Poll of the week: How many games, released in 2021, have you purchased this year?

3 mins read

Poll by Matt S.

It has been a spectacular year for video games. Our Game of the Year awards has been one of the most highly contested and interesting awards yet. So I was naturally interested to see how many of these games that we’ve been reviewing this year people have been playing. The poll results this week surprised me a little!

Almost half of the audience (44.44 per cent) said that they had purchased between zero and five games released in 2021. That’s not to say they haven’t been playing games – a lot of people responded to the poll to say that they’re in the habit of playing older games because they were either waiting for sales, or possibly waiting for the launch day bugs and quirks to be ironed out. 
Of course, given the length of modern games and the way that they’re designed to be something ongoing that you do play for months at a time, this number is perhaps less surprising on reflection than it should be. For most people, five full JRPGs in a single year is a big ask of their time. Even if the sheer quality of the games being released make it hard to decide which of those games you want to dedicate your time to. 
The next biggest vote went to those that had played between six and ten games in the year (27.35 per cent). But then, surprisingly, only 7.69 per cent of people said that they had played between 11 and 20 games, while 20.51 per cent of people said that they had played more than 20 new games in the year. 
I think I put this down to digital distribution. People who have fully embraced digital distribution for games will pick up a whole lot of “smaller” stuff that has been released over digital platforms. It’s very easy to go well over 20 games for the year when you’re checking in on the console digital download stores (let along Steam) every week. However, if you’re a boxed retail person, then the 11-20 category becomes difficult to reach. Not only do enough games have to be released there to catch your attention, but you also then need to actually pick up the copy. It’s easy to imagine that for these people it would be more likely that they fell into the category on either side, with the big collectors going well over 20, but most normal players finding more than enough value from the 6-10 purchases in the year.

– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb

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