Former Sony CEO, Shawn Layden believes games are too costly and development takes too long. Should games become shorter and more refined experiences?
i agree with him....if the games are being made with more attention and more substancial content ...then yes he s right ...best duration for a single player games is imo 25-35 hours ....with options to extend this to 80 -100 hours if you want to gather every collectable
I agree with the best duration for a linear experience being around that length, but open world games need to feel more open and expansive. We all love the feeling of finding an unexpected quest round the corner!
Sony ceo? 🤦♂️🤦♂️ 🤦♂️
I'm fine with more Linear games, open world games are all the rage now and there's heaps of them out there as it is.
What?! Fk open world...the cancer of gaming.
That’s not what he was pushing for. He wants short 12-15 hour experiences. In my opinion if a game is managed and created from the ground floor with rewarding progression and a solid gameplay loop then 25-45 hour experiences are very viable and on top of that, won’t need 5 years for development. Maybe why he’s not in charge anymore
What gets me is a long game comes out and everybody argues that games need to be shorter. A shorter AAA game comes out and they argue games need to be longer. Why can’t games just be what they are?
It didn't seem like his issue was about the game play length for the customer, but more on the production side. How much it costs to develop, and how long it takes to develop a longer game. I'm not sure I 100% agree with him, because shorter games aren't necessarily cheaper. They usually do take longer to develop though, but not so much that I feel it's significant in the bigger picture. It's more the scope of the game that determines the cost and production time, as well as the team that is putting it together. Length of the game itself is only one factor that effects scope, but the more complex the game design, the more time it usually takes to develop. As far as my personal opinion on a games length for the consumer...I just feel a game should be as long as it needs to be to achieve what the designer and director are trying to achieve. It's not necessary to just throw in extra stuff for the sake of saying you have a longer game. There are a few games which do this which seem to drag on, yet the content within isn't really all that compelling, nor does it move a game forward in the story department. A couple of the recent tomb raiders were like that, and I felt FFXV was like that.
I think 12-15 is perfect. I was really pushing myself with God of War in the end... I had already clocked more than 20 hours by then. I didn't complete the last 20% of Spiderman because it was just getting too long for me without doing side quests. I loved Heavenly Sword for what it was. I'm not a big fan of sandbox games. But there are others who love spending hours.
Seems like the magic numbers are anywhere from 15 to 25 for a good story. Anything longer should be side quests and repeat business, or multiplayer/co-op extras. Mass Effect 2 - 25 Hrs Bioshock Infinite - 25hrs Last of Us - 15 hrs God of War - 25hrs Arkham City Campaign - 25hrs Half Life 2 - 15 hrs Halo:CE - 12 - 15hrs
Mass Effect 2 - 25 hours. Was it on Easy?
Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 take MUCH longer if you actually play the game like an RPG and explore everything and listen to your squad mates and do their loyalty missions. It's shorter on Easy perhaps, and definitely shorter if you play it like an action game or only go for Main Objectives.
@THRASHMOUTH I completed ME2 with all side quests and campaign, exlcuding dlc in 25hrs on normal. I'm on pc if that makes a difference.
I dunno that's what AA games are for.
***best duration for a single player games is imo 25-35 hours ....with options to extend this to 80 -100 hours if you want to gather every collectable*** Isn't that what we have right now? Most games I play that are SP don't even last 25 hours if you ignore side content.
yes most of them are around this duration ....though shorter than this you will feel unsatisfied if the game is good....(ex Vanquish , Order 1886 ,uncharted 4
His reasoning for games being shorter is about the cost of making them not if they drag on. He claims that cost of making games have gone up at least 2x since the beginning of the PS3 era but the price has remained at $60. He is saying that AAA games need to be shorter so eventually they don't end up costing more to produce than they will make. I can't remember the name but i know there were a couple games that sold millions of copies but their budget was so big that they lost money and the publisher killed the series. Those tend to be outliers but i guess he is saying if AAA games don't get shorter to reduce the amount they need to sell then the profit margins could end up killing a lot of good games either through not selling enough or having them add micro transactions ruining the game.
Honestly screw their profit margins. Some of these companies have made literally hundreds and even close to thousands of dollars from a single consumer over the course of a decade with sequels, DLC, and remasters/remakes. Make truly good games and they will do well and make More than enough to be profitable without worrying so much about your cost as a company.
Games should be the "Right" length. That is a constant balancing act that developers have to meet. Some games I wish would end after the first chapter.... Others are like I am a drug attic, I just can't get enough! (I don't do drugs)
A single player game that lasts 35 hours is almost bound to be bloated with filler content. Also, with your model for the ideal game time you would spend more time gathering the collectables than actually finishing the game which is a ridiculous notion.
Still too long.
Well you dont agree with him as he says 12-15 hours which to me is too short.
