Steamy Analytics

I often wonder how much money I’ve sunk into Steam.  After all, I’ve picked up far more games than I’ve played at various levels of discount over the years.  How horrific would it be to see all that time and money added up in one place?  Luckily, I came across a website called Steam Gauge that makes this sort of thing really easy.  So let’s plug in my Steam info and find out.  Prepare to be horrified!

Member since: 2005.  So for starters, it looks like I’ve been a member for 9 years.  That makes sense; I picked up Half-Life 2 about a year after it released, and all the launch bugs had a chance to smooth out.  A quick aside: I’ll admit to being nervous about Steam when I first signed up.  I didn’t like the idea of paying real-world money for digital-only goods.  After all, what if Valve went out of business, or took their servers down?  I still worry about this a bit, but deal with it mostly by picking up games at steep discounts I couldn’t get at retail.  I’m trading convenience and price for the outside chance I might lose it all.  Yay, DRM.

Hours played: 1,480.  Huh, that looks like a big chunk of time to spend gaming.  But once you do the math, it works out to be only a little over two months.  So that’s 6.85 full days every year, or only about 27 minutes a day.  Not too bad!  Another aside: when I was a kid, my parents limited my video game time to two 30-minute sessions or one 45-minute session a day.  I’m amused to see that my daily average is still close to that.

Total Space: 1,011.2 GB.  Useful info for when I’m looking so size a hard drive for a gaming PC build.

Worth: $4,040.  …Za?  You mean to tell me that I’ve spent over four thousand dollars on video games?  In only the last nine years?  That’s almost $450 a year, without counting other platforms like consoles!  I… I might have a problem.

But wait.  How did they calculate that?  Hmm, it looks like they took the current retail cost of all the games in my account.  Now, I know I didn’t pay full retail price for all of those.  Luckily, it looks like they have a tool to help you calculate what you’ve actually spent.  Please be better…

Money Spent: $456.  So, if I’m reading this correctly, I’ve saved nearly 90% off of full retail price for my collection.  That’s pretty awesome.  But something still isn’t adding up.  I tend to start getting tempted by a game when it reaches somewhere between $5 and $10, or about 75% off.  So those numbers don’t add up.

But wait!  I’ve also recently been picking up a few (read: a lot) of games through various Humble Bundles.  Those are often redeemable on Steam; maybe I need to take those into account as well.  Gimme a sec to do some math…

Humble Bundles: $200.  Not too shabby.  Average price paid seems to be about $10.55, which matches up with what I remember.  I rounded up slightly, in case there was a bundle or two that I missed.

So, let’s add the last two numbers together.  Drumroll please…

Total Steam Investment: $656.  Looking at that in a lump sum, I kinda gotta say ouch.  But I have to remember, that’s been over the past 9 years.  And it’s 84% less than I could have spent if I got everything at full price.  So that ends up being about $73 a year, or… only $6 a month?!  I spend more than that on Netflix!

So apparently I was all worried about how much I was spending on Steam for nothing.  $6 a month is pretty negligible, but as you can see does add up over time.  And compared to what I would have spent if I had paid full price, I’m pretty happy.  In fact, I might do a little “happy frugal gamer dance.”

Today's part will be played by Dancing Baby Grootling

Today’s part will be played by Dancing Grootling.  When asked about the role, Grootling replied in a high-pitched rumble: “I am Groot.”

Now, if only I could channel some of that money saved into a new computer, so I could actually play some of the newer games…