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Will the AAA industry ever go back shoter and more replayable games?

Given todays announcemnt of the Max Payne remakes made me nostalgic about what big games used to be. As many of you I grew up playing games that could be finished easily on a rainy weekend. Games like RE, Silent Hill, Max Payne, Legacy of Kain, Metal Gear Solid.... You know, games that when I finished them actually left me longing for more and then replayed the shit out of them. I really can't remember when was the last time I played a modern game that made me wish for more. Most of todays game are so bloody long and bloated that most of the time I just wish for them to end long before they actually do, let along wish for more after I see the credits.

In addition, all this really makes it hard for me to care about game stories. I used to have a couple of series where I was constantly looking forward to the next sequels because I wanted to know what happens next. No modern game series evokes my curiousity when it comes to story.

Anyone with me on this? I know there are still shorter games out there and all, but none of those count to the big ones. I dig the occasional sand box game like every other bloke out there but man... there's too many of those by now.

Aren't those kinda games also more interesting to devs? Can be done faster and are genereally more creative.

What do you think? Will I have to stick to Remasters and Remakes for years to come or will people get sick of the bloat one day?
 

Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Im Out No Way GIF by Barstool Sports


no thanks.
 
I'm not rich so no I dont want to pay 80 euros for a fucking 8h game. Replayability is fine but that can easily be achieved with quality 30h+ games (deus ex, prey, dishonored, souls games, etc.). I however do no want bloated af games like Ubisoft ones where they just keep adding shit on top of shit(look at Valhalla, that fukcing game never ends). Quality over quantity but nowadays with how much money corporations make they can make quality and quantity. So its just you and you should pick the games you play, better.
 

Kimahri

Gold Member
Yeah, I hope so. I want to experience and play tons of games, but with how huge they are these days I just can't. No time for it unless my enetire game is devoted to games. Which I'm not interessted in.

I miss the days when I put down a game because I'd seen the end credits, not because I was worn out and bored with it. It's suck a shitty thing, where you go from loving something to kinda hating it because it just never fucking ends. I had that issue with Persona 5. Loved it till around the 60 hour mark, and then gradually I just got more and more fed up, until I hate played it through the last hours.

Don't even care about replayability, but it's clearly more tempting to replay something I know I can finish in a sensible amount of time, than something I know will take months,
 

Banjo64

Gold Member
The AAA market? No. Sadly.

The tent pole releases from Sony, Ubisoft, CDPR, Bethesda and the like, they'll continue being in the 80 hour+ range to 100%.

Some smaller studios that I’m paying attention to moving forward;

Moon Studios; the Ori and the Blind Forest (8 hours) and Ori and the Will of the Wisps (14 hours) are currently developing an Action RPG game.

Asobo; creators of A Plague Tale (12 hours) are currently working on a sequel scheduled for this year.

Playtonic / Gears for Breakfast; we should be seeing their next projects soon. If you like the platformer genre.

Insomniac are always good for Ratchet games, which are usually only 6-8 hours long.

I need to play Kena too.

It’s a pain in the ass as there’s a really small pool of quality shorter games to choose from.
 
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Nankatsu

Member
I think it's just a matter of identifying what type of games you are willing to spend time with.

I like my games with enough length to justify the money I put in to play them. Not saying I don't play shorter games, but I just tend to balance out the number of hours I can squeeze from a game vs the money I'm gonna spend.

But to be honest, I think shorter games will become rarer and are sort of a niche segment.
 
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I'm not rich so no I dont want to pay 80 euros for a fucking 8h game. Replayability is fine but that can easily be achieved with quality 30h+ games (deus ex, prey, dishonored, souls games, etc.). I however do no want bloated af games like Ubisoft ones where they just keep adding shit on top of shit(look at Valhalla, that fukcing game never ends). Quality over quantity but nowadays with how much money corporations make they can make quality and quantity. So its just you and you should pick the games you play, better.
I'm not asking for a new concept here. We used to pay this much for shorter games and none of us went hungry because of it. And I daresay that if you can afford a 500 buck console you can afford a 60-70 EUR game a month.
 

