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Developer Panel Asks Whether AAA Games Are Too Long

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the attention-spans-are-so-2005 dept.

Games 342

Gamespot reports on a discussion at the Develop 2011 conference in which a panel of game designers debated whether recent big-budget releases like Heavy Rain and L.A. Noire were too long for a typical gamer's taste. Quoting: "'Gamers are losing patience,' said [Alexis Kennedy of Failbetter Games], when asked about his own experiences with Heavy Rain, 'so many people don't reach the end and lose the full impact of the story.' He wasn't complimentary of its narrative either, questioning the benefit of basing a game on long-form narrative such as film, resulting in a 'bastardized' storyline that doesn't quite work. ... The likes of social and casual games, particularly the cheap games available on mobile, have changed the expectations of gamers, the panel concluded. Since gamers are paying less money, there's less need to create 10-hour-plus gaming experiences, because consumers no longer feel shortchanged."

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Short games are fine, but... (5, Insightful)

tempmpi (233132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821238)

obviously not for 50-60 bucks. If you make a 2h AAA game you must be able to sell it for 10 bucks.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821414)

obviously not for 50-60 bucks. If you make a 2h AAA game you must be able to sell it for 10 bucks.

AAA games would probably sell for $5 in the bargain bins like the John Deere games. "Tow the cars to the shops before the state impounds them!"

Re:Short games are fine, but... (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821572)

if it's got replayability value, it would be good.

it's just that boring games are boring. if there's MAGIC in it, it doesn't matter one flying fuck if it takes 1000h to play it. you will play it. problem is if the long playtime comes from shitty cutscenes everywhere, unimaginative levels and an engine that is extremely boring(doesn't make a good illusion, contrary to what some producers believe, the illusion doesn't get better if you add environment mapped tears or focal blur to make it seem like a shitty movie set the game is in). maybe many people don't finish heavy rain because it sucks - as a game. good luck making a sequel then.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (2)

zget (2395308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821778)

Long cut scenes? Why are we just talking about single player games here. If you also develop a great multiplayer the game can get so much more playability and kick for the buck. I can't count the hours I've played Cod4, Modern Warfare 2, Team Fortress 2 and countless of other great multiplayer games (or actually I can, all of them show 300-1000 hours in my Steam stats).

If you want single player games with re-playability and such, theres always games like Civilization, which I also love. But multiplayer is where the most fun is and it's great to see game developers starting to spend time on that aspect. Multiplayer isn't just the normal deathmatch, capture the flag etc. It now has roleplaying elements like leveling and adjusting your game classes and characters to fit your playing style. This is especially where the CoD series and TF2 shine.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821900)

Of course, that's assuming that they don't kill whichever server you're attempting to connect to. Or now that CoD is moving to a pay-for-play model...

Call me crazy, but the amount of gaming you're able to get out of online-multiplayer titles is about to go down, drastically.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821870)

Indeed. Finishing WoW takes forever...

Re:Short games are fine, but... (4, Interesting)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821588)

The problem isn't that games are too long, it's that there's too many of them I want to play. And I'm no student with too much time on my hands anymore, so I just can't keep up with all these games. The result is that I have to cherry pick my games among them which means that some developers won't get my money because I chose other games even though I still wanted to play their game.

So in that sense it's probably true that if game developers made 2 hour games (or more realistically, something that takes about 8 - 10 hours) for 30 bucks a pop I'd be playing more games than I do now and my gaming money would be spread across more developers.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (1)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821960)

Agree 100% with this. I'm exactly in the same situation - too many games I want to play (damn Steam and its sales/catalog) and not enough time to play them all.

Well, I could play them all, but then there'd end up with more games down the line to play, so I'd eternally be keeping up.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821700)

A 2h game is not worth anything. Maybe a dolar if you're in a pinch for some crappy entertainment and you're retarded or lack common knowledge to find free web games.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (5, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821746)

Well, we're assuming that the length of a game means that if you play "diligently" from the beginning it'll take you a certain amount of time to finish the game. Here are a few issues that come to mind:

1) Game environment -- e.g Portal 2. Many people treated the game as a race, or a kind of test. It took me about 12 hours to finish it. When I tell people that, those who treated the game like a test almost laugh (some say they finished in 5 hours, which I'm not even sure is technically possible), while others say they explored every nook and cranny and it took them 15 hours or more. I actually did take my time to explore, but I didn't find at least two or three very interesting hidden clues which, I learned later, I just walked by.

2) Non-linear content -- e.g The Witcher 2 (and other RPGs, but especially the Witcher 2). If you only complete the game once, then no matter what choices you took, you don't have the whole picture. Never mind that you could have taken different paths, and in doing so changed how the game progresses and ends. If you only played once then you don't know all that there is to know, and you've only "consumed" about 60% of the game. Having said that, if, once you finish the game for the first time, you don't get the itch to play it (*at least*) one more time in order to explore the "what ifs", then the game simply wasn't for you. Which if fine, but you probably should have known that about yourself when you picked a "hardcore" RPG.

3) Gaming style -- Crysis 2. I actually didn't play the game, since FPSs aren't by cup of tea, but I heard the following many times: "I used stealth a lot, and felt like by doing so I missed out on much of the gameplay". This isn't quite the same as the previous example, since in this case you *did* go through the entire rail, but you used a particular gaming style -- stealth. This time the replay value depends on whether you enjoyed the game enough to do it over and play differently, even if the game has already shown you everything it had to show you. There isn't an easy answer for this one, IMO, since if you bought the game then you *are* an FPS fan, so it really becomes a question of personal taste.

