Let's do an experiment. Let's try and figure out a cash value for the prizes given away in the last PVP tournament. I think it's an interesting experiment that might surprise you.
A word of warning. You may disagree with my valuations. That's cool. I'm going to state my assumptions and attempt to make them perfectly clear. If you disagree, fine.
A second word of warning. You are welcome to disagree with the notion that PD is actually giving this value away. That's a philosophical question that we can, and maybe should, discuss in the comments. My take is that PD is under no requirement to even run PVP tournaments and that they are putting free items and currency out into the economy of the game. They are doing so to increase participation and obviously, make some money on the participation. But they are still "spending" through lost revenue, to get people to participate.
A third warning word. If you get gold for free by completing an offer, PD still gets cash from the vendor whose offer you completed. So, even if you are not out of pocket the money to get the gold, PD is richer for the transaction. Therefore, I am using the standard 4 Gold = USD$1.00 for all conversions, even though I know you can get them cheaper or even free.
Let's get to it.
There were, by my approximation, about 1.5 Million players in the second tournament. We'll use 1.5 million players as the number for calculating value.
This one is pretty simple. 525,000 people got 10 gold. The retail value of 10 gold is $2.50. Multiply winners by value and return:
This one is a touch more complicated. First, 225,000 won the Nanite Nailgun (or as I call it the Nanogun). That's the easy part.
Valuing the Nanogun is more complicated. I like a simple approach of considering it a standard LE weapon/device, and therefore, worth 64 gold. At a conversation rate of 4 gold to the dollar, that's $16.00 per item. I would be open to discussion of a valuation of the item that is more nuanced, but, since every LE item (not including the Sweet Christmas sale) released after Coulson's Revenge has been offered for 64 gold, and I think Nanogun is right in there, I think it's a fair valuation. The full valuation for this tier is therefore:
More complexity. Let's get into it. 45,000 people got this high. Easy. Hard comes next.
We could assign the Power Armor the same value as the Commander Trench, 24 Gold. But it does more than the Commander Trench, so I am not comfortable with that valuation. I am comfortable calling it 27 Gold, since it's one step above the CT, which was 3 gold more than the S.Tech, which was 3 gold more than the SpecOps suit. I would be comfortable with a little less since the stats aren't an improvement, only the passive (and the ugly aura). Let's split the baby and call it 26 gold. That gives us a value of $6.50 per winner. Lower than the Diamond League valuation, but it's their game.
7500 members. Win Cable. Cable is a hard valuation because of the random pricing on Deadpool. Let's assume the middle case, as that's been the result in the past with variable pricing (they went with the high cost from HIB and the low cost on Coulson... the only common price). 112 CP.
Here's some controversy worthy of discussion. What is the value of a CP? Is it the 8CP-$1 in straight dollars to gold to CP conversion? Or is it lower because you farm efficiently? I am going to call it the straight dollar to gold to CP rate because I think that captures time and labor in obtaining CP via efficient farming. Discuss at length. It comes to $14.375 for a 115 CPs.
Over FIVE MILLION DOLLARS worth of prizes. Not even counting the silver. The total is
That's a large number. To recoup that, they would have to make over $3.50 per entrant to break even on the cost of the giveaways. I do understand that they are not actually out anything but opportunity cost for giving the prizes away, so it's not like they're taking a loss. But, since, that's a lot of value in one of these things.