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


We now know which country has the most expensive games, but of course that doesn’t tell the whole story. As many readers pointed out, earnings can vary widely from country to country. So even though a game may be more in absolute terms in countries like Australia and Denmark, if you earn a higher wage in that country, it makes the games much more affordable there.

We decided to take the average salary after tax to calculate how many hours you’d have to work in each country in order to buy a new release Xbox 360 or PS3 game. Here are the results :

Denmark and Australia, which had previously shown up as the most expensive countries for games, have now dropped to being the most affordable. There, gamers only have to work a mere 2.6/3.17 hours to experience epic 20 hour adventures like The Last of Us. Despite the UK’s relatively cheap prices, we place much higher in this table, putting in 4.5 hours of toil to get a new game.

The most shocking figure is Poland, which with an annual average salary of just £6114 means Polish workers have to put in nearly two days of work just to be able to afford the latest game release.

Update: Check out the PC followup to this article and find out how PC games compare here.

How many hours do you have to work per game? What games are worth working 14 hours? Let us know in the comments

Data sources

Net average wage/year
Net average wage in GBP terms
Net average Hourly Wage
Hours worked per game

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This entry was posted in Playstation 3, Xbox 360 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?

  • guwno polska

    hue hue

  • polska guwno

    polska to sraka

    • maxan

      i kraj analfabetów – gówno

  • Chaosmaker

    Well, Poland has western prices and eastern wages, so no real surprise here. I buy most of my games on sales now.

    • Simon Ward

      Do many gamers buy brand new games in Poland? Can’t imagine spending a full 2 days wages on a game!

      • Paleo

        Most either import or pirate

        • Simon Ward

          Import from where? Russia? I think PC games are bigger over there?

          • Grzegorz Sz.

            And here is funny part. Consol gamers mostly import games from UK shops (mostly amazone) becouse it’s cheaper. PC gamers mostly buy digital games on steam sale, US amazon an GMG.

          • Magnesus

            The same with books. I bought one book from the Game of Throne series for more than two times cheaper than the Polish edition (which was divided into two books and each costed more than the Amazon paperback).

          • schizotypal

            Maybe Polish buy games few months after premiere. They are a lot cheaper. I paid for Borderlands about 12$ in December 2012.
            Then – second hands are cheaper too. I paid about 5$ for Malice on PS2 last week.

          • A

            I tend to buy games (and I buy them rarely) when they cost around £4-5, occasionally I am prepared to pay something like £10, and once even £20 (a month or two after premiere of a new Total War game).

      • odrzut

        First of all – console gaming isn’t popular – almost everybody game on PC. So I think comparison of PC game prices would show much smaller difference between Poland and other countries.

        • Snipe

          “First of all – console gaming isn’t popular” Over half of million PS3 was sold in Poland…So console gaming IS popular.

        • Adrian

          PC gaming is more popular than console gaming. However, console gaming is still very popular in our country, bro.

          • odrzut

            UK alone has 60% larger population than Poland, and 10 times more PS3 sold (5 000 000 vs 500 000).

            Practicaly every family in Poland has PC, most often 2 or more (desktop and laptop). Consoles are rare.

          • DerdePersoon

            I acknowledge, I have three computers and two high-end mid-range laptops.

      • totem

        For me it was like 2 games 30/days 1 new 1 use for ps3.. but atm i lost me job so no games for me… and its look correct for me

        8h of work 10-15 pln 1h and game cost 100-200pln

        • Simon Ward

          Is there a big preowned market in Poland? Do you sell the games after you play them?

          • Totem

            Depends on games if game is good is stay on me shelf so i can back to it (atm its like 35 of them) and if it not so grate it back to trade in. I can say for me its like 40% stay 60% go back to shop.

            if you ask what its in shop all heave 2 “shelf’s” one when you heave use for 50% or less original prize and 2nd where you heave new/premier titles.

            from what I see when i get new games its like 50-70% sells are use but its not official its is what I see when i in line to pay.

