The Price Of Perfection; The Outrageous Real World Prices Of Digital Cars

Forza 5 Lotus E21

It’s well-known that competitive gameplay scenarios are the most fertile ground for the micro-transaction. FPS games like Blacklight: Retribution and Dust 514 allow players to use in-game currency, bought with real world currency, to level characters faster and purchase weapons that give a marginal advantage on the battlefield. Of course, you can opt to play the game at length to earn the same amount of XP and weapons, but the grind usually steers players away before they can afford top-tier items. Forza Motorsport 5 and Gran Turismo 6 have a similar system in place to get your hands on rare cars without having to dump countless hours into the race track.

For example, Forza Motorsport 5’s most expensive car, the¬†Lotus E21¬†(above) runs 10,000 in-game tokens. Things get ugly when you look at the real world cost of that amount of in-game currency. It would cost you approx. $107 to purchase the Token packs necessary to score the Lotus. You can always play the game to earn the car; you bought the game to play it right? But let’s put things in perspective quick , you’re awarded 100 Tokens when you first start off in Forza 5. Meaning you’ll need a hundred times that amount to score the whip without spending extra money. It seems that you’ll be running the track for quite a while to earn enough to grab the most sought after car in the game.

Jaguar XJ13

Gran Turismo 6 features a similar proprietary currency, simply called In-Game Credits. One of the top-of-the-line rides in GT6 is the Jaguar XJ13, which costs 20 million credits. The net price of that amount of In-Game Credits in real world-like monies is $162.62. Again, this is if you want the car straight away and don’t feel like earning it. With the Gran Turismo series’ reputation of “grindy” progression, will the micro transactions adversely affect the ecosystem?

Arguably, these prices only really apply to those that are wiling to pay for convenience. But there’s definitely something to be said about the outrageous real world cost of owning a digitally rendered sports car. Alternatively, you can always seek out a sponsor to help you buy fake cars…

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • alex

    Forza 5 has two forms of in game currency, tokens, which you purchase with real money, and credits, which you earn for racing. The Lotus E21 is 6,000,000 credits. The average payout for a win is between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on your difficulty settings. That’s at least 400 wins at $15,000 per win to get enough to buy that. That would probably take the average gamer months to earn, all the while not being able to spend a single credit on things like other cars or car upgrades. Needless to say, very, very few people are ever going to be able to drive that car in the game.

    So, not only are these games replicating the feeling of driving these cars you’ll never have, they’re replicating the feeling of never having the cars you’ll never have.