The last few years we have seen indie games come forward and have another take on games and their pricing. Games no longer cost 60 bucks everywhere. Games have different price structures and no longer have the same price structure we have seen before. Not long ago you could have seen a three hour game cost 60 bucks, and a 100 hour game costing the same.
Adam Sessler makes a good point about the importance of length before he left Rev3Games and lost his mind on twitter.
A short game, does not always mean it’s not worth it. There are many games that aren’t that long, but are still one of the best experiences you can get out there. Let’s take Journey for example. That game is only a few hours long and yet you can play it several times. You can also have a different experience everytime you play it. There is also Valiant Hearts. A game that has a very contained story and it is only a few hours long. Those hours you do play it, is told in such a manner that it works within the limitations of the game. It’s better to try to keep it short and well made, instead of having a lot of filler in the game.
Another example of how Adam puts it in context.
I am personally fine with games that are priced less if they do not have a lot of gameplay time. You are after all paying less. However when I do pay for a game at full price, I want something that lasts more than 4 hours. That needs to be stressed. The gameplay needs to be there and so does the time you can put into it. A game that is paid for that demands full price, needs to have such a value to keep you interested in it for a few days.
People can make the point that we can buy the game when it’s cheaper, but that does not stress the fact that it’s full price on release. A game that you pay full price for should not take less than a workday to finish. You should have something you can enjoy for at least a day or more in my opinion. Games are expensive, but we also have to realize that games are expensive to make as well.
Telltale Games make games that are episodic and wander into territory that not really other developer do. You get games that focus on gameplay and on your choices in the game. These games are not too long either, but don’t ask you to pay full price for these games. Telltale shows us that you can make something different, at a reasonable price with quality if you like that type of game.
There are Free-To-Play games that give you lots of gameplay, the quality isn’t always there though. It gives you lots of gameplay most of the time, but no real quality. There are games that i personally liked that fall into this category. Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Unverse Online fall into this. Both have enjoyable story, great multiplayer and great gameplay. It never feels like there is a pay-to-win model in the games. You can have grinding in such a game, without ever making it feel punishing for not paying. It is possible to make long games, without paying for them and make them fun to play.
A game should no longer be valued by the length it gives you. It should be valued by the value it gives you while you are playing it. Wether it is 2 hours or 200 hours. That should should not really matter. You want to get your money’s worth and it’s not always the most expensive
Let me know if you feel the same way or have any criticism on this opinion.