost $3.

But if I hadn’t known the length, and if it had cost $60… well, I’d probably be kind of annoyed. At the very least, if a game costs $40 per expected hour of gameplay, then I’m going to spend a lot more time poring over the reviews.


“It is an accurate statistic that is calculated using two non-extrapolated data points: the total number of actual gameplay time by our community and the current sale price as shown on the store,” he said.