Culture

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
time, video games



What's Wrong With Video Games That You Can Finish In Three Hours?

from the that's-not-how-it's-done! dept

Clive Thompson tries to bust apart the commonly held wisdom that it should take 40 hours to complete a video game. He points to a recently well-received game that many reviewers dinged for the fact that it could be completed in three hours. They seemed to like pretty much everything about the game... other than that it was "too short." The standard, apparently (I had no idea) is that a video game should take approximately 40 hours to finish. But Thompson points out how silly that is. For many games, they just start to feel repetitive or stretched out. If you can do everything that needs to be done in just three hours -- why not do it. My guess is that many of the complaints just come from what people think they're "buying" with the game, and that includes "time spent on the game." So a game that seems short feels like "less value" even if that's not necessarily the case. Still, as Thompson points out, the game he's talking about, The Maw is much cheaper than the average 40-hour game anyway, so he's not clear why people are complaining. To be honest, I was unaware of the 40-hour standard, and am a bit surprised that it's apparently so standardized. I'd always just assumed that different games had different time-lengths (if they were "finishable" at all).

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  1. identicon
    Jack Sombra, 26 Mar 2009 @ 1:56am

    The Maw is a bad exmaple as it's an exception to the rule, mainly because it's a downloaded game rather than store retail, thus it broke out of the general price fixing by the industry of $40 to $60 for new games

    Take 2 games bought in the store, both are of simerlar quality, but you know from some research that one provides 30 to 40 hours of "new" entertainment (aka not including replay) other provides 3 to 4 hours.

    No issue so far, now look at price, both $60

    Which will majority of people buy?

    If the industry wants to do shorter games they have to be prepared to offer them for cheaper prices, as the years have shown that the consumers will accept in the region of $1 to $2 per hour of game play the the 3 hours game should cost $3 to $6 to buy, not $10 and certainly not $40 to $60

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