          • milo

            Yes, it’s easy to buy second-hand game a lot cheaper. Also, people usually wait a bit for sale or prices drop. So, it’s still not cheap, but we can manage somehow. And it’s not true, that in Poland workers earn £1 per hour. It’s impossible to find anyone for such salary. My cleaning lady gets £10 per cleaning, which takes about 3 hours, and you cannot find anyone cheaper in middle size city, same baby-sitter etc. Those who claim, that salaries are so low, are just kids, or students with no skills or expirience. Labour is cheap, but not so-cheap, and getting skilled worker for moderate wage is very hard.

          • Mark

            There’s a portal called Allegro – similar to eBay. You can get AAA titles for like £20 after half a year from the premiere. As for me – I never sell games. The ones I’ve bought are really the ones I wanted and don’t feel like getting rid of them.
            Still – there are many people who buy used games and after finishing them – replace with another.

      • Wojtek

        Hello, im from Poland and of course there is a small miniority of players that “can” afford to buy new game even if it means to “gather” money for 2 or more days

        The difference is that in the table you used a “average salary” which 90% of gamers didn’t receive. I am working right now for ~1pound/h
        and new game costs 30 pounds – 4 days of my work to collect the money so what i do? I just download them from torrent, and if I like game, I just wait for discounts and buy it.

        We have eastern Europe prizes and western Europe salaries :(

        • Simon Ward

          Wow, that’s tough. Some of the other countries I found the median was a lot lower than the average, because the super rich were distorting the stats. What sort of jobs pay ~£1/hour? Paying £40 for a game on that would seem crazy.

          • Eda

            I’m from Poland. According to your question: “What sort of jobs pay ~£1/hour?”. The answer is: most of them. Secretaries, shop assistants, body guards in a supermarket, office workers, gas station workers and so on. That’s why most of us just download games from internet. I remember that my brother took a loan in a bank to buy Playstation 3 and few games.

          • Yav

            Well, I’m from Poland too and I must disagree with the statement that most of the jobs here pay ~£1/hour. It’s more like £2-£3/hour, still very little but certainly more than £1. Another thing is that this are the jobs for unqualified workers, so that’s natural that they are paid less than jobs that require more skills, for example my friend who is a programmer gets paid abut £5-£6/hour, sadly the fact is that in Poland this is a very high salary, way above the average. It’s very true that when you compare the salaries and prices in Poland, we are really expensive country to live in, and most people can’t afford many things that are considered cheap in western countries.

          • A

            Majority of young people after graduation finds their first salary at most around the minimal wage – that’s around £260 a month, after first year it rises to £324, so something like £1,5-1,8 per hour. In this category fall early career teachers, scholars, museum workers, and so on. On the other hand construction workers, plumbers and so on can possibly earn twice that much.

            Poland – land of paradoxes, where higher education is a right, not privilege. *sigh*

          • rafaelmet

            Bullshit. I’m from Poland, earn very low, and still get much more than £1/hour. And I live in a small, poor town. £1 I used to earn 10 years ago, after school. Now I earn something like £3/hour. My wife earns £4, ant it is still quite low.

            £1/hour is what Ukrainians earn on the farm. Why polish farmers have to employ Ukrainians? Beacuse it you can’t find any Polish, who will work for £1.

          • no_really

            It’s not bullshit. I do not know anyone in my close family who would earn more than £1.25 to £2.00 after taxes.

            £1.25 is around the minimum wage, and I find a lot of people on this wage.

          • Wojtek

            Typical jobs for students/young people like production line, restaurant, hypermarket, newsboy. It’s not so bad when you are student and live with parents but many people even after their studies have problem with find decent job. I’ve met people with polish master degree of law/science in production line job
            You need to be a genius/or have good
            connection(family,friends) to find well-paid job in Poland. Many People have had enough of this nightmare and try to find better life in western Europe countries

            ~Of course that kind of salary is widely spread in east of Poland/in non-urban regions is lower ;)

          • pawel

            only family & friend need to find a good job and easy life

          • marki

            ” It’s not so bad when you are student and live with parents but many
            people even after their studies have problem with find decent job.”- thats one of reasons i dont even consider to start a family

          • lis

            I was working 3 months in Holliday last year and I got 1.6£/hour (no taxes), and it’s typicall earnings in small town (I was working 10-14h per day, 6 days in a week). If u are working as a shop assistance etc with a regular contract, you can earn ~2£ but u need pay taxes (~25%)…

        • pawel

          I also from Poland. I am working for ~2pound/hour (and im happy for
          that), last year i sold PS3 coz, games are cost too much for me. I
          bought 6-8 used games (in UK) but in Poland it was too much for me to
          buy a new game…….now i buy angry birds on WP8..3,49zł = ~ $1

          many people have less salary than me :(

          • Polish citizen

            Maybe it’s because your english sucks.

