The Black Friday Backlog Of Shame  

I bought XCOM: Enemy Unknown five years ago and still haven't touched it. It was Black Friday 2012 in the US and there were deals. Lots of them. The one that hooked me was from Amazon though. The online retailer was offering a number of games that had come out that year at $US25 ($33) a piece with free delivery. It's a wonder I only bought two.

Starbreeze Studios Syndicate and Firaxis Games XCOM arrived early the following week. Both games marked their respective series' new pivot toward console gaming. I'd never owned a gaming PC, so the refurbished, occasionally red-ringing Xbox 360 hooked up to a CRT in my parent's attic was the first opportunity I'd had to try out either one (I was 24 and it was a weird time in my life).

I'd recently become a fan of shooters and always had a soft spot for turn-based strategy and what better way to scratch both itches and also tinker around with some skill trees?

Plus it was the end of the year and I was eager to try and get a handle on some of the games I'd missed. A hundred hours with Borderlands 2 had significantly hampered my efforts on that front. This is something that happens every year. On the eve of the winter solstice in the US I start waxing nostalgic and Black Friday game sales have always worked on that part of me that wants to try and slow things down and revisit the weeks earlier in the year that passed by while I was too busy too notice.

The three and four-day holidays that bookend the year don't help either. Sitting in front of my computer next to a plate of full of leftovers, the promise of buying a bunch of games I couldn't afford or didn't have time for months ago inevitably compels me to spend money on shit I don't need, all in the hopes of pressing the non-existent pause button on my life.

Hence the copy of XCOM that's still sitting in card board box without a scratch in the shrink wrap. I don't even known what happened to that copy of Syndicate that came with it. I've moved four times since those games first showed up in the mail. RIP that cyberpunk FPS no one much remembers from 2012.

Meanwhile the 110g, translucent green plastic box for one of the best strategy games of the last decade (or so I'm told) haunts me still. Every year I'm forced to shuffle it around into a different media cabinet or storage container, and every year I tell myself I'll finally take the time to explore it. And every year I don't.

This year I almost made the same mistake. 2017 feels like it's been an especially vulnerable year for game makers, and as a result, it feels like the prices for Black Friday were slashed more than usual. Instead of loading up on more new games I'll never touch, however, I decided to buy some old ones. If the odds are more likely than not that the game will never leave its box, I might as well buy like a collector.

I promised myself I wouldn't spend more than the $US50 ($66) I shelled out five years ago and I didn't. A handful of Game Boy games, including Final Fantasy Legends, should be arriving in the next few days.

I'm sure I'm not alone though. After another Black Friday's come and gone, I'm curious to hear your stories about that backlog of games you bought at ridiculously low prices with the best of intentions but never got around to. I can't be the only one with a small but growing pile of amazing games I bought just because I could.


Comments

    I bought so many games I can't even remember what exactly I bought. Mostly it was a whole lot of smaller games like Banner Saga and Thimbleweed Park but also some bigger budget games like Ghost Recon. But considering the huuuuge pile of shame I already have, some of which have been untouched for 2yrs+, I wasn't sure if I should buy any. But here I am $150 later after the Xbox Black Friday sales and I'm still slogging my way through Dragon Age Inquisition.
    I did want to buy a PS4 this Black Friday but after l

    thinking about all the unplayed games I already have I couldn't do it. Maybe next year.

    With the way the AAA industry is heading with lootboxes, etc it's actually a good thing people have a backlog to play instead.

    She says looking at her backlog of around 500 games on Steam ...

      664 for me. I just need to actually make a start on it!

      Good point. With my stash I can probably weather the next video gaming crash that has to be coming.

    I see your problem. You bought it for a console. I've played it both on the PC and the XB. PC is vastly superior.

      It's hard to play XCOM EW without Long War, I'm not sure I could do it any more

    Just before getting an Xbox One I got a heap of games for my 360, all about $10, all unplayed! I'll get to them eventually...I tell myself!

    I bought...a single game which was technically from Steam's Autumn sale (so it's still live now) and the game was for my son, not me...

    Lego Worlds, seems great for a 5yr old.

    As for me I'm going remarkably well resisting new purchases because I started playing WoW again over a year ago now...It's kept me going strong and I pay my sub with gold rather than cash.
    New raid out this Wednesday, good times!

    My shame... saw GR: Wildlands on sale at my local EB for $28 on PC (PC Master Race ftw). Was so excited that I didn't notice that it had been labeled "PC CD-Rom"... 6 discs... tried installing it... would be quicker downloading it...

    So going to do that instead

    Myself and a mate got Divinity OS 2 so we been knocking a few hours into that!

    Super proud of myself, I managed to resist the urge to buy anything! Going to knuckle down and finish my backlog before I buy any new games.... might take a few years.

    For the most part I call it "my entire Steam library", but there's one hard copy purchase in particular that I remember.

    I don't know the year, but a special edition of The Witcher 2 was on sale for $50, marked down from $100 (that probably puts it in late 2011 or maybe in 2012 sometime). I bought it, thinking that it was an excellent bargain.
    I now own the game about three or four different times, including one copy on Steam that I bought for about $3 and one on GOG that I got for free.
    The hard copy still sits, unopened, on my shelf.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now