Why do people buy bad games if it's cheap?

tzhu07

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Seems to me that if a game is really bad, you shouldn't support it for any amount of money. You hear phrases like:

"For $4 I'll try it."

or

"Even though I haven't heard many good things about it, I'm sure that for $4 I can get my money's worth."

I don't want to support any game that I perceive is bad. My purchasing decisions don't always work out, but I think I've managed to avoid most of the bad ones in my game library.
 

Ruahrc

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Seems to me like your definition of "bad" (i.e. so bad as to be unpurchaseable at any price) is not the same as someone else's definition of "bad".

Or put another way, it is likely that when someone says a game is "bad" they typically mean "it's not worth the current price", and as that price changes, their opinion on the per-dollar-value of the game may change as well.
 

lopoetve

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A bad game can have a few high points that make it worth trying for $4.

Good example for me: Clive Barker's Jericho. I love the subject matter, loved the idea, but when I read the reviews and played the demo, knew I wouldn't buy it. When it was on sale for $2.50 (steam), I snatched it up, and got way more than my $2.50 out of it for 4-5 hours and enjoyed the bits I thought I'd enjoy, and finally got turned off of the rest, but I just paid $2.50 for 5 hours of solid entertainment.

Also tons of games that don't review well that I've found I really enjoyed, so you never know...
 

seigejet

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Seems to me like your definition of "bad" (i.e. so bad as to be unpurchaseable at any price) is not the same as someone else's definition of "bad".

Or put another way, it is likely that when someone says a game is "bad" they typically mean "it's not worth the current price", and as that price changes, their opinion on the per-dollar-value of the game may change as well.

I think that pretty much hit the nail right on the head.
 

MavericK

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I don't buy bad games for cheap.

I buy games I don't feel were worth $60 for cheap.

If I had no intention of even trying the game or thought it was terrible, I wouldn't buy it for any price.
 
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It usually comes down to "dollar per hour of enjoyment" factor for me.

Although the backlog is swaying that decision.
 
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Seems to me like your definition of "bad" (i.e. so bad as to be unpurchaseable at any price) is not the same as someone else's definition of "bad".

Or put another way, it is likely that when someone says a game is "bad" they typically mean "it's not worth the current price", and as that price changes, their opinion on the per-dollar-value of the game may change as well.

Agreed. I'll sometimes buy a game that people claim is bad but is cheap just because I want to play something else in the series and give it a go (such as Dragon Age II; not many seem to like it compared to Dragon Age: Origins, but for $5 I can't be too bummed about it).
 

TwistedAegis

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The same reason people get a $0.99 McDouble instead of eating kobe beef burgers every day.
 

mak10z

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as my economics professor would say: "Supply and demand", the game doesn't rate very high on your demand curve, so you will not buy it until it hits a lower price point. but of course value is subjective :p
 

rudy

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Why do people buy bad beer if it is cheap? Because something is better than nothing. For most people a game is like a slightly more interactive movie. Just something to burn some time and have some fun. If the price is low enough people will do that. So it all comes down to value most normal people are going to think about how much it costs to get entertainment for a given amount of time. And no matter how you look at it games are still cheap in that regard, and the cheaper they get the more people are willing to waste time on them.
 

jiminator

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I might buy a mc'ds value meal for $5, but I don't pretend it is steak. Most games are really decent with a few flaws in implementation. that does not make them worthless, just questionable at $40 and up. A game at $5 can be plenty of fun whereas at $50 it may be more annoying,
 

Dan_D

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adding lettuce and tomato for $0.25 is worth it imo

Keep your lettuce and tomato. They are unnecessary. All I require is meat and cheese. In any case I rarely buy games with ridiculously low prices. The only time I do is when it was a game I was interested in, but wasn't sure it was worth the risk at $20-$60. Games that fall below that price point I do buy I was actually interested in before.
 

Dan_D

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Rage doesn't seem worth 60 bucks to me. I'd pick it up for 10. Same goes for DNF.

