There are so many things wrong about this giveaway. And it’s been so long since I’ve pissed people off last. So let’s mix the two together for a bit of fun, shall we?
Giving Away Problems
So we now know all about FFXIV’s Amazon Giveaway for 2017. It’s kind of big on Twitter today if you’ve been too busy to check your phone or aren’t on Twitter. There are so many people with so many problems with it, and that’s good. It’s a very good idea to be cautious and uncertain about just diving right into this, and I’ll get to that in a bit. First we need to talk a little bit about how we as a culture interpret the word free when it comes to services and material goods.
“Free” in a literal sense is an outright impossibility, if you think about it. We have to adhere to the laws of thermodynamics. Someone, somewhere, has to spend energy in order to get you this “free” thing. As a society we started off with a process known as bartering–or trade. People would trade the goods and services they were capable of in exchange for other goods and services. As culture developed we would decide on a standardized currency in order to allow a greater freedom of choice. Now we could pick and choose which goods and services we wanted instead of having to hope the ones we need needed what we could provide. You might get something extra at times in this exchange. Maybe a few extra chicken nuggets in your lunch or something.
Eventually there come about promotions for advertising. “Come and pay for this to get this other thing free!” or “Here, use these coupons to save $4 on this product if you buy five or more of them!” I want to assure you these free bonus items are, if done responsibly, paid for in the advertising revenue budget. They’re put out there as enticing bait to lure people in to buy their goods and services–and generally only done in some form of projected gain for the creator or company. It seems shady and most of the time it is–so it’s up to the consumer to determine whether or not the promotion is worthwhile.
Is This Campaign Worth It?
Let’s go ahead and start by ignoring all of their terminology. There are many problems with that but there’s nothing legally wrong with it. Giveaway implies they’re giving something away, which they are. Free implies for free, which we’ve already defined as a technical impossibility. So what’s the catch? What do you stand to gain?
So first, clearly there’s an obvious gain here if you were intending to spend $20 or more on the Amazon Games department in the projected time period and play FFXIV. You have literally nothing to lose, as you were already going to spend that during their promotional period. Maybe just inventory space I guess, but you don’t have to take the items either if that’s too much of a problem.
Second, let’s take a quick glance at the items we get from the promotion. The 50 aetheryte tickets and the weapon we have very little clear comparison to go on, so let’s ignore those and focus instead on the mount and clothes. These are both available to all characters on your account for all time. If you make a new character on the account, you’ll get them on that one too. Let’s do a direct comparison on the MogStation.
The cheapest account-wide mount available right now is $24. This means if you are someone who would buy this account wide mount for $24 (the lowest price comparably) then you’re already saving yourself some money.
Then we have the different outfits. As far as I’m aware, Mogstation outfits are all only for the one character you select. They range from $5 to $18, but considering this outfit applies to all characters let’s go ahead and say $18. So if you’d buy this outfit for $18, you’re then only losing out on $2. So we need to spend $20 to get $42 worth of items–meaning we’d save $22 at best if we were going to buy the in-game items anyway.
What if I Want a Game?
I would assume you play FFXIV because… well, this is a FFXIV blog primarily. Or at least you’re interested in it, or like reading my salt. Anyway, let’s go with the initial assumption. I’d like to remind you about the fallacy of coupons–something my own Mom tends to forget.
Let’s say you have a coupon that saves you $5 if you buy thirty bottles of ketchup. Sweet–you can save $5! But… would you buy thirty bottles of ketchup normally? If the answer is no, then you’re not saving yourself any money. This has a bit of leeway when it comes to non-perishables I guess, but there’s still no reason to spend money you weren’t budgeting to spend in an attempt to “save” it. Just going for “free” stuff without ensuring your fiscal responsibilities is exactly what companies are trying to get you to do. Remember that “free” doesn’t exist, and remember to be a smart consumer.
Now–if you’re going to buy a game or game time card from Amazon Games worth $20 or more anyway… you already win, as I stated before. There is no feasible loss for you here as long as you were intending to spend that money sometime during this promotional period. And I guess, as long as you need that code. If you just want the items, then feel free to just buy literally any game or game time card between the price range of $20 and $42 and you’re getting the in-game items “free” in a sense.
Some of my friends are choosing to spend their money towards other games and MMOs to also help alleviate FFXIV burnout while getting a nice trinket in FFXIV. Pretty neat idea! The keys for success here are:
1) Were you already going to buy something from Amazon Games worth $20 or more during the promotional period?
2) Would you have bought those two account-wide items together for $42 or less?
3) Do you have enough budget to spend and do you have any gain by buying from Amazon Games during this period?
If you answer yes to any of these, you might as well participate. Don’t buy in just because of “free” gains. Don’t get hung up over it because it isn’t “free” and how scummy that ordeal is. Think of the pure gaming fun and your own wallet or purse and make a smart decision. Especially if it’s one you can be proud of and happy with.