Chances are if you’re reading this article you are an avid and active gamer but take a second and think, how many games do you own?
Now you have a rough figure, think some more…how many of those games have you seen the end of?
If those two numbers are not the same i’m afraid you have fallen into the trap that all gamer’s do; you have accumulated a gaming backlog. However fear not for you are not alone! According to Valve 37% of games bought on steam have NEVER been loaded let alone completed.
The gaming backlog is a problem that affects all gamer’s at one stage or another; I have a gaming backlog of roughly 40 games on various platforms, 10 of these are role-playing games that take upwards of 20 hours each to complete. 200 hours of game play to clear 1/4 of my gaming backlog or 8.3 days if i forego sleep, work and life. I know how i accumulated these games (the internet, steam sales and drunken excursions to eBay) but i want to know why we create these gaming backlogs. I play a lot of games yet i find myself with a problem that will take at least a year to clear, assuming I don’t buy another game this year.
I love playing games, and I love the satisfaction of seeing the final credits; so why do I have 40 waiting to be defeated? Why do we all?
In 2014 i made a resolution to NOT buy any new games until I cleared my backlog; Needless to say this resolution did not last, i’ve bought a Vita and a handful of games; i’m also looking into the future and eyeing up titles like ‘Watch Dogs’ and ‘The Stomping Land’.
It was my backlog that inspired this blog; motivation to plunge into games sitting in my collection for well over 2 years in some cases. Why do I need motivation to pursue my hobby? At times I feel like a prisoner to it – and that is no way to feel about anything. I don’t want to play games merely to tick them off a ‘to play’ list. I want to play for enjoyment.
The number of times i’ve said to myself that i won’t buy game ‘x’ on release only to find myself a week later pre-ordering is staggering – this is how it is for me. My desire to play games that i’ll enjoy; the latest and greatest, getting caught up in the hype time after time pushes me to continue adding to my backlog. This is not the universal reason for backlogs of course everyone is different and circumstance is very much subjective.
Some of my friends have found life gets in the way, a few have started families and found their gaming time restricted, several have their time dominated by careers, a small number have found themselves falling out of love with gaming, while others are currently obsessing over a title (MMOs and online shooters mostly).
We all have games that we find ourselves going back to (Rock band and FIFA for me) and eat into our gaming time…there are times when I decide to play a game I haven’t completed only to be overwhelmed by sheer numbers then revert back to type and play FIFA; I cannot be alone in choice being a barrier.
I want to know what has caused your gaming backlog, are gaming backlogs a fact of life that we should just deal with?
And the biggest question of all, do gaming backlogs create a market of gamer’s who are afraid to buy new titles?
Or a subset of gamer’s who only buy games weeks or months after release, because they have been clearing a few titles from their backlogs?
Could the buying habits of these groups have a detrimental on the industry we love?
Essentially could backlogs cause a crash similar to the one in 1983?
Please leave any thoughts in the comment section below.