Duke Nukem Forever is probably worth a solid $5-$10. Definitely not more than that. I think I paid $29.99 and wish I hadn't.
 

LeninGHOLA

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Keep your lettuce and tomato. They are unnecessary. All I require is meat and cheese. In any case I rarely buy games with ridiculously low prices. The only time I do is when it was a game I was interested in, but wasn't sure it was worth the risk at $20-$60. Games that fall below that price point I do buy I was actually interested in before.

As much as I like getting paid while going to the bathroom, my ass would fall asleep on the toilet if I didn't eat veggies.

The only game I purchased within the last year that I would classify as actually bad was Dragon Age 2. I now shop more frugally, buying only games I know I will like.
 

Godmachine

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Duke Nukem Forever is probably worth a solid $5-$10. Definitely not more than that. I think I paid $29.99 and wish I hadn't.

I bought Duke for $29.99 as well and fucking hated it. However Rage might be worth $10 bucks if the problems with the texture pop in ever get fixed (probably never).
 

DarkSaturn

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It's not so much bad games, but there are some fun throwaway titles (Bulletstorm comes to mind) that won't win me over at $60, but are worth it on the cheap.

Then again there some things like Too Human that had a lot of interest built up and then get slammed with bad reviews (rightfully so), that I fall for on sale. Still worth giving a glance during a lazy weekend.
 

Derangel

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One man's trash is another man's treasure as the saying goes. Just because some people say a game is bad does not mean everyone will think it's bad. I've played plenty of "bad" games that I really enjoyed and plenty of "good" games that I hated. It's all personal preference and opinion. Everyone has an "impulse buy" price and when something they're interested in reaches that price they are far more likely to buy it on impulse and be willing to take the chance to see if they'll like it or not. If they like it then they got a good deal on something they enjoy and if not then it's not like they wasted a ton of money to find out. It's fairly simple consumer logic.
 

TheBuzzer

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well main thing is if a game is cheap, there might be some good points in the game. also you would like to support them to make better games in the future.
 

topcaliber

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Maybe you can get 4$ worth of entertainment from a crappy game.

I mean it might be bad but you can still play it for a bit.
 

piscian18

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A bad game can have a few high points that make it worth trying for $4.

Good example for me: Clive Barker's Jericho. I love the subject matter, loved the idea, but when I read the reviews and played the demo, knew I wouldn't buy it. When it was on sale for $2.50 (steam), I snatched it up, and got way more than my $2.50 out of it for 4-5 hours and enjoyed the bits I thought I'd enjoy, and finally got turned off of the rest, but I just paid $2.50 for 5 hours of solid entertainment.

Also tons of games that don't review well that I've found I really enjoyed, so you never know...

Jericho isn't a bad game so much as it's broken. I actually found some parts very enjoyable and or memorable. There's literally a Boss fight where a giant fat baby splits his belly open to repeatedly shower you with blood.

It also had a ton of options for special abilities and guns.

What kept it being a solid 8/10 was that the squad AI was completely broken. I mean completely. You had the option of constantly switching between 6 players with unique abilities and guns but the AI was so poor you spent more time reviving your teammates than doing anything fun because they'd die the second you switched from one to the other. As a test I left one monster weak and alive and let 3 AI teammates hammer at him for 2-3minutes until I finally gave up, walked over, and punched him in the face to end the fight. It's a shame they didn't at least include Co-op that could have really redeemed this game.

Additionally the story was both poorly fleshed out and underwhelming so you spent most of the game confused and expecting a massive revelation only for the game to end with a generic stupid final boss and then cut to credits. Sort of reminded me of Star Trek 5 actually which was equally disappointing.

I also found that the game seemed best suited to an xbox controller due to the variance in abilities and constant character switching(Can you say Carpal tunnel?) but looked absolutely shit on an actual Xbox 360. I literally got lost a couple times because the textures were so low res. I ended up playing it on PC with maxed out graphics(making it mostly very pretty and colorful) using an xbox 360 controller.

