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Why don't they make long games anymore?

Last response: in Video Games
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November 5, 2008 2:28:54 PM

Well, why don't they? They spend all this time making beautiful scenery, or very atmospheric textures and such, but, games often seem to be too short. I mean, 10 hours? Hire 2 extra guys to make levels and write a longer story, and you've practically doubled the value of the game.

Here's the way I see it.

Game Value = Worth Playing (1 or 0) X Happiness Playing (Graphics, storyline, level design, AI) X Time Playable

I mean, what's the amount spent on pretty graphics compared to how much is spent on writing (Story, dialogue, etc.) and level design for more levels. I don't mind playing pretty games, but I'd rather play something that looked half as good for twice as long. $50 for 10 hours of great gaming is worth much less to me than $50 for 20-30 hours of good gaming.

Just a rant I guess. Maybe I was spoiled by things like Baldur's Gate, NWN, and Deus Ex.
November 5, 2008 2:37:40 PM

Quality Vs Quantity


Fallout 3 came out last week


Replay Value


Theres 3 arguments off the top of my head.
Related resources
November 5, 2008 3:10:35 PM

Personally, I perfer long games to short games since I'm not into multiplayer.

I haven't finished Fallout 3 yet, in fact I haven't even made it to the GNR station yet 'cause I've been doing a few side quest and lots of exploring. I've read the main quest is relatively short, it woulds have been nice if it was a bit longer. Hopefully there will be some downloadable content or user created mods in the near future.

Long games are fine as long as the storyline is relavent and it is not too repetative. Far Cry and HL2 were two long games that I liked. Crysis was pretty good too, but the storyline was not as long as the other two games I mentioned.
November 5, 2008 3:18:12 PM

Well there are people who prefer shorter games because they actually will have time to beat them. Still there are a good number of longer RPGs out there such as Mass Effect, Fallout 3, and Culdcept Saga. Also of note is that a lot of the audience for longer games are now horribly addicted to MMOs which offer the longest game experience available.
November 5, 2008 3:27:06 PM

Two main reasons I see. The first is the trend to episodic games. Multiple games that are more tightly related than standard sequels. With the high cost of developing competitive games today it's not only more profitable to sell multiple chapters but it's also less risky and easier to develop for. I know people bitch about the money grab of game companies but in reality over the past several years game development cost have sky rocketed but games have remained the same. Take Crysis for example. A very costly game to develop that always had a high risk of being a complete flop. So rather than put all their eggs in one basket Crytek made a smart move and released a moderately successful game followed up by an improved second chapter. In the end I think it was a wise decision and benefited gamers as well. Even if Crysis had hours more of game play it still would have had it's issues that kept a lot of people away from the game. Warhead allowed for improvements along with additional game play without having to develop a whole new game, and it's relatively cheap ($19.99 at Best Buy this week!). Think about that, less than 1 year after the release of a major blockbuster you have an expansion/sequel which doesn't require the original game and is already at bargain bin prices.

Second is the push for more multiplayer. A good multiplayer component can add far more replayability than additional content for only a fraction of the cost. If a developer has to decide what to put resources into, multiplayer or additional content, multiplayer will win out in most practical situations. For one it seems to be what gamers today want more. Secondly like I mentioned before you get more bang-for-your-buck. And thirdly it has the side effect of being a piracy deterrent and acting as a sort of continuous link with customers.

I hope there are still epic single player games to come, but there is good reason for a trend towards shorter games and I don't think it's all bad.
November 5, 2008 3:30:43 PM

Unless the game is absolutely great and gets going at a pretty fast pace from the start I am unable to finish it if it longer than say around 12 hours or so. I most definitely prefer 6 to 10 hours. 8 Hours is probably my sweet spot. I tried to play fallout 3, but I was unable to even get past the 10 year old part before I had to stop playing out of complete boredom. I may give it another go, but I doubt it.

I used to never play SP when all the ones that came out took you 20+ hours to beat. I just couldn't finish them. So I for one am thankful for these games that are shorter because my replay value is determined by the MP, so I prefer that more is focused on that aspect of the game. Most of the time while I am playing the SP I am thinking to myself "Gah, cant wait to beat this so that I can just get on with the MP, but still be able to know the story and say that I beat the game."

