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Are games getting too long?

gabe.paul.logan

Golden Boot Winner
7 January 2007
Budapest
Hungary
Are story driven games getting too long?

Im a 90's kid (born in the late 80's) and my very first really long game was FF8 with four discs. At the time i was thinking hell yeah with the likes of Metal Gear, Soul Reaver, Tomb Raider and their 5-7ish hours of game time(depending on the user) or the RE/SH titles with a solid 3-5 hours.

But nowdays every story driven game i would be interested in are 12 hours +. I even struggled with Alien Isolation, not to mention RDR, GTA, FF, Whitcher with their 100+ hours. I always want to sit down to play them but the story seems like would never end. So i end up replaying some old game which is under 10 hours or playing just online.

When i was a kid i was also craving for more thicker story but to me its just crazy nowdays how far it got.
And i understand for 60 eurs you want content however i would settle with shorter games for lower prices.

Whats your take on this?
 

Negatrev

Premiership
19 September 2003
It's difficult.I'm an early 80's born gamer and certainly played through a great number of games. However, I never once paid £60 for a single game. Well, I paid £59.99 to get SF2 on the Megadrive with the official 6 button pad (like a fool).

Different games have veered in different directions over the years. In the 90's I remember many games slammed for less than 10 hours of actual game content. Others praised for their concise story.

I personally don't have time for multiple story games with tens of hours of story any more, just because of having to be an adult and having more than 1 hobby and family commitments. But really the length of game never mattered as long as it felt worth the money (and time) I invested in it.

But modern games have hit some interesting problems. Indie games are mostly exempt of this, but big bucks games have to spend so much money of licenses (music, voice talent and so on). Along with huge marketing budgets and things they MUST provide to meet expectation (multiplayer is quite often a requirement these days). If they're spending huge amounts of money, then they need to change gamers a lot. But if gamers are paying so much, then the game must have a lot of content. This content either needs to be lots of variety or lots of story.
Content is generally more expensive as that requires more innovation. Whereas if you can provide enough compelling story, the game doesn't need to vary too much. It can get away with drip feeding new content and ramped difficulty.

I'm not saying that story is a cheap hack/cop-out as it's still expensive to do. But you can get away with a lot of 'samey' gameplay if the player is immersed/invested enough in the story that's playing out.

TL;DR Economy of scale means that for big titles. A cheaper price and shorter game isn't an option. Story to lengthen the product (and the perceived value) is usually cheaper than increased variety/content.
 

D0rant

Non-League
13 October 2018
Not to me. I played The Witcher 3 only once but I played it fully, explored everything and did everything there is to be done. Yes it took me like 3 months to complete it, because sometimes a week or so would pass before I played it again, but in the end the game was immersive and lovely and for a while became a part of my life (just like a weekly TV show would that you'd watch from September to April or whatever the season length is for it). If it's a good game with an in-depth rich world then I actually welcome games like that. Most games can get repetitive and boring quickly though, for example I never finished that Deadpool game even tho it's hella short just because the gameplay is repetitive and it gets boring quickly.
 

bsmaff

International
11 August 2003
Welwyn Garden
Exeter City
I agree, but then I grew up in the 80-90's mainly the 90's.

Most games were completable in a few hours and easily done in a week.
RE 2 was 2 hours long, but 8 in total as you had the 4 different parts and scenarios.

I think the main difference now though is that I simple don't have the time to play massive/long games.
I now mainly play games based on how long they take to complete, so I occasionally find a game I wouldn't mind playing and then check on How Long to Beat and see the average game time.

It has got to the point now where I will only play a game longer than 10-15 hours if they have amazing reviews.
Like Last of Us, RDR 2 (Although towards the end I was finding the game such a massive chore to finish - There is only so many times you can talk to someone, meet up with a group, shoot some people and repeat).

This is the main reason why I now mainly play pick up and play games like PUBG, FIFA.
You can play them for an hour when you have time available, and not have to get invested and have the only one more mission philosophy.
 

gabe.paul.logan

Golden Boot Winner
7 January 2007
Budapest
Hungary
I agree, but then I grew up in the 80-90's mainly the 90's.

Most games were completable in a few hours and easily done in a week.
RE 2 was 2 hours long, but 8 in total as you had the 4 different parts and scenarios.

I think the main difference now though is that I simple don't have the time to play massive/long games.
I now mainly play games based on how long they take to complete, so I occasionally find a game I wouldn't mind playing and then check on How Long to Beat and see the average game time.

It has got to the point now where I will only play a game longer than 10-15 hours if they have amazing reviews.
Like Last of Us, RDR 2 (Although towards the end I was finding the game such a massive chore to finish - There is only so many times you can talk to someone, meet up with a group, shoot some people and repeat).

This is the main reason why I now mainly play pick up and play games like PUBG, FIFA.
You can play them for an hour when you have time available, and not have to get invested and have the only one more mission philosophy.
Agree (finally found someone :P), it is a presonal preference of course, as me too i have rarely have time and energy to get invested in 20-60 hours of game time. Lets take The Whitcher its a great game but awfully long and i usually sit down to play it for 2 hours top in every two weeks. I get really disconnected from the story. On the other hand if it would be 10-20 hours i would have probably finished it in a month top as i would knew im getting closer to the end.