            The problem is that we’ve got – as someone mentioned before – western prizes and high taxation. Let’s say that circa 2/3 of our salary is taken by the government (in direct taxex, VAT, health tax and so on), so there’s not much money left for us.

          • Polish citizen

            *prices of course :)

          • Simon Ward

            What are the housing costs like? In the UK, the average house price is £238k, which is crazy expensive.

          • mateusz

            Depends on the city. In a 8k citizens city it would be 550 pounds/sqm rising up to 1,5k pounds/sqm or more in Warsaw. So 100 sqm flat in Warsaw would cost 150k pounds. But flats’ prices are way to overrated.

          • Grzegorz_Lodz

            Average prices of flats in 5 large Polish cities (depending on the number of cubic metres):

            średnia cena = average price


          • Magnesus

            The taxes are not that high in comparison with other countries. Especially if you run your own business (you get 19% flat rate! + VAT). The problem is that the retirement tax and health tax don’t depend on the income so small businessess are hard to sustain (because the tax might be higher than the income for them).

      • Adrian

        Well, don’t think so. I live in Poland and I can say, that £2 per hour is good (it’s 10 pln/h). most people got about 6pln/h (without taxes), which is ~£1.2/h. For example my friend as student and shop assistant got £240 for ~210 hours of monthly job.
        I can agree with some people, that we have EASTERN salary and WESTERN prizes (for IT, games, movies). And BTW, I live in city with 400k citizens, which is BIG city in Poland.

  • indrct

    I dunno what census you went by mate, but the average earning in the US is more around £13000.

    • Simon Ward


      Remember figures are after tax. Are you thinking of the median? There’s a big gap between median and average in the USA because of rich/poor gap. Using the median would have been more interesting, but wasn’t possible for every country.

  • Zhriver

    These calculations are nowhere near correct.
    Just looking at Denmark, I earn above average wage. Yet it still takes me 3,97 hours to afford The last of us.

    • Simon Ward

      We used the 2011 figures based on http://statbank.dk/SLON21 which shows average monthly earnings as 37364 DKK so annual gross of 448368 DKK

      • Zhriver

        LOLS, we have a standard work week of 37 hours. That would put the average wage at 252DKK before taxes.
        I can attest that the average guy does not earn that.

        • Mark

          “I can attest that the average guy does not earn that.” – as everywhere. Here in Poland average salary is also higher figure than “real” average salary.
          “we have a standard work week of 37 hours”. Hmm, I may think of moving to the Denmark as we have to work 40hrs/week ;)

      • TazZ

        Those numbers are before taxes…

  • boblemoche

    The figure is wrong for France, on average a worker works 1650h/year, making the hourly wage £12,8.

  • mw

    I think median wage after income would have been better than average.

  • Andrew

    Income tends to become concentrated in the top earners in a country’s wage scale; as a measure, average income tends to be skewed upwards. http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/cola/central.html

    Looking at the 2011 numbers and assuming a 2088 hour working year:
    average income: $19.73/hr, 3.04 hours for a new $60 game
    median: $12.91/hr, 4.65 hours for a new $60 game

    You have to keep in mind that the sheer size of the income disparity means it cannot be dismissed if these types of articles are to mean anything. In the US, the minimum wage in most states $7.25/hr while it has 34% of the world’s billionaires. It’s not just the US either – http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/research/SocialSciences/Key-Facts-Background-Paper-BPCIV.pdf (take a look at p11).

    I realize this isn’t a formal study and you have limited resources, but I wish someone could really explore the costs of gaming as a hobby.

