Why Video Games Should Actually be More Expensive
Gaming is one of the most expensive hobbies out there. Not only do you have to drop hundreds of dollars on a console or a quality PC, you also need to pay up to $60 for any top tier games. Even with membership discounts and sales, those numbers can add up quickly. But the sad truth is, economically, video games should cost way more than they already do.
Let's get some perspective here. In 1990, NES cartridges were selling for $50. And in 1998, N64 games went for $70. If we adjust these prices for inflation, you would pay about $100 for these games today. One-hundred dollars. This means that your current games are underpriced by at least $40. However, the shortage is probably much more than that.
In the '90s, video games had very basic graphics and simple gameplay. Producing one of those games today probably wouldn't cost quite as much. However, as our technology has advanced, the gaming industry has had to keep up. Gamers expect more content, HD (and even 4K) graphics, involved storylines, voice acting and high-quality animations. Not to mention support and updates after launch. That's not even touching marketing budgets. It costs more to produce a game now than it ever has in the past.
But if games should cost more, why are they still $60 a pop? The market is keeping the price artificially low. Customers aren't likely to pay more than $60 for a game, even if it actually costs more money to produce one. This situation is why pre-order bonuses, DLC, and micro-transactions have become so popular and widespread. It is becoming increasingly harder to make a profit in the gaming industry. Developers have had to supplement their base game purchases with add-on content just to scrape by.
Pre-order bonuses give gamers a little something extra in-game on day one when they buy ahead of time. This often boosts profits slightly ahead of launch. They also lock in a certain percentage of sales. It gives publishers an indication of how many copies to manufacture and how many people will be downloading a digital copy.
Nowadays, almost every AAA game features some kind of extra downloadable content. Sometimes this is new weapons or maps for a shooter. Other times, it's an extended story piece. Creating DLC takes much less investment and allows developers to earn more cash on an existing property.
However, what is relatively new and unsettled territory is micro-transactions in a full-priced retail game. In the mobile market, free-to-play games that feature some kind of in-game shop are a dime a dozen. But this kind of model in a $60 game is still pretty controversial.
One example of a successful AAA game with micro-transactions is Overwatch. Players can enjoy the full cast of vibrant characters and maps with no additional charge. But to support future updates and server loads, players can purchase loot crates full of goodies. These goodies ultimately have no real impact on gameplay. They are mostly aesthetic skins and items for bragging rights. You can also slowly earn enough in-game currency to open loot crates by playing normally.
The gaming industry is struggling to keep up with constantly evolving technology and consumer purchasing habits. Developers and publishers have to sell more and more of each new title just to make a profit. This situation might explain why so many publishers re-cycle franchises into sequels so often, rather than taking the time and effort to develop new titles.
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.