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Game industry pros confess their piles of shame!

I have never, ever played a Fable game. I always intended to throw on one of Peter Molyneux’s fantasy epics and take it for a spin, and hey, I still do. Someday. Really.

But the simple fact is this: If you game, you’ve got a pile of shame … that list of titles you haven’t played yet but fully intend to. Someday. Really.

Nobody likes to admit it, but few of us have the money and time to play everything we’re interested in. In fact, the number of missed opportunities just grows and grows as shiny distractions (work, family, newer games that look really cool) come into the picture. So as we come out of the summer doldrums and into a very busy gaming season, we asked some of most influential names in the industry to publicly humiliate themselves by telling us what’s still on their piles of shame.

And they didn’t all answer. But here’s who did.


Batman: Arkham City

Cliff Blezinski: former design director, Epic Games (Gears of War)

I’ve yet to go back to Batman: Arkham City because I can’t find the darned disc in my cluttered setup.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Jenova Chen: cofounder, Thatgamecompany (Journey, Flower)

I haven’t played Deus Ex: Human Revolution after the first boss. It’s the game of the year for our lead engineer, John Edwards, so that means a lot. But I haven’t got time to go back to it yet.


Mass Effect 2

Dan “Shoe” Hsu: editor-in-chief, GamesBeat

Mass Effect 2. I don’t understand what all that hub-bub was about the ending to the Mass Effect storyline. We’re still not even halfway through the trilogy, right? Right?

Sigh … yes, this is my big shame game. I’m not even finished with Mass Effect 2 yet. I know it’s something I need to get through — Mass Effect is a major franchise in gaming, after all — but I just can’t seem to find the time. Actually, that’s not true. I somehow scraped together 188 hours for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I honestly don’t know what it is about this series. I loved the first game, but it took me over a year and a half to beat it because I was constantly leaving it, then coming back, and then leaving it again. For all of 2012, ME2′s been sitting next to my TV, beaming subliminal messages to my brain: “Play me … play me. …” But it hasn’t worked. Now that Borderlands 2 is here, and all the other fall games are arriving soon, I’m afraid part two of this sci-fi trilogy will just have to wait a bit longer.


Spec Ops: The Line

Morgan Webb: co-host, X-Play

Spec Ops: The Line. Everyone tells me it’s really good. Everyone tells me about the crazy tough choices you have to make. And I even bought it. It is still in the plastic and will likely remain so until about January. It’s not a very large pile. I try really hard to keep up with things. And seriously, Shoe needs to play Mass Effect.


Red dead redemption

Frank O’Connor: franchise development director, 343 Industries (Halo 4)

Working on Halo is a pretty  involved process. There’s the work, of course – story, universe building, endless meetings, travel … most developers know the score there. But you compound that work with home life, raising an angry 3-year-old, taking out the trash, fixing the sewer, making dinner – there just aren’t that many hours in the day. And so when I do play games in my downtime, they tend to be Halo. Take-home tests, matchmaking, just a ton of Halo stuff. So my pile of shame is almost limitless. And to prove that point, my main shameful miss is a couple of years old, and I still haven’t gotten around to it properly. It’s Red Dead Redemption.

Hardly unusual, but when I did finally put it in my drive, I immediately knew this was a place I wanted to inhabit. And I got as far as the first horse race, couldn’t beat Bonnie around her ranch, and that’s where I left it. Right back to Halo stuff. I also have a miserably small completion ratio of Forza, and in fact I have not unlocked the Halo Warthog that’s squirreled away in there. The least dusty, still-shrinkwrapped item on that pile is Borderlands 2.

I still haven’t seen the new Batman, either, and I only saw Cabin in the Woods because it was on my plane. I genuinely feel actual shame because part of my job is to understand why other games are cool and expose myself to new experiences. I feel like I should really just take a couple of months off to reengage and immerse myself in what’s new and what’s awesome.

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