    • Simon Ward

      I agree that median would be a more useful comparison, but the data just doesn’t seem there for some countries. Additionally, some of the countries above don’t have a minimum wage so we couldn’t compare that either.

      Like you say, it needs a proper study to take into account the many different factors, but hopefully this article gives a basic insight into the relative costs between countries.

  • michaś

    Hi im from Poland, and yes new games aren’t cheap.
    I mostly buy games (PC) on sales or bundles. We often have very googd price in day one of the title, so if you search well, sometimes ofers are very good (like new Tomb Rider for les than 20€).
    But there are exceptions like (for me) Borderlands 2 (bought before premiere and later Season Pass) or new XCOM.

    I dont buy many games. Just the good ones. And im not pleased that we dont have demos now :(

    • Simon Ward

      Are PC games priced a lot lower than their Xbox 360/PS3 versions in Poland?

      • michaś

        Yes PC are 50% cheaper on the same title! (200pln Xbox/PS and 100pln PC)

        Thats why we dont have too much consols :)

        (And on PC games have better graphics :P )

        • ofca

          @696c1b30c8925f186ec0781f9b775e58:disqus Newzoo company published report which says that 43% of polish gamers plays on consoles (67% of the rest are players who choose tablets, smartphones, pc etc). So 43% is not enough?

          • ofca

            Can’t edit comment – there should be 57 not 67 of course, my typo.

          • schizotypal

            Why typo? Just stupid research, if people, who play on X-box can’t play on PC, according to so called ‘researchers’.
            It is like “average player are 78 years old”, while in countries where children can’t buy games ‘pegi 21′, they are bought by parents.
            Better be skeptic than authoritarian.

          • michaś

            I dont know how they have done research but i have maybe 2 friends with consols. Rest of us have PC.
            About tablets and smartfons we have many of this devices, but i dont know if Angry Birds or Tetris shoud count as “games” ;)

            Ok i dont say that consols are bad and if you want to play they are often a good choice. But many of us prefere PC. And 43% is way too much IMHO.

          • Tricky

            now I assume you are young and that’s why you or your friends can’t afford ps or xbox and buy games. Me and 90% of my friends who play games, play on ps. We are in our 30′s and most of us have decent but not extremeally well paid jobs. So now you know how statistics works :)

          • michaś

            Ok im young but i can easily aford PS3 or X360 (new gen would be slight problem but if i would i could). I just like my PC better.

            I can play almost every game on my 3 years old laptop in his native resolution (on Ultra sets like in Borderlands 2), and most of them in my external Dell U2412M (mid) and i like it.

            I have Steam and Origin with many games and dont feel need to have any consol as well. And with this nex gen (which are middle range PC x86) i dont need them at all.

            You have to have in mind that on Steam you can buy a game 4-6 moth later for a 10€ which is rather dificult on a consols.

            And i like my Steam (i cant sell it back but you cant have it all, cheap or resealable) new comuter, just login and download. Now need to have any disc with you. Its very comfortable.

          • Simon Ward

            Are the games by CD projekt that are developed in Poland cheaper for Polish gamers? As these aren’t ‘imports’, they may be set to local prices gamers can afford?

          • Simon Ward

            That’s surprising, do you have a link to the report?

          • Mark

            I haven’t seen any reports but after current generation’s start (consoles) the figures should be ~70:30 (PC:consoles; remember that majority, like me, uses gaming PC as well as console(s)). Well at least that’s the impression after visiting different forums. And yes: prices for the PC games at the premiere day are usually half the console ones.

          • michaś

            Hmmm premier gemes from CD Project ware at the same price as other new games.
            About 100 pln.
            Now on GOG, Steam or CDP.pl you can buy The Witcher 1/2 for very low price. And if you bought a game before digital edition (like i did) i can register your copy and have digital verision without any costs and DRM.

            And you have all DLC for free.

            Wee love our CDP :)

      • Totem

        its from “empik” its like best buy for poland not best prize but in all citys ext.

