Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Yet, after reading an article on gamesetwatch by Michael Zenke, that may well be the truth.

His main discussion point is that too many people buy too many games that they don’t finish. Not because they don’t like the products, but because there is always something new coming out. Consider this quote:

“Since the Xbox 360 launched at the end of 2005, there have been 683 games released to the platform. There have been 844 NintendoDS games released since late 2004, and some 331 PlayStation 3 games dropped since late 2006. That’s an average of four games a week, every week, for both the 360 and DS. The PS3 averages more like three games a week.”

Now, that is a lot of games. Of course, not every game is of interest to every gamer. Even so, those numbers represent a flood of product that no one could keep up with. And the stuff just keeps coming.

You might think it’s less hectic on the PC. In terms of major releases, perhaps. But count in the number of indie games out there, both downloadable and browser(flash) based, and you find plenty of product, too. Enough that indie companies are already having a hard time getting noticed.

For me, that isn’t too much of a problem, because my own interests are narrow, and it’s not hard to keep up with the RPG scene (which seems to be increasingly on the indie side, D3 excepted).

However, for those who enjoy a wider range of games, this huge amount of product is a problem. How do you choose among, say, four or five equally-good games? How do can even find about them, in this crowded field?

Once you get away from the “big names”, the titles that major game sites cover and hype, you’ll find hundreds more, about which little or nothing is said, except maybe on specialty sites. And you have to find those sites, too.

Then, as Michael points out, you now have all those games to play, with another one showing up before you’ve barely started your current title. It isn’t just less time to play, it’s that there are too many in the first place. Which may well be the prime reason that so many games aren’t finished.

Is there a solution? Offhand, I can’t see one. Gamers being what they are, the desire to grab “the latest and greatest” isn’t going to go away. Yeah, it would help if people took the time to play one game at a time. If they didn’t allow themselves to be distracted by new game announcements and a lot of hype coverage.

That’s not going to happen any time soon. Nor can we expect the companies to cut back on the games they release, not unless there’s a big shakeup in the industry. I suspect things will just go one as they have been, with many games going unfinished, and many good ones being overlooked. Anyone have a life preserver?

The Lust For The New on gamesetwatch