|Image courtesy of NEOGaf.|
Let's break this down. Since the inception of the home console, games have always been an expensive hobby. Looking at the chart below, provided by GamesBrief.com, it's easy to see that, despite the common consensus, players have been paying a pretty penny for this hobby for a long time now. And these are just console prices alone. Today, with Xbox One and PS4 only costing between $350 and $400 (depending on the current sales from retailers), the consoles themselves are easily within the spectrum of cheapest video game entertainment systems ever released when you adjust for inflation to compare accurately.
|We live in a great time to be a gamer.|
|Online distribution will change this even more.|
Using the wonderful website HowLongToBeat.com, it's easy to look into game play times for most popular games on pretty much any platform. Now, disclaimer: I do know that HowLongToBeat is a community website, which means that all of the times displayed are from average gamers who give the amount of time it took them individually to play the game, so these aren't "official" play times. But what better way to get the play time than from average gamers like ourselves? Okay, disclaimer is over.
Let's look at games on some of the popular platforms over the years. Atari 2600 only has 32 games with times posted, but the average play time for each game is between half an hour and two hours. Adventure, the classic adventure game, can be beat in 10 minutes. E.T. is an hour long on average. Pitfall can be conquered in one and a half hours. As a matter of fact, the longest game on the list is 2 1/2 hours long. Not much game for your buck if you are rating games on length.
|Image courtesy of IGN.com.|
These are just a few of the games that released and not every game was as short as they are, with the original Legend of Zelda clocking in around 9 1/2 hours and Final Fantasy clocking in around 17 1/2 hours, but, much like today, there are different types of games with varying lengths but similar production values releasing at a similar price.
If these examples are too far back for your taste, let's consider a few examples from today. There are plenty examples of both smaller and larger games that would "equate" to the asking price and length as The Order: 1886. Murdered: Soul Suspect from Airtight Games averages at 6 1/2 hours worth of play time and was created in very similar circumstances as The Order: 1886, with both games being created by smaller, independent studios with the help of a larger publisher (Square Enix in Murdered: Soul Suspect's case and Sony Santa Monica Studios in The Order's case). Injustice: Gods Among Us from NetherRealm Studios is also only 5 hours long and is a very well received AAA title. Even large franchises, like Sony's LittleBigPlanet have short entries, with LittleBigPlanet 3 having an average play time of 5 1/2 hours to beat the story.
|Image courtesy of Playstation.|
What are your thoughts? Do you still think the cost of short games is too high? Does the length of The Order: 1886 turn you off to the game? Leave some comments below or talk at me @Jesterhead0302 on Twitter. And, as always, keep the conversation going.