Games get traded in because they are too short, Avalanche boss says

By Shawn Knight · 22 replies
Jun 17, 2013
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  1. The used game industry has been flourishing for years but have you ever really stopped to think about why that is? While it’s no doubt true that some gamers trade in older titles to help finance the purchase of a...

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  2. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 863   +204

    Definitely! I always trade in short games. I don't see a reason to keep a game if I'm not going to play it more than once.
    avoidz and psycros like this.
  3. But thats one of the reasons, the 2nd and most powerfull reasons is that if its not an epic game, after you finish trade it or sell it to recash yourself and get more games......why you should keep it?, you do bussiness with it like any other thing on the planet
    avoidz likes this.
  4. coppersloane

    coppersloane TS Enthusiast Posts: 108   +33

    Not sure why this is a revelation to so-called experts; it's common sense to anyone who has been gaming for a while. Yes, shorter games are traded in more often. I'll go a step further and offer clues to another revelation: if gamers know how short the game is beforehand, they'll second guess their decision to buy it. After a game's release, one of the first things I Google is 'How long is X game?'

    If it can be completed in under 10 hours, and it isn't a fighting, racing, or some kind of sim, there's no way I'm buying it at full price. Are you kidding? We're in the middle of a recession. And even if we weren't, there's just no bloody way I'll plunk down 60 bucks to play something for 8 hours, then shelve it. That's a single night of play. In the case of such games, I wait a few months for used copies to show up, then I buy it for like 20 bucks or less.

    If developers aren't willing to put in the work to offer an experience that lasts for more than a night, why should I pay what is currently considered full price? I don't care about the budget it had. I don't care what kind of technology they pioneered. If I want to go gaga over visuals and cool new tech, I'll go to the movies and pay 20 bucks for a ticket.
  5. Most games get traded in because they are just plain bad and dont warrant playing again. these days, most games no longer allow the user to create their own content either.
  6. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    "or has online multiplayer changed that dynamic?" This is actually a big problem with new games, they focus too much time on a half ***'d multiplayer mode just to overcome the short comings of the single player experience. Almost like they think, well it has multiplayer so people are going to keep the game after the 8 hour campaign, simple answer is no thats not how it works.
    psycros likes this.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714   +855

    I don't own a console, so don't trade games in. But I can certainly vouch for games being shorter these days. The original Crysis? Took about 15 hours to finish. Crysis 3? 6 hours. Bioshock and Bioshock 2? Between 20 and 22 hours. Bioshock: Infinite? 11 hours.

    This is one of the reasons why I'm seriously considering the new Elder Scrolls Online game. I'd like to get some value out of my money by having extended play.
    McNasty and psycros like this.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 953   +515

    I find that it usually happens because Devs put more effort in making a good looking game than working on good/long gameplay. Few Devs actually can do both, and do it well.

    I think that if games weren't resellable (like Steam), people would actually think about their purchase and not buy too expensive of games that don't give enough value for their money...
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,290

    Most of us are already at that point. How many people buy games as soon as they come out? Not many I'll wager. They wait a month or two and get it for half price off Steam..and only if they've heard good things about it. Everyone buys used now which is why the industry wants to kill used games. But they can't, because gamers can't afford $60 for 8-10 hours of interactive cutscenes with no replayability. If they kill the used games market on consoles then consoles will suffer and the PC will grow stronger. And the only thing the industry hates more than used console games is PC games. The big publishers are already losing control of the PC thanks to the growth of indie devlopment, Kickstarter and other pro-gamer efforts. If they push console players away then somebody is going to release a full-blown, hardware-standardized gaming PC that has all the advantages of a console with none of the drawbacks.
    avoidz likes this.
  10. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    I would certainly agree to this from my habits.

    My copy of Just Cause 2 is still sitting in my collection today even though other games have come and gone since I bought it. Doubt I'll ever go back to it though, even though it has a massive open world to explore you soon find there's nothing really of interest anywhere in it, sadly.
  11. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I think they get traded because they're expensive from the jump and there's some residual value left after a few weeks. Which is just enough time for the next big title to come out.

    What they need to do is streamline production so there aren't as many hands to feed. Gamers have to deal with high costs because of console licenses, cost to distribute, retail overhead, costs for marketing, and finally developers costs. All these fees add up, and only 1 of these fees actually goes to the studio that made the game.
  12. Littleczr

    Littleczr TS Addict Posts: 439   +86

    I don't know about you guys but I don't play single player games anymore, unless its on my phone.
  13. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    They get traded because consoles are eroding good-quality game making. Tell me, what are the great console games that you'd keep for replayability? On PC, there's no problem:

    - Just Cause 2, includes endless hours, endless afterparty mods (multiplayer, anyone?)
    - CS:S, customisation, map packs, private servers... need I say more?
    - Half Life: endless customisation and spin-offs, Gmod, etc...
    - Civ series

    tl;dr: start making games for PCs again you twats.
  14. FF222

    FF222 TS Booster Posts: 93   +33

    It's not about shortness. It's about having no replay value. In the old home computer era we had games that had a dozen or less levels, all perfectly completable in 3-10 minutes. But most of games had immense replay value, because even though the tasks were simple, events (for ex. opponents appearing) happened in some random ways, and you had tons of ways to complete the levels.