I purchased the game for .99 on steam and 1.99 on Xbox 360. This game was definitely a turning point for me in learning to just skip games even if they are a $1 as my time itself felt wasted and I only finished the game out of Backlog Obligation.

It was an Ok game but I would never play it again.
 
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Killa_2327

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Well for $4 even if it sucks you'll probably still get an hour or two of entertainment out of it.
 

Domingo

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...that almost makes me want to dig out my Jericho CD out. I bought it on $10 clearance at Target and gave up on it because of how many buttons you (needlessly) had to use. For God sakes, make some functions that are exclusive a toggle instead of a unique button.
With a 360 pad, that might actually work nicely.
 

Dan_D

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...that almost makes me want to dig out my Jericho CD out. I bought it on $10 clearance at Target and gave up on it because of how many buttons you (needlessly) had to use. For God sakes, make some functions that are exclusive a toggle instead of a unique button.
With a 360 pad, that might actually work nicely.

I got Jericho cheap and it was still crap. I hated that game. It suffered from one of the worst cases of consolitis I've ever seen.
 

cageymaru

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I like old B movies that look like they were shot by some film students on a field trip. Stuff like Squirm. Maybe one day there will be a hall of fame for bad games.
 

piscian18

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I like old B movies that look like they were shot by some film students on a field trip. Stuff like Squirm. Maybe one day there will be a hall of fame for bad games.

Well theres two kinds of bad games imo.

A good example of what youre talking about would be Alpha Prime All the mechanics work fine, nice variety of gameplay. TERRIBLE story. Funny thing is it's actually really fun in a MST3K kinda way. I found myself enjoying the entire experience laughing at how terrible it was.

But there's plenty of games out there that are perfectly fine but boring beyond all reasoning. Like the Devs didn't even try to play the game. Those are the bad games that are forgettable.
 

Trillock

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I wonder if in years to come anyone will buy BF3 in the bargain bin, and find the game is useless as there are no servers operational as no one plays it any more, as that is the only option you have. Unlike say BF2142 where at least you can play against bots.
 

PrincessFrosty

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Games generally aren't just bad/good in that kind of black and white way, generally speaking a lot of "bad games" have at least some redeeming qualities which make them worth playing in some capacity, just not paying full price for.

It's enough to pay less for the game to register your dissatisfaction with the quality, you don't need to avoid it all together. I frequently pay less for my games because I just don't think they're worth it, the overall quality of games used to improve steadily giving me good reason to pay the premium of launch day prices, but with no compelling reason to buy new games due to the stagnation we're in with modern consoles dominating the market, I simply wait until the games drop in price, I don't feel as if I'm missing out on anything by doing so.
 

Rdzona

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I like old B movies that look like they were shot by some film students on a field trip. Stuff like Squirm. Maybe one day there will be a hall of fame for bad games.

There already are, there have been such bad games, that they basically directly contributed to the video game crash in the 80s.

Here is a bit of history and not a bad read if this stuff interests you and if your bored lol. It was interesting to me because during this is basically when I started gaming, first with the Atari 2600 and then the 8bit NES. I was too young however to even know that the industry basically collapsed.

Another interesting topic I've seen on this forum, is people discussing if "bad" cheap games are bad for the industry. Well if history tells us anything then I would say it certainly can have an impact, if we get over saturated with low quality, "bad" games that is. Just some thoughts.
 

Tudz

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It's not so much buying "bad" games as much as buying games that I might have been interested in trying at release, but not willing to support 100% by paying full price.

Some games even get bad reviews but in reality are still quite enjoyable if it's the sort of game you're looking at playing. For me, a lot of my enjoyment comes from actually wanting to play the game. Take LOTR:WITN as an example, it got pretty bad reviews and for all intents and purposes it wasn't a great game by any stretch... BUT, I wanted to play a hack and slash LOTR game and WITN WAS a LOTR hack and slash game so I bought it for $10 and played it and enjoyed it. Could it have been better? Of course. But I still enjoyed it.

