Tell Us Dammit

Dammit, we want you to tell us stuff! Stuff like what influences your purchasing decisions.

This isn’t some marketing survey or whatever. It’s an emotional investment in you. Yes, we’re interesting in knowing you, Kotaku reader person. You probably know enough about us — more than you even want to, we’re sure. But, hey, we’d like to know about you, too.

Anyway, here’s today’s question…

What's the most important factor in whether or not you are interested in buying a particular game? Are you swayed by pre-release hype of trailers and previews? Do you wait for reviews from trusted sources? Do you need to sample a demo? Do you rely on word-of-mouth buzz after release? Or do you just pick a random game because you like it's cover art?

Me? I tend to be interested in games for two separate reasons. One, it's a new title by a developer whose previous titles I've enjoyed. It's why, for example, I'm keen on Epic Mickey; if it wasn't for Warren Spector's impressive pedigree, I can't imagine giving a Mickey Mouse game a second thought. Two, it's a game receiving praise from critics I hold in high regard. If someone like Jim Rossignol, Tom Chick or Jeremy Parish is writing enthusiastically about a particular game, I sit up and take notice. And then buy it.


    I buy purely on price. I figure that if a game costs more than another, it must be more valuable and therefore better.

      That is easily the most flawed logic i have ever seen. Obviously you have more money than sense...

        Nooo...what on earth are you talking about!?

    That guy with the lovely voice who speaks on the overhead speakers at EB. I love shopping at retail prices and having someone yell at me at the same time.

    There are two main reasons:

    1) Post-release buzz.

    2) Known quantity.

    For the post-release buzz, it generally comes down to new IPs or titles that weren't on my radar before. If people are still interested and talking about the game several weeks/months after release, I'm more likely to be interested.

    For the known quantities, we're talking things like Bioware RPGs and Infinity Ward FPSs, they've delivered quality products that I've enjoyed so many times that when a new one comes up I have pretty much absolute faith that I'll enjoy the new game too.

    They're not the only reasons I buy games, but they're the biggest two factors in deciding if something is worth buying.

    sometimes ill get caught up in the hype but will only by that game if it reviews well.

    others games like wolfenstein and call of juarez:bib i jut liked the look of and bought regardless of reviews.

    too human i bought because it was exactly the kind of game i was looking for and ignored all reviews.

    some games i dont pay much attention to but then may buy because of good reviews.

    it varies from game to game.

    Reviews, reviews, reviews. I never buy a game nowadays without making sure I know it's going to be quality.

    I find it amazing that there's still loads of people lay out $80-$100 without researching if the game is good or not.

    I try my best to play as many demos as well, which makes a difference. I was really interested in Call Of Juarez: Bound In Blood earlier this year until I played the demo and realised it was generic as hell.

      That said, I closely followed the development of Batman: Arkham Asylum and would've bought that thing even if the reviews said it was the video game equivalent of 'dying on a toilet' or something. It was just a bonus that the game was awesome.

      So I just contradicted myself I suppose. That's a bit annoying.

      I'm with you David!

      I trust Gamespot, Eurogamer and IGN and refuse to pay more than $90 for a game 360 or PS3

    Reputation of developer, quality of product, genre, at times reviews and price of the product. But with JB, big W and playasia you can generally find a reasonable price.

    PS I just noticed that Rock in COD:MW who drives the jeep for Price and Soap to get on Nikoli's plane then copes a head shot is from the land down under! We need more Aussies in COD!

    I buy games that i like OBVIOUSLY but if there over 89 dollars i wont buy them il wait for the price to drop. I hate the fact that in Australia we have been getting ripped off on prices.

    I will import if the price diffference on the exchange in favorable. I dont care at all about supporting local stores if there prices are not competative.

    If it's a developer or a genre I like, I'll usually follow it from when I hear about it. But a demo can be used to win me over if I wouldn't otherwise give it a go.

    I usually give games in genres I like the benefit of the doubt, and won't write them off without a bit of research, usually based on the opinions of other gamers.

