The Most Valuable Video Game Currencies
Video games have vastly developed since their debut in the 1950s, and is now one of the most profitable entertainment industries in the world. Where children would once gather at arcades, today’s youth have the option of millions of games at their literal fingertips.
Economies in video games
Alongside the expansion of role playing games (RPGs) such as The Sims, and open world games including The Legend of Zelda, video game developers have created a fictional world where players can immerse themselves and escape the pressures of everyday life. One way that video games do this is through the creation of in-game currencies. Entire economies can now be found within video games, many of which are just as complex as those found in the outside world.
Whilst some storylines require players to upkeep their bills or invest in farming as a business, others give the player an easy ‘get out of jail’ card with cheats such as the infamous ‘Motherlode’ that tops up your in-game balance by 50,000 simoleons in The Sims.
How much is different video game currencies worth?
But how does this translate in the real world? At Sambla, we have researched the cost of everyday items in popular video games, and compared it with the price of the same item in leading UK supermarkets to find out the strongest video game currencies. Here’s what we found out:
The Strongest Video Game Currencies
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, Skyrim is the fifth instalment in The Elder Scrolls video game franchise. The game takes an action role-playing approach where players can explore an open world map whilst playing as the ‘Dragonborn’. Whilst on a mission to defeat ‘Alduin the World-Eater’, the player must complete quests to improve their character’s skills. These quests naturally alter the Dragonborn’s stats requiring players to consume food to either replenish or increase their health, stamina or magicka (an energy used to cast spells).
A loaf of bread in Skyrim costs 2 septims, not too far off from the £1.40 price tag in the UK, totalling the exchange rate as 1.43 septims to the pound – the strongest currency than any other video game in our study by far.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins
Initially released for Nintendo in Japan in 1987 as ‘Final Fantasy’, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins is a 35th anniversary celebration of the video game franchise. In this 2022 compilation, players take on the role of protagonist Jack as they explore the map and combat recurring monsters of the series with both physical and magical attacks.
One way in which Final Fantasy Origins differs from its predecessors is in the introduction of an ‘easy mode’, where item prices are generally lower. Although food, in particular meat, can be consumed in the game, other everyday items are also evident including eye drops that cure darkness for 50 gil.
The cost of eye drops in the UK is £3.50, bringing the exchange rate to 14.29 gils to the pound.
With 93% positive feedback on Google reviews, ROSE online is a free-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). In the game, players can fight monsters, increase character levels, and search for new items to help prepare themselves for battles. Set in an anime inspired world, players can also travel to different planets as well as battle other online players.
In terms of currency, ROSE Online features its own in-game economy that is controlled by the players, and changes each day based on supply and demand. A bottle of milk in the game is worth 30 zulie, whereas in the real world it can be bought for £1.45. This brings the exchange rate to 20.69 zulie to the pound.
The Weakest Video Game Currencies
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Horizons is the fifth main entry in the Animal Crossing franchise by Nintendo. Developed for the Nintendo Switch, this social simulation game transports players to a deserted island where they meet villager Tom Nook, who assigns them tasks that allows them to develop the island as they choose. Tasks range from harvesting crops, to planting seeds, fishing and crafting furniture.
Of course, creating a self-sufficient island from scratch doesn’t come cheap, as players are encouraged to buy and sell items in order to create their paradise. Every island comes irrigated with an introductory fruit, the most common being an apple that can also be bought in store for 400 bells. This is a considerable amount more compared to the real world where a single apple costs only 52p, bringing the exchange rate to 769.23 bells to the pound – the weakest currency of our study.
Harvest Moon: One World
Released in 2021 by Natsume for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, One World is a recent addition to the Harvest Moon franchise and sets the player the objective of rebuilding a run-down farm. The narrative shares the disappearance of the ‘Harvest Goddess’ that leaves the world and your character’s home stuck and with little crops. In the game, players must seek the ‘Harvest Wisps’ left behind in order to stop the world from being lost forever.
Whilst travelling around the map, players can consume a variety of food to increase their stamina, however it doesn’t come cheap. A baguette in the game costs a pricey 540 gold, compared to the real world cost of £1.25. This makes the exchange rate 432 gold to the pound, and the second least valuable currency on our list.
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet
Unlike previous Pokémon instalments, Scarlet and Violet take place in an open world, allowing players to freely roam across the map, tracking down and catching Pokémon outside of quests. Alongside a Pokedex to complete of 400 pokémon, players can also make stops at a variety of shops, allowing them to spend their hard earned pokédollars on a choice of supplies, moves and food including sandwich fillings.
The cost of an avocado in the Deli Cioso comes in at 180 pokédollars, compared to the real world cost of 89p, totaling the exchange rate at 202.25 pokédollars to the pound.
Have you ever looked at your bank balance in your favourite video game and wished it was real? From Mario’s gold coins to Animal Crossing’s bells, find out how much your salary would be worth with our new currency calculator.
How much is your salary worth in video game currenices?
Use the full app here: Game Currency Calculator
Use the full app here: Game Currency Calculator