In the above 3 examples the game "contains" the production value that warrants a $50-60 price tag, but it's up to you if you actually see/consume it all, regardless of whether you've completed the game.
Finally, here's my point (well, part of my point...): What if you *could* finish the game in 2 hours, even on your first playthrough, and the rest of the game's content could only be encountered in replays? I'm not talking about Civilization or Sim games, I mean a game where you make decisions to guide a narrative. I suppose one answer would be "it depends on how good the game is", but then that's *always* the way you gauge if a game was worth the money, and you can only do so after you've finished it.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821750)

I'd rather pay 5 bucks for an older AAA game than buy an indie game for $20.... I think that most indie game makers think they can impact hardcore gamers with their offerings and they are just so WRONG.

Re:Short games are fine, but... (4, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821802)

obviously not for 50-60 bucks. If you make a 2h AAA game you must be able to sell it for 10 bucks.

Perhaps what he really means is long and fun games are being selfish because people can play them sometimes 100+ hours instead of buying dozens of shitty 2 hour long games, each for the same price. What these greedy developers don't seem to get is that there is only so much disposable income that can go on games. If a single game is played for a very long time or pirated, the money doesn't disappear it just goes into something else and if the piracy and long games ceased to happen, there is still the same amount of money to go around. No magic pot of gold will suddenly appear.

If I loose interest in a 10 hour+ game, its not because its too long, its because its a shit game.

You can fight like a Krogan, run like a leopard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821240)

but you'll never be better than commander Shepherd....

Re:You can fight like a Krogan, run like a leopard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821412)

Sovereign: "Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh, you touch my -- my tra-la-la... [] "

Re:You can fight like a Krogan, run like a leopard (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821596)

I'm commander HAKdragon, and this is my favorite comment on slashdot.

Re:You can fight like a Krogan, run like a leopard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821992)

Don't watch Mandalore's Sovereign-Disturbia remix [] then or you might die of laughter...

Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Direction? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821250)

"There are people who role-play zero percent; they're dull f***ers. The people who role-play 100 percent; they're mental." Alexis Kennedy on how role-playing can influence a player's experience of narrative.

Hopefully the conversation then shifted to that middle range of 0%<X<100% role-playing where 99% of their paying customers exist. It's not really a binary feature ... I'm not talking like an idiot but every now and then it's fun to pretend in my mind just to get away from the real world for a few hours. Like watching a movie or reading a book, I'm not dressing up like the characters but I do enjoy reading books and imagining the story in my mind.

I think length is much less of a problem than the forced narrative. My own anecdote causes me to wonder just how much the market of gaming has shift since I was a kid. I played Gauntlet endlessly and it had little to no story arc and was nearly impossible to finish yet provided me endless entertainment. Even games that had a story arc -- like Final Fantasy -- allowed me to explore and dick around for as long as I wanted to. What I cannot comprehend is why games now have moved away from that to a relative straight jacket and lack of freedom. The most recent Final Fantasy (13) was a real eye opener for me. They simply don't make my kind of games anymore. I just figured that the market for people who like these forced story-lined games must be far larger than the market I exist in. Or maybe game developers are just lazy and a forced storyline is far easier to code and debug than an open world.

If you wonder why World of Warcraft has such a large and loyal player base, it's probably because there's not a lot of other games to satisfy the explore and dick around urges that were once filled by console or even offline single player PC games. You can have your long-form narratives but I know myself and many of my friends will just stick to games like Oblivion and Diablo.

I'll admit my enjoyment of video games seems unconventional. I could spend hours making blaster schematics and roping people into setting up buildings for me in Star Wars Galaxies and then flooding the markets with cheap blasters bearing my character's name. I didn't really make anything off of this, I just loved the concept. When you open games up to achieve some sort of tangential enjoyment like that, I think you provide more originality than any murder mystery with a surprise twist could provide for me.

Re:Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Directi (1)

sgbett (739519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821328)

I didnt think 13 was too much of a detour from the formula used in 7 thru 10 & 12.

They all had a large component of get through the main plot and unlock the world map so you can focus on grinding and reaming the hard monsters (thus rendering the final boss almost insignificant).

I quite liked 13 - felt 12 was a bigger disappointment. I hadn't even ground and on my first final boss run through pasted it immediately.

All that aside though, and back to the point - 10 hours too much? you could easily rack up 100+ on the FF series...

Re:Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Directi (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821678)


Dude, you need to see a doctor immediately. I'm fairly certain you're having seizures on a regular basis and aren't aware of it or have some kind of tumor pressing on your brain.

FF13 was, from a very very very high birds eye view the same formula as the rest of the FF games. The rest is where it became crap. There WAS NO COMBAT SYSTEM. I could tape a quarter down on my controller and walk away then come back when I heard a cutscene happening.

The voiceacting was meh, the only decent part was the graphics. While FF12 wasn't exactly the cream of the crop for FF games it was leagues beyond FF13. FF13 was just a really long FF movie that you had to hold down the "play" button for.

Re:Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Directi (1)

eeCyaJ (881578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821336)

Plenty of recent games like that. Grand Theft Auto, Just Cause and Saints Row to name just a few, all on console and/or PC. All open world and all allow you to mess around endlessly in the game world.

"Videogame Stories." I Always Chuckle at That... (2, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821382)

Videogames are not books or films; they are a different medium altogether. Consequently, videogame developers should be focusing on the interactive aspects of videogame play that are unique, not trying to imitate the linear aspects of other media. Never mind that the videogame stories are inevitably dreadful imitations of book and movie plotlines that have been done before by legitimate storytellers.

And you videogame players that are vocally insistent that developers focus more on story and less on multiplayer and other uniquely interactive aspects of their craft: Stop! Go read a book. You don't attend a ballet and then complain that none of the performers sang; stop complaining about lack of story in your videogames.

Re:"Videogame Stories." I Always Chuckle at That.. (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821564)

Without a story you might as well be playing farmville. I think there's a fine balance. What I've found is developers are getting too heavy into trying to make a game look good they're leaving out the story and possible arcs from it. Story is an important element, but it's different then a book, it has to be interactive. It can be linear, but I don't want to be forced into following it until I've had a chance to explore an area.

