The 2013 Gaming Expenditure Horror

It’s that time again, where I perform an autopsy on my games spending over the last 12 months. Some real changes this year as well. Let’s have a look at how the total compares:

2010 – £590.32
2011 – £888.22
2012 – £834.48
2013 – £342.82

So, a massive 58.9% decrease in spending. That’s a lot. However, there’s a reason for much, but not all, of that – in 2011 I bought a 3DS (and a PS3), and in 2012 I bought a Wii U. In 2013, I bought no hardware at all. None. See:

bytype2013

 

What about spending by platform?

byplatform2013

 

Firstly, you’ll notice something. No, not that the Wii U accounts for more than 70% of all my spending, and no, not that between my Nintendo consoles, more than 97% of the total expense is accounted for. No – the thing is that the 360 has gone. So has the Wii, the DS and iOS. Even PC/Mac, which was tiny anyway, has almost vanished. Have these platforms become dead to me? And somehow the PS3 hasn’t?

Not exactly. It just shows up a problem with this analysis I’d not noticed before. If games are free, they don’t show up. Indeed, I’ve had some 360 (and one DS, and a handful of iOS) games this year, but they’ve all been free. Either free as in no cost, or free as in gifts. In fact, some of the 360 games I’ve bought this year (Retro City Mayhem, Bastion, Brothers) have been as a result of free Microsoft Points. Some from the XBL Rewards program (RIP that), some from a NowTV trial, and some more from a trial for some other on demand video thing but I forget what. In fact, a fair number of 3DS and Wii U games have been free for various reasons too.

The final shock was in the Spending by Medium analysis:

bymedium2013

 

According to this, the Digital Download Future trend of previous years has been bucked. 2010 it was 25%, 2011 was 34.9 and 2012 was 42.5. This has dropped back to 39.3% this year, even though I’m sure I’ve downloaded a lot more. Haven’t I?

Sort of, yes. Again, it’s the free things skewing the results. All them free Xbox Live Arcade games. I managed to make use of the Nintendo So Many Games promotion more than once, combining it with the Monster Hunter promo, to get three downloaded titles for free. I’ve had £25 cashback on the Wii U Premium Account thing which I then spent in the eShop – more free games. Even those games I’ve paid for as downloads have been in sales or, in the case of PC and Mac titles, have been stupidly cheap (almost free, in fact) from Humble Bundle.

In terms of the number of downloaded games vs physical media games, it’s 72.4% download, 27.6% physical – a real shift to the disc/cartless game format.

In 2013 I bought 87 games. That’s a few more than 2012′s 80, but as you can see – I’ve spent a lot less. I also completed 39 games – the same as last year. Spooky. I should add, however, that in 2012 I did also spend over 300 hours playing Animal Crossing New Leaf, and 70+ hours playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate – neither of which I’ve completed.

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