CeeJay

Member
Yeah bring on the shorter games.

With Gamepass there is a model there that will work for shorter (possibly episodic) games. I agree that I don't want to be paying full price for a short game but with limited time for gaming these days it means that I rule out any longer games outright unless they are exceptional. I also hate to rush through any game that I am playing, I want to fully immerse myself in the story and the lore, I am about 100 hours into Elden Ring and only a couple of great enemies felled, it'll probably take me to the end of the year or beyond to get through it. I normally tend to play games that either don't have an end (or story) so I can dip in and out without losing where I am up to such as Forza, Sea of Thieves, World of Tanks etc. I also play quite a lot of rouguelikes/lites or strategy/building type games that I can start a new game and play for a while and then drop for a while such as Cities Skyline, Civ or Kerbal Space Program. I do love a good story based game but they just take far to long to get through these days and if I do start one I either drop it without completing or have to exclusively play it for a very long period of time and end up with a lot of backlog. The shorter story based games these days tend to be indies, you just don't get anything short in the AAA space and I think there is a place for those games. There have been exceptions such as The Order 1886 or Quantum Break but they have been fairly few and far between. Quite a lot of gamers these days seem to shout about how short games lack content but then speedrun through and skip a lot of it anyway! I get a few hours a couple of evenings a week tops to play games so even something that I put 40 hours into is going to take me a couple of months to get through. Not everyone can plough an unlimited number of hours into something like those who can complete a game like Elden Ring in a week. There is definitely a place for quality games that are on the shorter side.
 
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I'm not asking for a new concept here. We used to pay this much for shorter games and none of us went hungry because of it. And I daresay that if you can afford a 500 buck console you can afford a 60-70 EUR game a month.

Nah, different times, very different times. Gaming entertainment when I was younger was not as huge as it is now. Also how is it an 80 euro game a month if its just 8hours? I'll finish that in 3 days, what am I going to do for the rest of the month? No, sorry, if we can receive 100+ hours of quality content like ER theres no excuse and no reason for games under 20-30h to exist in the AAA industry. Indies are fine if theyre short because they dont cost 10% of my income and I can certainly buy 5 to 10 of those and will hold me 30ish hours.
 
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MrTentakel

Member
It´s not either or, there are enough AAA publishers to deliver shorter, tighter awesome gaming experiences and 120 hour filler filled diluted snoozefests.
 

rofif

Gold Member
Even Elden Ring is too big and bloated with repeated bosses, crafting and plenty of weird additions.
I can replay Dark Souls 1,2,3 each in 20 hours or 30 if I go deep.
But for Elden Ring, you need as much time as for whole trilogy...

I never had nothing against 6-20 hours curated experience. I like to replay these games. Half-Life 2 did not needed to be 50 hours. Yet I still replayed it 10 times and found new stuff and details every time. And it's a 10 hour game.
Edit: and yes. I replayed Max Payne 2 last year. It's the best 5 hour game ever. You can play it 15 times and you find something new every time
 
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rofif

Gold Member
Yeah bring on the shorter games.