That was the problem with FFXIII was it was cut scene, run down hall, fight, cut scene, run down hall, fight, with no option to go back. Pretty much until you're over 3/4 of the way through the game, then there's one area you can run around in for a while, then back to cut scene, run down hall, fight. I did beat it pretty easily, but I was disappointed and most likely won't pick it up again for sometime.

FFXII was an awesome game, which I've played four times and never beat because I keep getting tied up in side quests, which I like. The story line is great, but I'm not forced into it and I can do all the exploring and grinding I feel like and move easily back to area's I've already been in to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Re:"Videogame Stories." I Always Chuckle at That.. (2)

Evil.Bonsai (1205202) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821614)

That was a dumb analogy. If you're going to use ballet, then you should say "don't complain when they don't break dance in the middle of Swan Lake."

Games can be interactive AND tell a story. A video game isn't defined as 'interactive button mashing repeatedly doing the same thing over and over, ad nauseum, for hours on end." If a game doesn't have a story to push it forward, or at least some type of goal, then it really isn't worth playing.

Sure, Portal would've been fun without a story. But with that little extra bit of story added in, it went from something mediocre to something fantastic. All because of STORY.

Re:"Videogame Stories." I Always Chuckle at That.. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821854)

Videogames are not books or films; they are a different medium altogether.

First of all "videogames" is now a synonym for "FPS". We are not allowed to talk about non-FPS video games, other than to make fun of them and call them casual. How a tactical hex wargame that takes 150 hours to play is "casual" is a mystery we are not allowed to think about. video game = shooting thousands of people and thats all it is allowed to be, and is all we are allowed to think. This is /. and we do not tolerate thoughtcrime here, get your mind closed and think what the PR people told you to think. Other forms of entertainment involving a computer hooked do not exist (other than pr0n, but that's more a lifestyle than an entertainment).

Given that, videogames are mostly vacations. Not stories. Not role playing. Vacations complete with stereotypical "ugly american" behavior, combined with all the heroic levels of ethical and moral behavior you'd expect while anonymously re-enacting the mai lai massacre as per the game designers orders.

Maybe there's a little "historical re-enactor" going on. One zillion SCA guys go in a field and "sword" each other. One zillion "Civil War"/"War of Northern Aggression" reenactors go out in a field and shoot each other. One zillion WWII reenactors hit the FPS video games, maybe its just that simple. Thirty years ago they would have been wearing gray uniforms, hauling cannons thru fields, and talking with fake southern accents as they re-enact the War of Northern Aggression.

Or in summary, video games have to be stereotypical and boring because they have to be FPS and it is not possible inside a FPS to shoot thousands of people in unique ways.

If you carefully and methodically fold yourself into a tiny boring little cardboard box, don't act all insightful at the observation a decade or two later that you're now really bored and surrounded by tasteless cardboard.

Re:Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Directi (1)

Evil.Bonsai (1205202) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821566)

"satisfy the explore and dick around urges that were once filled by console or even offline single player PC games"
I'd say playing outside with friends and roaming the neighborhood, but that's just me.

Re:Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Directi (2)

Sinthet (2081954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821642)

There's a good deal of sandbox style games, but I think I know what you're getting at. The problem most people have with games like the old Final Fantasy's is that there is sometimes too much choice, since you can often wander around without finding the character you're supposed to. These days, games tend to follow a constant reward system, where the player is constantly making progress, or is given a proverbial carrot to follow. There's really no more of the "wander the F* around until you find something useful", because it doesn't play on human psychology in the same way. The short, easy reward
games are more addicting and more immediately rewarding (Though certainly not necessarily better).

There's games like Oblivion and Morrowind(Though thats probably considered a classic by now), which kinda have the free-roaminess of certain classic RPGs, but in Oblivion especially, you're always given an easy, surefire way to track someone down.

However, for the most part, I think game designers have noticed the psychological reward system sells games because its so addictive. You're constantly getting positive feedback for completing challenges that are just hard enough to not be boring.

Re:Then Why Have We Moved in the Narrative Directi (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821904)

I tried Mass Effect, but it was talking talking talking - never me doing, so i quickly dropped that.

TL;DP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821252)


Different market? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821258)

It seems to me this is a pretty poor way to conduct a market research.
If they wish to make the most mainstream game possible, they might consider to change it. Some silly flash games or farmville are probably their examples then.
But there is a market for different games as well.

Re:Different market? (2)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821560)

A good book/movie/game will alway leave feeling it was too short, regardless of the number of pages/duration. A lousy story will be too long even if it fits on half a page. So it would seem that the only solution to the problem is to start making good games/movies instead of churning out dozens of shooter/racing clones and remakes. I think the problem is that many companies are headed by guys like Robert Kotick, who don't play games - just sell them.

Yes (5, Interesting)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821260)

In the same way that Youtube has meant that people no longer want to watch feature-length movies any more.

I know this is a crazy statement to make but there is actually room in the market for more than one kind of thing. You can have 5 minute long iPhone games and pointless 1-click "social" games as well as, you know, games that have some depth and character to them.

Personally, I like long games that have time to build a decent plot and develop the characters.

Re:Yes (3, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821432)

Agreed - the big problem is not the type of games that get made, it's how they're marketed. Heavy Rain is a prime example - it was so heavily hyped by the media before its launch that everyone ran out to buy it. Not everyone enjoyed it, some people want different things from games. What games companies need to do is get better at marketing to the people who will enjoy their game and stop trying to sell it to the whole market. We all know it's nice to make a blockbuster and get rich off the back of it, but that's a much riskier strategy than sticking to your niche and being known amongst fans of said niche for being good at it.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821914)

The difference is, that L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain will be slow burners and sell for many years to come. They're not a fad like CoD %i, where mostly young people flood to one and then move onto the next when version+1 starts the hypewagon.