    Now with today's games that's not the case anymore. They're all fully scripted, which means that no matter how many times you replay them, all your opponents appear at the same position, at the same time, behave the same way. There's nothing changing, and you don't have multiple ways to complete a level or a task. You just simply have to follow thru the same single path, literally, because most of the time you're just walking, and all the action happens in a scripted, some times not even interactive way.

    Oh, and the worst is: in most games you can't skip those scripted scenes, even if you're seeing them for the 100th time.

    Who the hell would like to replay such games again and again?

    Games should be less scripted, more alternatives to complete a task or mission, or even offer completely different approaches. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a prime example of how to make a modern FPS game, that can be played many ways, that offers many alternative path, and many different achievements - and as such has a tremendous replay value.
  15. I beat The last of us in one weekend. I would trade it in but Im selling it to a less fortunate friend so he can enjoy it for cheap. It seams when I want a fast fix I game on the console. I game on the pc for everyhing else as some have already mentioned.
  16. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    The length of games is of paramount importance to me (apart from enjoyment). I'm not interested in multiplayer games at all hence I won't buy games like the COD series which I've enjoyed in the past but I can now play the single player campaign from start to finish during my lunch break. It's just not worth it.
  17. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Most games are to easy
  18. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Booster Posts: 115   +17

    This is so true. I remember when games took some skill, thought, and challenged us. I could take pride beating a boss that others couldn't. Remember Vanilla WoW? That was when the game was more about the challenge than the stupid pet rewards from endless grinding. CoD is way too easy now to appeal to a large market. That is the issue, trying to make games for everyone. Not everyone likes the same games, so find your niche and cater to that audience.
    Just because you give me a little pop up for completing some stupid achievement its supposed to make me want to play more? Adding achievements does not add replayability.
  19. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    As someone whos previous job was to actually run a used game store I can pipe in on this. Yes, shorter games do get traded in more often, they also dont get purchased as often after they are used. Howeve the exec has NO idea about gamers OR the used game business. Most gamers enjoy buying new games, thier wallets cant handle that. So they trade in that "cool" or "hot" game towards the purchase of that new game. It doesnt matter that they had to trade in 6-7 titles they no longer play for it. Its about the gamer economy. Gamers dont get "random" games for themselves. There is thought and reaserch put into ANY purchase. So when a gamer is trading in, they are trading in games they chose. They leave the good stuff they like to play at home and basically trade in the "Trash" games.
  20. technogiant

    technogiant TS Member Posts: 30   +14

    TBH as regards re-playability I think developers are going the wrong way...scripted action, cut scenes and story lines....seriously as an FPS gamer I really don't give a fig about the story....just give me the action.....I think that's why fps multiplayer is so popular, it's just a quick adrenaline fix although IMO multiplayer is a little shallow.

    So in all I think game design is the problem.... I'd love a single player survival, or survival/ horror type game, perhaps zombie based. No storyline required just a massive hugely detailed open environment with a high level of interactivity and in depth character/skill customisation together with in depth scavenging/item modification abilities and a good helping of advance NPC AI objective just stay alive and strive to improve your abilities/processions. Could be take even further online with an MMO persistent world/player type format combining NCP's with real online players with the possibility of being a lone wolf or joining up with others to form clans for some inter player conflict as well as constant background of NCP vs real player activity.
  21. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    You're not a PC gamer, are you? You just described Day Z (or whatever it is) in a nutshell.
  22. technogiant

    technogiant TS Member Posts: 30   +14

    Well I am...but I've been more interested in Overclocking and making novel cooling solutions recently.....but hey thanks for that... really looks like the sort of thing I could spent many hours with....can't wait till the full game comes out.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  23. Cota

    Cota TS Enthusiast Posts: 513   +8

    Not entirely true, but its a reason, for a game to be actually good, it must comply whit the likes of a a lot of different auditions, for example:

    -CoD, they have a linear mid-long campaign, but they are one of the top sellers, why? because of their multiplayer, people like to run spray bullets and earn points.
    -Skyrim: a very short campaign but whit a huge world to explore, lore, artifacts and stories.
    -Subway Surfers: a lot of moving from one side to side.
    -Minecraft: an infinite world, an infinite number of possibilities, and infinite gameplay, no holding your hand telling you what to do.

    See the difference in these titles?

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