With Gamepass there is a model there that will work for shorter (possibly episodic) games. I agree that I don't want to be paying full price for a short game but with limited time for gaming these days it means that I rule out any longer games outright unless they are exceptional. I also hate to rush through any game that I am playing, I want to fully immerse myself in the story and the lore, I am about 100 hours into Elden Ring and only a couple of great enemies felled, it'll probably take me to the end of the year or beyond to get through it. I normally tend to play games that either don't have an end (or story) so I can dip in and out without losing where I am up to such as Forza, Sea of Thieves, World of Tanks etc. I also play quite a lot of rouguelikes/lites or strategy/building type games that I can start a new game and play for a while and then drop for a while such as Cities Skyline, Civ or Kerbal Space Program. I do love a good story based game but they just take far to long to get through these days and if I do start one I either drop it without completing or have to exclusively play it for a very long period of time and end up with a lot of backlog. The shorter story based games these days tend to be indies, you just don't get anything short in the AAA space and I think there is a place for those games. There have been exceptions such as The Order 1886 or Quantum Break but they have been fairly few and far between. Quite a lot of gamers these days seem to shout about how short games lack content but then speedrun through and skip a lot of it anyway! I get a few hours a couple of evenings a week tops to play games so even something that I put 40 hours into is going to take me a couple of months to get through. Not everyone can plough an unlimited number of hours into something like those who can complete a game like Elden Ring in a week. There is definitely a place for quality games that are on the shorter side.
No. Not like this.
We don't want cheap, gamepass shorter games.
We want quality games that are normal length. Not open world bloated God of wars (Which I still of course loved)
 

Allandor

Member
The AAA market? No. Sadly.

The tent pole releases from Sony, Ubisoft, CDPR, Bethesda and the like, they'll continue being in the 80 hour+ range to 100%.
...
The problem isn't that they are 80 hours+, the problem e.g. with ubisoft titles is, that they basically stretch everything into length that they could have done in a much shorter time.

CDPR on the other had already did that with cyberpunk. Yes you can play this games for hours and hours, ... but you can complete the story in ~20h. Witcher 3 wasn't that short, but I really can't tell because I took almost every side-quest I could get and I am at ~100h into the game. Completed the main story at around 80h (played the game over 2 years here and there) and than the addons .... Problem with such long games is that you just don't know the details of the story anymore when you reach the end. On the other hand, the world of Witcher 3 is filled with story and consequences for your decisions if every ubisoft open world game would be like CDPRs witcher 3 I wouldn't complain. But the big problem are those long running open world games that are interesting at the beginning and maybe interesting at the end (AC Valhalla .. first few hours are ok, that ~60h nothing really special is happening and everything repeats itself and after that at some point the story suddenly ends ....).
 

Keihart

Member
I would like shorter but better games, sadly, it's way easier to pursue longer than better games to justify the asking price.
It's a generalization ofcourse, there are still several devs that have no problem on pursuing shorter games or focused on replayability and we even have some that are feeling comfortable pursuing both like ND and FromSoft, both dev's last game was their biggest games while upping the quality on every aspect.
 
Nah, different times, very different times. Gaming entertainment when I was younger was not as huge as it is now. Also how is it an 80 euro game a month if its just 8hours? I'll finish that in 3 days, what am I going to do for the rest of the month? No, sorry, if we can receive 100+ hours of quality content like ER theres no excuse and no reason for games under 20-30h to exist in the AAA industry. Indies are fine if theyre short because they dont cost 10% of my income and I can certainly buy 5 to 10 of those and will hold me 30ish hours.
You can still have those. We had those back in the days as well. The issue I have is that shorter big games have almost completely vanished.
What was so bad about MGS1-4? Nothing. Man, I remeber being hyped through the roof for MGS2 and then when it finally got out I finished it in one day. I wasn't mad - and considering it's status as classic I think not many others were.

I don't suddenly want the whole indstury to only makes games like that but I want them back. I'm sick of buying a new games and knowing it'll take me 3+ months to finish em. It's such a slog and like someone elese here say that no matter how good the games are at first buy the end I will certainly be sick of them.
 

CeeJay

Member
No. Not like this.
We don't want cheap, gamepass shorter games.
We want quality games that are normal length. Not open world bloated God of wars (Which I still of course loved)
Its an often repeated myth that Gamepass reduces quality, of course the quality needs to be high, that's expected when a game is described as AAA. Microsoft was the highest rated publisher last year with every game (except those that PS had an exclusivity deal on) appearing on Gamepass. Lower quality was a fear that a lot of people had about Gamepass in the early days that was repeated by the naysayers and console warriors but I think the results so far speak for themselves, can we let this myth die?
 

balls of snow

Gold Member
The AAA market? No. Sadly.

