Weekend Question: Do you check how long games take to finish before you play them?

PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: Do you check how long games take to finish before you play them?

Howlongtobeat.com will tell you how much time it'll take to finish any given game, though the number for "Main Story" seems to assume a cutscene-skipping speedrunner's pace. Howlongtobeat's figures are pulled into both Augmented Steam and the Xbox App on PC, but do you actually look at how long games are ahead of time, whether because you're trying to figure out if they're worth the cost, or to figure out if they're short enough that you'll have time to make it to the end?
 
Nov 4, 2020
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i never used to google how to complete xyz but now i do because i had a few games that i was just getting into that suddenly ended. Yes games makers do work hard for their more but £35 to complete a game in 20 hours is not good enough
 
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Sep 20, 2022
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: Do you check how long games take to finish before you play them?

Howlongtobeat.com will tell you how much time it'll take to finish any given game, though the number for "Main Story" seems to assume a cutscene-skipping speedrunner's pace. Howlongtobeat's figures are pulled into both Augmented Steam and the Xbox App on PC, but do you actually look at how long games are ahead of time, whether because you're trying to figure out if they're worth the cost, or to figure out if they're short enough that you'll have time to make it to the end?
Sometime yes I do.
 
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I do out of curiosity, if its a sort of actiony single player non fully open world game with a campaign I'll check sometimes to see roughly how far I have left to go. It never affects my decision to buy a game though, I dont believe in any kind of dollars per hour metric to justify a game purchase. I'd rather have a fantastic 10 hours than a humdrum 100 for the same price.

In 4x or party RPG's I dont usually check as its not really as relevant because theres more chance that it will be played more than once.
 

McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Absolutely. My job and my kids usually occupy around 16 hours of my day. If I'm going to commit to a game purchase I gotta make sure I'm willing to commit to the time it takes to finish it as well. Often times I'll chip away at games like Assassins Creed: Odyssey over a long period of time. I purchased AC:O at the end of 2019 and didn't finish it until May of 2022. That's over TWO YEARS to complete the storyline of one game! Mind you I jump around to different tiles throughout, but if I'm going to commit to a lengthy title I want to know it first.
 
No. The games I play are understood to go a long time... but they aren't story driven, they are character driven... the game doesn't end just because the story does. You just play the story again with same character but evolved.

I am more likely to be disappointed if it does just end.
 
Nov 27, 2020
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As I mentioned in another post in the PCG Forum, I've always been more of a "slow-runner" than a "speed-runner". The types of games I play are mainly RPGs or RPGish in nature (like some immersive sims), and those games, overall, take a longer time to complete from start to finish.

However, I do appreciate, and make a mental note of, the time it took the author of a review article to finish the game. Such as, "it took me about 40 hours to complete the game and most of the side quests". I can take that number and double or triple it and know that it would take me at least 80-120 hours for a complete game.

But there are also many variables involved depending upon the game. Open world games, such as the Elder Scrolls or Fallout games from Bethesda, have so much to do, so many places to explore, so many quests & factions, that those games can literally be never ending. Throw in a detailed crafting system, an expansive home or settlement building system and my hours can run into the hundreds.

Other variables that can affect my hours played include detailed mini games (Caravan from FONV or Gwent from Witcher 3), complex character interactions & relationships (Mass Effects & Dragon Ages), or the flexibility to mod a given game. The reviewers time to complete a game, and I do appreciate that base number, rarely has any effect on my game purchases or playing time.
 
Apr 26, 2021
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I do try to avoid very long games. Balance my time between games and working on my other hobbies. This had lead to some long games having ended up ditched and never completed sometimes. Unfortunate, but hey. I had my fill of fun and that is all that matters in the end.

That said. If i encounter one of those games that succesfully bring out that little voice that goes "Just one more turn/run/day..". I and my other hobbies: be doomed...
 
Sometimes. Specially since GamePass, when there is a game that I wanted to play but its about to leave the service, to see if I can squish enough time until its removed to finish it (I did that with a Plague Tale recently... I had to take a sick day at job but worth it :D)
That's a great point. And Plague Tale was definitely worth taking a sick day before it left GP. Haha. It's a great game. Can't wait for the new one. I think if it left before I could finish it, I probably would have bought it, it's that good.
 
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Sep 24, 2022
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Yep, I like statistics and knowing how much time I'm likely to get out of a game, and also cataloguing how long it takes me to play games. I've been using HLTB for a year or so now for both purposes, also to gather my thoughts about finished games there in the form of reviews. Also good to be able to look up when I finished which game. Sort of the goodreads of the gaming world.

If anyone's interested in starting to catalogue game times and completions for their own games, I can recommend playnite on PC as a launcher that automatically tracks your time played across all sorts of lauchers/storefronts, so you don't have to manually time playthroughs of games that don't have their own ingame counter.
 
I can recommend playnite on PC as a launcher
Welcome to the forum :)

You seem to have more in-depth knowledge of Playnite than anyone else who's posted here. If you care to expand on it for us, it would be a great addition to this thread:
 
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