Would you pay $500 for an in-game item?

By on August 4, 2011, 4:00 PM

The free to play business model can be extremely successful for game developers, especially if you are able to convince players to pay upwards of $500 for a single in-game item. Mobile phone game maker Glu offers a title called Gun Bros where the top weapon in the game can be purchased for the equivalent of $500 real-world dollars.

Gun Bros is an overhead dual stick shooter for iOS, Android and Facebook. The game was released for free in October 2010 and features a robust in-game marketplace where you can upgrade weapons and armor.

According to TouchArcade, users can purchase upgrades two ways. The first method is by utilizing a coin currency which is generated for you at the end of a level based on your performance. 

Impatient gamers that want to advance through upgrades more quickly can purchase optional “war bucks” using real-world money. Additionally you can view in-app advertising or sign up for special offers to earn war bucks without paying anything.

If you have your heart set on the top gun in the game, called The Kraken, be prepared to view a lot of advertising or shell out a ridiculous amount of money to the tune of nearly $500.

The largest war bucks package sells for $99 and gives you 710 bucks to work with. The Kraken can be yours for 3499 war bucks, meaning you would need five $99 packs if you hadn’t already earned some through in-app ad participation.

Perhaps one of the eight people who bought the I Am Rich app a few years ago might be interested in The Kraken. At least this time they would get something useful for their money.

What is the most money you have spent on in-game purchases or DLC?




User Comments: 52

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JohnnyNonStop said:

That is just craaaaazy! $15 is the most I'd be willing to spend on any DLC, period, I think!?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

$19.99 for Semper Fi for Hearts of Iron 3, although it technically was more an expensive patch rather than a DLC.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I am in the wrong business...

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

I once spent $10 on a DLC (for TES: IV I believe). Although I technically only spent $8.70 due to the Credit Crunch's current dollar currency exchange rates.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That is just asinine. However, I do remember playing the MMORPG Asheron's Call, and when housing was first introduced (just a few houses at a time for the tens of thousands of players), they were being sold on e-bay for $5,000. And people - make that morons - were actually paying that!

As far as what I would pay, it would depend on the game, how much I'm into it and what the item was. Fallout 3 was the best game I ever played and they had a one-of-a-kind item in it. An alien blaster gun. Of course, it was free if you could find it. But if it had been a pay-for item, I probably would have paid no more than $20 for it. It was fun as hell disintegrating your enemies.

Staff
Shawn Knight Shawn Knight said:

I've spent $45 on Black Ops map packs over the course of nearly a year at $15 a pop.

Kralnor said:

$500? Not a chance in hell

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Thus why I said screw that stuff. Atleast in this game that the article is talking about, that there is atleast alternative ways to get it. The ones that I have tried (which is not that many) they have special stuff for ONLY people giving them money, screw people that are dedicated but not giving cash. Whatever....I could understand giving them some like the amount for a regular game but that's about it.

Leeky Leeky said:

No way, I'd rather spend it on a SSD.

Emin3nce said:

I paid for TF2 when it came out, and I've never paid for any items from the TF2 store (umadgabe?) and i've unlocked most of them for free... Not that any of them really made a huge difference. The whole "pay for some keys to maybe get some paint or some other useless shit" seems kind of retarded. At the end of the day, my 30 something refined get's me what I need, and you know what gabe... I DIDN'T PAY A ******* DIME!! ahahaha

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

Wow! $500 for a ingame item. Yeah right id rather spend it upgrading my computer or paying bills lol

Guest said:

Pfft! No way.

Zecias said:

TomSEA said:

That is just asinine. However, I do remember playing the MMORPG Asheron's Call, and when housing was first introduced (just a few houses at a time for the tens of thousands of players), they were being sold on e-bay for $5,000. And people - make that morons - were actually paying that!

As far as what I would pay, it would depend on the game, how much I'm into it and what the item was. Fallout 3 was the best game I ever played and they had a one-of-a-kind item in it. An alien blaster gun. Of course, it was free if you could find it. But if it had been a pay-for item, I probably would have paid no more than $20 for it. It was fun as hell disintegrating your enemies.

Almost all MMORPGS are like that. I used to play cabal, and the top guild in that game was made up of people spending 5k+ on in game items. One guy in particular spent over 20k on the game. I regret not selling my account =(. I could have gotten at least 1k from it.

Guest said:

LOL, I remember a man who spends $330,000 real-world money on virtual item for the game Entropia Universe. Some people have way too much money and not enough brain cells.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Uhm, zero.

yorro said:

Me? no. Someone else? yes.

FatTwinkie said:

Would rather not pay diddly squat for those things, but most I've spent on game add-ons is $15 and that isn't even in-game stuff. Its just the DLC for Call of Duty, lol.

RH00D RH00D said:

It is really absurd. Although, they are most likely hoping for kids to buy it through their parent's credit card without the parents realizing what the child has done, until it's too late.

Guest said:

Stupidity should be illegal..... and the punishment should be summary execution...

That way the punishment would fit the crime....lol

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

What's an, "MMORPG"? You can read my resounding "no" answer, into that question

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I have spent hundreds on in-game currency over the years. I regret every penny.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

What's an, "MMORPG"? You can read my resounding "no" answer, into that question

massively multiplayer online role playing game....and no i don't...NNOOOOOO!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

massively multiplayer online role playing game....and no i don't...NNOOOOOO!
Well first, I thought that's what the "Techspot Forums" were....!

