The Cult of The New

“The Cult of the New” isn’t a phrase that is always related to the gaming sphere. It can be used to describe anyone who “needs” to have something on the day that it comes out — or before — to feel that they are part of the “in crowd.” However, in today’s rant we’re going to be talking about gaming, because that’s what we do around these parts.

I have fallen victim to wanting to keep up with the Joneses. I pre-ordered Street Fighter V. I backed Crowfall on Kickstarter. I pre-ordered Vermintide. I even bought Fallout 4 on day one. I am not immune to wanting to be one of the first people to experience something. Some games are simply too tempting, or are something you’ve been waiting for for weeks, months, even years. Sometimes you can’t avoid the hype train generated by those around you, and get swept up into paying full price for a game you know is going to go on sale in a week or two.

Then there’s the flip side — being a frugal gamer. If you were to buy every game the day it came out for full price, you’d be spending a pretty penny each month. Most of us can’t afford to do so. Most of us don’t have the time to consume all of those games, on top of the games we already have and the free to play or subscription games that eat up time on their own. Finding a balance between the two can be a difficult but worthy effort.

There have been times in my life when I had enough money to buy whatever game I pleased, and other times when I was so poor I was only playing free to play titles (it’s how I found my love for League of Legends). Knowing that sales are around every corner, and knowing where to find the best deals is a great skill to have, but sometimes you simply must have that new title, right now.

Some games feel worth spending the full amount for. Others feel like bargain bin titles. This sort of logic applied when we used to do all of our shopping in brick and mortar stores, and bought physical media, so it most certainly still applies for digital purchases. If I love a series, I’m going to immediately purchase the newest title unless something holds me back (be it rumors of a shitty port, shitty servers, shitty business practices, or other expenditures making the purchase impossible at that juncture). If I know nothing about a title, or think it’s something I can hold off on, I’ll get it when I see it for half off. It’s a practice most people follow, but it gets even more difficult when considering multiple platforms. Then you’ll be thinking about which control scheme would work better, who you know that you can play with on the console or PC, which platform will run the game better, and other factors. Regardless, there’s a lot you can consider when buying video games these days, or you can throw caution to the wind and get that day one copy without putting any thought into it at all.

The third option is to be like me, and buy up more games that you can possibly play, and then not play any of them!

What brought up this train of thought — and bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this — is the recent flood of posts and tweets I’ve been seeing about several recently released titles. The Cult of the New have all jumped on board with these games, and seem to be enjoying the hell out of them. Titles like Black Desert Online, Stardew Valley and The Division seem to be all the rage. Looking at those titles, I see all sorts of problems and reasons why I personally wouldn’t like them, so they aren’t tempting me whatsoever. It’s curious though, because in other recent hype cycles I was swept up and made purchases I didn’t think I would, or even said I wasn’t going to make.

When XCOM2 released, I knew it was a game I would like and would buy eventually, but I had no plans on picking it up right away. The same goes for Fallout 4, I was going to wait a while for all of the bugs to be squashed and then ended up getting it on day one. Of course, these are games that appeal to me for various reasons, and the games that have released in the past couple weeks do not, but it’s funny that being a part of TCotN is sort of selective, at least for me. I mean, when it comes to a game like Uncharted 4 that I’ve been talking about for years, it makes sense that I would buy it on day one. But when it’s a game I’m sort of on the fence about, I only end up buying on day one when I get swept up in the hype. It seems that me and The Cult are only seeing each other on a part time basis.

Anyway, I’m starting to lose my train of thought. You won’t see me posting about Black Desert, Stardew Valley or The Division, as an MMO import, farming simulator and psuedo-MMO don’t really interest me, but I’m happy for those who are enjoying themselves. Perhaps I should get back to clearing my backlog so maybe I’ll have more to write about. I’ll see y’all around.


14 thoughts on “The Cult of The New

  1. I gave up on following The Cult of the New the year that neither Wildstar nor ESO captured my interest. That’s when I suddenly realized there were going to be games that just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t need to be a part of every new MMO launch anymore.

