Bundles of unplayed games

I believe I suffer from a common first world problem: I own far too many games I have never played.

I took a glance at my Steam games list and noticed it has over 450 titles on it, of which many will forever remain unplayed, as I don't really care about them. They're not on my list because I wanted them, they're there because, well, I got them from various different bundles.

You know bundles, right? Like Humble Bundle, a charity-driven store, that sells games in cheap bundles. Sometimes they're indie games, sometimes they're an older back catalogue of some bigger publisher. Not only can you choose what you pay off the games, but you can also effect on how the money is divided between the developer, charity and the bundle store.

But here's the thing: more often than not, I buy a bundle because of one or two games. I've even ended up throwing keys freely away in forums, as I've had zero interest towards rest the games. I've also redeemed quite a many of them, but redeeming a game from Steam or Origin or what have you doesn't really mean that I'd be really interested in them. It just means that when I bought the bundle I wasn't in a jovial enough of a mood to give them away.

So is buying bundles a good thing or a bad thing? Of course, I can't really tell how most developers see the matter, but in some cases, I'd assume the developers are happy if their older game moves again and generates them at least some amount of revenue. But then again, I also understand the claim that bundles cheaper at least indie titles, as a lot of people are more willing to wait for a game to hit in a cheap bundle rather than buy it full price on release.

For big publishers a bundle is surely a good thing: they can show that they care. In some cases, the big publisher Bundles have given all to the charity. They've not necessarily sold their newest games, but well known older titles from their catalogue. But that's a good thing as well, as a bundle gives people a good way to get familiar with older games they'd not necessarily get otherwise.

The same goes for indie titles. You get a bunch of games you'd never in your life purchase.

But both, big and small, games are in the same danger of left unplayed. Some people might, just like me, get the bundle because of some specific title, as it might be the cheapest option to get it legally. Or some might not even care from any of the games but do it for charity.  Or some might just purchase game keys so they can sell them forward with profit.

The more interesting question on more personal level is though, is it good for me to actually own a huge amount of digital clutter? Not that clutter takes real space mind you, it just exists virtually. But still, is owning that really a good thing?

See, when you own something, you might think that you'll try it later on, even if you wouldn't want to play it immediately. You think that you'd gotten it in storage, but the fact is, when you get those cheap bundles you just stack games upon games upon games. In the end, you'll never end up touching those games in your backlog, as there's always something more interesting on the horizon.

Stacking up games on your account is a bit like owning a Netflix account. When you first get it, you think that all you're going to do is binge watch TV-series and movies. But in the end, you'll end up watching a couple of movies or series episodes a month in order to justify the existence of that account.

Without cheap bundles, I'd have much fewer games on my account. And I would have given much less money to indie developers I've never heard of before nor since buying those bundles. But without bundles, I'd have a far more selective array of games. Games which I actually do play.

The idea of stacking yourself a back catalogue "in order to play later" is just self-denial. If you don't play a game at least a week after you'd gotten it, the chances are you won't be playing it. That back catalogue you have will always be pushed aside from the way of something else.









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