    I tend not to rely on review scores and the like because they're incredibly subjective; I thought Darkest of Days was a brilliantly fun game (despite its obvious shortcomings), and so did many other people who bought it (look at the Steam forums), but all the reviewers had their "Call of Duty" goggles on so unfairly compared it without letting it stand on its own feet. That's also what I like about Zero Punctuation; Yahtzee tells you what he does and doesn't like, and lets you make up your mind from there. That's what I look for in a review, not a "this does/doesn't compare to other games", but a "I found this game fun/not fun here's why".

    Things that will often make a game an instant-no-buy are DRM like securom, and absurd pricing (hello MW2 being a million dollars on Steam). So essentially the publisher can turn me off a game far quicker than any other factor!

    I'm usually tapped into gaming news so I'm vaguely aware of most new titles. It generally doesn't matter to me which studio produces something though I am more inclined to take an interest in titles from BioWare.
    I want to see screenshots, and gameplay videos. Gameplay videos make a big difference to me these days, because the gameplay has to look fun and challenging or I know I'll lose interest. For instance, I was all set to get Dragon Age: Origins, but to me the gameplay looks muddy and ugly and the combat looked like a complete clusterfuck of grind and frustration. It wasn't that long a video but it just turned me right off.

    There are a few titles I will buy sight unseen. Ever since COD4, Infinity Ward would have to really disappoint me to turn me off being cautious about their future titles - and MW2 did NOT disappoint.
    I will also probably buy anything Halo related - admittedly I was catious about Halo Wars, but only because RTS has yet to be done right on consoles.

    If I don't know anything about a game, I'm not familiar with the studio, there's no demo available and the reviews are mixed, I will probably rent it out and buy it if I think I want to spend more time with it - so far this has worked for Prototype and Brutal Legend, and saved me from buying The Simpsons Game. I wish I'd rented Too Human.

      Really, you skipped on the Simpsons game? I guess you don't sit down and play co-op with the missus much then :p It's not a great game, but it's good for just sitting down with someone else and not taking very seriously.

    For new releases I get on the metacritic summary page and jump halfway down the list. The top 10% are generally 'official' magazines that give scores too high. Look for the median scores and they are generally a good guide.

    The bulk of my games though I buy when they hit the $40-50 mark (usually 6-12 months old second hand or imported). At that price I am more likely to pick something up on impulse.

    Selection based on a few main criteria:
    1. track record of devs and publishers (buy anything from bethesda, Blizzard, etc)
    2. Game Genre (RPG (my preference), RTS, sport, etc),
    3. PRICE!!!!

    I agree with the guys above about the price of games in Australia. I simply will never buy a game that costs more than $80 (if I can buy a DVD that costs $30, I should be able to buy a game for a little more). I find $50 is about my average buy at price for games I'm not too sure about.

    On the other points:

    Read reviews, but remember this: "A review is another persons point of view, not yours". Accept guidance, but never buy a game based on purely a review.

    Demo's do help, but it's a lot harder to get them nower days, with every demo taking 600 MB - 2 GB of precious download limit, and every demo only showing 1% of the actual game. If we had demos like in the old days of Shareware (e.g. original Doom style (yes I was around for this, yes I know i'm showing my age here)), I think there'd be a lot more sales.

    I have an hourly rate I expect to see when buying a title. It varies depending on genre but I am much more willing to open the wallet to a title, that provides <$10/hr return. An example.

    Yoshi's Island DS: I bought that game for $47 it provided me easily over 200 hours of game play as I attempted to get all levels up to 100% complete, and the bonus rounds above 90% (Which is really really hard). So divide $47/200hours= 23cents an hour a superb win.

    Batman Arkham Asylum, all levels completed and items found on both Normal then Hard, took around 20hours including challenges. So $89/20hours = $4.45

    Left 4 dead 1 $50/100hours=50cents.
    Left 4 Dead 2 $38.60/15hours=$2.57.

    I don't always add these up exactly as above, but keep a rough tally in my head, of how much I've played.

    When deciding on a purchase, I try to work out the longevity of the title, through reviews, word of mouth, dev chats. Of course the game has to be fun, I do however apply the metric to most entertainment purchases. I'm also happy to wait for a title to drop in price to meet my sums.

    Reputation of the developer is a big one for me. If the developer is new or something has seriously caught my eye I'll try the demo first. Also though game series can be abused must admit I'll buy the sequals and spin off's if it's got a good story and fleshes out that game's universe.

