Support available Mon-Fri 10:00am - 4:30pm

How many hours do you have to work to buy the latest PC games?

In my previous article I looked at the cost of new PC game releases in different countries and discovered that Russia, Poland and the UK were the cheapest countries for new PC games. But we didn’t take into account how much money people are likely to earn in each country. After all, if you’re only making pennies, even Poundland seems expensive.

To take this into account, I’ve looked at the net average wage* (i.e., after tax) in each country. Knowing the average game price, it’s possible to calculate how many hours people need to work in each country to buy a new PC game release. Here are the results:

* I acknowledge that median wage would be more useful and reflective of the average Jones, Schmidt or Juan but this data wasn’t available for every country.

Average number of hours worked to buy a new PC game in each country

Where Russia and Poland were previously the cheapest location to buy PC games, because of the low wage rates, you’d actually have to work the MOST amount of hours to purchase a game there. For Russia, this is even taking into account that nearly all Russian PC games have much cheaper Russian language only releases. So it’s not quite the bargain you may have assumed.

Conversely, Denmark, Norway and Australia, which have among the most expensively priced PC games are actually the cheapest for gamers, relative to their buoyant economies.

Reducing the number of hours you need to work to buy a PC game

Couldn’t European and Australian gamers purchase Russian or Polish games (or game keys) and save a lot of money? Unfortunately, after gamers cottoned onto this fact, publishers started locking most Russian games by IP/language. Many Polish (and other Eastern European) games are also language locked – without any English option.

But it’s still possible for gamers to import games from the UK, which besides being the next cheapest country for games, generally has games that include all major European languages.

Using our store’s average price for the three titles (£30.32), you can see the difference below:

Average number of hours worked to buy a new PC Steam/Origin game, using keys from the UK:

With the exception of Russia and Poland (who often have their own localised IP or language locked games), all the countries fare better by importing from the UK… despite the fact that many in the UK believe their prices are a rip-off compared to other countries. And because the European Union encourages free trade between nations, there’s no issues for PC gamers to purchase keys from outside their country.

How many hours do you have to work to buy a PC game? Are your games worth working that long? Leave a comment to let us know!

Data used

Net Average wage/year
Net Average Wage in GBP Terms
Net hourly Wage
Hours Worked Per Game


Win our ULTIMATE digital games bundle!

We’re giving away an ultimate digital games bundle for PC!
Want to win? Just sign up to our weekly newsletter for
your chance!

First name Email
This entry was posted in Origin, PC Games, Steam on by .
Simon Ward

About Simon Ward

Simon has been playing games since convincing his parents that he really, really needed a computer 'for school', and he hasn't stopped since. As co-owner of GamePointsNow, his roles include managing staff, sourcing stock and writing the blog you're reading right now. He likes RPGs, first person shooters and comments on his blog posts, so what are you waiting for?