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The Subscription June 20, 2012

Posted by Ben in General Whinging, Personal, Sweating Bullet Points.
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There have been a slew of WoW bloggers posting about the impending end of their time in the game. These waves seem to happen, and while some of the voices of the blogging community are  missed, I can understand that the time comes for everyone to move on.

But this is not one of those posts.

I’ve been playing (and paying) for World of Warcraft since December 2004. For pretty much the entire time, I’ve been on the 3-month subscription model that means I pay roughly $12/month.

The amount of time in any given month that I play has been wildly inconsistent in the eight years I played the game.

When I first started playing, I was in college full-time and working 30+ hours a week. And I had a LAN internet connection that varied in quality based on the number of other students in the apartment complex that were using the internet at the same time. (Finals week made even checking email an arduous task.)

After graduating from college, I went full-time with the same employer, but that extra 10 hours of paid work didn’t fill up as much time as school had, and my play time significantly increased. Rare were the days when I didn’t log in for at least a couple of hours.

Then I left that job at a department store with a wildly erratic schedule and into a closer to 9-to-5 job. Funny enough, this resulted in less play time. Even though my boyfriend and I both play WoW, the majority of our playtime had been while the other was at work, and our together time was spent watching television. When our schedules now synced up, our TV watching significantly increased, moving most of our WoW time to the 8+hour sessions on the weekend.

What was the point of all of this?

I’ve been paying the same $12 a month over this entire period, and I’ve felt that I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it the entire time. Someone once challenged me that I could spend that money better on other things, and I laughed at them because $12 buys…

  • less than two movie tickets
  • maybe two mixed drinks at a bar
  • lots of cheap beer I don’t like anyway
  • two value meals at a fast food chain

And all of those things don’t add up to the number of hours of diversion, enjoyment, fun that I get from WoW each month.

So this is why even when I’m playing maybe 6 hours a week right now, I still feel comfortable that I’m getting my money’s worth. How about you?

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Comments»

1. Cynwise - June 20, 2012

Another way to consider entertainment value per dollar is to look at your cable TV bill over the time spent watching TV.

I was paying $40/month for a somewhat normal expanded package, like ESPN, Bravo, Sci-Fi. There’s a basic package at $15/month, which is broadcast and PBS. As I’ve gotten older I’ve watched less and less TV, to the point where I pretty much am only DVRing kids shows off of PBS. I’m not even watching football anymore, and my spouse was watching – occasionally – Project Runway.

So there was a $25/month charge for an occasional episode of Project Runway and a football game or two. Let’s call it 3-5 hours of entertainment a month, or $5/hour.

This was a bad deal, so we cancelled expanded cable.

If you’re playing 6 hours a week, that’s 24 hours a month for $15, or $0.625/hour. You can’t even get a cup of coffee at that price!

If you were watching TV on an expanded cable package for the same amount of time as you play WoW, that 24 hours a month is $1.66, or 167% more than WoW. If you’re watching HBO (Game of Thrones, anyone?) that jumps up even more.

A movie is, what, $10 now? I usually figure it’s about $20 for me and my spouse. So that’s $5/hour/person, not even close in terms of economy. It might still be worth it – (dear god, get us out of the house away from the kids) – but in terms of efficiency, it’s not efficient at all.

2. Stormy - June 20, 2012

I came here to say essentially exactly what Cyn said: I haven’t watched TV with any regularity since I started playing WoW, and WoW is way cheaper than cable. I can spend $12/month for WoW and $8/month for Netflix and still come out way ahead.

3. Calbry - June 20, 2012

Couldn’t agree more. Been playing since Vanilla and, honestly, right now I’m the least engaged I’ve ever been (Cata was meh for me, now everyone seems to be in the end-of-expansion doldrums, and I really don’t want to burn out on MoP before it even comes out). But it’s still a fantastic deal – a month’s access for the kind of money I can spend in an hour or two elsewhere.

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[…] millions of people are enjoying Azeroth and are happily paying the subscription fee to do so. As Ben at the Asylum Wall pointed out, the entertainment dollar per hour value is low. Of course, you still need to be having […]

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7. Breakfast Topic: Doomsday predictions | mists of pandaria - June 23, 2012

[…] millions of people are enjoying Azeroth and are happily paying the subscription fee to do so. As Ben at the Asylum Wall pointed out, the entertainment dollar per hour value is low. Of course, you still need to be having […]


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