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Why Don't We Finish More Games? 341

IGN has an opinion piece discussing why, as video games get shorter, we seem less likely to finish them than in the past. For example, BioWare said only 50% of Mass Effect 2 players finished the campaign. The article goes into several reasons gamers are likely to drop games without beating them, such as lowered expectations, show-stopping bugs, and the ease with which we can find another game if this one doesn't suit us. Quoting: "... now that gamers have come to expect the annualized franchise, does that limit the impetus to jump on the train knowing another one will pull up to the station soon enough? ... In the past, once you bought a game, it was pretty much yours unless you gave it to somebody else or your family held a garage sale. The systemic rise of the used games market now offers you an escape route if a game just isn't your bag. Is the middle of a game testing your patience? Then why not sell it back to your local game shop, get money back in your pocket, or trade it in for a game that's better – or at least better suited for your tastes? After all, the sooner you ditch it either at a shop or on an online auction site, the more value you stand to get in return."
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Why Don't We Finish More Games?

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  • Re:Isn't it... (Score:4, Informative)

    by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:21AM (#34279712)

    because we're not 15 years old anymore?

    Could be. I just don't have as much time anymore. Also, a lot of games seem to be just a bit too tedious to finish. Finishing Civilization could get somewhat tedious too, but nothing like Medieval Total War 2, for example. I can't even finish the short version of that.

  • by macshit ( 157376 ) <.snogglethorpe. .at.> on Friday November 19, 2010 @07:11AM (#34279948) Homepage

    It seems like every time I stop playing a game in the middle, it's because I reach a boss or something that's simply too insanely difficult, with no obvious indication that anything except raw luck and endurance will get me past.

    If there's any hint that I'm getting better with repetition, even if slowly, then I may stick it out, but few games really seem to have that finely tuned a difficulty curve -- they tend to either be fairly easy (boss takes 2-3 tries) or just insane beyond reason...

  • Myst Uru (Score:5, Informative)

    by geobeck ( 924637 ) on Friday November 19, 2010 @09:33AM (#34280708) Homepage

    Does anyone remember Myst? Great story, superb graphics (navigating through stills to provide high res scenes), and great use of Quicktime mini-windows for animation in the days before full 3D rendering. I finished that game many times.

    Then came Riven. Five CDs full of that immersing world, and a storyline better and more complex than the first. I finished that game quite a few times as well, even though it was much longer.

    By the time Uru: Ages Beyond Myst came out, other companies had begun producing fully rendered 3D universes that were as good or better, but I bought it because it was a Myst sequel. I played through the first part, solving the challenges, then picked up the expansion packs.

    When I got to the last part, there was a challenge I couldn't figure out. After spending hours going back and forth through the section, trying to find what I had missed, I gave up and went to a walkthrough site. There it was revealed that, in order to progress further, I had to stand in one place for exactly fifteen minutes and catch a pebble that was dropped from a mechanism. I couldn't just leave and come back in approximately 15 minutes though, or the pebble would time out and leave me stranded for another 15 minutes.

    I don't know whether the game creators were trying to enforce some sort of RSI break to compensate for the carpal tunnel syndrome their games may have induced, but I felt cheated. Every other part of the series to that point I had solved myself, but how could anyone be expected to figure out that solving this last challenge required standing around doing nothing for as long as many games require you to complete an entire level?

    I turned off the game, uninstalled it, and have not played anything from those game developers since.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake