Aug 10

Why you no finish game?

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A few nights ago I finally finished playing through the main story of L.A. Noire (DLC, you’re next!). I thought the story held well together from start to finish despite the fact that it felt that there was a weird gap between the Homicide missions and the Ad Vice missions. To talk about the most interesting story points any more would be revealing too much, so I’ll spare you the spoilers in case you haven’t finished the game yet, and a quick look at my friends list tells me that unfortunately, many of you didn’t.

Why the hell not?

I don’t think the problem is with L.A. Noire itself, but rather gaming in general. What makes one person play a game from the intro to the final credits and another one will give up halfway through? Is it the games fault for being too hard or boring? What factor will just make you put the game back on the shelf and forget about it?

Earlier this week I pooled a few gamers as to what makes them not finish certain games. I chose to go with people who are more of what we call “core gamers” rather than “casual gamers” because on average, those are the people you’d expect to play a game till the end.

NOTE: This article is in no way meant to say that these gamers never finish games. But everyone has at least a few games on their list that they started playing and then stopped. I just want to attempt to find out why that happens.
NOTE 2: For the purpose of this article, I defined “finish a game” by play through the main story line without necessarily getting all the achievements/trophies.

This is the question that was posed to them:

When I don’t finish a game, it’s usually because:
A. The game is too hard.
B. I get bored with the game.
C. I don't have enough time to play the game.
D. I own too many games and I started playing something else.
E. I don't own the game (rented or borrowed)
F. Other


In general the answers provided resided in mainly one of two camps (and sometimes both): lack of time or boredom.

With a slew a new interesting games being released almost every week now, I can see how wanting to move on to new games can be quite appealing, and how it can make it difficult to finish a game.

@Carazuul: “There are so many games that I want to try that I will move onto another game if gets boring rather than play it through the rest of the way. This most often happens with long RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, but occasionally other games as well.”

One of the flaws of my question is not taking into account multi-player games. Those games don’t have a discernible end really as long as people keep playing it.  But I can see how that would take time away from playing some games to the end.

@Torgden: “In the case of LA Noire specifically, I tend to play multiplayer games such as Black Ops or Plainswalker over it, even though it is a solid game. I can only spend so much time gaming and would prefer that Time to also be hanging out time.”

Another flaw found: Co-op based games. Sometimes the reason why people don’t finish certain games is because their other person is not there to play. As was the problem when Lawjick and I played Portal 2 or how I’m still waiting for Dre and Lawjick to be online at the same time so we can finally play D&D Daggerdale.

@Melagee: “I’m not bored with the game, I’m bored with playing by myself. I think of video games as a social activity, and when I’m not playing with someone else I feel far less inclined to continue.”

A few people also talked about some games are just too difficult to maintain ones interest for too long. Karma brought up an interesting point about how a lack of time for gaming increases the difficulty:

Karma: “(If)…I’ve been away from a game for a long time, it’s hard to just step back in and the idea of starting over is sometimes agonizing.”

So I guess what we can take from this is that different people have many different reasons for not finishing a game. All them as valid as the next to the person involved.

I mean, I understand why people don’t finish games. I have a few games on my list that I never took time to play all the way through. Bad games that just didn’t capture my attention. Sometimes, it’s the wrong game at the wrong time. There are also gaming traffic jams like Christmas for example. Times I get a bunch of games and I can’t seem to find the time to play them, so they get forgotten on the shelf

(I’m coming back to play you Enslaved!).

Speaking of which, too many words, time to game!



  1. Everett

    Nice read!

    I personally suffer from TMGS. Too Many Games Syndrome.

    1. Lawjick

      In general, it’s good to see that many good games being produced. It lends credence to the medium in general and shows that there’s a broad scope of target audiences.

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