Using Math to Make Your Next Video Game Purchase

The heart of this site is just some Dads who share a love of gaming and try their best to continue to do what they love while raising a family. As we’ve said before, kids fill the void that was once occupied by a plethora of free time and disposable income. In one of my earlier posts I talked about my methods on still continuing to game and a talking point on that was how much more choosey I’ve become when purchasing games. I’ve developed an equation to help decide which games deserve my precious time and money. While the equation isn’t perfect (I bought Hardline AND The Order, but I blame Scott more than I blame my math) it helps lessen that $60 sting.

The very basic version of the equation is retail price divided by game length or projected play time to give you the price you pay per hour of play time.

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Using the example of The Order, (60/6) we can see that, unless you have money to burn, that this has a very high cost (10) per hour. Compared to a game like The Witcher in which I currently have 30 hours invested, that works out to be two dollars per hour and shrinking. Now with this equation you may be asking “What about a game like Uncharted 2 or games with multiplayer?” Well there’s an equation for that. For games like Call of Duty, that have a basic campaign stretching six to seven hours and multiplayer you can still use the simplified equation. This requires you to be honest with yourself in the actual minimum amount of time you think you will play multiplayer. If you’re someone who routinely looks forward to multiplayer only to find yourself putting it down after an hour, then you have to note that in your Pt. A game that is only multiplayer like Battlefront also requires you to be very honest with yourself . You have to look at the value of the multiplayer game your looking to purchase such has number of playable modes (Pm) and the number of maps (M) available to you at launch. Put that together and you get a formula like this.

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You’ll notice the modifier of 4 for the likely amount that you won’t play part of the modes because you don’t find them fun. This is a variable that you once again will have to be honest with yourself about. With this formula it is less about total cost per hour and more about the potential amount of content and varying time with the game, getting just about $2.55 per projected play. Now back to my previous example of Uncharted 2, a game with no multiplayer. Uncharted 2 can be completed in one play through for an average time of 8 hours. Using the standard equation that put its PPH at 7.5 not too much better than The Order right? Right only using the standard equation doesn’t fair well for what we know now to be a far superior game. So to help differentiate, one should not only factor in the pedigree (P) of the developer but also the hype (H) coming from gaming press and factor in a modifier of if it has any replay (R) value for you represented merely by the existence of a multiplication of 1.5. So Uncharted 2 looks something like this

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Adding to the formula changes it from PPH to price per enjoyable hour or PPEH. Putting Uncharted 2 at a great 1.21. The theory being a developer with such a high track record and lots of positive reactions to the game plus being able to replay not just for the collectibles but to relive the story puts it in a better category. Now you have the tools to go out and try and make your hard earned dollars count for more in the gaming world. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

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