Sunday, 5 January 2014

Top 10 Reasons Why I Stop Playing Games

I'm sure everyone has their own version of this list but just for kicks I figured I'd put mine up here to hopefully give game developers some possible extra insight on such matters.

#10: My Friends Dislike the game

Especially true in MMO's, if our guildmates don't give your game the thumbs up it makes it a bit less likely that I will play it over something they do enjoy. Almost impossible to cater for everyone's likes but this is the first "flood gate" that usually stops games from even being installed on my PC.

#9: I Dislike the game

Even if my friends aren't playing, I still may go ahead and play your game regardless if I like it enough after testing or researching it (Age of Conan is a good example) - and if I don't like it but they do then I may still put up with it. Obviously if no one likes it, it becomes a no brainer. Reasons I dislike games not only stem from actual game play mechanics but can also be things that don't sit well with me. Payday is a good example there where you can only be the "bad guys" (not even a dark shade of gray). For that reason alone I will never play it.

#8: We Can't Play Together

Another MMO slayer. If we can't play together then odds are high that your game is just going to be looked over or skipped after the initial test run. Region/IP barriers are quite frustrating for a guild with members all across the world. Even non MMO's suffer from this. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombies is a good example. The gameplay is great but trying to get into a session that no one drops out of is like digging through a stone wall with a plastic fork. Worse still is that the person that drops out cannot rejoin a session like in L4D2. Good game, but if I am asked to recommend a co-op zombie shooter Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombies would NOT be on my list.

#7: It Isn't Free

This is probably a unique one for me. You see, I've sworn not to buy games for myself anymore. I still buy them for other people and receive them from my family and friends so that's all cool, however I don't think anyone would ever offer to pay for an ongoing subscription fee for me which is the main reason that World of Warcraft and other MMO's that require or really push for it simply get ignored like the leeches they are. Afterall, the best things in life are free - right?

#6: I've Won The Game

This is an odd one to be on this list because as you might expect that's when most people stop playing games. However a select few such as Diablo and Path of Exile simply just unlock harder modes to the same story that you've already played. Unlockable difficulties has always been a gripe of mine as it just shows for lazy development. Let people play the hardest mode at the get go and I'll have more respect for you. As it stands, after I win once that's it. The end. Unless you have new content (or are that frigging amazing) it's uninstall time for you.

#5: Slow to Patch

Updates to the game are good but there is a limit to what I will deem acceptable. Mabinogi is actually an example for me here because it is notorious for having massive updates which like to fail, and then require a reinstall to repair. Well, I -could- go through all that trouble or I could play a different game that won't give me any hassles to play. Guess which one always wins out? Also having BIG patches (looking at you Warframe) that interrupts my other online gaming really ticks me off, so if I can't finish downloading your patch in the time it takes for me to have a shower then I'll likely NEVER patch, and toss your game into the void.

#4: Frequent Patching

Almost a continuation of the above. Patches are good, but patching every day or even every week just tells me that your developers are shit, don't test, and require to keep pushing out "fixes" which only make more issues to compensate on your unfinished, unpolished, turd of a product.

#3: You Don't Let Me Play It

Guildwars 2 is a unique beast in this category. While I did like to voice my concerns about various parts of it, it was still a game that I would play regularly until I suddenly couldn't because they don't send me the validation email anymore. Checking on their forums the only staff reply to the issue I found was "The emails are going out, check with your email provider." Well, I -could- do that OR I could play a game that lets me play it with no hassles? Anything that causes me hassles just makes me give the middle finger to the screen and move on to something more productive and/or enjoyable. I'm here to play, not talk to tech support.

#2: Work vs Play

Playing games is meant to be enjoyable. The line between work (unfun, unrewarding, repetitive activities) and play exists for everyone and some people can simply take more "work" than others. As I get older I find that "work" line growing more and more over the "fun, rewarding" section because I have less time than I used to. Our last Ultima Online shard really killed it for my brother when it decided to increase the "work" side waaaay too much. The result? Not only did the game get uninstalled but the CD and box was thrown into the garbage.

#1: New Shinies

Christmas time and my birthday are the usual times this happens (given I don't buy myself anything), but wow do I get inundated with stuff when they do! As with all things I will go poke and play with the new shiny games for a bit until I either finish them, or find my older ones more appealing after the initial shine has faded off. Not really anything developers can do to combat this other than make their game the best it can be. :)


  1. This list is very well nuanced I believe and covers a great range of reasons why people stop playing. it's a very interesting subject. a while back I wrote a post about how I believe all reasons basically fall into 3 categories of change: change of self, change of social environment, objective design change. I am still convinced the second is usually the most crucial factor - what do you think?

    1. Change of social environment as in friends playing other games or real life interference? Hmm possibly. You should really put a link up to that post so I can better respond. :)