Both of these games also failed to some degree, "boring" and "repetitive" are common words used against then by mature owners. Skrym will demonstrate people like long games.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821646)

"In the same way that Youtube has meant that people no longer want to watch feature-length movies any more."

Since when? The movie industry is doing great still. Harry Potter was just one of the biggest, if not the biggest, international openings ever.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821772)


Re:Yes (2)

Calydor (739835) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821776)


The GP was trying to make the point that social/mobile games have not resulted in people being unable to enjoy a long and -good- game.

Re:Yes (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821690)

What stopped me finishing quite a few games is the unfair difficulty level towards the end. Bad guys all suddenly become crack-shots and take twice as much damage to kill etc. GTA San Andreas was one of the worst for that, the last mission being utterly ridiculous. In the end I came to the conclusion that the only way to finish it would be to spend hours grinding my character's stats up, but I have no interest in that. I just wanted to see the end of the story.

I pisses me off when I put a lot of effort into a game only to be denied part of the content by lazy design and programming. I enjoy a challenge, but with GTA in particular success or failure is often more about luck than skill.

An old Amiga game called Gods had an interesting solution. As well as level codes (this was before saves became popular, game floppy disks were usually write protected) if it noticed you were not making any progress because you couldn't find a particular key after a while it just appeared out of thin air for you. That way you could continue the game and perhaps next time your accumulated knowledge might help you find that key, rather than having to spend ages back-tracking and flipping switches looking for it.

Re:Yes (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821790)

Oh man I loved Gods, I never did beat the final boss though, hard bastard he was!

The assumption they make is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821274)

that consumers are identical. If a consumer now likes casual games, the consumer must not like long storylines any more.

There's a hidden assumption that there's one model customer and that everybody who plays games is a duplicate of that one model customer. That just plain isn't true.

Re:The assumption they make is (3, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821452)

They just really, really want it to be true because it means, if they hit upon the magical formula, they will make a fortune selling the same game experience to everyone. It's the game developer equivalent of alchemy's belief of turning lead into gold - it would be nice if it's true but you're far better turning your focus to the real world.

Bad metric (5, Insightful)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821278)

Length is a pretty dumb metric for value in video games any way. I find that games these days take many hours to complete, but there's little to no desire to going through them again. Dumb things like unlockables and achievements artificially add replay value, but don't make the game any more fun to play multiple times.

I think the success of games like Angry Birds are showing developers that they don't need to make an overbudget game that takes 20 hours to complete. Even games that can be played through in an hour or less can have great longevity on multiple playthroughs. Look at the Cave shooters - deep scoring systems and challenging mechanics keep players coming back for more. And linearity and repetition have nothing to do with it either - every game (even real life sports) has both, what's important is that the game is fun to play over and over.

Re:Bad metric (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821480)

I've played through Portal and its challenge modes many times even though the game only racks in around the 3-4 hour mark (and much shorter when you know what you're doing). Duke Nukem Forever was 12 excrutiating hours and I can happily say I will never play it again. They should care more about replay value than length, especially if the length is basically mind-numbing filler and ridiculous load times.

Re:Bad metric (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821916)

Unless you're some sort of uber-solver that does nothing but puzzles for his free time and utterly zerged portal 2 with no care for plot of enjoyment, 3-4 hours for portal 2 is impossible.

Same for duke. It was fun if you relaxed, sat back and actually ENJOYED it for what it was, instead of completionist "must zerg faster" approach.

Re:Bad metric (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821814)

"Length is a pretty dumb metric for value in video games any way."

Speak for yourself. Diablo 2 was so good because it combined length with replayability. The desire for short games is the desire for cutting corners on game quality disguised under the argument "length is bad". No one working on games in a previous era ever spoke so much about game length. It's all propaganda to disguise the fact that the game industry wants higher margins, faster development time and lower development costs and to do this something has to give - i.e. game quality.

Re:Bad metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821822)

'Gameplay' hours is a marketing deception. It's usually just filler material. Short and fun games are normally more enjoyable than the (long, boring) inflated 50+ hour monstrosities. Games in the latter category are typically dreadful to sit through again.

Dragon Age:Origins is a classic example: 120 hour game partitioned to be as prolonged as humanly endurable. 10 hours of dialog; 20 hours of gameplay material; 15 hours of looting; 75 hours of backtracking, stat and inv management, back alley exploration, maze areas and corridors, defeating identical enemy waves. 1-2 hours of unseen content during repeated experiences.

DA:O would've been more interesting if the entire game resembled its one decent DLC pack, Leliana's Song. Exciting, charming, witty, energetic, interactive, storylike. It almost felt like a real D&D encounter.

I remember a time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821280)

... when 40h+ gameplay was considered good, and anything less a bit short.

Re:I remember a time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821524)

What time was that? If you are only referring to RPGs then that time is all time and if you're referring to all games that time only happened in your own selective memory.

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821282)

If anything, they're too short. Gamers might have lost patience, but this is not a situation that should be remedied by creating shorter games. In my (humble) opinion, gamers that don't have the patience to play through even a 15 hour experience (which is a lot nowadays, unfortunately) should get it together and either play different games, or get used to playing long games. To me, it feels like the panel that came to this conclusion has made an erroneous assumption: They likely assumed that because short, quick games are so popular today, long games must not be. But, dear panel-members, the world is not that black-and-white! Yes, short games might be extremely popular today, but long games are still very much loved as well. Perhaps not by as broad an audience as short games, but the difference in audience is only due to non-gamers ('casuals') playing these shorter games.

Games are too short (2)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821284)

I'm not entirely sure why they're skewing this around the desires of mobile gamers. Mobile games need to be quick to pick up, quick to put down. Length doesn't really factor into it, as long as it's enough fun to justify its costs (including abusive advertising).