        Lost Planet 3 PC 101pln PS3 211PLN XBox 215pln
        PC is a loot cheaper

      • Krystian

        PC games are about half cheaper than their console counterparts. I know, it’s weird, but most of new console games cost something between 200-250 PLN, whilst same PC games vary between 80-140 PLN. (however there are getting more and more expensive, to the point where Blizzard games are almost 200 PLN). PC gaming is very popular in our country and we get a lot of localized version, and that allow publisher to sell their games cheaper. But! They are still very expensive if you look how long we have to work for them. Majority of people earn something between £1.2 to £2 per our (6-10 PLN) and you still have to work for at least 8 hours to buy cheapest of those already cheaper PC games. Our country is a mess, where prices are western, but wages are really eastern. You know, if I was earning what you said is average wage/year (>£6000, which is around 30 000 PLN) I would be very happy and quite rich by our local standards. There is a reason why so many people from our country emigrated to UK ;) .

      • Krystian

        But it’s not so difficult to be a PC gamer in this times. Steam/GMG/Amazon sales are great and you can buy games dirty cheap (even by polish standards), so there is no excuse to piracy IMO.

  • schizotypal

    First, 14 hours in Poland is only one day in summer or in work. Then – who earn average salary in Poland?

  • mathix

    Sometimes you can get even new games cheaply. At least PC ones. I bought Bioshock Infinite on release day and paid ~24 GBP for it. I also got XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mafia II and first Bioshock included. It’s not bad price for such set of games.

  • Raginis

    Don’t be querulous, it could be better but it could be worse – we had a 55 years of communism, so give us some time now :D Don’t worry be happy

  • lesniok

    Hi. I’m from Poland. I work in little city in Poland as computer technician.I’m good in my work and like it. My salary per hours is >2£/hour. My salary in last month it 340£. I cant buy new games because my monthly savings are less than 20£/month.

  • ver

    That would be pretty good if you REALLY could get in Poland those 3 pounds… It’s something around 1,4-2 pounds/hour even if you finish studies (some of the fields). Salaries have risen but prices even more so no positive changes in this country.

    • Magnesus

      Well, doctors and programmers earn much, much more. So proper studies give you a good salary.

      • anon

        I get 0,73 pounds for an hour of work. 10 hours per day,

  • anonymous POLSKA

    poland stronk wy kurwy!

  • Tomek

    £6114 is a very good net salary in Poland, most people aged 20-30 don’t have such income. I personally earn less than half of it, as many of my friends do.

  • Pole

    In Poland we just pirate games.

  • Yendorion

    Why is Malta missing, pretty poor if it doee ‘t account for all the E.U member states.

  • Mark

    “Well, Poland has western prices and eastern wages”


    My salary is little more than £3 but nevertheless I fall into statistics.
    For all these people blaming piracy on Poland (yes, I’m Pole). Imagine that 1PLN = 1USD and you have to pay 200USD for one console game (average price, sometimes higher). That leaves me with one choice: buy only THE BEST, the most important games from my point of view on the premiere and the rest from the aftermarket or some promotions.

  • jam

    Poland = goovno

  • jacek

    That’s why Poles are buying game from torrents.

    • Janusz

      Not all of them.. I have like 130 games on Steam. Indie is just like 20% of it.

  • Daniel

    70% working people in Poland earn less than average salary (Central Statistical Office of Poland’s raport)

  • Dravic

    Fun fact; this isn’t about game prices but rather, about our country, the government and lackluster economy of our ‘beautiful’ country. -.-

    I wish we had Russian/CIS prices. I personally worked as ‘russian reseller’ on Steam trading sites by reselling Russian-priced games (bought them through a friend of mine) to other people who couldn’t afford prices in Euros. A shame i had to do that to afford for some newer games -myself-.

    Also, as some folks said already – AVERAGE includes businessman and politicians which greatly increases the ‘average’. But if somebody stopped trying to make up all the statistics and only counted ‘working class’ average wages, this would look MUCH worse. :( (

    I’m personally aiming to get the hell out of Poland ASAP.

