: Sunday Meditation: Why Aren't You Finishing Your Games?

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Sunday Meditation: Why Aren't You Finishing Your Games?

Unfinished games aren't just annoying to the gamers themselves but they are also on the minds of developers.

For that reason I think it is worth taking a look at the tendency of gamers not to actually finish playing their games. Many of us have backlogs to deal with, that's nothing new, but we can probably dispense with the oldest of those games and think about the current rotation.

In my case I had this plan you see. I was going to get inFamous: Second Son and beat it just in time for Final Fantasy X HD. Then I was going to play that through the so-called drought. Only there wasn't a drought, not for me at least. I got a crazy notion to get a wheel and some racing games, even though I don't usually play them at all. Then Sony kicked off a couple of those flash sales. Child of Light wanted some attention. Then I got interested in Bound By Flame. All the sudden I've got roughly 5 games going at once.

So now I've got to put them into triage, playing the ones I think I can finish and that won't take forever. Sometimes it feels like work. In any case I've noticed something: it's a lot more fun to start a game than to finish it. Sometimes I even put off finishing a game if I'm not keen on it ending. Then there's the very good chance that the ending is going to let me down, or simply set up the next sequel. These are minor concerns though.

We've heard developers' concern over the percentages of people who finish their games and it seems it might even translate into more attention on multiplayer, but even though MP is the big thing I question whether that is much of a driving force behind gamers not finishing their games. You could probably say they are related in one respect though: modern attention spans. It isn't just a millenial thing, with so much instant gratification in gaming these days a lot of us have been conditioned to constantly be amazed. That's something difficult to do for an 8-10 hour stretch, or especially a 60 hour stretch for RPGs. Maybe that's why some campaigns are shortening up. If you are a developer and you've got a great story to tell but no one has the attention span for it then you probably can't help but want to make adjustments. I still remember IO Interactive's metrics telling them only 20% of gamers would finish Hitman: Absolution.

Increasingly my mind meanders back to the simple fact that there are now more games of better quality than there ever were in the history of gaming. While some still play just a few franchises per year those folks tend to be sticking with multiplayer elements anyway. As I crawl the net and see my fellows talking about all the games they are playing month after month I must conclude that the biggest reason people aren't finishing their games is because those who can afford it (usually the ones for whom gaming is their main/only hobby) are just inundated with quality titles. We get distracted from one game to another to another and eventually find ourselves in a place we never thought we'd be in the old days: playing games based on our mood at the time. It's almost like a change of clothes isn't it? When you can play whatever you want based on your mood it could be days, weeks, or even months before the mood strikes you to return to a genre, character, or setting. With all the game releases and digital sales that could be what ultimately creates those nasty backlogs.

How about it? Why aren't you finishing your games?

5/10/2014 David D. Nelson

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Legacy Comment System (22 posts)

Banky A
Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 12:23:19 AM

Too many games from PS+ and too many assignments. When I do play daily games I end up investing in the skills based fighting ones (SSFIV, Persona 4 Arena etc).

RPGs are for the breaks and is totez worth it (days straight).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 12:46:56 AM

Why? Because there's too damn many of them, of course. ;)

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 12:47:13 AM

There are multiple reasons why people nowadays dont finish games. A lot of ppl have jobs, school and a lot of other things. Personally tho, i believe that the reason why people dont finish a lot of their games anymore is because of multiplayer. Ppl dont have time to complete a story mode especially if that person has a busy life. They cant get back to the game without forgetting something important in the single player so multiplayer is just the more convenient thing. Its like, why go out to eat when you can just go to the drive-through. Ever since multiplayer it became more and more recognized by gamers and even more popularized by games such as call of duty amongst other games, ppl found it more entertaining than the single player. Multiplayer games practically have endless replay value. Before online, it was just local split screen and the main story. Ppl wuld play games over and over with their friends bcuz, in my opinion atleast, games are more enjoyed when they are played with friends. Then when they go home, they play the single player bcuz there isnt anything else to do. Now as a kid, everything is a lot more entertaining. U can play the same game over and over and not get tired. But as you get older and become more social, its all about being with other ppl.

When online came out, it was like a whole new world. U were now able to play with people across the world WITH your friends. Plus with party chat, its like you have your own little gang and it's you and your pals against the world. So who wouldnt pass that up. It certainly beats single player in the eyes of most gamers. With this world we live in now with all of the social media and internet, people strive to stay connected with their friends. It's more so that when a new game comes out, ppl instantly click on the multiplayer option when their friends are online, then do the single player later only when their friends are gone. But by the time your multiplayer session is over, going to single player is less fun so why bother.