Not to mention for me no matter how great the gameplay mechanics or even the story, as you said Last Of Us got really boring by the end, especially since i was playing it in a considerably short time and i get feed up doing the same crap for hours and hours and hours.
 

Stan

Allez les Lionceaux !!!
12 September 2002
I've bought both the Witcher 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2 and really loved them, but never finished them. I'm 57 years old, i have 2 kids that are 16 and 19 years old (both love games) and i have to play on the family television...One day i would like to replay both games, but will it ever happen.

To me the best game franchise ever was SSX, the snowboarding games from EA. It was an half hour of fun and that is what i need...

Also love the NBA2K series, but a basket match is too long for me.

Football is my favourite sport, so i love PES, but i haven't got the time to spend hours with it (unfortunately). I was Always a casual gamer, but i'm becoming more and more of a casual gamer...
 

Madmac79

Premiership
11 September 2006
For me it's the opposite. If I buy a triple A game and it's short.. well, I prefer to not buy it. I want as much content as possible.. if we talk about quality, of course.. no one wants to be bored for 100 hours :D.

By the way, if I can give a related suggestion, lately I finally played Spelunky, a pretty famous platform roguelite which talking about "time management" to me hits the perfect spot.. it can be finished in a very short run (even 10-15 minutes) but permadeath, the great depth, the random level generation and the general difficulty make it so that (unless you are really good or really lucky) you'll need a very large number of runs to finally complete it. It's a perfect formula if you don't have a lot of time or you need to get out from a moment to another, but you still want a great game that lasts you for quite some time..
 

Joonloop

FUMA
27 March 2018
Northern Ireland
Absolutely. Game companies are bloating out their games to appease the market. People see less value in short games these days apparently. Franchises like Metal Gear, The Witcher, & Far Cry have been outright ruined by this bloat mentality.

This is a large reason why I do't play many of the big games releasing these days. I have no interest in the new Spider Man, Horizon, Cyberpunk, Days Gone, Read Dead etc etc.

I would rather play tightly paced (and usually smaller budgeted) games like The Walking Dead, Virginia, Until Dawn, Man of Medan, etc.
 

Aribo n Ojo

League 1
29 July 2019
Are story driven games getting too long?

Im a 90's kid (born in the late 80's) and my very first really long game was FF8 with four discs. At the time i was thinking hell yeah with the likes of Metal Gear, Soul Reaver, Tomb Raider and their 5-7ish hours of game time(depending on the user) or the RE/SH titles with a solid 3-5 hours.

But nowdays every story driven game i would be interested in are 12 hours +. I even struggled with Alien Isolation, not to mention RDR, GTA, FF, Whitcher with their 100+ hours. I always want to sit down to play them but the story seems like would never end. So i end up replaying some old game which is under 10 hours or playing just online.

When i was a kid i was also craving for more thicker story but to me its just crazy nowdays how far it got.
And i understand for 60 eurs you want content however i would settle with shorter games for lower prices.

Whats your take on this?
100% agree they are too long. Alien was an incredible game but 10 hours to long.

Ubisoft used to be an amazing dev now they make copy n paste open world games and fill them with meaningless checklist gameplay with 100s of missions totalling to 60-100 hours playing with 5 hours of them being actually any good.

I dont mind games like The Witcher and Borderlands etc etc being long but devs seemed to of lost the art of making great games. We do have the odd exceptions that get quality and time perfect like Horizon Zero Dawn, Spiderman n Hellblade.
 

Isslander

Gordon's alive!
3 August 2003
Iceland
Liverpool
Absolutely. Game companies are bloating out their games to appease the market. People see less value in short games these days apparently. Franchises like Metal Gear, The Witcher, & Far Cry have been outright ruined by this bloat mentality.

This is a large reason why I do't play many of the big games releasing these days. I have no interest in the new Spider Man, Horizon, Cyberpunk, Days Gone, Read Dead etc etc.

I would rather play tightly paced (and usually smaller budgeted) games like The Walking Dead, Virginia, Until Dawn, Man of Medan, etc.
Both Spider-Man and Far Cry 5 are under 20 hours if you mainline them.

In general, some games are too long for me so I just skip them, then there is the Witcher 3 that held my interest for 300+ hours, it did take me two and a half years to finish the whole thing with the DLC. That's a bit long but it wasn't too long, I just took all the time I needed for it.
 

Thespeedster84

Champions League
4 October 2010
Jakarta City
100% agree they are too long. Alien was an incredible game but 10 hours to long.

Ubisoft used to be an amazing dev now they make copy n paste open world games and fill them with meaningless checklist gameplay with 100s of missions totalling to 60-100 hours playing with 5 hours of them being actually any good.

I dont mind games like The Witcher and Borderlands etc etc being long but devs seemed to of lost the art of making great games. We do have the odd exceptions that get quality and time perfect like Horizon Zero Dawn, Spiderman n Hellblade.
Hellblade really scares me in the way that i am as if on another weird place.. dimming the room light, headphone on.. :OH:. Nice game.
 
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