  • Paweł Sinner Partyka

    Player from Poland here. I also work as professional game tester. Most of my games I get from sales: Steam, local stores etc. I own PC and couple of consoles. 75% titles on PC are from Steam sales, when they are cheaper than in stores. This way I get most titles, rest are non-Steam games. For consoles – I only get second-hand. When I bought X360, I bought 2 games and was trading. At each trade I pay 1/3 price of new title. Oh, and I only played on-line once: When I had 1 month of Gold for ~0,25 Euro.
    In Poland 40% of salary goes for rent and monthly payments. I live in capital, and another 40% goes for living (communication, food, etc.). I always try to save some cash, so to be honest – I get enough cash to buy one title. And it’s not just released title. Mostly it’s title released year/two earlier. That’s why most of PC players stick to some F2P online titles like League of Legends, Metin, Tibia. And piracy is high (especially among high school students).

  • Jake

    Simon, i have a question… why did you include Poland in here? Our country has been wiped off the map for over 100 years before the first world war then we got owned in the world war 2, then we got owned by the russians and we’re still struggling to recover from all that. Do you really think we could be on par with the western european countries? No way.

    Compare us to post soviet states and our southern neighbours, then we can talk.

    I find it funny that you thought Poland could stand a chance compared to western europe. This will not happen for many years to come.

    • Simon Ward

      I thought it would be useful to add a wide selection of EU countries. I get the impression gamers in every country think they pay the most for games. Even here in the UK where wages are high and games are cheap, gamers don’t realise how good they have it and complain that they’re too expensive.

  • Chris

    As a Polish gamer I knew we had it tough here but this statistic really puts things into a perspective. I have just finished the first year of high school and even though my family’s income is higher than the average, buying games is a struggle. Luckily with the frequent Steam sales and Playstation Plus gaming on a budget is probably at its peak.
    A thing to consider when thinking of underaged gamers like myself is that, due to Poland having been on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, our parents have not experienced this form of hobby and therefore don’t consider it something worth spending money on. That’s why I don’t even bother to ask them to buy me games and have to put aside the little pocket money I am given. Most of my friends only pirate games and I can’t blame them as I was doing just the same only about 2 years ago(before I discovered digital content and the used games market).

    The problem is that though I do well at school and overall am considered quite intelligent I know that there is very little chance for me to find a well paid job if I decide to stay here and even if I will manage to do so I know that I can get substantially more abroad.

  • Polaczek

    kurwa chuje nie rozumiem was XD

    • Gregory_Lodz

      Polaczek to adekwatny nick

  • Pole

    I wonder why there’s just Poland, because the situation looks pretty much the same in every country from that region (Slovakia, Hungary, Czech etc.)

  • CombatFlapjack

    Simon, thanks for adding Poland to your article, however I have to say Wojtek’s comment is most accurate.

    A young person in Poland – a target buyer of a game – is making an average 1500-1800PLN per month, which by today’s currency exchange is about 340GBP monthly. Any major new PC releases are at 199PLN = 40GBP, making it a fifth of monthly income. A fifth, so nearly whole week of work, not mere 13 hours you state.

    We live in a strange country, wages so low, prices the same as the rest of EU and yet we somehow cope. Amazing and sad at the same time.

    Next time you see a young Pole serving you a drink in UK, think they probably are tired of having no future and no life here, in their own country. Nothing has changed for us in last decade.

    Regards from Poland.

    • Simon Ward

      A median would have been more useful to use to strip out the super rich who distort the statistics (in every country), but I couldn’t find the data. Did Poland have similar prices to the rest of Europe before their entry into the EU?

  • h141

    One day it will be cheaper to buy AK 47 and we will repay Germans and Russians

  • Damian

    I’m still pretty happy that I live in Poland. It’s not an ideal country in terms of wages, taxes etc. but it could be worse. I appreciate what I have.

  • tomtom

    To be honest, every country east from Germany has such proportions of wage to game price. Czech, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, there’s like 20 countries. I have no idea why they counted only Poland into calculation.


  • .net programmer

    These wages for Poland seem cruel, but that’s not that bad. I’m 24 y old, programmer and I’m getting around 12 pounds per hour. See? It is possible. Just a matter of good choice and hard work!

  • killbunny

    I really think they need to look at the average wages again. They need to account for those that are making stupid amounts of money. The majority of people are making min wage not average wages. If you remove the top 10% from the equation then the average wage drops to min wage. The numbers are being subverted by in large by the 1% alone.