Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Video Games - Things I Bought with Diablo 3

I bought Diablo 3 about a year ago not because it's a good game, but more of an economic experiment.  The real money auction house (RMAH) intrigued me as it was the only game at the time (and I think still is the only the game) that allows people to sell their loot to other people for real money without having to go through a third party like eBay.

I wanted to see if I could make an appreciable amount of money by playing the game whether through actual grinding of content or auction house flipping.  To start things off I bought the game using money from selling a bunch of MTGO tickets.  For those who don't play MTGO, tickets are sort of an unofficial in-game currency.  You normally obtain them by buying them from the MTGO store but if you speculate on card values well, you can actually gain tickets which I did rather successfully (an aside, when I figured this out I financed an entire year's worth of drafts and online release tournaments with an initial investment of something like $20).

My first goal was to see if I could get the game to pay for itself.  Surprisingly this didn't take as long as I thought it would.  I think within a month I had paid for Diablo 3 with Diablo 3.  After that initial goal was reached I didn't have any other goals set so I just set about making money and using it to finance other hobbies.  I bought a bunch of games off of Steam, I built my MTG Cube using Diablo 3 funds and I bought a bunch of skins for the champions I use regularly on League of Legends.  I was considering buying some Warhammer but that was around the time I came to the conclusion that Warhammer wasn't worth spending money on and instead went and bought more LoL skins.  This was about 3 or 4 months after the game broke even and then we ended up moving to a new house.

The house came equipped with a fairly large dining room but we needed a table so it became my goal to raise enough money to get a nice table and chairs for the dining room.  This was around Christmas time and Diablo 3 sales were quite good so I was able to raise the money for the table in about 4 weeks, though it took much longer to raise the money for the chairs (I think a few months, but to be fair I wasn't as committed to selling in those months as I had been around Christmas).  Altogether the table and chairs cost around $700+.

Now I suppose it might have been easier to just get a second job as minimum wage work pays more than playing Diablo 3 on an hourly basis.  However, think of it this way, I generally spend around 15-30 minutes a night playing Diablo 3, I don't have to drive anywhere, it doesn't take much effort (some of the initial research can though) and I can usually do my auction house surfing when I take a break from marking papers.  Pretty easy gig even if it pays less than minimum wage.

Anyways, I think my experiment succeeded as I was able to actually get a substantial amount of stuff from the sale of virtual goods.  My next goal is to raise enough money by the fall to get a new set of winter tires for my car as I do a lot of driving (the school I work at is actually about 100km away from where I live).

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