“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.