- I was subscribed to a MMO for most of the year, but these expenses were significantly reduced due to various discounts from retailers.
- I was generally much more willing to experiment with things that cost $20-30, rather than try to tough out the business model without paying for anything.
The latter definitely increased my bottom line spending, and some of the purchases are going down in the books as disappointments. Then again, sometimes a comparatively small purchase made life significantly more fun. As I have less and less time to spend on games, I'm guessing this trend will continue.
I had a subscription to a traditional MMO for most of the year. These games were typically, though not always, the go-to place I would go when I had time for an extended play session.
World of Warcraft - $65 (Pandaria, 60 days timecard, 2x 30 days)
I did very well snagging discounts from retail stores. This "should" have cost me $100.
FFXIV - $70 (PC + PS3 boxes)
The PC box cost $30 for the license plus a month of game time. The PS3 box cost $40 for a second month of game time (the two stack) plus the license for the Playstation Network (reportedly to include the PS4 version, when it arrives next year). I guess I should have taken the time to try the PS3 version in beta - playing on the PS3 was a cool novelty, but I had problems with targeting and would need to purchase a keyboard and mouse to make this work.
SWTOR - $51 (two 60 day timecards at various discounts from retailers, $10 expansion)
Again, discounted time cards for the win here, "should" have paid $70.
In general, these are titles I play as a go-to for shorter play sessions.
Marvel Heroes - $70 (starter pack, Cyclops, X-Force Bundle Black Friday Sale)
I hesitated until the very last minute on whether to pre-purchase a founder's pack, and I'm glad I pulled the trigger. I like this game way more than Diablo III because it features characters from Marvel's comics. It was worth the money to play the game with the character I most wanted to play rather than one of the less interesting starter characters. I decided to throw them another $50 on Black Friday for an additional bundle of characters and some convenience perks.
Note that I'm counting the $130 Advance pack purchase against next year's budget, as is my longstanding practice for long-term subscriptions and content unlocks that won't be used (or in this case won't be available) until the year after I decided to shell out for them. We'll see whether they've delivered all of the heroes by the time I publish next year's ledger, and how I feel about that purchase.
Hex - $20 (kickstarter)
Technically, this game isn't out yet, but I'm in the alpha as a backer, so I'm prepared to put this one on 2013's balance sheet. I have concerns about the business model and was not impressed by a very brief visit to the very early alpha. Even so, my assessment was that the time it's going to take to see whether or not I am going to like this game will be more fun starting with a minimal base of cards versus nothing.
Guild Wars 2 - $30
I picked this up when the price finally dipped down to my new $30 impulse buy threshold. I've logged in twice, so it could be argued this was a fail, but at least now I can play GW2 if I want to.
League of Legends - $15 (gift cards)
I had some Best Buy reward certificates to burn, so I turned them into the $5 starter Champion pack and a $10 RP code to finally try League. The purchases probably weren't necessary with my current playstyle - I'm currently enjoying trying whatever new champions are available each week. Then again, the cost was comparatively low, since it's often hard to find things at Best Buy that aren't $15 overpriced to begin with.
Played, not paid
TSW - I picked this up for $15 very late in 2012 and was still coasting on the month of included subscription time for most of January.
LOTRO and DDO - played a small amount of each using previously paid content, did not purchase either game's expansion (a first for LOTRO, despite a just-unveiled 50% off sale on their month-old expansion).
Hearthstone - Have not spent any money on the closed beta.
Rift - Has an expansion that I got without paying courtesy of a promo and can now access freely due to the game's business model relaunch. I logged in once or twice to preserve my character names, but I never really played.
EQ2 - SOE went the entire year without discounting the expansion from the fall of 2012, and now there's another full priced expansion box on the digital shelf. The good news is that the new expansion purchase includes the one I skipped, and there aren't really any charges anymore for playing the content if/when I pay to unlock it, so maybe I will get around to this in 2014.
Total - $321