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Thread: Backlog damage

  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Backlog damage

    Like many of you, I have a backlog of terrifying proportions. I also happen to be the kind of person who meticulously keeps track of his finances, including money spent on gaming. While I have always tracked the amount of money I've spent on this hobby, it was only today that I decided to see if I could put a dollar figure on my, for lack of a better word, backlog debt. So I went through my spreadsheet of games purchased and labeled games (and DLC) as either played or unplayed. The results were alarming, though I suppose not very surprising:



    As of this post I've spent almost $500 on games I have yet to play. Ouch. I've gotten much better lately by not buying games at/before release, instead waiting for sales. While this is great for reducing the value of the debt, it doesn't much affect the debt count. Still, a game bought and not played is a thing I wish to remove from my future. I hereby resolve to work on my backlog to clear some of this debt before purchasing any new games.

    How about you guys? Anyone else quantify the damage their backlog has done to their wallet?



    * The 2014 monthly average isn't accurate as the value is divided by 12 instead of 1.5 months; the 2007 value is accurate as I started recording purchases in December of that year
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    I performed this kind of analysis a couple of years back and discovered an equally disturbing figure. I've been weaning myself off impulse buying and overbuying ever since, with some significant success. I've sharply curtailed both the number of games I purchase and how much I spend on the hobby (not the same thing). There's a lot to be said for self-awareness as a first step when it comes to topics like this.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Aerothorn's Avatar
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    I actually banned myself from buying games for the first six months of the year (and am writing a blog post on the experience, which so far has been very positive).

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    I became a dad almost a year ago, and it pretty much put a full stop to any impulse gaming purchases. It's not a money thing, but a time thing. I have about 1/10 of the time I used to have to play games now. So the time I do have needs to be spent on playing things I REALLY want to play. It used to be when a game that looked even remotely fun hit $5-$10, I'd buy it. Now I see something on my wishlist go on sale and I have to ask myself if it's really worth my time. To prove just how strong my new resolve is, I went into the Christmas sale with almost $150 in my Steam Wallet (From gift cards and selling trading cards). I still only bought two games, Tomb Raider, and Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. I think I got them for under $20.

    So, I've resolved to not purchase any PC games this year, other than The Witcher 3 and Dark Souls 2, which I simply cannot wait a second longer than necessary to play. Looking at my Steam account though, these are the games I bought and have not started or finished for various reasons. The list does not include the dozen or more Humble Bundle games I own but haven't played:

    Beyond Good and Evil
    System Shock 2
    AC Brotherhood
    Skyrim: Dragonborn
    Tomb Raider
    Dishonored
    Bastion
    Enslaved (Bought on sale for $7.50, really just for the DLC. Already beat it on PS3)
    Amnesia (I'm a pussy)
    Dragon Age: Origins
    Kingdoms of Amular
    TWD 400 Days
    Risen 2
    Trine 2
    LEGO LotR
    To the Moon
    Alice Madness Returns
    SWKotOR II
    Crysis
    Bulletstorm
    STALKER bundle
    Stacking
    Saints Row III
    Torchlight II
    Fallout NV
    Just Cause 2
    Tales of Monkey Island
    Metro 2033
    Jade Empire
    AvP
    SC: Conviction
    Dead Island
    Last edited by db1331; 13-02-2014 at 10:24 PM.
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    Network Hub Ernesto's Avatar
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    Interesting. I should do that too.
    You can see two nice bumps in the counts when the summer and winter sales are running. And a steep decline after that. (I suppose it's because of that ;)
    Though I find 37% unplayed games is not that bad.

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    Network Hub Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    I'm too scared to log how much I have sent on games in case my wife finds it

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    I've got a bit of a backlog and am slowly working my way through. To be honest, there was a point when my spending habits on games scared me. But curiously enough, I reached a point of saturation. I've now got basically every game I want to have or had mild interest in. With each passing sale, I barely make any additional purchases anymore.

    Although truth be told, a lot of these mild interest games turned out really rather not that much fun to me. So in the end I play them for about 2 hours, ask myself if I should press on and usually answer with a nah, do something else.

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    Network Hub PeteC's Avatar
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    I'm too scared to check.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    Enslaved (Bought on sale for $7.50, really just for the DLC. Already beat it on PS3)
    That doesn't seem like much of a sale to me!

    Congrats on the kid!

    edit - Hmm, in the original post I don't see the decimal point. $750 would be truly outrageous
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    That doesn't seem like much of a sale to me!

    Congrats on the kid!

    edit - Hmm, in the original post I don't see the decimal point. $750 would be truly outrageous
    Thank you! And you saw it right. I caught it after I posted and went back and added the decimal. 2FAST4U!
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I checked recently, and yeah, it's a bit shocking; in the four years I've had a PC I've spent as much on games as my PC's hardware has cost in the same period (around 1500). The discovery has meant I'm playing enough of my backlog games to have an opinion on them, most of which is documented in the Bundle Scraping thread, but it hasn't entirely stopped my impulse purchasing... It has, however, made me think more about buying stuff which usually results in me turning it down where previously I might've just done it even if I didn't really want to play whatever it was.