I buy very few SP only games, but usually the ones that I do buy I am able to enjoy since I am not worried about the MP. I personally loved The Force Unleashed and plan on getting Fable II since I liked the first one. Just my two cents.

Best,

3Ball
November 5, 2008 3:37:12 PM

I guess I've only gotten into a few multiplayer FPS. Only two I really played for more than 5 hours were SWAT 4 (which I spent way, way too much time playing) and Call of Duty. So maybe it's my preferences to a strong story that make games "shorter" for me, because I don't enjoy their MP.
November 5, 2008 5:58:14 PM

purplerat said:
Even if Crysis had hours more of game play it still would have had it's issues that kept a lot of people away from the game. Warhead allowed for improvements along with additional game play without having to develop a whole new game, and it's relatively cheap ($19.99 at Best Buy this week!).


I guess I'm one of those who perfer a good storyline and good graphics over a game that simply stressed awesome graphics.

I won't touch Warhead until the DRM install limitation is removed. I don't care if it is only $20.
November 5, 2008 6:16:30 PM

Think of it this way -- CoD4 is the perfect prototype for the modern game. Short, but fantastic, blistering single player campaign that can be completed in under 10 hours, and a great multiplayer mode. Reviewers can quickly and easily review the game prior to the street date, and consumers can get plenty of value out of a "short game's" multiplayer. I'm not saying I want all games to be like this -- I personally prefer a KOTOR-like experience over a short campaign with a linear story. Just saying this seems to be the way things are going in gaming.
November 5, 2008 6:16:31 PM

To me, the only reason to play an FPS is for the story. If there is no story worth mentioning then I have no interest worth mentioning with the exception of a handful of good multiplayer FPSs from yesteryear. Tribes, Quake 3, and UT 2003. I couldn't really name any others that I ever got into and enjoyed. Even Team Fortress 2, as much as I love their style, can't hold my attention for more than a match or two.
November 5, 2008 6:46:13 PM

robwright said:
Think of it this way -- CoD4 is the perfect prototype for the modern game. Short, but fantastic, blistering single player campaign that can be completed in under 10 hours, and a great multiplayer mode. Reviewers can quickly and easily review the game prior to the street date, and consumers can get plenty of value out of a "short game's" multiplayer. I'm not saying I want all games to be like this -- I personally prefer a KOTOR-like experience over a short campaign with a linear story. Just saying this seems to be the way things are going in gaming.



I actually didn't like KOTOR much.... I saw a lot of reason to like it, I just never got into it. Made it to the last "mission" too. Really, that CoD4 is the perfect prototype scares me. It was good, but nothing truly new IMO. No story. I just wish that wasn't the direction we were heading.

Maybe I should go back to reading books....
November 6, 2008 10:50:26 AM

Mainly if games don't maintain quality, reviews then will just eat the public sales alive.
November 6, 2008 1:28:21 PM

Heya

Money. Plain and simple.

It takes longer to release a game that boasts good long period game play. It's different if the game can boast tons of hours of game play but it's all the same boring repetitive stuff that the first 10 seconds involves. But if you're talking length, the likes of the Baldur's Gate series, few games these days will ever have the kind of length that some of our `best' long games have. And it boils down to money.

It costs money to make a long game with real content to add to the length in a meaningful way and not just to make it longer with filler. Mean while, the game will sell for the same price as a game that boasts 6 hours of game-play with zero replayability.

Financially, what you see is, the game that took longer to make, takes longer to play, and sells well on the shelf makes less money than the game(s) that take less time to make, take less time to play, and sell for the same price on the shelves. So you in effect have an industry that shifted towards "short" games to be able to produce them faster and faster to get more money per release instead of banking on one good big release (which if it doesn't work out or is met well or hits the market at a bad time, kills their company).

Finally, as others have mentioned, the `market' has shifted towards the ridiculous fascination with the "MMO", the ultimate money maker for games. Sell it at your normal price and charge per month. How long does it last? As long as people play and the servers are alive, it keeps going and going. It's painfully obvious that the market receives these games quite well. Millions upon Millions play these games.