The tent pole releases from Sony, Ubisoft, CDPR, Bethesda and the like, they'll continue being in the 80 hour+ range to 100%.

Some smaller studios that I’m paying attention to moving forward;

Moon Studios; the Ori and the Blind Forest (8 hours) and Ori and the Will of the Wisps (14 hours) are currently developing an Action RPG game.

Asobo; creators of A Plague Tale (12 hours) are currently working on a sequel scheduled for this year.

Playtonic / Gears for Breakfast; we should be seeing their next projects soon. If you like the platformer genre.

Insomniac are always good for Ratchet games, which are usually only 6-8 hours long.

I need to play Kena too.

It’s a pain in the ass as there’s a really small pool of quality shorter games to choose from

The longer the better for AAA. You dont see people complaining about length regarding the current golden child of gaming. Why is that? Because when you love the world, atmosphere, and story, padding doesnt seem like wasting your time. You want to immerse yourself more in the world.
A shortish game has its place and great for revisiting every once in a while though.
 
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You can still have those. We had those back in the days as well. The issue I have is that shorter big games have almost completely vanished.
What was so bad about MGS1-4? Nothing. Man, I remeber being hyped through the roof for MGS2 and then when it finally got out I finished it in one day. I wasn't mad - and considering it's status as classic I think not many others were.

I don't suddenly want the whole indstury to only makes games like that but I want them back. I'm sick of buying a new games and knowing it'll take me 3+ months to finish em. It's such a slog and like someone elese here say that no matter how good the games are at first buy the end I will certainly be sick of them.

Can I still have those tho? 2021 and 2022 are one of the worst years for AAA releases, not in the sense that they're bad but they're just...too few and I cannot comprehend how they dont have time to finish 4 AAA games in a year. This year you have ER and Forbidden West and thats kinda it until the end of the year. Thats not much, at all. So yes, if you want along with these long games shorter AAA ones, thats fine but not to replace them because then we'd nothing but indies and garbage online service games.
 

InfiniteCombo

Gold Member
Not in the era of “muh content” where games have to be padded out with hours of filler.
Pretty much. We're already seeing it in this very thread.

The dumb argument breaks down when you consider this Super Nintendo ad:



A couple of Donkey Kong games, one of them being $60... In 1996 dollars. (About $105 in 2021 dollars, likely even more today since inflation has been insane this year).

And a lot of classic games -- from that ad alone, you have Donkey Kong Country 2 and Yoshi's Island, both of which are always very high in both "Greatest SNES games" and "greatest of all time" rankings. Yet these games weren't about being 80 hours of bloat. They were about being 80 hours of replay -- replaying levels because they were just fun, finding secrets (remember those?), seeing alternate paths or endings, etc.

So yes, I'm very much with OP in that I want more games that offer shorter, more focused experiences that I replay because I want to.

The irony of the whole thing is that there are relatively "short" games that I've played for more hours than giant expansive open worlds, precisely because of the replay, fun, and tight gameplay factors.
 
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The irony of the whole thing is that there are relatively "short" games that I've played for more hours than giant expansive open worlds, precisely because of the replay, fun, and tight gameplay factors.
My man. I think this is because of the perect game flow shorter games often have. There is just no time for slog and hence you are immediately encouraged to replay the game.
I activly noticed and was reminded of this back when I played RE2+3 remakes. Once the credits rolled I immediately restarted the game - and then again. As soon as a game comes close or goes beyond the 20 hour mark I'm like "yeah, the game is great at the beginning, the end and somwhere in between but I'm not sure I can do through the occasional slog again" - and yeah, games with these lengths inevitably have these slogs.
 
