AAA Games are way too long nowadays

Since the start of the 8th gen, games have seen quite an inflation of lengh, becoming longer and longer, introducing lite-RPG mechanics in genre that previously wasn’t built around it.

Game as a service culture is of course a big part of this and I’m still shocked by the time I’ve spent on some titles, but the fact is that more and more, I feel like games tends to be less memorable, dense, and focus than they were.

The last exemple of it for me, is the game I’m currently playing : The Callisto Protocol.

Despite being “short” (like 12 to 14 hours) the game massively overstay is welcome with repetitive ennemies and level design. It drags way too much with very little new mecanics to justify himself.

Open world is a trend that destroy overall enjoyment of games for me. The two games that did Open world just fine for me in term of lengh are Sonic Frontiers (because he has in fact 5 overworld quite varied in activities) and Halo Infinite which is quite short and focus.

Dark Souls I and III are both fantastic games. Elden Ring seems like four time bigger and as a result was a shore for me because of it. It just didn’t seem to justify it.

I begin to think that games should be way shorter (like Callisto Protocol could easily be 5 to 6 hours game and a much better one because of that change of scope !) and they could retain the same price has the 8th gen. AAA Gaming has a whole seems to lack fresh ideas and iterate too much and for too long on derivative formulas.

I don’t know if this is something you feel about gaming nowadays, but I find experiences like A Short Hike, Hellblade, Halo Infinite (even if there is repetition in this one too) to be better games not because they do something different, but because they are doing less, are much more focus and the scope isn’t about being a crazy long adventure.

My point is : if your game has little to offer in term of fresh ideas, you should focus on this difference and don’t try to be the next big open world game or don’t be afraid to offer a short experience.

I don’t know what you guys think about it, maybe I’ve just played too much videogames and I’m bored of them in general ?


It’s designed that way. AAA games are developed with the thought in mind that it should be the only game you’ll ever play. The longer you play a game, the more you’ll likely spend on it via micro transactions.

That’s why ABK games had such a bad wrap before the acquisition. Ubisoft has micro transactions in their AC series, and they’re single player. Even GoW: Ragnarok can stretch over 40 hrs. if you’re taking your time/trying to platinum. But in this case, I think it’s just trying to stretch that $70 price.

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It’s by design of course, but I don’t understand why it’s that way in singleplayer games. I could spend more on the game for a DLC if I want more of the game, but if it’s already completely bloated (like I think GOW 2018 and Elden Ring are) I don’t care about an extension.

Ubisoft games feels like work for me. I did finish AC : Odyssey and kind of liked it but I never, never want to play it again, the game is like 50 to 70 hours too long for it’s own good.

And I don’t think a big lengh is a valid point to justify a 70$ price point. Production value, innovative ideas are far better justification for me.

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I agree with all your points. But to answer why they’re in single player games, the answer is as I had said before: they want it to be the only game you’re playing. At this point, time is our most important resource as gamers.

That’s an interresting idea : the notion of engagement is everywhere in modern gaming and time seems indeed to be what gaming is about nowadays.

Guess it’s logical with apparition of free to play gaming and the mobile market has a whole, engagement help convincing people to spend their money on a single game.

Could explain the necessity of subscription service to help “buy to play” games existing in a market where most of the gamers spend their time on one or two games per year.

Repetition has always being a part of videogames, the question for me is how fun the game is even if it is repetitive in some spots. A game can have a limited amount of things available (mechanics, enemies e.t.c.) and still mix things up in a way to still be interesting and fun (Death’s Door is a masterful example of this). There will always be things that you can criticize in a game depending on your point of view and what you look for in videogames (repetition, lack of replay value, lack of challenge or too much challenge, too simple or too complicated mechanics e.t.c.) what matters the most IMO is if the final verdict was positive or not in the end.

I think there is room for both epic journeys and shorter experiences, I don’t prefer one over the other because every game is a unique case. For example Hellblade was a boring slog for me even if it was a 5-6 hour game and Halo Infinite (which wasn’t short) was one of my favorite Halo campaigns even if the side activities could be more varied. All I know is that I had a lot of fun with Halo Infinite in which I spent 30+ hrs in it, was bored to death by Hellblade and I have almost 300 hrs in Elden Ring and I would’ve gladly start another playthrough if I had the time.

