When making your choices about what games to buy there are usually a few routes in.
Community : This could be a friend or someone you know at your local games club or indeed anyone who's opinion you value.
People play a variety of games and so your immediate community is usually a great source for what to choose. Starting a new game which is played by others in your gaming community has the added bonus of giving you a ready made group of people to play with and of course means you can try it out before you buy.
Retailer : Staff at your Friendly Local Game Store have to by nature know about the games they sell.
By understanding what you like to play today or indeed what interests you in general and the environment you want to play that game the FLGS can provide advice on what games fit that bill. In some cases they can also offer a demo of game to help you make your choice.
Online : Now as I said in my previous post Opinions aren't as important as knowledge and experience you have to understand the context of the information you're getting. Whilst this can apply to Community and Retailer I personally feel that it's more prevalent online.
The primary benefit for online is the sheer amount of info available to you, filtering through that can be a challenge unless you know what you're looking for. Actual Play and Review videos help you to see the product before choosing to buy it which is great if you don't have the chance to demo it first.
These routes are all fairly standard routes to do anything in the hobby whether that be buying something new or whatever else.
The other factors that people incorporate into their decision making -
Publisher : There's logic in the this as if a publisher releases 1 game that you like then there's a good chance that you'll like other games they produce. I think Fantasy Flight Games and Cubicle 7 are great examples of this.
Licenses : Star Wars fan? Ok so it's probably a safe bet that you'll like one of the Star Wars games out there. Same goes for a variety of other games and licenses. A game like Heroclix really maximises it's DC and Marvel comic book licenses and has added many others to really broaden the appeal of the game.
Creator : Within the hobby there are some creator "celebrities" who have a strong enough fan base that having their name on a game is enough to drive the marketing. Alessio Cavatore is a recent example of this but board game and RPG creators have also been a draw for players.
How do you decide?