One of the downsides to much of the user testing of websites I do is the fact that I’m paid in US dollars. It’s not a huge problem but it does mean I avoid spending it in Sterling (conversion rates tend to be lousy).

Remy recently returned from running The Gathering 2013 and asked me if I’d played Bioshock Infinite. Unsurprisingly I pirated the game to play it, something that rarely sits well with him.

The thing being that I’ve actually bought the previous two Bioshock games, hell, I own two copies of the first one. Was it worth the price I paid? Not at all.

Was I going to waste however many pounds on it this time ‘round? Of course not.

However in the time he was away I spent $15 on backing Road Redemption and $10 on Death Inc.. Sure, $25 isn’t all that much, but when there are projects like that where I’m being offered a game I want at a price point that works for me, I’m in. If the trade off is I have to wait a while for the game to be released then that’s absolutely fine!

Would I pay £7.50 for Bioshock Infinite? No. Perhaps £4.50.

It may seem like a pittance but to me that’s all the game is really worth. It took a lot of time to get through some of it and that wasn’t fun. It wasn’t quite as bad as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which you may recall I actually gave up on, but the combat wasn’t a fun part of the game. In fact the only reason I powered through it was to reach the end and avoid having whatever lurked there spoiled for me by the internet. There’s an informal statute of limitations on game spoilers after all – after a while it’s assumed that those who were going to play it have done so. I would probably fall outside that.

I did hear rumours of DLC though which if it’s any good might be of some value to me. I wouldn’t pirate the game for that though – I’ll just wait until the game is available in a sale and then pick it up for a price I consider fair.

$10 – 15 for a “proper” game though, as an upfront investment works for me. That way I not only helped make it happen but as a result have an emotional stake in the product. I like that aspect of things: picking which horse to back as it were and as a result literally voting with my wallet!

I wonder if Remy’s issue with my general habit of pirating large budget games stems from his connections to the video game world. Perhaps to him it’s seen as stiffing his friends or something. Personally I’m not really all that bothered – they got paid for their work I assume. They’re not paid a percentage of the gross. Even if I could afford to I wouldn’t have bought it at the release price – that was never going to happen. Either I’d pirate it and buy it later or I’d not bother with it.

The aspect of helping a game happen rather than recouping its outgoings really is exciting for me though. There’s justification for wanting to pay more then – more money means a better product, potentially. With the finished game the quality isn’t affected by how much money it takes in and as such I’d rather pay what I feel it’s worth to me. Usually not anywhere near the asking price.

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