I am one of those weird and dumb people that paid full price for short games by today’s standard (like ICO, Vanquish, REmake 3) and never regretted it but sadly the gaming community and reviewers don’t take too well shorter experiences, most of the times the short length is mentioned as a negative in reviews and the first thing that you see from the community is “no way I am paying full price for this” or “I’ll wait till it hits 20e”. So in extension this is why you see games/series double or even triple their playtime over the years, I can’t blame the developers because this is the way the market reacts to shorter games for more than a decade now (unless they are indie games at 20/30 euros). :man_shrugging:


Shorter AAA single player games had trouble selling for full price last gen. Ryse, Order 1886 or Quantum Break flopped hard. Existing franchises needed to adapt. Uncharted from 10-12 hour campaign became 20 hour game. God of War, from lean 8 hour campaigns became 40 hour game. Even Gears 5 is easily 1.5 the lenght of Gears 3

Yep, games are way too bloated nowadays

I used to love long games but over time they’ve got bigger and bigger at the cost of a better game in order to give the illusion of better value but ever since GP came along, I value the short experiences far more now

But I do get why people hate the idea of paying $70 or worse £70 for an experience that will end in a few hours when there games out there that will last you hundreds

Yep, I’ve seen this so many times and I myself think like this sometime and immediatly regret prefering “longer game” vs “games that provide shorter experience”. Recently, I was quite enjoying Persona 5 but after 15 hours I was like “no way I play more of this if the game takes 100 hours to beat”.

I remember the time I was a completionist myself and played a shit ton of Fallout New Vegas or even The Witcher 3 and today I won’t be able to do so because I just know way to well how these game play and I feel I’m losing my time playing them.

Gears 5 was a good exemple of “longer” but not too much for my taste. I really enjoyed the more “open section” and fragmented level design. I felt it was refreshing but not bloated, that something I remember not being appreciate about the game but I really dig the skiff moments.

God of War is nightmarish for me. Everytime I play the 2018 one I just keep telling myself “in 20 hours of playtime, there is far less setpieces and memorable moments than in 4 hours of Chains of Olympus on PSP” and it drives me crazy :sweat_smile: I just can’t handle the change of pace and the overall “RPG lite” aspect of this game, it adds nothing to te game and it will be FAR better shorter and focus on the character dynamic and more “action combat” without RPG non sense (and I love RPG).

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I’m definitely in the pretty much never paying full price for any game under 40 hours camp. No game, for me, could be from a quality standpoint ever be great enough to get me to pay 70 bucks for a 15 hour game, no way, no how, no chance. It would have to have GOAT tier potential for me to maybe buy a game at full price that was 30 dollars.

The 20 hour range is when I’m just really starting to get into a game.

Even a game like Shadow of the Colossus, Last Guardian ? Very high quality narrative experiences focus on environmental storytelling and simpler gameplay ?

Yes I would never pay more than 20 bucks for any short game. Truthfully I would most likely only play them on Game Pass or not at. I am not down with short games at all.

I’m not sure I’m that hardcore, but I agree to an extent. A really good game can fill those hours without being repetitive or boring, and those epic experiences are my S-tier games. The ones I will pay full price for and most likely to play at launch. Every other game is compared to these when I judge what I’m willing to pay.

Examples: Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, Fallout New Vegas and on the upcoming front; Starfield.

You want me to pay the same for a 5 hour game? Yeah, not happening.

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I realize the struggle with huge and lengthy games but I still play them anyway lol. I think with how much I have to play I can easily diversify my play order, after a big game i’d focus on smaller game and then a medium length game etc. I check HLTB a lot and it helps me decide what to play next a lot of the time. I don’t play two big and lengthy games consecutively.


No not long enough, if i’m gone to pay 70… i want my games to last over 100 hours and has endless reply value.

It depends on what I want to do in a game, if a game has side content that I can ignore and don’t feel like doing in one playthrough I ignore it, shorting my time with the game. Elden Ring was a great example of a game with about 100+ hours of content that I finished the first time in about 65, and I have cut that time down to less than 40.