With multiplayer getting even bigger and more accessible, it's extremely hard to make a game with single player more appealing than multiplayer. It's like in order for someone to finish a game with single player, the game itself has to not have multiplayer completely, be big enough so u cant pass it up or have the mutliplayer seamlessly combined with the story line. (i.e. Skyrim, Final Fantasy, Borderlands) All of those games were mostly completed by everyone bcuz the conditions i mentioned were met. But with games like COD, the single player barely gets touched. Also one thing doesnt help is when u separate a games single player from the multiplayer. It gives gamers the option to choose and most likely they will choose multiplayer bcuz like i said, in the eyes of the mainstream crowd (most popular crowd) multiplayer games are funner and have endless replay value. Games like call of duty and NBA 2K are an example. They are competitive. Being competitive in gaming is really important especially in games u see today. It's why ppl can sit around and buy the same game year after year. It gives some people meaning to play their games that a single player experience can't deliver which in my opinion, shows the difference between the casual-maintstream gamers and the true-hardcore gamers.

But of course, all of this is just my opinion...

Last edited by KingRD7 on 5/11/2014 12:52:34 AM

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 12:58:25 AM

Buying more titles than I realistically have time for.
It's simple to understand but it's hard to implement self-control and just say, "this is all I can play right now, so no matter the sale or no matter the appeal if I have a handful of games that have me entertained then I should just stick with what I got until I can take in more."
Granted, because we're humans and our appetites can wonder this isn't always easy.

Having totally reset my console lineup of games with a broken PS3, replaced by a new PS4 I've been having to exercise restraint by using Gamefly. The service is pretty cool. I get 2 games out at a time for $23 a month, or 3 out for $30, and I can play whatever games I want for as long as I want. Since I started the plan I've played through Infamous SS and KZ SF. I'm now a ways into Rayman Legends (play with my kids near exclusively) and I'm a quarter of the way in on AC4. I also spent a few nights on Injustice before sending it back. Anyway, this program sort of makes me stick to what I have before meandering to something else. It's also a great way to stick within a budget.

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 3:25:22 AM

Forget finishing; I'm barely even playing these days :/
I do generally finish any game that I begin, unless it either gets too tedious, or I come to a boss battle that just seems broken (FFXIII-2/XIII-3, I'm looking at you).

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 8:35:14 AM

Thanks to playstation plus I haven't bought a game in years and I have a huge backlog. If I play a game and don't really connect with it I don't really feel like wasting my time to try to finish it. Most recent example of that was the new DMC. After that I played ni no kuni put 40 hours in it and finished it. Now I'm playing Catherine on the playstation Now beta.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 8:46:39 AM

Yeah, this one is a real pain in the ass. I think the hard core community is as a whole is suffering from too many good too great games being available. PS+ isn't helping this cause. Compared to the old days, I have more money and less time. It's really no surprise that this is problem now.
My advice is to make the call when you start a game. Decide what constitutes a means to an end. If the game is a perfect AAA then maybe go for everything and platinum. On the lower end you could just justify making it through the first three hours as an end.
I guess you have to interpret what is the end for yourself. Or buy less games and commit to them more.

I want Borderlands two on the Vita, but I'm not buying it till I finish all of the Solo missions on Unit 13 and then DL and complete Limbo. Wish me luck, b/c as the article points out it's not easy keeping up with the VG backlog these days.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 8:52:33 AM

many reasons.
not enough time, too many games releasing and its illegal to spread releases out in this industry you always have to have 2 months of nothing, then 1 week with 10 games releasing!
or not worth finishing because your not enjoying it, there not fun, there crap, there too buggy and you have had to restart the game countless times and cant be f*cked anymore.
my most common one is games just are not fun enough anymore.
repetitiveness, and a really uninteresting story makes it really difficult to finish a game.
exactly why i wish more developers would take storytelling seriously.
even if a games repetitive as hell and pretty sh*t gameplay wise, people will still drudge through it if there engaged in the story.
look at the original assassins creed, one of the most poorly designed repetitive games out there, but people loved it and still finished it because it had such a interesting encapturing story.
i just wish ubisoft would remember that.............

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 12:19:18 PM

I hate the normal RPG length games are starting to seem long.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 1:26:17 PM

I blame multiplayer - cant bring myself to start the campaigns for COD and BF - when the disc goes in MP is too strong to resist. Steam is to blame a lot too with those sales. I still havent finished FarCry3, BIoshockInfinite and TombRaider - great games all about $7. and all playable with a DS4 on the PC - maybe im lazy .....

