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Video games are too long, too expensive, and take too long to make

Elden Ring – Did it need to be that long? (Photo: Bandai Namco)

One reader is frustrated by publishers’ obsession with making video games bigger and longer, and wants them to be shorter and cheaper.

These are strange days for the world of video games.The pandemic has elevated them to unprecedented levels of mainstream acceptance, but publishers are already reporting Sales are down 25% or moreas the pandemic catches up with them and the number of new releases slows down a bit.

At the same time, everyone is trying to buy everyone else, and already in a few years it would seem that there will only be three or four major publishers. Homogenized end product and corporate interference (not to mention massive redundancies by removing what the company doesn’t want or need).

These are all trends that bother me, but what worries me most is the games themselves, especially since it’s not something most people are talking about.The quality of the best titles is higher than ever But I am increasingly concerned that publishers are caught in an inevitable cycle of believing that bigger is always better, regardless of the cost to customers and the people who create games.

In the ’90s, the average video game took no more than two to four hours to beat if you knew what you were doing, but that time has steadily increased over the years. Even 12 hours has come to be considered short. For single player games. To me this is insanity. Given how busy most people are, it’s nearly impossible to win most AAA games in less than a month. It took me 3 places to defeat the Elden Ring.

Clearly, everyone wants value for money, but publishers seem to have given up on the practicality of playing such games. As a Game Pass subscriber, I have access to so many 30+ hours of games that it’s literally impossible for me to play them all, whether I want to or not. Every publisher seems to design their games on the assumption that they’re the only ones you’ll touch for months. but why?

what do they get out of it? you bought the game. What more do they want? Sure, they probably want to buy more DLC, but I would argue it’s just as likely.

And what about the impact on the story? Most movies are his two hours long, and even the longest novels can be read in about 15 hours or less. Think good. Most of them are indie games that last only a few hours. Or there really isn’t a clearly told story, but instead there’s Elden Ring to fill in the blanks.

These games understand how to use time to tell a story, but Elden Ring is still too long. The biggest dissatisfaction is why do you do it when the boss has a lot of repeated hits? The game repeats a lot of other things and doesn’t feel as bloated as something like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but I’m sure a leaner, less repetitive game would have been a better game. doing.

But it is far from the worst offender. Think Alien Isolation, all Assassin’s Creed, The Last of Us Part 2, Persona 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and other games. stop.

This ruins the story and pacing, but it also has the effect of making these games take longer to make. No one wants to spend more than 15 years making a single trilogy, but that’s the reality of modern games. .

remember when Spider-Man: Miles Morales was reviewed, and GC wanted it to be proof that it was a better game than its predecessor. Like I did, they guessed it wouldn’t make an impact at all and Sony wanted the game out to coincide with the launch of the PlayStation 5, so it’s been that long, but that’s the whole new generation of Imagine if it influenced the game.

Miles Morales is £50 and lasts about 8 hours. By comparison, the original Spider-Man on the PlayStation 5 if new today he’s £70, lasts about 17 hours, has a bloated storyline, and is completely uninteresting with dozens of collectible-side chock-full of his quests It’s clogged. A five-year gap between it and its sequel.

If games could be made shorter, cheaper, and faster, it would be better for everyone. The only concept publishers seem to understand is that bigger is better. If you’re reading this and you think I’m saying nonsense, come back in 10 years where the games last at least 30 hours at £90 each. It takes eight years to make one.

It may seem silly, but think about how strange today’s situation would look to someone in the ’90s. At some point someone has to say enough is enough and stop the endless growth, but you never know when that will be who…

reader sandwick

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