This morning I read Phil Kollar's post about why Alan Wake didn't sell well.  It was a pretty good post.  Rather than add my 2 cents into the long string of comments at the bottom of that post, I thought I would post my own.

Phil said:

"According to May's NPD results, Alan Wake only barely cracked the top 10 for the month, selling less than 150,000 copies. Speaking to VG247, Remedy franchise head Oskari Hakkinen remained positive, focusing on the positive critical and fan reception for the game and noting that it "has legs.""

It may very well have legs.  In fact, it may have enough legs that I will eventually get it.  And if I do get it, I will buy it *new*, no matter whether the price has gone down a lot or not, because I do want to add to their sales figures if I do decide to get it.

Many of the commenters mentioned that it came out the same week as Red Dead Redemption, and that there has been no advertising for the game to offset that competition.  I think those are all good points for why it didn't sell well.

I love the idea of Alan Wake, a story-driven game that immerses you in the atmosphere of the setting, creepy darkness just adding to your unease.  Whenever I go to the game store, unless I'm going there for a specific game, I always consider picking up Alan Wake because of all the good things I've heard about it..

And yet I don't.

I'm not 100% sure why that is.  As with most gamers these days, my time and money are spread a little thinner than they used to be, and we have to make choices as to how to spend our entertainment dollar and our downtime.  There are so many games coming out nowadays that it's hard to spread those things even further to play more and more games that sound really cool.  I still haven't bought Bioshock 2, and I don't know if I'm going to.  And I loved the first game, have heard good things about the second, and was looking forward to it.  But it's fallen into the same trap as Alan Wake; every opportunity to buy it, I just don't.

If money weren't much of an object, I would buy Alan Wake and hold on to it for future play, especially since it's single-player only so I don't have to worry about being "current' with the multiplayer (don't you hate buying a game with great multiplayer after it's been out for a while and then discovering that nobody's online when you're finally ready to play?).  I would buy it because I want the game to do well, and it saddens me that a supposedly very good game like this has such terrible sales.

But money is an object, and each time the choice comes up, something else wins out.  i recently bought Singularity for much the same reasons: new IP that I would like to support, looks very fun and got pretty good reviews.  Why did I not buy Alan Wake instead?  That's a good question, and one that I really can't answer.  Weighing both of them in my figurative hands, I guess I just thought Singularity would be more fun for me.

The other trap that this year's games have fallen into for me is that the games I do want to play this year have been longer games, hence affecting the time element mentioned above.  Dragon Age: Origins took up a lot of my time early in the year.  Then Red Dead Redemption took up a lot of time too.  Now I'm playing Mass Effect 2, which is really a time sink (though I think I'm getting close to the climax).  Sure, there have been some games in between (Bad Company 2, Assassin's Creed 2, among others), but my gaming time has really been eaten up this year, crowding out "lesser" titles.

Unless it's a game we've been greatly anticipating, I think we all have these internal scales that we weigh our game purchases on.  Do I spend my limited money and time on this game or that game?  Often, we can't really say why we chose one game over another game.  We just weigh them on the scales and one of them wins out.  Asked afterward why you picked that game, you very well might not be able to tell them.  "It just sounded funner," you could say. 

So why haven't I bought Alan Wake?  It just hasn't tipped that scale for me.  It may eventually, but not yet.

Or it could just be those #@%@% thermoses.

(Note: I know this is kind of a rambling blog, but I'm honestly trying to indicate how jumbled my thought processes can be when I'm trying to work out just why we make the choices we do...and came to the conclusion that sometimes we just can't.  But at least this is about something I read on GI Online, so there is that)