I am a very loyal customer. Back when I was new to games I bought Wolfenstein 3-D. They had placed it in a box (Apogee did) and were selling it on retail shelves. Later I bought DOOM through the mail from id Software. I bought DOOM ][: Hell on Earth from the local Babbage’s when it came out. I bought Quake from id Software through the mail again when they released it, and I also bought the two mission packs for it. I’ve bought Quake II, Quake III: Arena and Quake III: Team Arena all on release day. I even bought the re-released Wolfenstein 3-D back in 1998 when Activision shoveled it onto a CD-ROM for the first time.
When I was getting on the Internet by borrowing others AOL accounts I downloaded a warez version of Civilization II since I had read a good review. I liked the game so much I bought it. And later when they came out with the Multiplayer Gold Edition version, I bought that too.
I look back at the last several games I’ve purchased for the PC – Elite Force, Half-Life (Adrenaline Pack), Daikatana, Soldier of Fortune, Alpha Centauri and I realize – they’re all based on engines or from the same people who did the previous games I bought way back in the day. id Software will alwaya be able to sell a buttload of games no matter what, simply because they keep their level of quality up on games and they came out with Wolfenstein and DOOM. I look ahead to the games I’d like to buy next – Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Civilization III – and I realize they’re also derived from the engines/people I’m familiar with.
But does this mean I have no diversity? Does this make me a fanboy? I’ve actually been trying hard over the last few months to go over more games and genres – read about all the games in PC Magazine, not just the ones I’ve heard of.
Part of it is publicity. I’ve made efforts to play Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo 2, not because I love those games, but because everyone else does. When tons of people go on and on about a game and it gets amazing reviews from everyone involved, then there may be something to it. I like MGS but when I play GT2 I get the same trepidation I get when I start reading a book that’s over 1000 pages long – I like it but I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it.
Part of it is exposure. I constantly see things on Blue’s News about games with names like Combat, Global Operations, Stealth Combat, Global Ops, Combat Command, etc. It’s hard to tell them all apart. I just gloss over them. However I’ve discovered that when I see footage from a game on a show like Extended Play, suddenly I become more interested in it.
And part of it is just fine – I have no problem with buying a new Nintendo system just to play another Zelda game, no problem with checking out what’s next for Crazy Taxi. A little repetition isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.