Inflation Game Mechanics

I’m opening this topic based on an assumption, which I think is true, but nevertheless I might be missing something that’s in the game.

My assumption is that there is no inflation in the game. Everything from salaries to maintenance costs to ticket prices is fixed. The costs and the revenue is the same now in 2023 as it would have been in 2008, the exception is fuel prices, but those are changed not because of inflation but because these are updated on actual fuel prices.

As inflation has been fairly stagnant for the better part between 2008 and 2023 (at least in Europe and North America), this hasn’t caused any reason to think about it (at least for me). But with high inflation in the last year and the possibility that this will continue, there now is a reason for me to think about it.

The “problem” that might occur is that for example ticket prices for certain routes now seem reasonable at say 500 AS$ as it would have been roughly €500 IRL. But with inflation ticket prices would now be €600. And the same goes with salaries that might have been reasonable at about 2,000 AS$ for some jobs back in 2008, but now and especially in a few more years seem like wages you would only pay a child.

One solution would be to say that AS$ are in no way related to € or US$ (or any other currency for that matter). But not having inflation in the game does have consequences for how competition works and how realistic the game feels.

For example, if an airline IRL does nothing to increase wages it will face unhappy employees that will quit their jobs. In the game this would result in lower happiness among staff and thus lower ratings. IRL airlines would face increasing maintenance costs, airport fees, ATC fees, ground handling, etc. And thus an airline would have to increase ticket prices to prevent bankruptcy. And airlines that can best manage price increases on both revenue and expenses side of the equation will be more successful. Not including inflation in the game takes away from this possible gameplay element.

And one more situation where inflation is even more important is if you want to play historic game worlds where the gameworld moves at a fastened pace and inflation would take place at a much faster rate. The realism and playability of such a server depends highly on inflation.

My suggestion is to develop a system in the game that handles inflation. For the reasons I mentioned above.