How do you release in a market like this when a huge chunk of gamers are not even going to look at your game because they can't take time off of WoW or something to try out your long engrossing single player game? It needs to be short so they can beat it quickly during the day before their Guild gets active later in the evening. Long games just don't mesh well with the money making part of the market.

Very best,
November 6, 2008 1:40:43 PM

Dekasav said:
Well, why don't they?


Everyone has a short attention spa...hey look! A shiny penny!

*wanders off*
November 6, 2008 2:33:09 PM

A game has to be really great if you intend to make it long, otherwise you're better off keeping it short as it keeps the story moving.

The Witcher is a fairly linear game, but everything about it is good - especially since the enhanced edition came out. The beauty of a game as long as The Witcher is VARIETY and multiple storylines - without those two objects it doesn't really work.

If I had to compare between the three games Mass Effect, The Witcher and Fallout 3 ( as they are all relatively similar games in concept ) - i'd put Mass Effect and The Witcher ahead of Fallout 3 simply because there isn't really much in Fallout 3 that draws you in - its not a bad game but its really not what I expected :/ 
November 6, 2008 2:35:21 PM

GTA-IV isn't a 12 hour game :) 

Eve, WOW, Everquest and all the other MMO's - I have over one year *played* time on my older EQ accounts.

I don't know what you class as old - San Andreas, FarCry are fairly long. Oblivion? What about the Sims class of games, do they ever have an ending? The CnC3 / KW campaigns take a lot more than 10 hours to complete.

But yes it comes down to money if you are talking about FPS - all them shiny shiny graphics take time to build and the less content there is the less testing needs to be done. I don't like FPS online (apart from the odd CS:S game) so I'm happy to wait for CoD4 to come down in price before I buy another game in the series I can finish in an afternoon.

Personally, if a game is well made (San Andreas), the longer the better, but then I'm old so I can manage to hold my attention on one subject for more than 23 seconds ;) 
November 6, 2008 3:32:44 PM

Aside from the crashing, Fallout 3 has really drawn me in. It is better than I expected, but I tried to intentionally keep expectations low.
November 6, 2008 8:05:08 PM

I think the first COD was great and COD2 was even better MP-wise but not SP-wise. COD4 was a big disappointment for me. The story was bad, the campaign was very linear, and I hated the multiplayer changes. I will take COD1 and 2 anyday over 4. I'm even more disappointed that Treyarch decided to just copy COD4's MP than bring it back to the good old days. Oh well, 2 less games to buy.

Btw, Fallout 3 is beast.
November 6, 2008 8:38:57 PM

I liked CoD5's multiplayer, its really better than CoD4

However, full auto weapons are still too accurate in CoD5 - and without hardcore mode bolt actions aren't useful outside of sniping :p 
November 16, 2013 11:52:27 AM

Imagine BF4 is at 24GB. That's 4 hours gameplay. let's say we create a game of the same graphics.

How many hours of gameplay do you want?

Let's say you want 100 hours.

24GB x 100 = 2400GB. Are you kidding me?

That's one way of looking at it. Since we can now create good graphics, why not apply it on games, right?

Short games with good a storyline is way better than long games. It tends to be very dragging.

Well that's my point of view.
November 17, 2013 3:26:17 AM

Your replying to a post from 2008?.. Lmao...
November 17, 2013 5:21:45 AM

Yeah, I'm kinda noticing this too like BF3, beautiful graphics and everything but so short. You barely enjoy the storyline. GTA San Andreas, well it's an old game, not too high graphics but still people love it because the storyline feels so awesome. It makes you feel like your living a gangster life yourself.
November 19, 2013 1:16:28 PM

chocostain said:
Imagine BF4 is at 24GB. That's 4 hours gameplay. let's say we create a game of the same graphics.

How many hours of gameplay do you want?

Let's say you want 100 hours.

24GB x 100 = 2400GB. Are you kidding me?

That's one way of looking at it. Since we can now create good graphics, why not apply it on games, right?

Short games with good a storyline is way better than long games. It tends to be very dragging.

Well that's my point of view.


you didn't even set up your equation right 24 GB / 4 hour * 100 hours = 600GB. But that is not how game play works. Most of the data is textures and AI, and many things that can be reused repeatedly making levels and scripts is not a linear increase to the games data requirement. Also why the heck is this 5 year old post being responded to in the first place?
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