I'd argue that games are too short. The annual Call of Duty saps us of &pound;20-40 (depending on when you buy it) and takes 6-10 hours to blast through. Some people don't play the SP game and some people don't play the MP game so, naturally, people's mileage varies. The best games I've ever played have been epics (40-120 hours) with strong stories. In the case of Neverwinter Nights or KotOR, I've both bought and played them through multiple times. That, to me, is what those sorts of games should be aiming for.

Games whose format is supposed to be short-and-sweet or mobile can be as short as the market will support.

Re:Games are too short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821344)

I'm not entirely sure why they're skewing this around the desires of mobile gamers.

The reason seems to be that this is where many people in the games industry think all the money will be coming from in the near future.

I was recently watching the feed from a game developers conference, and 90% of the talks focused around mobile games/(not so) social games.

This is where a lot of people are hoping to get rich, and from the talks I heard, ingenuity and creativity be damned.

Re:Games are too short (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821568)

The reason seems to be that this is where many people in the games industry think all the money will be coming from in the near future.

They can think what they want but it doesn't mean they're right.

I was recently watching the feed from a game developers conference, and 90% of the talks focused around mobile games/(not so) social games.

This is where a lot of people are hoping to get rich, and from the talks I heard, ingenuity and creativity be damned.

Go ahead and turn your studios to making solely mobile games in a marketplace that already has countless mobile developers. Then the mobile market will be even more glutted with makers of inexpensive games. A market offering oodles and oodles of cheap, unoriginal, knockoff games that hold a player's attention for a few minutes will most assuredly be a way to build name recognition and loyalty among customers... not!

When these studios realize they've made a grievous error in judgement they will be falling all over themselves to get back into the market they abandoned. They will find the market they left behind has moved on without them. They will find new studios have moved in to fill the voids. New studios beholden to no one, making names for themselves with fresh ideas and fresh properties.

The dinosaurs who come crawling back will try to pick up where they left off. They'll dust off old properties and try to leverage nostalgic memories of their glory days when they made the world tremble. A lucky few may succeed. The rest will find that they simply don't have what it takes anymore. They'll slowly waste away and die. Only their bones will remain to serve as both a reminder of what once was and as a warning of what all will be in the end.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Are they kidding us ? (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821286)

If anything, Heavy Rain was too short... the story could be completed in about 15 hours (if not less). The experience was very good, but it left you eager for more, not for less. I wonder who did not reach the end of this game. Of course, the slightly branching story enhanced the replayability - but most of the story was still the same whatever choices you made.

10 hours too long??? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821288)

This is why I don't buy games anymore. 10 hours too long? You've got to be freaking kidding me.

Back in the day, games like Heroes of Might and Magic, Civilization, Simcity 2000, etc. ate up days and days... and it was considered good value! Now that's too long?

Re:10 hours too long??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821350)

...sixty hours is the starting point for a respectable AAA title...

Re:10 hours too long??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821466)

Indeed. Remember when an RPG was considered bad when it took LESS than 100 hours to play? Even now a good Civilization game can take 50-75 hours easily.

Gamers aren't losing patience. These dorks are confusing Gamers with people-who-play games.

Re:10 hours too long??? (2)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821742)

Right on man.

I remember Betrayal at Krondor, Baldurs Gate I and II, and a shitload more. Back in the days when the bottom bar was 80 hours, and 80 hours of pretty good continuous storyline, not 20 hours of story and 60 hours of forced grind like some of the so-called AAA titles of today.

L.A. Noire is too long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821292)

I finished L.A. Noire in a week. IMHO games nowadays are just too short. You pay £40-50 for a game like L.A. Noire and it only lasts you 10-20ish hours of gameplay! Whereas i can buy a game on the App store in my iPhone for 50p and it might last me months. Why should i pay £50 for something that i'll finish within a week and then never play again? Seriously developers, what the hell are you thinking saying they're too long?

Wait... what? (1)

Dr.Boje (1064726) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821310)

AAA games are too long? My experience with the latest so-called AAA games is that they are too short. It looks like the developers spend most of their time crafting magnificent graphics and then the rest of the game is an after-thought that you can finish in 10 hours or less. There are so many different things you can do to a game to add replay value, why on earth would you want to shorten a game people are shelling out $50 or $60 for?

Maybe I'm spoiled, but all of the old games I used to play I could play for weeks, maybe months, and still come back a year or two later and pick it back up. I am skeptical of the "gamers are losing patience" line; casual gamers, by their very nature, never had the patience to begin with and you can't really lump them in with the rest of us. Figure out your target market and make your game based on that, don't try to shoehorn your game into a market that doesn't want it.

Re:Wait... what? (4, Insightful)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821978)

I think you sort of alluded to why publishers have taken this approach now, much to the disappointment of us hardcore gamers. We, as serious gamers, are not buying enough games for one reason or another. In my case, it's a matter of free time. For others it might be a matter money and $50 to $60 for a title might be too much to spend.

Marketing departments are always looking for additional revenue sources. From their standpoint, we serious gamers have no serious business growth to them, so they need to find a way to grow the company more. Enter the casual gamer. This would be their new target audience for growth. If they can create games on a smaller budget, have it be over and done with in 10 hours of game play, and create a more consistent revenue stream (meaning that they buy another game after they finish the previous game) then it's a win for them.

The optimist in me would still like to think that they would make AAA titles for us serious gamer types, but reality has usually proven me wrong.

Indie games AAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821318)

£1 per hour of average game time. if it's less than that i wait till the price falls to that ratio.
only expetions are arcady games e.g. Star Soldier R (back at wiiware release)
Indie games have never done me wrong.

Movies, no games. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821320)

Videogames are videogames, and don't need to have a defined "lenght". You play then as much is fun. Think chess. You don't finish chess.

Videogames that deliver a "movielike" experience, like FMV games, or games designed like Modern Warfare 2 or LA Noire, are highly scripted and linear, and must have a end, because the production cost are very high. But I think is a economical problem. Gamers would enjoy a historyline as long as The Wire or Babylon 5. But is to expensive to produce so much hours of enteirnament... and whold need to produce more than one "finale" to feel good.