To each his opinion, but i feel like i love a long game as long as the storyline/gameplay/side quests are worth it.
I also prefer longer games; however, I understand the argument game development is becoming too expensive as well. There is a lot of risk for publishers investing in a 30-50 hour AAA game that costs 200 to 300 million dollars to make. Imagine if the leaks for The Last of Us 2 tanked the sales. That would be a huge loss for Sony in both money and time. I think people may be focusing too much on Layden's comment about length of a game and not enough on his thoughts about the cost, development time, risk and reward factors AAA companies face when creating these games in contrast to the game's length.
Same. So long as a game can keep me engaged for the duration of it's content, I don't really care how long it is. A 6 hour game can be just as good an experience as a 25 hour experience. But, 6 hour experience can seem too short if you are engaged in the game, while a 25 hour game can seem like a lifetime if you just want to be done with it.
I agree that if the game keeps me engaged then I don't care how long it is. And I also agree I've played games that dragged on so long that I just never cared to finish the story. I feel like open world games can get away with a longer campaign or story because there is usually so much to see or explore, that I truly get lost in the sheer depth of the world and don't mind. But- Open world games also plain OVERWHELM me sometimes too Haha. It's a love hate-relationship sometimes.
With the open world games I play, at least up until I found the stories more interesting around this gen, that I tend to end up doing a lot of the side stuff as I go, so I spend a lot more time in them that I really have to, and usually lose interest before the end. This isn't always a fault with the story, rather that I just get tired of playing it because I'm doing hours of stuff not related to the core game.
I agree as well but how many games can maintain to be interesting for 40 plus hours? I'd say more fail at it than not and they could have used that dev time to make the core elements better.
Only rpgs should be 20+hrs in terms of singleplayer story first playthrough really. Online, life sims, and sandbox are pretty much unlimited ofc. Any other genre's gameplay/story can get stale or too dragged on. Imagine if a cod campaign was 20+hrs lol.
A long cod campaign would lose the action blockbuster movie pacing. The gaming medium is still exploring the right play lengths due to the varied types of games. Movies have found its length. Today most movies are 90 to 120 min. A few in between crossing the 2 hr mark.
I feel it depends on the game, but for the most part, I would like stories to be stories, not some adventure with 20 missions before you get to the place that matters. This is something that I struggled with in TLOU2, I loved the gameplay and the more intimate moments between characters. But the story struggled massively with it's pacing and do this, do that mentality where you could spend way too much time doing things you just don't care about. This actually led me to turn on listen scanning for items so i didnt have to spend time looking in every crevice and corner in the game. I really think the game could have been 5 hours shorter just by filler and it would have made pacing and all that much better. I still really enjoyed the game but it was a bit of a drag at points. Now God of War made great use of it's allotted story time where combat was great and different through out the game and the father/son dynamic really hit home. To think the whole game is about carrying ashes to the top of a mountain but it does it with great twists and turns probably because you know the games ending. Of course there are games like What Remains of Edith Finch where you can play it and beat it by accident in a sitting but still a great story. I would say that for purely story driven games you should try to aim for 10+ hours for a full priced game but don't just put filler in by making cutscenes into gameplay (when you walk with an AI as they give you the rundown) or making it side mission after side mission on a linear story game (like doing something for someone else to get something for someone else).
If you’re making a 10 hour game then just 1-2 year MAX is all the time it should take. It depends on publisher and developer experience, leadership and talent. Insomniac made the 2016 Ratchet game in well under 2 years to hurry and coincide the release with the movie. Their efficiency and resource management was a critical factor in the 220+ million dollar acquisition
No i like long games as it makes me feel i got my moneys worth's. To many games cost €60-70 and only last 10 hours or even less. Game that are that short should only cost €15-20 max.
Some could be shorter ive ran out of steam on some, for eg the new doom, it was a good game but two thirds through, it was just more of the same and wasnt going to change. though if you are going to have shorter games you need more replayability. or this is just having a chocolate bar and them giving you less chocolate for the same price
It would benefit the AAA industry if more games weren't massive open world 50+ hour experiences that take 5+ years to develop. It's unsustainable. It's driving up costs, which results in more and more games failing to be successful despite selling millions of units.
Open words are easier to create than detailed smaller environments. Smaller areas have most of the time a lot more asset variation and higher detail and custom lighting, also a lot more environmental storytelling. "Most" of open-world games Terrain/tree/grass brush and go nuts.
Creating the world isn't what takes a long time. Open worlds need to be populated with a lot more content. That's what really takes time. You can feasibly make a linear, 8-15 hour AAA game in 2 to 3 years. The same cannot be done with open world games. Ubisoft barely manages it, and they have 1000+ developers from multiple studios across the world working on every game. But even then, we see a significant drop in quality and unique content across Ubisoft's games. So that approach isn't even working, but it's creating enormous development costs for their games.