Also, did you know that "ORPG" is an anagram of "gorp". Which, if I can believe ancient urban legend, is a colloquial term for somebody who farts in the bathtub, and bites the bubbles...

Yeah, that probably should get, and verily deserves to be, pulled......

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

First off let me say I'm not a big gamer.

The thought that someone would purchase an in-game item simply because they have the money to spend, discourages me from even thinking about trying the game.

The only way I would ever consider such a game would be if I knew, such purchases would not unbalance my game play, if I decided not to purchase the in-game play items.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The only way I would ever consider such a game would be if I knew, such purchases would not unbalance my game play, if I decided not to purchase the in-game play items.
Well, that's the conundrum isn't it. If it didn't affect play, you wouldn't have to pay for it.

mrtraver said:

$3.49 for the BFBC2 SPECACT pack (normally $4.99) because I wanted the M95 NOW.

And I still feel guilty about it.

mcmurphy12 mcmurphy12 said:

Over the years, I've downloaded nearly 500 songs for Rock Band.

Arris Arris said:

I'd played the demo on Android of the original game. I wouldn't spend $1/£1 on an in game item for World Of Warcraft that I played on and off for 5 years, let alone $500 for an item in a casual game on my phone... Madness!

Mindwraith said:

i've spent $40 on LoL so far, thats about enough for me

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

$5 maybe but not $500.

Guest said:

There needs to be federal investigations into these "free to play" companies and their games. These prices are completely insane and they are just milking people who don't know any better because they're new to gaming and don't realize what you USED to get for your money with games.

Zinga and this Glu should be under federal investigation, IMO.

pmkrefeld said:

Would never buy a DLC, an Addon on DVD or maybe Steam yes but a stupid overpriced dlc no.

Guest said:

Cool I am going to buy this now and be top dog instantly...MMmaaawwwwwaaaaahhh

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't pay much for games these days (or play them much), and I don't think at any point I would have been willing to pay $500 for an in-game item at any point.

That said, I don't have any problem with it. I don't see this as getting less value compared to paying $500 at an expensive restaurant, or any number of things that people with lots of money do. I know someone who paid $3,000 for a Voodoo 5 6000. He collects graphics cards, and apparently it was worth to him, and he had the money. Collectors often pay a lot of money for things that other people don't put much value in. For someone who can spare $500 like I spare $5, buying an in-game item for this sum is fine.

Guest said:

Remember all the fools from 2004-2006 and maybe still today buying virtual gold on ebay (I think after 2006 Blizzard made ebay stop selling WoW virtual items and accounts) and on China websites for WoW? I bet most those players don't even play WoW anymore and look at all the real life money they wasted.

BreakTheSilence BreakTheSilence said:

Thats the reason you jailbreak and download a DLC for it from Cydia. Suck up your pride and jailbreak people.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Over the years, I've downloaded nearly 500 songs for Rock Band.
Perhaps so. That really isn't the equivalent of paying $500.oo for 1 great song though, is it?

Guest said:

I would if I was Steve Jobs ! :D

- even then .. NO WAY! you have to be sick in the head!

Stonos said:

A hat in Team Fortress 2 (where hats provide only cosmetic value) has been sold for $1500!

So yes, I guess that some people would pay the $500.

jonelsorel said:

DEFINITELY ! AFTER i die.

treetops treetops said:

If I could resell the item for the same price within a year then maybe if I was making some major cash.

Guest said:

I wouldn't pay $5 never mind 500.If i buy a game then as far as i'm concerened, that's it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

If I could resell the item for the same price within a year then maybe if I was making some major cash.
This logic places its faith on two premises; the $500.oo item is in fact, a limited edition, and more importantly, will the game itself be around within a year.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Are these guys kidding ? 500 bucks for a virtual item ? I'd rather spend that money on something that could enchance the performance of the game on my PC like a top of the line graphics card.

Guest said:

$500 for a virtual item? No. I understand people are quick to jump the gun,(pun intended) answering this question. Some people will spend the cash, but I feel compelled to ask them if the company will last beyond a couple years at best? MMORPG's have a limited shelf life with a few exceptions. The lifespan of games are as short as pop stars careers. I guess the company figures this flash in the pan will dive eventually and so they make the huge grab for cash before the inevitable "cash cow" dries up.

Guest said:

They are asking for how much for an IN-GAME DLC, map/skin/sound packs are not in-game DLC.

Personally a couple times I bought some piles of max-hold limit in-game currency to get a few elite armours/stacks of materials and a couple weapons that there was no way possible for me to get otherwise because of my realisation of the extent on time and requirements to get them, and deemed them unobtainable otherwise.

I didn't buy them to give everyone I meet the finger for owning something to awe at, I bought them for my own personal enhancement.

I play co-op like 85% of the time so it's to the advantage of all around me I have these things.

Most I paid for anything in-game was 19.99

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I have this game on my droid and it make good for bad conversation.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'd rather spend that money on something that could enchance the performance of the game on my PC like a top of the line graphics card.

Make much more sense so +1.

But there are people who usually live in a bubble and would spend money on 'virtual' stuff.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Make much more sense so +1.

But there are people who usually live in a bubble and would spend money on 'virtual' stuff.

....or inflatable stuff...I'm just say'in

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