When your face is pressed against the glass of the display window at FAO Schwarz, eventually you’re going to give-in to temptation and buy something. It’s going to be the best toy you ever purchased, until a week later when its thrown into a pile with all of your old toys. It won’t take long before it just blends in with everything else in your toy chest. Once you buy one shiny new toy, you’re going to want more, and soon you’ll find yourself back at that display window coveting something new.
The premium items in The Simpsons: Tapped Out have the same allure. Sure, some items are always available, but the ones that are only available for a limited-time are the quickest to catch your eye. You wouldn’t be so swift to purchase premium content if it was all available forever anytime you wanted it.
If an item appears in the shop that will only be around for a few weeks, you’re far more likely to play fast and loose with your credit card. After all, if you don’t buy it now, you’ll lose out, and in most instances there are no second chances.
The benefits premium items give only affect your town, but they all come with hidden sub-text: envy. Your neighbors can visit your town and see all of your premium content in all its splendor, making them wish their town was a cool as yours. It may not be something we think of consciously, but it plays a small role in why we purchase premium content.
You might feel really good about the premium content you purchased. Maybe your town is designed more-or-less how you want it, and maybe you have more characters walking around and doing jobs with really fun animations. Besides, if you play the game everyday, why not throw down $20 every month or so?
If you can stomach a cruel reality check, I challenge you to take a look at your transaction history.
This will differ depending on whether you’re playing on iOS or Android, but you should be able to go back and see a list of everything you purchased. Really take the time to add everything up. How many times have you bought a Truckload of 300 Donuts, or Golden Scratch-R tickets. Get out a calculator or make a spreadsheet and add it all up. How much have you really spent on donuts?
Have you spent more than $100 on the game? Is the number closer to $500 or perhaps even more? If it is, seeing the reality of those numbers in front of you may make you reconsider spending any more money on the game. Before you may have rationalized it as an investment in a game that you enjoy, but maybe now you’ll see it as a waste of money on a game that can actually be played for free.
You’re free to spend your disposable income however you please, but if you work hard for your money, you may want to reconsider spending it on donuts. The Christmas update is approaching and there will definitely be new and exclusive content added that will certainly tempt your wallet, but stay strong! Either that or ask Santa for lots of iTunes / Play Store gift cards.