Video games have become quite pricey through the years and the tragedy is many are only played for a short amount of time and then discarded. That, of course is why there are many services that allow you to sell it back when you are done. That has also spawned the used-game business as well as the video game rental business. This article will walk you through a scenario involving buying a new game, buying a used game and renting a game and show you that renting video games is common "cents".
It all comes down to this. Say a new game cost $55 to buy. It is documented that the length of RPG and other types with "ends" have gotten shorter in recent years. While a game might have taken 10-15 hours to complete a few years ago, many now take only 8-10 hours to finish. So a $55 game that takes 10 hours to complete costs you $5.50/hour. Next, let us determine how much it cost you per day to beat it. How often do you play? If you are able to play 2 hours a day, then the $55 game cost you $11.00/day ($5.50/hour x2) to beat.
Here's the real kicker. Take a look at how much this same game would cost you to "beat" if you had rented it. Say you had an online video game rental service that allowed you to order your games online and had them delivered to your door. You choose to rent just one at a time (1 out) and pay $8.99/month. That means ANY video game rented from this service costs you just $.30/day (assuming 30 days in a month). But do not forget that you have to include time for the USPS to deliver your game! Even if you add 2 days to account for mail delays, you are looking at $.30/day multiplied by 7 days to give you a grand total of $2.10 to beat the same game it would cost you $55 to beat if you would have bought it new. You saved $52.90! Renting 4 in one month rather than buying 4 new games saves you over $211.00. What would you rather pay, $220 or less than $9?
Still not convinced? You might be thinking to yourself that you would not just discard the game after you beat it, you would sell it to get some of your initial cost back. Take the above scenario, but this time you sell it back for $20.00. This makes the real cost of your new game $35.00. The good news is it cost you $20 less the beat it. The bad news is you still paid almost $33 more than you would have if you simply rented the game and played it for a week. Remember, it only cost $2.10 to beat the game when you rented it.
In truth, perhaps you do not buy new games, but purchase used games to save money. If it is a hot game, then the price you pay used could be close to what you would pay if you bought it new and sold it back. For this example, we will go in the other direction. You buy an old used game for $15.00 with a completion time of 10 hours. That is $1.50/hour and if you play 2 hrs/day, it cost you $3.00/day to "beat" the game. That is still 10 times the cost per day to rent a game. You would still save $12.90 renting this game.
When is renting not a great option?
Some types of games are never "completed" such as racing games or parlor type video games. Obviously the cost to "beat" these types of games goes to zero. The only thing stopping you from continuing to play it is boredom. I have found that these types of games are great to have around when my friends come over.
You may also want to be able to play the game when if first comes out and be the first on the message boards to provide cheats and walkthroughs. You probably will not be able to do that if you rented the game.
The bottom line is this: if you do not care that you are not one of the first to play the game, and it has a definite "end" to it, renting the game just makes financial "cents".