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Know-How: Why People Play Bad Games?


Know-How: Why People Play Bad Games?I’ve been watching different communities for years now, and on my way of finding a good game to play i often saw those games that weren’t even worth the time spent on their  client download, but still there are people who play it. There are games which forums are full of rage against bugs or defective support team, but people still play. And at all times there are people saying “the game is great, you just don’t know how to play it” (i had a lot of feedback mailed to me concerning
Famous Fails: Lineage 2 Review post, which i cross-posted on some MMO forums). How is that? Why people play bad games? And why does it matter at all? Well, it matters because bad games will exist for as long as we play them – there’s no need to make anything better since the old ones are generating income, really!

So, why would someone would play a bad game?

Because they invested a lot of time/money into it.
Let’s say, Bob was playing Game A for several years, and maybe it even was a good game before, at some point. But now the game sucks. Bob knows the game sucks and even says it himself, but… he still plays it. Why? Because he invested a lot of time and money into it, and don’t feel like abandoning all those efforts, even if the game sucks. It’s just like using a bad malfunctioning vacuum cleaner just because it worth you $300 and you don’t want these money to be fully lost.
If you check out any big MMO forum, you can find a lot of players who keep playing bad games because of this reason.

People play bad games because every else around them are playing it.Because everyone else around them are playing it.
Humans are herd animals, we like it or not, we keep following the crowd. And if our crowd – friends, relatives, co-workers, school mates – keep doing something, it’s a big chance we’ll be doing the same thing. Many people play games to socialize with their friends who also play it. For example, like i wrote in MapleStory Review – this game has to wear a “STAY AWAY!” sign at all time, but some people like it because they play with their friends and keep avoiding everyone else.

Because they haven’t played anything else.
This often happens with younger gamers who had just embarked on their online gaming journey (or started playing a few years ago) and don’t have much experience with the online games market. I saw a lot of these players at mmorpg.com forums – they started playing some lousy Korean game a year ago and think it’s the best game even, because it’s their first game. They don’t know it’s bad, because they don’t have experience to compare with.

Because they don’t know there are better games.
It has to do with the paragraph above, but this one is a little different. These people have played a lot of games, but haven’t played anything really good to compare their old experience with. This happens, for example, if a person is too greedy or dimwit to spend money on a Pay2Play game and is playing only Free2Play games, which are usually of lower quality than P2P (or they simply play on a pirated server of Lineage2 or World of Warcraft in their ISP’s network). I saw a lot of people going totally apeshit like “you WHAT?! you PAY for online games, are you nuts? I’m not a Richie Rich, no way i’m paying for an online game!”. Well, if they have money on a beer, why not spend it on a good game… but they don’t know a bad game from a good.

Call of Duty 5: Black Ops sucks!Because the game was highly anticipated.
The best example is the latest installment of Call of Duty series – Black Ops. Everyone knew about it, and everyone was waiting for it. It was released, worth more than 50 bucks to buy, and what? We’ve got a bugged piece of crap on PC that would freeze and hang no matter what you do, so most of the people who bought it are spitting poison. Don’t know what Black Ops developers were thinking, but no matter what piece of guano they have released, they still got millions off those people who bought it (including my husband). If you think that this example has nothing to do with the online games market, then you are a really naive person.

Because they are fanboys.
Each game has those passengers on board. Don’t know what makes people be a fanboys, it’s just over my head to even try to imagine how they think, but each time a game is being released, there is a crowd calling it marvelous even before any betas. When this game turns out to be a piece of guano, some of them may turn their backs to it, but at least one half will remain. It’s this kind of people who find a bug and name it a feature. Good example i saw with the Lineage2 review i mentioned above – like, “the camera zooms right into your private parts, so what? Zooming out is working just fine!”. It’s like saying “you can’t kill monster A because he is bugged, so what? You can kill monster B instead!”.

Fanboys and megalomaniacs don't care if the game is bad or not. Because they have influence in this game.
Don’t know which case is worst, the one above or this one. Believe it or not, but there are those who compensate for their lousy real-life with being a bully in an online game. A shy and not very clever system administrator, who is constantly despised by his boss in a real life – he can be an almighty emperor in a game. I knew a person in Eve Online who called himself a “humble administrator of human souls”, he was a megalomaniac and extreme nationalist. This kind of person won’t look if the game is bad or not, it doesn’t matters – what matters, is that this kind of person could make even a good game into a living hell for other players, believe me.

Because they are paid to play it/making money off it.
All those “happy” gold farmers aren’t the only one who make revenue on games. Some people are actually paid to pretend a game is cool and worth playing, luring new customers into it. Usually they post on forums and generate traffic for the game (i see a lot of offers like that on different freelance sites when i’m looking for a quick work to do). Sometimes they actually play the game to create a good impression with the newly registered players, but it’s a very rare and uncommon.

I think i wrote about every main case here, if you have something to add to this, feel free to comment :)  Another article you may be interested in is Online Games and Cash Shops: Why People Pay while playing online games.

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