Many players check how long it takes to beat games before buying them. They don’t want to spend money if the game is not long enough. But should length matter?
A good story doesn’t have to be lengthy
We all love The Lord of the Rings, but it’s not the number of pages that makes Tolkien’s trilogy a masterpiece. The Old Man and the Sea wouldn’t be better if Hemingway wrote it longer. The same applies to video games. A compelling story doesn’t need to take ages to finish. Some additional chapters could only weaken its message. For instance, it takes only a few hours to complete Gris but adding some new or longer levels wouldn’t make it any better nor more touching.
Video games mustn’t be boring
We want video games to be entertaining and engaging. Unfortunately, even original mechanics could be fatiguing and boring if it’s overused. For example, while many players complained that The Vanishing of Ethan Carter ends too soon. We’re convinced that it would have worse scores if it had more puzzles. This game uses one mechanic and can’t explore it any further without getting exhausting.
Developers know that players want long games. As a result, they often fill their releases with pointless collectibles and generic fetch-carry quests to extend the time needed to complete them. We hate looking for this one last flag or the only carrot remaining, so we assume you don’t like it either.
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Development isn’t free
Some players state that short games are not worth spending money on. Of course, if someone loves time-eating behemoths and wants to play the same game for years, it’s his choice. However, one must remember that there’s no simple length-price formula. Even short games take time and money to develop. Especially if they’re indie games developed by small teams or single-handedly.
Shortness could be an asset
Sometimes there’s just not enough time to play video games. When you find only 30 minutes to play a day, beginning a 100+ RPG could be pointless. If you want to reach the end without forgetting how your journey started, a game that could be completed in two evenings is a much safer choice.