Today’s era is a golden era for video games. In 2021 alone, thousands of games will be released. The problem now is whether gamers have time to complete them or not. Some games have main quest lines that take up to 40 hours of continuous play or more, not to mention “sequel” gameplay, making it increasingly difficult for players to complete.
The race to keep gamers in the game world
According to the website How Long to Beat, the game “Elden Ring”, the hit fantasy epic open world game has just launched, requiring gamers to play at least 46.5 hours continuously to complete the plot, becoming became one of the most time consuming games due to its high difficulty and lack of detailed instructions. Also from this website, gamers will take about 107 hours to complete all tasks in the game.
Games are taking up more and more players’ time. According to the Washington Post, gamers need to spend at least 200 hours playing to “destroy” the best games of 2021, equivalent to 25 days of playing 8 hours in a row.
“We are seeing an explosion in the gaming industry, not just in terms of the number of games available or content, but also the number of games available,” said Mat Piscatella, game consultant at market research firm NPD Group. accompanying services”.
According to Brendan Keogh, a researcher at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, the more time a player spends in the game world, the more likely they are to pay for services in that game.
Today’s biggest game publishers are not only focused on selling copies of games, but also trying to keep players in the gaming world for as long as possible, a factor that entertainment empires like Disney and Netflix are very fond of. seriously.
“The current leading business model of the gaming industry is to keep users in the game service for as long as possible. You’re going to want gamers to stay as long as possible and not play another game,” Keogh said.
Time is money
To complete every mission in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game, it takes an average of 135 hours of gameplay, four times more than the original “Assassin’s Greed” released in 2007.
In a recent report, Ubisoft said that the “overall engagement” of players in “Valhalla” has increased significantly compared to previous games. The company revealed that gamers are spending more money on additional game content. The latest expansion of “Valhalla”, titled “Dawn of Ragnarok”, released on March 10, introduced 35 hours of content for gamers to explore. This expansion costs 40 USD but the duration is even longer than the games that cost 70 USD.
Meanwhile, the developers behind titles like “Destiny,” “Fornite,” and Call of Duty “Warzone” are offering games as a service, incentivizing players to pay from clothing items. until the new game. This is a business model inspired by free smartphone games like “Clash of Clans” or “Candy Crush” where gamers pay a small amount of money to achieve certain in-game advancements.
In 2018, $28.7 billion game developer Epic Games raked in more than $5 billion in profits from the game “Fortnite.” Last year, Activision Blizzard, owner of Call of Duty and Candy Crush games, made 74% of profits from in-game purchases.
Advances in software technology have allowed publishers to easily add to an existing virtual world. As a result, studios will take advantage of existing platforms rather than starting from scratch, Piscatella said.
The cost of making games is increasing sharply. By repurposing previous products by expanding “post-story” and additional content, game makers both save money and make games even bigger.
“It is much more economical to create large game worlds from an existing platform than it is to develop new toolkits to start over. Adding 10 hours of gameplay to an Assassin’s Creed game is cheaper than trying to build the first 10 hours of the next game,” Piscatella said.
Gamers are no longer interested in open worlds that are too large
As Alex Hutchinson, co-founder of Raccoon Logic in Montreal points out, many people just want to buy 1-2 games and see them as their sole source of entertainment. Game studios are simply meeting the needs of gamers.
But too long is not a good thing. “Dying Light 2”, a zombie game developed by Techland, when it was announced that gamers will need 500 hours of gameplay to complete the game, received a lot of hate before correcting “the main story takes only 20 hours” , 500 hours is the time to explore every corner of the map as well as the items in the game.
Philip Weber, mission design lead at CD Projekt Red, the studio behind hit titles like “The Witcher” and Cyberpunk 2077,” said there is an “arms race” between publishers in the future. the creation of open-world titles, but he hopes that this competition will “have depth rather than breadth”.
Tymon Smektala, Lead Designer of “Dying Light 2” said that many gamers are no longer interested in a game world that is too large. Gamers now also have families and jobs, they have more money but not as much time as before.
“Every person on this planet has a limited amount of time each day, and we will have to choose how we use that time.”
Vinh Ngo (According to Washington Post)
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