The other problem is how some console gamers consume games. Play a game, and sell it, to buy the next, in very quick succession. Theres also the dude that don't really have time to play videogames, so want super-short videogames to be able to see the end. If you are making videogames for this public, you must make short games. Not everyone is like that, but a big enough group of people is like that, so is influential, and spawn this type of discussion from some Game Devs (mostly these making FMV type of experiences, the people making videogames for that people).

Zelda. That's a long game. LA Noire? Not so much. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821326)

When I think of a game that's too long, I think of Zelda. One can easily put 40 or 50 hours in one of those games and still haven't finished it. I have a hard time finishing a game that long. But about half of the length of a Zelda game (say 30 hours or so) is perfect, as far as I'm concerned. 10 hours is way too short, I feel ripped off when I finish a game in such a short time.

Re:Zelda. That's a long game. LA Noire? Not so muc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821358)

Are you serious? Zelda games at the longest point have been like 10 hours long, and have been getting shorter in recent times. Hell, WW and TP would have been like 4 hours each if not for the cheap, play extending triforce hunting and wolf segments.

Looking at it wrong (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821338)

They're looking at it the wrong way. If someone quits before the end of the game, you've failed to make the game compelling enough to finish.

Most FPSs fall into that category for me. They start out with some amount of story, but quickly devolve into just shooting people in new locations over and over. The few FPSs that I've finished have either been really short, or had a compelling story that I wanted to see the end of.

Even most new RPGs are in that category for me. There's so much bland same-old-same-old fighting in the middle that I just can't care about the plot.

On the other hand, when I'm actively engaged, I can play for a long, long time. Oblivion - 250+ hours. Fallout3 - 250+ hours. Fallout New Vegas - 200+ hours and counting.

Re:Looking at it wrong (1)

BillCable (1464383) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821396)

You don't think Fallout or Oblivion can be described as "killing people in new locations over and over?" Actually, you're right... Fallout is more like "killing people in the SAME location over and over." I agree they're great games, but when it comes down to it, they're little more than 245+ hours of killing legions of bad guys interspersed with 5 hours of cut scenes.

Re:Looking at it wrong (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821548)

You're being too harsh. Fallout lets you kill good guys as well.

Re:Looking at it wrong (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821892)

Yes, they can. All fighting/combat games can, really.

However, the difference is that I was fully engaged that whole time. I was killing people to get to the next piece of plot, or goal, or whatever. Most often those goals aligned with what the game designers wanted, but sometimes I had little goals of my own instead.

I quit playing those games when I stopped having goals I wanted to accomplish, just like most games.

Re:Looking at it wrong (1)

The123king (2395060) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821420)

Exactly. Fallout 3; Fallout New Vegas and Oblivion were 3 of the best _long_ games i've seen in a long time. Plenty of replay value, plenty of things to do, a compelling and gripping story, and very little "on rails" stuff (unlike L.A Noire, in which the car chases felt like you were just playing a cutscene). You just don't see enough properly _long_ games anymore. It's easy to have plenty of replay value in open-ended games like Simcity 4 and Sims 3, since they're designed to be played over and over again, but games like Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and Oblivion show us that games developers can make, and sell, truly EPIC games to gamers, and the gamers will play them over and over again. As soon ans developers take that on board, the better. Games are not getting longer, they're getting shorter, and as a gamer, i want to get my moneys worth!

Re:Looking at it wrong (1)

Durzel (137902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821508)

I've come into Fallout 3 very late in the day having just recently picked up the GOTY edition in the Steam sales. I've put in around 11 hours so far and I haven't yet felt like I was going through the motions with any of it. In fact without fully realising it I've ended up going off track running a side quest, and then whilst running that side quest ending up doing something else, then during that finding a little minigame in my own mind to do (disarming mines on a bridge). Hours have been consumed without me appreciating (or caring) that I haven't been advancing the main quest to a final conclusion.

If a game is engaging enough to keep ones interest without feeling like you're just going through the motions then this "short attention span" that todays gamers are apparently supposed to suffer from wouldn't be an issue. Make something engrossing and people will become engrossed. Make a game long arbitrarily (achievements, copy-and-pasted scenarios, etc) then people will become bored and start to think "it's taking too long". Seems pretty simple to me.

No (1)

omega8932 (1224904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821340)

There's not much to say other than that. I still enjoy getting my money's worth out of a game, and if it's only a couple of hours long I'm not buying it. If the trend keeps up, I'm going to back to reading and playing cards in my free time. The major advantage of games at a $60 price point is I know I'm going to get some kind of continued enjoyment out of them. If I'm done with a game after 10 hours, it's not worth my time.

Don't always have to finish (1)

DominoCo (1664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821384)

Less than 10 hours is a bit short for me, especially for games like Heavy Rain. You don't have to always finish a game... really... if you don't have sufficient time to play or to explore more.

Nonterraqueous (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821388)

I once spent several days playing through Nonterraqueous on the Spectrum, with brother and father on standby to take over, as we tried to a) complete it for the first time and b) map it as we went. No reloads, no checkpoints, no "saves".

It took forever, and the largest piece of graph paper you've ever seen in your life, and still we only just managed to complete it and huge areas of the map were blank. The next week, someone else published the first ever map of the game in a games magazine, so it took them just as long to do so, if not longer.

10 hours? It's okay. A bit short. It means a "new" game would last me about a week or so of casual play. I can get 100's of hours out of games that cost far less. As far as I'm concerned, it's the money/time ratio that's important and AAA titles always fail on that (e.g. £50 for 10 hours is £5 per hour - some people don't even earn that, let alone can blow it on entertainment). I'd expect the ratio to be less than 1 for any title, and a lot less than half for anything decent.