Another example is the Starship Troopers FPS that's about 7 years old now. I recently started playing it and the game got TERRIBLE reviews, but I'm enjoying it and it offers me what no other game can, running around gunning down Arachnids. It may not have a lot of polish, it may not be memorable, it may not have been GOTY, but I'm still enjoying it and it cost me sweet fuck all.

You also have the fact there's no way of telling if a game is gonna be enjoyable until you've bought it and played it for yourself. There's plenty of games people have slammed for being shit or have gotten bad reviews and I've personally enjoyed, and vice versa games that people praise that I've gotten very little entertainment out of them. I never PLAY games I'm not enjoying, but I might be willing to take a gamble on a $5 game that got bad reviews that I think I might like where as I might not be willing to take that same gamble on a $60 game that got bad reviews and there's a slim chance I'll enjoy.

This is why I understand some of the frustration of people like the PR guys behind DNF. DNF wasn't great, I'm not saying it was, but it wasn't nearly as bad as reviews made it out to be and they almost certainly lost revenue simply because reviewers jumped on the DNF-hate-bandwagon and shit canned DNF without actually giving it a fair appraisal.
 
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MavericK

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...that almost makes me want to dig out my Jericho CD out.

Yeah, I missed the sales on this and I kinda want to try it (for a couple bucks, that is). Hope it goes on sale again sometime soon.
 

cageymaru

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There already are, there have been such bad games, that they basically directly contributed to the video game crash in the 80s.

Here is a bit of history and not a bad read if this stuff interests you and if your bored lol. It was interesting to me because during this is basically when I started gaming, first with the Atari 2600 and then the 8bit NES. I was too young however to even know that the industry basically collapsed.

Another interesting topic I've seen on this forum, is people discussing if "bad" cheap games are bad for the industry. Well if history tells us anything then I would say it certainly can have an impact, if we get over saturated with low quality, "bad" games that is. Just some thoughts.

I remember that crash. I went to CVS (used to be named something else back in the day) and bought E.T. for $2. My dad was so cheap he only let me choose one game from the bargain bin and I chose E.T.. I was kicking myself for 6 months as I chose E.T. over Defender. :(
 

Zeekerton

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Some cheap games may be seen as bad before you appreciate all the small aspects of them. I have bought minecraft, mw3, and terraria and have seen them all as bad after a while, while games that have cost much less have been much more enjoyable because of their ''bad'' aspects.
 

michael.pa2

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the better question is why do ppl buy bad games even when its expensive

Bingo! I can't believe the consoles have bilked gamers for this long,guess they had more common sense back in the 80's. The one good thing about the crash is it turned me on to PC gaming,shame it's been so infected by consolitis these days.
 
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There are actually few games that are actually terrible, by that I mean I would never play under any circumstance. I mean, usually developers are trying to make a decent game, and enough people are involved that hopefully someone says "this is going in a wrong direction - how do we fix it?" It takes a lot of people to not care for a long time to make something truly not worth playing.

The only game I played like this was "dreamcatcher". There was a free weekend on steam...I thought I would finish the game for free! But I didn't even want to play it past 30 minutes....

Instead, most games have something that's make it less than perfect. Bad Camera, dumb AI, too many jumping puzzles, etc. Doesn't mean there aren't good points in the game - it just means that you have to weigh good vs bad. And then "how much is that worth playing"? For a few hours of entertainment, I'm willing to try $4 - which is less than the coffee I treat myself to once a week. :)

Example: Alpha Protocol went down to $5, and I thought that was a fantastic game for the story and dialogue choices. The actual gameplay was average...and broken with certain build choices, but I still had fun for about 10 hours.
 

Tudz

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There are actually few games that are actually terrible, by that I mean I would never play under any circumstance.

I agree with this. As enthusiasts we get way too bitchy and moany about every little detail that we fail to see a game can actually be "fun" without being perfect or ground breaking and innovative.

I think it's a mixture of people having just played so many games that they've become a bit stagnant as gamers and also people just getting their expectations up too much.

As the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt.
 
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