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 2:05:04 PM

True, I haven't finished Mass Effect 3 because they finally released the 1st one on PS3, but it feels soo dated I can't pull myself to play it now that PS4 is out. Therefore halting my playthrough of Mass Effect 3. I still have a backlog of Batman: Arkham City, Heavenly Sword, and a trophy re-playthrough of Metal Gear Solid 4.

Last edited by Mogreen on 5/11/2014 2:05:32 PM

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 2:11:56 PM


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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 4:09:57 PM

You'd need to be rich and not have any work or anything to play em all.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 4:22:28 PM

World, or poor as sh*t like myself with no money to go outside any more, as every time I do it cost me money I don't have anymore)LOL.

Anyway, thank goodness I still have well over a 500 games backlog over the span of all my gaming consoles & hand-held's.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 4:16:27 PM

All of the above.

Plus I'd also have to add that there are some games where I've gotten totally stuck in one section for days or weeks on end.

And whenever that happens I decide to put the game on the back shelf for a short cool-down time period, so I can try it again later with a clearer head on how to get through it.

But by then, with so many other games having come out too, that I've totally forgotten about that stuck game altogether

A great example for me, would be the game, "PREY".

I've been so freaking stuck somewhere around 1/2-2/3 through the game, in a massive labyrinth of pipeways, and portals that keep turning this whole section sideways & upside down, that it's been a pure teeth-grinding 3-day topsy-turvy hell trying to find the exact way through it so I can actually progress any farther through the game.

So I had shelf it for now(and am now playing GTA's Episodes from Liberty City=Ballad of Gay Tony & Lost & the Damned) but hopefully later, I'll be able to see a clearer strategy for getting through Prey once again(I do love it's Native American mythology premise, but sadly, there's not enough of it that was done so far in the game IMO).

Anyway, now I still have 3 other games that I also need to get back to after getting stuck in certain parts too, MindJack, Syndicate & Inversion.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 4:21:34 PM

Not enough time. These days I'm more interested in leveling my character and open world games like large scale rpg ' because I can play it for.a long time. For instance I bought FF14 and I'm no where near finishing even the main story line, and I was expecting to have ESO in a couple weeks. I don't even have the time for FF14 so having two mom's just wouldn't fly.

so that's my excuse I'm more attracted the these types of games now days with the exception of Uncharted and a few others.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 5:42:02 PM

I do some single player games but a lot of the time im lucky if I finish a game. I generally tend to do COD and Battlefield/Bad Company games and now and again a decent game if the story compells me to do so. MGS is a given I will complete the story no matter what. Everything else for me if is it depends on how the story grabs me. If it starts to get boring I tend to stop playing and have to force myself to continue with it.

Last edited by tlpn99 on 5/11/2014 5:43:37 PM

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Nas Is Like
Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 6:42:40 PM

It's like climaxing; once you do it, you wanna move onto something else.

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 8:21:54 PM

Nice analogy, but I'm not sure it answers the question ;)

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Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 7:14:46 PM

If iam going to invest money into a game i will make sure i finish it even if i dont really enjoy it, money don't grow on trees.

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Monday, May 12, 2014 @ 12:36:42 AM

time i guess i have a hang of alot less time than i used to can bearly keep up with a the 3 tv shows i watch every week sometimes cos i want to game or the tv is being used then i have then i also want to read the latest playstation/gaming news when i can to keep up with the play and then theres a bit of youtube here and there and watever else i feel like doing with my spare time. i guess it mostly comes down to time the other factors aren't nearly as heavly weighed in in this matter

happy gaming =)

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Monday, May 12, 2014 @ 10:55:38 PM

It really depends on the game.

Some games just feel like I have to finish them, because I paid for it, but then I will get distracted with another game.

Other games just get me completely hooked and I will 100% them. But they are few and far between.

Battlefield 4 comes close to hooking me, but the bugs are annoying. Metal Gear Rising was the last game to hook me, I had soooooo much fun playing that and getting the Platinum was the hardest thing I've done in a video game haha. Getting it, was almost better than sex though.

AC4 is a good example. I finished the story, and 100% sync. But I want to go back and get the Platinum. Unfortunately I am so hooked on BF4 right now that going back to AC4 isn't appealing enough for me.

Last edited by Akuma_ on 5/12/2014 10:57:25 PM

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