Tell Us Dammit: What Small Things Make You Not Buy A Game?

We've all been there. Browsing in a JB Hi-Fi, or scrolling through the new releases on Steam, or maybe just listening to a friend talk about a new game. All of a sudden, you notice something you don't like, and BAM. Blacklisted. There's no way you're buying it. What is that thing for you?

Perhaps it's a comment the developer made, or maybe you want to take a stance against a feature like DRM. Or maybe it's the lack of a feature, like dedicated servers. Or maybe the servers are in L.A., and you need low latency.

Maybe they didn't include a jump button, and that's just a no-go for you.

Or perhaps as people talk more and more about how females are portrayed in video games, you like to take a moral stance. Personally, I oppose violence against men. I like all my violence to be against disgendered mannequins.

Of course, these things could even be smaller. I've heard of people not buying a game because a character's look isn't to their liking, or the menu screen music is just too annoying. What little things are dealbreakers in your eyes?

No Deal photo from Shutterstock


    No Japanese voice option on Japanese developed titles (Catherine).

      This is often a killer for me, especially if the English dub is bad or incomplete. Doubly so if it's part of a franchise where previous entries had had the dual language treatment.

        I remember when Naruto came out on 360 for the first time. 100% english voices, no Japanese. Within a few weeks Japanese voice pack was made available. Now that's service!
        It annoyed me with Catherine, as I wanted to like the game and the plot seemed really interesting but i just could handle the dub.

    QTE's. If I find out they're a gameplay feature then I won't buy it.

    Also length these days. I don't buy a game that I know is going to be epic and take me forever to finish. E.g. I just finished the main story of Assassin's Creed 2. I bought it when it first came out. I just don't have that much time to put into games, so I prefer the critical path to be relatively short.

      So value for money isn't high on your list of requirements?

        Ha, value for money? Assassin's Creed 2?
        I'll take Thirty Flights of Loving, Hotline Miami, or FTL over that piece of bloat.

        "Length" does not equal "Value". It's more complicated than merely how many hours you can burn on it. Otherwise, wouldn't you just play Farmville forever?

        Edit: Or, you know, PlanetSide 2? If value = time / cost, then at a cost of $0, PlanetSide 2's value = infinite!

        Last edited 24/01/13 2:32 pm

          Yeah, exactly how I feel.

          There's a lot of stuff in AC2 that is really just busywork. You're not seeing anything new, you're not really advancing the story, it just doesn't need to be there. Padding is not value.

          My feeling, and I realise that many people would disagree, is that if the overall quality of a game is not reduced by the removal of a feature then it should be cut. Give me exactly the bits that are novel, fun, and polished to perfection.

            Took me two years to finish!

            Was a good game though, but with Brotherhood already bought (for it's multiplayer) I'm not exactly clamoring to get III.

            Actually constant iteration is a turn off, I bought COD4 and now Blacks Ops II but none of the ones in between, but here's the thing - all the incremental changes between Modern Warfare and Black Ops II actual add up to something significant so it feels fresh to me now!

    Game Reviews and Metascore play a big part in whether or not I buy a game. I know that a professional game review might not reflect my personal experience with a game, but I like to read other people's opinions when deciding if it's worth buying AU$70 new, waiting for a GOTY edition or not buying at all.

    If a game has a strong focus on multiplayer but they neglect to include a "local only" search option or filter.


    ...I'm lying, I still buy it because I'm a consumer whore >:

      I totally agree, I love getting mates over for some old fashioned split-screen action.

    - Invasive DRM
    - Only releasing 80% of the game and having the rest as Day 1 DLC
    - Newer PC games not being on Steam (I know it's DRM but it's not the jerk kind of DRM)
    - Annual sequel that might have been better served as DLC for the original title

      I'll add on disc-DLC and requiring logins to other services such as GFWL, UPlay, Origin

      Agreed with all of your notes, but to add one more to that list.

      - Reginal pricing (no chance of me buying a game on the AUS steam store that's more expensive than the US steam store)

        I am so used to getting around ripoff local prices via ozgameshop/greenmangaming now that I look at a new release and think that $60 is getting excessive :P

    When the game is on sale for a reasonable price, but the single player DLC is still very expensive and isn't even available on Steam like the vanilla game, you have to log in separately to a Bioware account to access it... that's when I'll wait for a GOTY version. When a game has DRM that has to sign in every time you play, that's when I'll consider getting a version that ironically doesn't have that limitation.

    A game not being on Steam has been a factor in me not wanting to buy it, but I'll usually just give in and get it on Origin/Uplay if I have to.

    So apart from excessive DLC and draconian DRM, if a game is good I'll get out my wallet.... which is why I am poor.

