To Buy Too Soon … Or Not At All

For the first time, the Epic Games policy of trading money up front for “timed exclusivity” has hit me where it hurts. Ooblets, a game I’ve had on my Steam wishlist since January of 2018, has decided to go with the Epic Store on release.

Not having grown up with consoles, I missed out on all the Animal Crossing / Harvest Moon / Rune Factory style games that sounded fantastic. Ever since my 160+ hour binge of Stardew Valley, I’ve been squirreling away these farming & friendship sims in my library, in my various wishlists, and even oh-so-briefly, on my phone.*

I can’t swear that I would have bought Ooblets on day one at full price (that’s a rare thing in my patient gamer world), but I think I might have, and now … well, now I won’t.

And I get why developers are being seduced by Epic Games, I do. The indie game market is beyond saturated, and it’s so hard to tell what’s going to be good, and what’s going to be just more disappointment. So many games are made in between all the other activities of life, and there are no guarantees of remuneration.

So, instead of the anger and the name calling over, let’s be honest, something that affects Glumberland far far more than it will ever affect me, I decided instead to go back through my purchase histories and look at what games I bought too soon.

Now, I don’t begrudge myself anything I paid less than $5 for, even if it sits untouched in my library for years. And I don’t grumble about games that aren’t really my style from bundles where I got at least my money’s worth in things I did want. I don’t even complain about games I bought, tried, and decided just weren’t my cup of tea. It’s the games that I make a conscious decision to purchase, by themselves, either on release or on sale, and never even open up.

So without further ado, I’d like to present Krikket’s Top Ten Fail Purchases.

  • Meeple Station – Purchased January 17, 2019 for $15.29.
  • Planet Coaster – Purchased November 26, 2018 for $18.21.
  • Fallout 4 GOTY Edition – Purchased November 25, 2018 for $19.98
  • Oxygen Not Included – Purchased December 30, 2017 for $14.99
  • Factorio – Purchased March 3, 2017 for $18.00
  • Rift: Starfall Prophecy – Purchased November 12, 2016 for $39.99
  • The Age of Decadence – Purchased March 26, 2016 for $17.99
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Purchased March 7, 2015 for $7.99
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect – Purchased September 8, 2014 for $14.99
  • The Wolf Among Us – Purchased June 22, 2014 for $8.49

Please note: calling these fail purchases does not speak in any way to the quality of the games themselves, just how much time has passed with them sitting, untouched, mostly even uninstalled.

The only one I actually regret on principle was the expansion for Rift, since (a) I never went back to the game and (b) they gave it out free about 6 months later. Most of them were games that I felt deserved my meager financial support, and so I was glad to pay what I did for them.

I’m just not sure what happened between clicking the “buy” button, and now. What changed? Certainly not the games themselves (although at least The Vanishing of Ethan Carter has gotten a remaster in the meantime).

Maybe I’ll pick up Ooblets on Day One of its Steam availability. Maybe I’ll wait until it ends up in a bundle. I don’t need to play it right now, and I don’t need to buy it on the Epic Games Store. I have plenty of other things to keep me occupied in the meantime.

*If, like me, you loved Stardew Valley (are there people who didn’t love Stardew Valley???), and you’re looking for some other games to scratch that itch that you can buy right now, I decided to make a little list for you, with links and everything.

  • Verdant Skies – farming and friendship in space.
  • Gleaner Heights – farming and friendship and weird stuff going on.
  • Kynseed – farming and friendship through multiple generations.
  • Staxel – voxel building with a side of farming and friendship.
  • My Time At Portia – farming and friendship with a focus towards crafting.

5 thoughts on “To Buy Too Soon … Or Not At All

  1. I had no idea what Ooblets even was about an hour or two ago. But the ill-toned release they put out on the EGS exclusivity certainly seems to have people up in arms about it.

    More generally though, like you I have a number of purchases where I bought them full of excitement and then never or barely touched. Enough so that picking a top 10 actually could be somewhat difficult. xD

    Stardew Valley was awesome, but I didn’t manage to click with it until I got it on the Switch. On PC I always felt like I should be prioritising something else. Totally a personal quirk I understand, but on Switch it just felt right. I’ve since come to understand there are types of games I just naturally prefer more in that format.

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    1. I’m not full on anti-EGS like a lot of folks – I’m more in the camp of feeling very cautious about it. I mean, sure, I’m sick of having all kinds of launchers to shuffle, but it still feels like a flash-in-the-pan to me, and I’ve been burned before.

      Picking my top 10 was fairly easy, but that was because of my “spend over $5” constraint. Otherwise, that list would have been massive.

      I just can’t resist a good sale. Can’t do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh, if not installing something from my backlog is a “Fail Purchase” I have over a hundred fails from over the years. I’m terrible about buying something and then not playing it, especially if it’s on sale.

    The last two years, it’s been a goal to buy less on Steam, and if I do buy, I must install and at least try to play what I buy as soon as I have the time for it. That makes me stop and ask myself, given the state of my backlog, do I really need another new game. More often than not, the answer is No.

    And… well… I’ve bought a whole lot less games the last couple of years as I work to try the games I have bought. But I still have a long way to go.

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    1. I don’t mind having bought things and not played them, generally speaking. It just bugs me when I drop what I consider to be “real money” (hey, what can I say, I’m cheap) on something and then just … forget about it.

      There are very few exceptions to the rule that things will always get cheaper, they’ll always go on sale again, they’ll eventually show up in a bundle, so when I buy something at full price, or nearly full price, I actually do intend to dive right in. Every game on that list I was excited to play, and then I just never did.

      To be fair, The Wolf Among Us has moved up in the to-be-played list to where it’s nearly at the top. It only took a little over five years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bundles are especially dangerous for me. At first, I’d activate all the games I got, but over time, I learned better of it.

        I think I still have a bunch of games on the Humble site that I’ve not activated on Steam because I don’t have interest in playing them, but they came in a bundle with a single game that I was interest in. I give those keys away whenever I can!

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