    I skipped Fallout 4 and Blade and Soul because I had no interest in them (gasp!). But I am playing BDO because I’ve been looking for a good sandbox MMO for a while. I’d also love to play Stardew Valley because I loved Harvest Moon back in the day… but I still don’t own it despite all the great reviews. Mostly cuz I just don’t have time to play it right now!

    Bottom line is, I play what interests me now days, not what folks are clamoring about. But I still do love that new MMO launch feeling (though we get those less and less with all the alphas and betas it seems).


  2. On the MMO front I went from the Cult of the New to Cranky Old Gamer playing his Cranky Old Games over the life of my blog. In part it is a lot of what you mentioned, price, time, expectations, and such. But mostly it has been the realization that the differences between fantasy MMORPGs is incremental at best, and has remained so for a while now. If it were music they would all seem like mere variations on a theme rather than fresh new songs.


    • You’re definitely right about there being very little difference between fantasy MMOs. I’m hoping Crowfall changes things enough to suck me back into the genre.


  3. “The third option is to be like me, and buy up more games that you can possibly play, and then not play any of them!”

    This is 100% me during Steam sales.


  4. I just started playing Pillars of Eternity. So many games, so little time, too much lacklustre interest. I am not having any less fun with it than I would have if I bought it on launch day. My blog is just becoming even less relevant! (if that is possible…)


    • Oh you and me have had this issue for a long time. It’s hard to keep up with the backlog and new titles. But I guess I’m a sucker for punishment.


  5. I bought into Crowfall and am still pleased with my investment. I have been able to dissuade myself from buying into the Paladins beta after having watched game play footage and read reviews from established Smite players: there’s nothing that distinguishes it from any other FPS out there right now. Seems fun and has a nice card system, but not $20 worth of fun.

    Similarly, I personally can’t philosophically differentiate BDO from Blade & Soul or any of the other bazillion k/j-grinders out there. I’m reading really, teally good things about it right now and I’m chalking it up to euphoric The One True MMO sentiment. I’m going to wait a couple of months for the honeymoon to end before making a purchase decision.

    There are some titles, franchises, and things that are auto-purchases, to be sure. Any Artemis skin in Smite or Life is Strange episode is on my list. When it comes to MMOs, I think Crowfall is going to be the only exception to my “wait and see” approach for a long, long time. Like many of the commenters above: been there, done that.


  6. I’m having enough trouble being a part of the Cult of the Classics. There are a bunch of games that are years old now, that are not very expensive, and that are considered to be must-plays (if you enjoy the genre). I am using this year to try to catch up on those. Things like Red Alert 3, Planescape: Torment, Pirates!, FarCry, Tomb Raider, ugh the list goes on. Even stuff like Age of Mythology or The Longest Journey or Commandos.

    I don’t have time to be part of TCotN!

    That said, it is pretty hard to resist checking MMOs out if the barrier to entry is low enough. Last year – probably because of the lack of good competition – I was seeing a lot of good cult-ing going on about FFXIV, and that was when I really decided to give it a go. I managed to resist ESO, but the F2P games have not fared so well. I am still battling the BDO impressions gorilla that is smacking the blogosphere around at the moment, but I suspect that I might not hold out much longer if people don’t start trashing the game (as opposed to trashing the cash shop).


    • You are definitely feeling my pain. Buying a PS4 made my backlog grow ridiculously. I have made out like a bandit on sales and bundles over the last year or two and still have hardly played any of the games. I feel like a collector these days, and less of a gamer.


  7. I like all those games a lot… and it’s really hard. No idea why everything wanted to release right now. LAst year seemed barren for ages and now we get games I’ve been looking forward to for a while.

    But yeh – addict to the cult of new right here


    • Yeah, I knew you were playing all of those new games and loving them. You also seem to manage to keep up with the new releases and play them all a hell of a lot more than I do. I might have 10-20 hours in each of my newest purchases, but I made so many that it’s nearly impossible to make real progress in any. I think it also has something to do with our changing attention spans as a society, but I have more to say about that. Maybe on a new podcast episode?


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