    My plan is to get through all the bundle crap (down to my last 16 now, believe it or not), then the standalone titles that don't have any predecessor(s) I want to play first, then I'll just have franchises left so I can work through them. I am still playing other stuff as well though.
    :emofdr:

  12. #12
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    My backlog types:
    Games I really want to own due to the chance of them becoming unavailable at release price (non PC games at this point)
    Games I played for a week and never got back into them as I get sucked back into multiplayer games
    Games I got and planned to play but never got around to them, probably mostly due to multiplayer games

    Now the missus has tried to enact a beat a game, buy a game rule for me. And trying to buy more board games instead.

    Think my last list I made up was a few years ago. Never added in what I purchased it at.

    Maybe I will try to track down 2013 and 2012 and see how bad I did.

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    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    I try to really restrict myself this year for gaming purchases, so far it's been ok-ish, I've spent $65 on game this year and that include south park pre-order and played 56hrs this year (mostly backlog item) so my playtime to money spent ratio isn't too bad.

    Last year up to the point where I stop keeping track which was June I was $700 in the hole for gaming purchases with 216 hours play by comparison. I got scare and didn't track my spending after may which has 2 steam sales, a ps3 purchase and crap load of black friday games lol.

    As for backlog I don't even think about it anymore, I prob have more game than I could possibly play this lifetime.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    i probably spent around 1000 bucks on games but every brand new game i bought (which are here from fifty to 100 bucks) i did play.
    so my backlog is full of games which i bought on massive discount. therefore i doubt it passes 200 dollar mark. yet. its not the cost but the simple amount of games i have which discourage me from buying anymore games. I had not bought any during recent sales on gog and steam.
    i have few games on my wishlist (anno, xcom) which i will buy immediately they are on sale to play. but if i don't want to play it now i won't buy it no matter how cheap it is.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    Although truth be told, a lot of these mild interest games turned out really rather not that much fun to me. So in the end I play them for about 2 hours, ask myself if I should press on and usually answer with a nah, do something else.
    That's the same thing I run into. I still had Serious Sam 1: HD edition from the retro shooters humble bundle and tried it last night. I just couldn't be bothered to play on after 45 minutes.

    There's one thing I always fall for: I buy long games. It's something I used to do when I only bought or received very few games, so I had to make the most of what I had. That's why I always looked for games with a lot of lasting appeal. Unfortunately, subconciously, I still do that, even though I don't have a fraction of the time required to actually play it all. Currently, I have multiple games installed that would all require dozens and dozens of hours, and there's a lot more games in my backlog that would justify spending dozens of hours on it too. Hell, I've played 40+ hours of Minecraft so far, and I still feel like I haven't even sampled it sufficiently.
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    I got very good at not buying new games recently. When I have an urge to, I ask myself "will I play it very soon?". If the answer is "no", then I don't buy it - I can always buy it in half a year or so if I decide to play.

  18. #18
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    I have stopped picking up on every Steam or GoG sale at least. Unless I am going to play it that week, I can wait until the next sale.

    I still get humble and indieroyale bundles for $10-$15.

  19. #19
    Activated Node Boosh's Avatar
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    interesting thread, I've done this also recently.
    I've always kept a list of the games I have bought, on a simple spreadsheet, but only put values against them (purchase price) for last year, it was such an eye opener I retrospectively did 2012 also.
    Not including subscriptions I spent on average 40 a month on gaming last year, irrespective of whether I completed games or not (different debate in my opinion), I gained enjoyment but not what I considered in the region of 50-60's a month worth.

    I concluded that I'd drifted into the hobby of collecting games, rather than playing them, possibly as a result of ease of access (downloads) and cost (endlessly trawling the sales). I was playing less partly due to choice paralysis.
    The info made me decide I wanted to go back to the very careful selection, anticipation, and playing of games. So I set a budget and pre-plan gaming purchases for the months ahead, for games I am genuinely interested in.

    Severely restricting the supply has made me turn to my back catalog and I've had more success in completing games so far this year than I can ever remember, as a consequence the hobby and money invested is giving me a much greater return in enjoyment and satisfaction.
    In essence, I'm buying less, playing more.

    just my 2p

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boosh View Post
    I concluded that I'd drifted into the hobby of collecting games, rather than playing them, possibly as a result of ease of access (downloads) and cost (endlessly trawling the sales). I was playing less partly due to choice paralysis.
    The info made me decide I wanted to go back to the very careful selection, anticipation, and playing of games. So I set a budget and pre-plan gaming purchases for the months ahead, for games I am genuinely interested in.
    This pretty much describes me perfectly. I find that the choices are too many, so I simply play something I've put 50 - 100 hours into already. I'm getting better though, thanks to this self analysis.
    The Medallion of the Imperial Psychopath, a Napoleon: Total War AAR
    For the Emperor!, a Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai AAR
    The Red Blades, a Battle Brothers AAR

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