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
    Stew, 26 Mar 2009 @ 1:16am

    3 hours is too little for most games

    I probably wouldn't be too disappointed if a 3 hour game cost 10 or even 15 dollars but it's still too little for the money. Consider that you can rent a movie for 1 or 2 dollars and get 90 minutes entertainment. Paying 5 dollars an hour for a game is too damn much in comparison.

    Trouble is most games cost 40 bucks or more. And the majority have bugs in the gameplay and too many have installation problems because of the DRM. Plus a large percentage are just not going to be much fun for a fair percentage of the people that buy them. So, if you're selling a product that costs that much, has the potential to cause frustration and anger and might not even be liked enough for many of your customers to finish it, you better make damn sure that the ones that DO enjoy it get their money's worth.

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