Which probably explains why I haven't bought a full-price game in years, don't pre-order and don't pay more than about £10 for anything any more (but will happily spend £50 in the Steam summer sale, etc.). Back in the Spectrum days, I completed exactly ONE video game and exactly ONE arcade game (Final Fight). My Steam list? 350 games, and pretty much anything I installed that lasted an hour without getting deleted has been completed.

Are we really counting things like "get all the achievements" or "do it on stupidly-impossibly-unfair difficulty" in order to "complete" a game, because even some huge AAA titles only took me a handful of hours to complete.

When HL2:Ep3 comes out, I will be setting aside 5 hours and £30. If it's worse value than that, I will really have to consider whether it's worth completing my "set" of HL games just to recognise good game authorship. And that's my most eagerly anticipated title yet.

Absolute Garbage (1)

ColonelClaw (744934) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821392)

The longer the game, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Just thinking about spending £40 on a game like MW2 that has a 10 hour campaign makes my blood boil. All of my favourite games are long, all the Zeldas, GTAs, Elder Scrolls etc. This is what games should be like, and I will always buy them and never pirate them. Any game that's what I consider to be too short I will grab a bittorrent of, as I refuse to line the pockets of lazy-ass developers.

Re:Absolute Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821576)

I've probably played 100 hours worth of MW2. It's all about the online mode. Which if you are not interested in, then of course the game is poor value.

Re:Absolute Garbage (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821912)

What online mode? Is this the Cerberus network option?

Re:Absolute Garbage (1)

Evil.Bonsai (1205202) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821656)

AAaargh! Is it JUST me or does anyone else keep reading MW2 as MechWarrior 2? EVERY time I see that it happens and it drives me nuts!

AAA games? (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821400)

Anti Aircraft Artillery?
American Automobile Association
LR03 1.5v batteries ?
Amateur Athletics Association ?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm ?

and so on.

I remember playing games based on the first of those (Ack Ack gunner) about 30 years ago

Re:AAA games? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821554)

Thank you. I don't know what it means either. AAA is also a credit rating and the American Anthropological Association. Somehow I managed to get through Mass Effect 2 without that knowledge.

Re:AAA games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821672)

It's the credit rating you need to have to be able to afford them.

Kill 'em all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821406)

Find the people on this panel... and shoot them. THEN find the people they're aiming these "social and casual" games toward, and shoot them too. While we're on this rampent killing spree, find the marketers pushing DLC "content"... and eviscerate them.

Does anyone remember the games of time gone by where your closest "checkpoint" or save was... the begining of the level... and if you switched off in a rage, you had to start all over again?

Do you also remember going straight back to that game the day after... simply because it was good?

These people ruined that.

Re:Kill 'em all. (1)

JohhnyTHM (799469) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821830)

+1. My kingdom for mod points.

10 hrs are they serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821416)

Really, i mean 10 hrs next it will be 5 hrs with DLC's
Most gamers don't finish games because they are BORING repetitive heaps of junk that aren't even worth the money you pay for them. kill this guy do some crappy jump / pipe puzzle kill a boss, end game, or some railroad cod clone where you don't even need to fire a shot to win. Usually after the first 1 or 2 levels you don't need to finish the game, the end is usually obvious and offers you nothing new other then more enemies in a different location. i personally like long games, hell i spent 3500 hrs on 1 game over 5-6 years before i finally grew bored of it.

Gamers are not just one market (5, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821440)

Thinking that "gamers" are just one market with one mind and one set of tastes show an incredible lack of business and consumer awareness.

Is somebody said "The recent explosion in take-away, fast-food outlets shows that restaurant-goers are not interested in sitting down and having a long meal in a pleasant environment. The likes of cheap takeaway sandwich sellers have changed the expectations of restaurant-goers. Since restaurant-goers are paying less money, there is less need to create nice-evening-meal-in-the-restaurant experiences because consumers no longer feel shortchanged" you would think them to be morons and yet that's what this "panel" said about games.

To put things bluntly:
- The production values of the cheap crap you can play on your own on your mobile when riding the subway to work have absolutely nothing to do with the expected production values for a game you play at home in the evening or during the weekend, on a dedicated game machine connected to a big screen, probably with friends, just like the quality of the food and service from the local sandwich vendor from where I pick-up my lunch when at work has absolutly nothing to do with the quality of the food and service I expect from a good restaurant where I go to in the evening or weekend with my friends, family or someone special.

They're different markets!

Why not more options? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821482)

I would be happy with gradually paying for a game if i keep enjoying it. In the same way i can buy or rent a single episode of a tv series or buy a whole season set, this option should exist for games.

Re:Why not more options? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821958)

Demos use to fill that spot. And if you wanted to keep playing it (or play more) you bought the game. Further urges to play more (different but similar) content meant buying expansion packs or sequels.

I don't know about you but I want self-contained games that can be finished and resolved within that singular game. I don't want to pay per level, track, chapter, era, timezone, tech level, world, or any other way games can be divided up.

Episodic content just seems like an excuse to ship games before they're complete and to $10 or $20 players that want to finish the game.

They're too similar (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821488)

If every book was a sequel with little to no difference between the previous title and its competitors then people would likely claim books are too long but that's not the case. Perhaps gamers just give up after they realise it's the same old rubbish and isn't worth pushing onwards.

Gamers are losing patience [[citation needed]] (1)

VeryLargeNumber (1394367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821492)

How does he know if "gamers" are losing patience? Did he do any survey, or is he extrapolating from own opinion?

I sort of get where this is coming from... (1)

eeCyaJ (881578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821494)

Gamers have grown up. They're in their late 30's now. They have more disposable income, but less time. I know that occasionally I don't finish a game unless I get really invested in it. It becomes difficult to revisit a game after you've put it down for a length of time.

So... (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821504)

They didn't think that maybe people didn't finish Heavy Rain because it turned a lot of people off with the screwy controls, rather then that it was too long?

There's a fairly large segment of the people who buy any game that won't finish it because it turns out they don't like it very much.

