“Why would I spend money on this game when it’s free?”
This is the comment about SWGOH that is usually followed up by something along the lines of “I’m not going to pay to play that game, only some [insert negative noun here] would do that.” My response to you is, are you paying to play a game, or are you investing in a hobby?
Lets compare a few games to Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes (SWGOH) and see what the money spent on each has in terms of value:
A phone or tablet game: Clash of Clans
A multi platform console game: Star Wars Battle Front
A PC only game: World of Warcraft
A physical (as well as digital) game: Magic the Gathering
If I spend $100 in each game, what is the best I can get with long term value?
Clash of Clans
Your buildings will be the only thing left standing that has something to show for your money spent here. They are a defensive tool (outside of Hero’s), so you won’t get to fully engage the dollars you’ve spent. You also have no chance of seeing a return on your money. The resources you are spending money on are easily gathered by playing the game, so there is very little “hobby investment” here. Investment rating 1/10.
Star Wars Battle Front
You’ve already spent $60-$120 just buying the game to play in the first place. Plenty of hours to spend, and levels/upgrades to show for your time spent in the form of collections. The diversity among collections is slim, which begs the question, is this really MY collection? Future content will cost you more, so at the minimum, you are paying $60 to play this game, and on average, you’ll end up spending at least $100. Investment rating 3/10.
World of Warcraft
Again, you’ve spent at least $60 just to play the game, and most likely will spend near $100 to be playing current content (plus monthly costs). We have “in game purchases” on top of the buy in cost(and monthly cost), that will add to your collection. Collections here are more personal than we’ve seen yet, creating a stronger sense of ownership on our investment. However, like the previously mentioned games, that investment will be only through long term enjoyment of the game, and not any returns on the dollar. Investment rating 5/10.
Magic the Gathering
Here we have the option to continue digitally, or physically play the game, and for once, we can actually see some money back on what we spend! Unfortunately $100 isn’t enough to get much started with this game if you want play competitively, and it’ll require an upkeep minimum of about $100 – $200 every 4 months or so. The cards trade like a mini stock market, and the profit margins are very slim. The chances of actually profiting here are even slimmer, so again your investment here is the joy of the game, and not to see return on your dollar (though you can get some percent spent in return if you want). The collection process is the most unique so far, with a vast range, due to the longevity of the game. Investment rating 7/10.
Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes (SWGOH)
To start, the game is free to play, so you still have that $100 in your hand. We all know there is a limit on how much you can do at once in the game, unless you spend your money “to play.” Is this really a bad thing? This helps curb the appetitive of spending too much time in the game, and allows you to focus on your other lively duties, without losing track of time. If anything, I’m thankful that the game doesn’t allow everyone to discard their everyday responsibilities! So if playing more in a day isn’t the best bang for the buck in this game, what is worth the $100 I can so easily spend an another game? Your Collection. Like Magic, this game has a very unique collection range. When you invest money into SWGoH, you are building towards a uniquely personalized collection, specific to how you want to craft your game play. When furthering your collection, you are furthering your tools of battle. $100 can get you started in a bundle with the favor of choice, or it can get you five 8-count packs that will add to your collection. As with the majority of hobby spending, you won’t see any return on your dollar, but there is a distinct level of uniqueness to the ownership of your collection. Investment rating 4/10.
Hopefully these examples were at least comparable in their class to other game hobbies you might be spending money on, so that the idea of spending money in SWGOH seems less absurd than you may have originally thought.
The option to buy in this game does have a wide range, and it can be frustrating to those who don’t have the budget to spend as much as others on their collection. It’s not entirely different from anything else in life though, whether that be other games or social activities. The focus should be on your hobby and passions, and the investment you want to put towards those enjoyments.
When you spend money in SWGOH responsibly, you’re putting money towards a collection that is unique and personal to you, not paying to play the game. At the very least, I’d have spent $60 just to play the game, so if you’re like me, that’s $60 you have to put towards your collection!