@porkChop That's my point. They create huge worlds with little to see & do. That's why in most cases these huge worlds are at the end cheaper. Hell, you can create a lot just by smart procedural generation. Ubisoft just uses cookie-cutter templates, annual releases with little actual variation/new gameplay mechanics. Same for far cry. You don't actually believe devs still have to place every single tree and other nature props one at a time right. Because it's so easy and cheap to do is the reason why so many indies go open/semi world route.
really want to get invested in a story and a 10-15hr games don't do that for me. Games like San Andreas, Mass Effect 2, Witcher 3 etc is to me optimal length games for a single player
Depends on the game. Some games I feel overstay their welcome and some games I feel are too short. Shorter, more refined? Sure, a smaller game can be more refined, but if it's short for the sake of being short or to appease a shortness mandate, then absolutely no. Let's just let devs make their games.
I think the majority of longer games have a noticeable amount of filler content. If devs stop trying to pad the length with unnecessary filler, the overall game would benefit, while being a bit faster and cheaper to develop.
I usually start to get tired of a game around the 20 hour mark, so I agree with him. Games that take around 15-20h are usually enough. More than that feels like just padding to make the game feel longer. For example, I like the games in the Xenoblade series, but it after 60 hours I'm not even near the end, it's just too long.
I expect to get every bang for my buck since new games are $80 Canadian. Shorter games are all right if they are priced right pretty sure nobody will pay full price for a short game. RE3 remake is what happens when you charge full price for a shorter game a lot of people were disappointed. I was pissed first $80 DLC I ever paid and because of that I stepped up my homework on buying a new game now I don't want to get hoodwinked by Capcom again.
I'd like less fluff in my games I don't need to go to every micro island in assassin's Creed IV and open treasure boxes because I've got nothing better to do. But it depends on the fluff rdr2 had amazing side content hunting was incredible to see the vast amount of animals they included but became tedious hunting over 250 species multiple times and making sure you investigate them prior to killing them. That platnuim trophy was brutal purely because of hunting and challenges
For me, 8-15 hours is a good length depending on the game. To me, it's not about length of the game as much as quality. I would rather play an 8 hour game if I know the story is going to really good vs a 25 hour subpar story with filler to give it more length.
No, he is wrong. Next
If they want to shorten them then they can shorten the bloody price.
Depends on the game. But also we cannot expect gamers to pay full price for smaller games. Some games could be $40 rather than $60 or whatever price-even right now. For example a single player game with not too much replay ability paying full price can be a tall order.
This is true, I tried but couldn’t stand Witcher 3, Elder Scrolls games, BOTW, and all final fantasy games. I know I’m missing some gems, I just can’t get into them personally, and I hope that’s ok. These are my preferences
So they are your preferences not truth.
It is truth to me, based on my preferences and having not liked many prior “masterpieces”
Depends on the game. Some games you are honestly thinking “my god they are sandbagging the hell out of this” and just really want to get to the end. If your story is good and your gameplay matches you still don’t want to over start your welcome.
Some games not all and the price should reflect the shorter ones and no MTs, I mean at all.
Absolutely, I miss the smaller games when everything wasn’t open-world and full of collectathons.
He must of played the section where you control Abby...
LOL. It was a very long game; all things considered, but I felt that it all worked. I admit, there were moments where I couldn't believe the story was still going, but I'm thankful for every bit that was there, because it all worked very well.
Nope. They are about the right length.
I think a game should be as long as it needs to be. Don't add bloat just to reach a runtime target, but don't cut out anything important either.
Depends on the game if the game is fun like witcher 3 it will be great if not then no need for open world in games
He wants us to pay the same price for less content? Umm? Golly G yeah....Let me get my wallet...
If the story and gameplay are great and there's tons of replayability then yeah I agree.
I will never complain about a good short game. It doesn't meander, gets to the point, is a satisfying experience, then you move onto something completely new. Perfect examples: Just finished Last of Us II and now I'm transitioning to RE7 then Ghosts of Tsushima which I hope isn't bloated.
Yes, let’s play for less game.
Why does it have to be one or the other cant we have both?
No there should be a variety in all products, some games should be long games and others should be short experiences it's up to developer intent. As soon as we say one style of game shouldn't exist then others will follow until all we have left are GaaS and mobile games that take money from our wallets with minimal content.
Depends on the game yeah. Then again we got Ubisoft games that are way too big for no reason : /
I gotta agree. Some Games are way too long. Those of us w/ lives don't have time to devote 60+ hours to a game. The vast majority of gamers NEVER see the end credits of games which lets you know that games need to be shorter.
Between 30 and 50 hours is the sweet spot for me. Exception for some amazing games with very appealing game worlds where it is never enough. I am more than glad that the 6 to 8 hours playtime area is over.