Should You Keep Your Broken Game?

So, you bought a game recently and it doesn’t work as advertised. What do you do? You love the game, you love the creator; you just don’t love the product.

This seems to be an all too common trend lately, and for some reason no one is talking about it. We have options, and they boil down to two very straightforward ones:

Your first option is what most people are choosing to do – keep the game and hope that it improves. Now, however, you have a responsibility. If you keep the game, you should be working to help improve the product, because the company needs real feedback. Real feedback does not include bashing the product, it’s providing the company with information about the issues with the game in a meaningful manor. If you’re not prepared to offer this, perhaps the second option is for you.

The second option is to return the game, but most people do not exercise this option. Maybe they’re lazy, or maybe they see it as disloyal. Maybe they’ve never considered it. If you can separate yourself from the emotional connection to the game franchise for a moment, you might be able to think a little clearer.

Imagine, for instance, that you buy an expensive pen. You get the pen home and it doesn’t write. Without hesitation, you return it. End of discussion, right? Let’s say you really love the manufacturer of the pen and that you’ve been writing with their pens for years. You feel that they deserve the opportunity to make it right. The company apologizes and sends out a new ink cartridge, one that works. You continue writing. You’re happy with the product again.

What do you do in the scenario where the second ink cartridge doesn’t work though? How many times do you wait for a new cartridge, and at what point do you decide that the pen isn’t worth the hassle?

We are doing ourselves a disservice by continuing to purchase and keep unfinished games. It’s clear that companies are pushing deadlines over quality. The only way to stop this trend is to send a clear message to those companies and that message is best delivered by just not purchasing the game. If you’ve already made the purchase, take the game back. The quality of games will never improve if the publishers have no incentive to do so.