"Length" isn't a problem (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821516)

Lots of people seem to be of the opinion that the "length" of a game from start to finish should somehow stack up against the price. I disagree. I think the amount of time spent playing is more important. Unreal Tournament: length of a single "game" is less than ten minutes. I've played this game for many many hours. Civilization 4: length of a single "game" is longer (depending on settings too), from a few hours to 20 hours for a marathon game. Again, I've played this game for countless days.
The length "problem" is a problem only if replay value is bad. This can have several causes: very linear game play with no options - why would you play it again? Or non-linear game play, but long dull segments you cannot avoid - it's not enough fun to play again. I personally do not like a lot of "long" games (games that take a long time for a single play-through). I did not get through Zelda: Twilight Princess, bailed on the Baldur's Gate PC RPGs half way through, etc., because at a certain point I had seen all the gameplay and it no longer captured my interest. I played 10 minutes of a Final Fantasy demo one time, and it already bored me to tears with its gameplay, and nothing could entice me to keep going just for the story. If I want a great story, I'll read a great book instead - because nearly all of the time those stories are much better than even the best in computer games.

Re:"Length" isn't a problem (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821962)

bailed on the Baldur's Gate PC RPGs half way through, etc
Wow, you did yourself a disservice. I didn't play the first one or the tales of the Sword Coast, b/c after watching my roommate beat everything w/hasted archers, but the second and the expansion had much richer game play along with mods that have made the AI even more clever.

Breaking news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821552)

This just in: casual gamers prefer casual games.

Here's Thom with the weather.

Let's not focus on plot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821658)

Let's just add more grind like we always do when we're clueless.

well duh (2)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821730)

It's a matter of value. It always was about that too.

Designing a game requires a basic set of resources. Programming, art, and content.

No matter how long your game is, you have to program the mechanics. That's essentially a fixed-cost.
Content is what determines the length of the game - the number of levels, the number of puzzles, the scripted scenes, etc.
Art investment is roughly linear in proportion to content. You don't necessarily need to generate new art for every scene, but you also can't make (much of) a game with one character in one room with nothing ever new.

Therefore the costs to develop a game have some floors.

Your customers' willingness to invest falls off as you increase price or decrease length (perceived value). $50 for a 50 hour game seems to be an acceptable price point for many, so lets call the commercially viable curve $1/hour (all the while aware that this may not be a consistent relationship over the length of the curve, but let's go with it). So a 10 hour game would sell at $10.

Can an AAA title be developed - including the 'floor' costs of basic programming and art - and generate per-unit revenue at this price point? Arguably, there's SOME market (essentially DLC is trying this out already - we'll sell you some more content with a small amount of new art and no new programming - for $10). But that's usually for a game that they've already sold successfully, so there's already a consumer market 'primed' to like it.

Otherwise, buying games are a risk, like buying a book or movie. There's no way to tell if you'll like it. So gamers may be more willing to drop $10 for a 10 hour game just because the absolute risk of loss is less than the $50 for the full game.
Right now, the paradigm is to give away 15min-1hour of content as a 'demo' (free) to allow potential consumers to test the game and see if they like it. While the content is substantially longer, there's the possibility that consumers would still see the 10-hour game for $10 as 'trying to sell the demo'.

Valve does it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821758)

How much plot or how much length isn't as important to me as how immersive the game is. What I think makes Valve the king of all videogame companies is how immersive their games are. Consider how plot is communicated to you in games like halflife and portal. There's rarely any cutscenes - you NEVER leave your character's point of view, and most of the time you have control while the plot is happening. The games leave it up to the player to discover things too ("the cake is a lie", glados' consoles printing cake recipe, etc.) To me, this style of game takes the medium far closer to its potential

long-form narrative such as film? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821794)

What? Since when did film start being considered a long form of narrative?

hour per buck is what matters (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821812)

Let's be honest here. I am NOT going to pay 50+ bucks for a game that I put away no later than 2 hours after starting it. I would definitely feel ripped off. If this is an attempt to rationalize why you do not want to produce quality anymore and still charge 50+ bucks for it, you failed. Nobody will fall for the "less is more" spiel. How am I supposed to understand that? "Oh, we shortened the game for your convenience so you can get the complete experience because we feel like you would put it away after 3 hours and not see the end, and this would frustrate you, so we cut it short, but we'll still charge the full price for it".

Sorry, no sale.

If you feel that way, put in a storyline that takes just 3 hours but include side quests worth the money. Then we can talk. But just charging more for less content is certainly not going to work out.

It's not the length, it's the pace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821860)

My problem isn't that the story is 60 hours or however long. It's that the story is paced assuming I've made a commitment to play it through to the end. So they don't see a problem in having hours of introduction/exposition/tutorial before you're playing the real game. I don't have hours and hours to play at a time, so knowing that I have to slog through an hour of bad voice acting and no meaningful control, and then probably two to ten more hours where most of the selling points of the game have yet to be unlocked before I can play the real game just isn't attractive.

I treat game purchases as a movie ticket (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821920)

I go to a cinema and I buy a ticket, I get one experience of the work, and it costs me around £7 for 2 hours entertainment.

As most AAA games cost £35 for the PC now, I expect 5x as much entertainment for that price. If I don't get 10 hours enjoyment from your AAA title game minimum, you failed to produce a good AAA title. It has nothing to do with me being impatient, it has to do with repetitive gameplay, shallow plot, broken gameplay mechanics, buggy code, and value for money.

I will gladly pay for AAA titles which give me a great gameplay experience, and I would very much enjoy them to last well over 10 hours (I don't have New Vegas yet, but if it's anything like Fallout 3, I'll be losing days playing it, not hours).


That's not the question they wanted to ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821972)

The cynic in me says the real question would've been: "Can we sell games that last for an hour for $60 and save lots of $$$ on development costs?"

The gaming industry has really killed itself with its own success.

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