    On disk DLC/day 1 DLC
    Nickle and dime DLC
    Game affecting DLC (pay to win/deadspace 3 weapons)
    Having to pay the full price of a game again to get Map packs for FPS (Yes COD im looking at you)
    Mostly just anything DLC that isnt a complete "expansion pack"

    Last edited 24/01/13 11:16 am

      So you won't be buying DLC Quest when it's released on Steam then?

    If most of the focus is on MP and not SP.
    If the review scores are low across the board
    If it’s a sequel to a game but its somehow gone backwards

    pretty much anything with an 'always on' server connection. I may make an exception if a developer/publisher actually admits that is is just DRM, but so far...

    Oh, and I don't mean this for multiplayer, I'm (mostly) fine with a game not having LAN capabilities, but I should never have to connect to the Internet to play a single player game.

    Unfortunantly most games these days need a connection to at least install them, which for now is forgiven but not forgotten (I'm looking at you, the disk version of Portal 2 I got and then had to install 4 GIG of data downloaded off steam before I could play it. Not cool)

      +1 for great justice.

    My big gripes are crappy camera movement, QTE's in abundance and unresponsive controls, I'll still give it a chance in the hope that something can balance out the bad but sometimes it's just not worth it.

    It's an EB exclusive so they charges top dollar for it. I never shop at EB.

    Last edited 24/01/13 11:19 am

    That metal based bar code Toys R Us put on some of their games, you can't remove it unless you want to damage the case, Harvey Norman have something similar but most of the time their games are sealed so it comes off with the shrink wrap.

    Grey imports are also a major turn off for me to in Australian stores I refuse to buy UK/EU copies at Australian RRP.

      Yeah get this, in the boxing day sales, Target heavily discounted Skyrim so I was like: Sure I'll try out this time sink of a game!

      Get the game, and what do you know, it has a BBFC Certificate on the cover and a sticker that says MA15+ slapped over the top! Even department stores are doing it now!

    I don't buy games for nintendo products, it's a small thing, but I think it's a good decision in the end.

      You mean peripherals like the balance board?

        No, he's a pirate, nintendo consoles are notoriously easy to hack, and rarely have more than a handful of games worth buying.

      I don't understand. You buy Ninty products, but not games for them? e.g. you buy a 3DS but you don't buy any games for it?


        Actual semi related - I will not even look at a 3DS/DS game that costs more than $50, It's ridiculous that they're charging more for these handheld games than most console titles, to date I only have 4 games for the system (the two Marios, Zelda and Splinter Cell) but there is no impulse buying at $70 a pop.

    Boxed copies of games that require Steam to run >.< The game REALLY needs to be a game I want to play to put up with that.

    I often refuse to pay the Australia tax on games. (Price disparity with the test of the world) until cheaper. I stopped draw something after dick developer comments. One boycott though I wish didn't happen was the furry Dust Elysian tale rubbish. I did not play it at the time but thought it was stupid what people were saying about it. Now that I'm playing it it really dissapojnts me that some people may have missed this awesome game for a dumbass reason

    Anything made by EA.
    Forcing multiplayer into every game is not something to be proud of!

    -any Ubisoft product before they changed their DRM policy
    -any game that uses G4WL
    -anything by EA
    -any CoD game thats come out since MW
    -lack of dedicated servers
    -less that 6hr long single player campaign
    If the game is affected by the Australia TAx, then i will still get it, but i will make sure i get it at much cheaper price even if it means i have to wait an extra week or two.

    Not having a demo.

    I would have bought Dishonored a lot earlier if it had a demo and I got a taste for the game, its environment, and its writing.

      Bethesda never put up Demos (except for Rage because that was shite - and ironically the demo confirmed this)

    Biggest thing is price.. and by this I mean when I can see that it is clearly had the price increased because I am in Australia, I will avoid the game. Also when there is a strong focus on PvP, I will generally avoid it unless I am buying the game specifically for that like BF3 for example. However yes.. price gouging is the biggest factor for me.

    I don't pay more than 50 dollars for any game. Ever.

      I absolutely refuse to pay more than $20 per game, even if it means i wait up to a year after release to buy it.
      the money you earn is for time of your life you will never have again.
      no point spending all that extra cash on something that takes up more time that you'll never have again either.

      I used to have this rule, but I've bent it in recent times by using Trade Ins do drive down the cost of a game, also I did pay full price for Portal 2 and $58 for Saints Row III (at release)

    If it's short or shit I generally steer clear. I refuse to play time-fillers and puzzlers for IOS as a matter of principle (If I want a time-sink I'll buy a REAL game). Don't do sports. Don't do racing games (except in open-world GTA clones).

    I basically enjoy stabbing, shooting and collecting things. Like any good serial killer.

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