Is a game less likely to be played the longer it is?

Nereid

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I suppose, unless explicitly measured and stated, people won't know how long something might be, but perhaps it might be decided based on the size of the files...
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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It depends on the individual player. Some folks love long games, or have the time to put into them. Other people may not have that kind of time, and prefer shorter experiences.

Of course, how fun the game is matters too. If the story is atrocious, or the gameplay is boring, no one may want to deal with a long game.
 

Nereid

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Annoying thing is when a story is considered boring by most gamers, but the people who'd possibly not consider it so aren't gamers...
 

VegaKotes

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Granted a lot of questions like this always have a "Well it depends..." But for discussion's sake assuming the story if fun and the gameplay doesn't suck to bad...

I definitely love longer games where I can stop at almost any time and take a rest. If the world is interesting I want to spend as much time as I can in it. But as has been said in many a post, I want games to respect my time. If I need to save and go take care of responsibilities I don't want the game to punish me for that. (Looking at you Dark Souls like games. Let me pause you cheeky little....)

Likewise if I need to take several days/weeks off from playing and hop back into the game I don't want to be lost and confused. Older games were really bad about this as they lacked any sort of quest book and you were expected to just sort of know where the next place you were supposed to go.
 

ATT_Turan

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people won't know how long something might be, but perhaps it might be decided based on the size of the files...
No, I think 0% of players look at the size of the installation and use that to try to guess how long the game is and then whether they want to play it.
 
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In a general sense?
Well, it's a little hard to tell.

You can see all the streamers/youtube commentators who play hours worth of game footage on end, showing it off to their fans/followers. There are pleeenty of children/teens who love video games, and become addicted to them at a young age. (And they have all the time in the world).

But as Sword_of_Dusk said earlier, there's also a lot of general public adults who simply do not have the time/obligation to play long games. But see, that doesn't necessarily mean the game itself is bad either.
There are plenty of games that have quests where you could invest hours into them by playing them over and over again. Like Final Fantasy 1, where there is so much variety to your starting party, you can play the same adventure in so many different ways, and that is entertaining for some people.
There's Persona 5 where the average amount of time to complete the entire game itself is around 100 hours, but it's mainly 1 focused narrative, and people can keep wanting more of it until they finish the game. It's been highly praised since the recent re-do with the whole Royal Edition.


See how different the 2 games are? I'm sure there are plenty of other examples as well for comparison sake.


But to answer your question, I don't think there is a "general" way to tell if longer games = bad games. There are too many variables in the individuals themselves, and whatever the game itself could theoretically entail.

Think of it how when you're asked to write a paper for a class. When a length isn't specified, sometimes that is a given that length does not matter, but the quality of the paper is what matters more.


I think the safest thing to say with absolute certainty is that a game is only as good as its content.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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No, I think 0% of players look at the size of the installation and use that to try to guess how long the game is and then whether they want to play it.
Indeed. Play time is usually advertised up front.
 

Iron_Brew

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I mean, I think this is honestly a very subjective question and also highly dependent on the quality of the game. I'm more likely to finish a bad one hour game than a bad 40 hour game.
 

Volourn

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Most players don't finish games. Even extremely popular well sold games don't tend to have a multitude of players finishing them. There is a reason why many times people will notice how beginning of games is where the 'best' quality is and late game usually isn't as good. It is because that is the focus on. Even professional reviewers focus on the first few hours and don't bother with later parts of the game. For me, personally, if the game is good, I want more of it not less.
 

ScorchedGround

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I don't think that game length is much of a determining factor.
Atleast not in general.

It's on more of a game-to-game basis.

There are plenty of games I play that definitely overstay their welcome. This can be because of a number of causes:
- The story progresses very sluggishly and doesn't go anywhere
- The gameplay becomes stagnant and offers nothing new for extended periods of time
- Many side-objectives that are seemingly designed to draw out the game

Then there are also games that easily took me 40 hours to finish and yet at the end I was kind of sad that it ended and I wanted to play some more.

I think the reason that many games (mostly non-RPG games) are quite short ( 2-8 hours) is because that way they can add more and more interesting mechanics in short intervals to keep the player hooked. And would be difficult to do this for a 40 hour game and keep it fresh.
 

ericv00

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"Is a game less likely to be played the longer it is?"

Dear lord, I hope not! I'm hoping for at least 40 hours of content in my project.
I prefer longer experiences, so long as they aren't repetitive, slow, or boring. It's nice getting, essentially, 40 hours of engagement for $10. It does not feel nice spending $20 for an experience that ends in 1.5 hours.

No, I think 0% of players look at the size of the installation and use that to try to guess how long the game is and then whether they want to play it.
My immediate assumption from file size relate to my expectations of graphics or FMV cutscenes.
 

Nereid

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What if it doesn't have as much gameplay, mechanics as typical, but concentrates more on the story? Of course, whether people think it's sluggish depends on their opinion, mostly... and RPGs don't tend to be frantic bullethell-like...
 

ericv00

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What if it doesn't have as much gameplay, mechanics as typical, but concentrates more on the story?
Some people enjoy 'walking simulators'. As long as they know what it is, the audience that wants that experience will find and enjoy it. I like gameplay and story in equal measure, so that is what I look for.

I've seen more people openly advertising their games as "walking simulators" (i can always appreciate people claiming originally derogatory terms for themselves), and they seem to find their audience.
 

Anthony Xue

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I think "length" also needs to be defined to answer this question. Skyrim's main campaign is like what, 20 hours? But there are also four other campaigns, and 87293473 side quests, and other optional areas - you can sink hundreds of hours into the game. That didn't exactly stop people from playing it. I assume it would be quite different if there was only one campaign that used every location in the world, so a playthrough would take something like 250+ hours. That would probably have scared people off.

On the other hand, you can take a look at even very short games on Steam, in particular their achievements - it's weird how often you'd find that only 60% of players have even completed the very first and basic achievement of the game. So a very short length doesn't necessarily motivate people either.

Taking many, many CRPGs and contemporary reviews into account, my best guess is that about 40 hours is probably the sweet spot for "mandatory" content, i.e. it also shouldn't be much less to gather the attention of the average player looking for a full-size experience. But if it's becoming a lot more, it should be optional, maybe even a secondary or side campaign.
 

Sullien

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Being "Long" shouldn't be something a game should strive to be, rather it should be something that comes naturally based on the amount of work that's being put into it. If the game is long and at times you feel like it is just trying to bloat the playtime(Mandatory slow side-quests, lots of backtracking with no fast travel)it can burn out players, and I've known many people who really liked a game, but never really finished it because it was "Too long for its own good".

Not to say long games are hard, but rather if a game is actively marketing the playtime and reads like this:
"200+ hours adventure!"
And the gameplay does not look like anything special. Many people are going to skip your game even though they might've given it a chance had it been a short game.
 

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