Over the past few years of following podcasts, message boards and reviews, there seems to be this weird metric that creeps into discussions in one way or another. For the purposes of this post, I will refer to it as ‘cost per hour’. It’s a metric that people directly or indirectly use to judge a game’s value based on how much it costs and how long the experience is. I will express it with the following formula:
Value = Cost of Game/Number of Hours Played
In a perfect world, where money directly translates into valuable experiences, these types of metrics could work as a means of judging a game’s value. However, this logic is flawed, because neither cost or value variables are consistent. You can’t make a blanket statement saying that Limbo is too expensive at $15 dollars because it’s only a 3-hour experience, because it might go on sale, someone may take longer/shorter to beat it, and subjective opinion may say that their time with it was totally worth that price.
The price you pay for that experience and the length of that experience are viable factors in determining a game’s value, but not the whole picture. However, what if we did take away all of the other factors? Is it possible to come up with a consensus cost per hour rate to determine whether or not a game is worth it? I take a few examples from my collection and crunch the numbers to find out.