Lots of my friends complain about “monthly fee” games, so Jonathan’s reaction to paying $14.99 a month for World of Warcraft is pretty consistent with most gamers I know. Yet one by one they put down their FPS gun sites and slowly migrate to WoW. Here’s my simple analysis of the cost issue.

I’ve puchased two or three games since World of Warcraft was released. Civilization IV and Out of the Park Baseball cost me roughly $49 and $29, so $78 total over a year. I generally purchase WoW in six month chunks because it’s cheaper, but let’s say I pay the full $15 a month. That’s $180 for a year. The first year it’s minus $15 since the first month their is no fee. I paid $49 for WoW, so that’s $214 a year for one game. Grand total for my gaming expenditures this year was $292.

The total is MUCH less than what I normally spent on games prior to WoW’s release. Let’s look at a slow year. Throw in a Madden, Galactic Civilizations, Football Manager, some random space game, a FPS to try out and quickly get bored with, and what is the total cost? If we assume a $45 price for each game, that’s $225 just for five titles. Since console games are more expensive than PC titles, it would be even more expensive. Note – since my wife reads this blog I will only publically admit to purchasing five games a year. These are, shall we say, conservative estimates.

Is the extra $70 for WoW worth it? I don’t watch TV much during prime time anymore. I Tivo everything with my DVR and watch what I want when I can fit it in. I’ve never played a game so much for so long a period of time. For my online baseball games I may spend an hour or so looking over rosters on occasion. I do spend time three days a week running a baseball sim for an hour or so. Otherwise, I am playing WoW.

So I think I am getting much more out of my gaming dollar today. There’s really no comparison.  When you enter the WoW-universe, gaming habits change.  People think they will play WoW plus buy a bunch of other games, but you won’t.  There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.


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