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AA games today are often as polished as a AAA game of the past...delve into some of those if you want shorter games...in most mediums if you want a taste of the past you have to dive into the indie scene. Games now are about content since it takes longer and more money to make games...companies aren't pouring 70 million plus into shorter games. But Control might be up your alley. It's pretty short and quality.
 
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Hopefully not, i like long games and i don't wanna wait and getting hyped for 4-6 years to finish a game in 3 days.
A game doesn't have to be artificially long for me, but i like my games to be filled with enough side content. Good side content tho, custom side quest, or engaging activities, not just mindless collectathons/ clearing out bases.
 

cireza

Member
You are talking of times that allowed for games like Panzer Dragoon Orta, Otogi or Jet Set Radio to exist. Of course we need to go back to this. Short but awesome games with great replayability.

Sadly it will never happen. Nowadays, AAA "games" are bloated with lists of things to do and feel like work. Fun is not part of it anymore.

Sonic games are still like this. However the next entry is going to be another fucking open-world.
 
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Three

Member
"You know, games that when I finished them actually left me longing for more and then replayed the shit out of them."

Why would you want less to want more and end up repeating the same thing in place of it. Why not just want the more? Can't say I'm surprised by the u turn on short games now. Predicted it would happen. Games in the past were blasted for being short.
 
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"You know, games that when I finished them actually left me longing for more and then replayed the shit out of them."

Why would you want less to want more and end up repeating the same thing in place of it. Why not just want the more? Can't say I'm surprised by the u turn on short games now. Predicted it would happen. Games in the past were blasted for being short.
It has a better flow. Most gameplay mechanics are only fun for so long.
Movies vs. series is a good comparison. Former usually feels much better structured and has next to no filler, unlike the latter.
 

The artful mincer

Gold Member
Not at full price no. For 20 to 30 quid yeah. How many of those game were truly replayable?

Some were like mgs and resident evil. But plenty weren't like call of duty. Long games can be replayable like dark souls, god of war, and witcher 3.
 

rofif

Gold Member
Not at full price no. For 20 to 30 quid yeah. How many of those game were truly replayable?

Some were like mgs and resident evil. But plenty weren't like call of duty. Long games can be replayable like dark souls, god of war, and witcher 3.
So You are saying that game like Half Life 2 could not be 70 usd nowadays ?!
I would happily pay 70usd for half life 3 the same style and length as 2
 

AJUMP23

Member
Games today revolve replayability on the multiplayer experience. Games like APEX Legends and COD MW all want you to replay the same map.
 

Hugare

Member
It's a hard sell when games are being sold for $70, no matter how good it turns out to be

Because they need to "justify" the game's price

Mirror Edge is my most replayed game of all time, probably. But selling a 4h game for $70 today would be insane.

Look for indies, and definitely check Returnal
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
Yea, hard to say. Gamers are fickle and it's so easy to have something written off within days of release if the internet dog piles on it. I would imagine that developers/publishers take game length into account during the planning stage and would rather add filler than release a "short" game.

Based on Shinji's recent comments, Tango Gameworks might be a noteworthy studio to provide shorter/replayable games.

As much flak as RE3make gets for being short, the game is actually pretty brilliant in it's own way. It's kind of designed around New Game +/speed running.
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
"You know, games that when I finished them actually left me longing for more and then replayed the shit out of them."

Why would you want less to want more and end up repeating the same thing in place of it. Why not just want the more? Can't say I'm surprised by the u turn on short games now. Predicted it would happen. Games in the past were blasted for being short.
Sometimes short and sweet is better than long and bloated.

RE 96 is damn short but has multiple scenarios within each scenario, and multiple endings. It's great going through and switching up your route in the mansion to see what events it might trigger. Silent Hill too, lots of different endings but it's a short game.

RE: Revelations, that game feels like an eternity in the later parts of the game, just turns into a total slog and there's nothing dynamic about it. It's just long and drawn out.
 
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