FFD: How much does length really matter?

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Thanks to a certain high-profile game clocking in at just a handful of hours, there’s a great big gaming debate bubbling about the importance of game length, and its value to a consumer. Games are, as we know, becoming increasingly expensive for those of us outside of the $60 bubble. Here in South Africa, “next generation” games are starting to hit prices that border on the obscene – and it makes sense that consumers would want to extract as much value out of those games as possible.

Here’s the thing. I’m not all that hung up on game length. In fact, as I get older, saddled with more and more responsibility (which is, as you know, inversely proportional to one’s free time) I start looking forward to shorter games. I love it when there’s a game I can plough through in an afternoon or two, because it means I’ll actually get to finish said game without sacrificing family time or sleep and reneging on my paternal duties.

Take a game like Vanquish. It was sold as a full priced game, and it too could be done and dusted in an afternoon. But man, what a rush that game was. It’s almost infinitely replayable too. I never tire of taking on two Argus’ at the same time. And I’d certainly rather play a 5 hour game that keeps my knuckles white than something that’s drab and plodding for dozens of hours.

While playing through The Order, I never once thought “Man, I really wish this game was longer.” I’d have certainly liked if it was better though. Game length isn’t actually very important to me – as long as the game itself is good.

But what about you, the average consumer? How much does game length matter to you? How much does that factor in to your purchases?

Last Updated: February 20, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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