How much is a game worth?
I should be finishing it up in the next day or two (I’m 73% complete with the entire game) but I wanted to talk about Gat out of Hell (a teensy bit) before that point one last time. That came out a little weird, I’ll be reviewing it, but this is the last pre-review discussion. I got this game for five dollars, that’s something I have to remind myself when I’m playing. I say that because the quality of a game to me is determined by how much I paid for it.
When people talk about game value they tend to think of it as if they were shouldering the burden for the entire production. “Oh,” One might say. “This game is worth way more than 60 dollars. Thirty people worked on it for a year!”
It is true that I’ve rarely played a game that I think deserved nothing more than the sum total of my investment. Even Naughty Bear deserved better than that, not much better, but better. Instead I think we should examine the value of a purchase with the assumption that the product will sell one hundred thousand copies. With seven billion people on the planet, a few billion of those having access to everything necessary to play video games, you have a large pool to pull from. For the sake of simplicity we’ll just assume our audience is the full seven billion. That means you only need to sell one copy for every seventy thousand people that are alive currently. I think 1 in seventy thousand is perfectly fair.
To me Gat out of Hell is a half a million dollar production. It’s certainly worth the five dollars I purchased it for. The game brings a lot of good humor, the best flight controls I’ve ever experienced, and an overall solid comedy experience. It suffers from some vestigial remains (which I’ll get into in the upcoming review) but you can easily ignore those flaws. It’s a nice appetizer before they make a new entry into the series.
From now on I might discuss the value of a game in these terms. I’ll consider the cost times a hundred thousand and think to myself if it feels worth it. When you consider a game like pokemon is selling more than a hundred thousand copies every week, rather than the entire lifetime of the product, I think I’m being more than fair.
Hopefully folks will like this new system and hopefully they’ll apply it to their own experiences. I’d be interested to see if it had any kind of measurable impact on game reviews or reactions.