    Mainly its pre/post-release feedback from select sources. In most cases that’s Tyco of Penny-Arcade and Yahtzee of zero punctuation, for several reasons:

    1. We share similar tastes and interests, generally

    2. They will tell you what they don’t like and why.

    3. they dont reveiw as such they just tell you their opinion. if its a good game but not a genre you enjoy they wont try to be impartal, they will tell you they didnt like that game.

    What I mean is I know enough about these two to compare something they like/dislike and for what reasons to my own preferences. For example I ignore Yahtzee on any occasion of RTS or Multiplayer game that interests me, because he cannot stand either. recent example, yahtzee didn’t think much of MW2, I agree the singleplayer was slightly lacking, and without the literally infinite waves of foes from COD4 it was much easier than before difficulty wise. But I have spent every night since release on just multi, I knocked single player over in a single Saturday morning, and went back to multi again.

    I know enough about this Yahtzee to say, yes he hated MW2 but what he hated about it was not something I care about, I can assume based on my own preferences rather than blindly following his, that I will likely enjoy this game.

    Metacritic, Destructoid and you boy's right here are my influences on whether or not a game is worth my time let alone my money. A demo is fantastic but the opportunity rarely arises to sample a game of worth before release. Precedents are a great way of guesstamating whether or not something is worth it ie. GTA IV, FF XIII.

    Years ago it would be all word of mouth from friends telling me how cool this game is. Or if I play their games and I like it, I would probably buy it for myself. (e.g. Pokemon Red, Guitar Hero + Tekken)
    Now its usually reviews from Kotaku or from the Official Aus PS mag or if I have an interest in the developer (eg. Naughty Dog) or genre.

    heheh early releases make me very keen to buy. i bought muramasa a week early from JB in galeries victoria yesterday.

    Strangely, I never go by word of mouth... Usually I just follow the development from when it first surfaces.

    By the time the game is out, I've studied every aspect making it worthwhile because I rarely buy games anymore.

    EB overcharge on most of their stock, so I never buy from them anymore.

    what it offers in the way of gameplay and navigation - Assassins Creed for example.

    Reasons for purchase are many and varied. If the game is interesting enough for in-development news articles (eg dead space, epic mickey, far cry 2 etc) then I will follow news of it's development, release and ultimately ratings. I rarely have to wait for a review of a game though because I generally know whether I will enjoy a game based on pre-release news, previews and marketing with pretty rare exception.

    Purchases might be made based on genre, developer or lead designer, for example only Spector makes me interested in Epic Mickey and only Bioware made me interested in Dragon Age. People who read my review (on this site) might think that I hated the game and shouldn't have bought it, but that's not the case. It frustrated hell out of me but I don't finish a game that I hate.

    Talk on internet forums is also a heavy deciding factor in my purchasing games because a game with a lot of positive interest and information sharing is often worth investing in.

    For IP's that I know, I generally whore myself out to them, unless there is substantial negative pre-release and post-release buzz (L4D2 and MW2 for example).

    For new IP's, a lot of my interest comes from blog sites from Kotaku. Blog editors have a much more free expression of games than standard review sites, more often than not cutting the bullshit and telling us the facts.

    I still do my research, however. If a game interests me, i'll find out everything i can about it before launch, and sometimes even wait for post-release.

    Word of mouth is another great thing, i still have a great many gaming contacts that will often tell me to try out such and such because it's really good.

    I usually play it at an internet cafe for an hour and if i like what i see i buy it.

    My problem is a hear about a game waaaay before its release then read about it on the net for about a few years then I get it on the day of release!

    I work out if I want the game from screenshots trailers and info from the net.

    I usually wait until quite some time after a games release unless I am familiar with the franchise and a fan of it I will buy it immediately. Usually I read quite a lot of reviews on any game that looks appealing either in terms of story or mechanics and then before deciding I look for some hard info on how the game plays either by downloading a demo or a good video of game play footage. Usually when reading reviews I look for points that would either be really appealing to me or really annoying to me. I generally stick to the RPG genre unless it's something from a franchise i like such as PoP or C&C. Price is another major factor, I always shop around until I know I have the absolute best deal possible usually under $50 for a regular version and under $90 for a collector's edition.

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