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Some crude, semi-quantitative analyses on game length, price and quality


There are always debates about what kinds of factors should be considered when reviewing a game. Should game length be taken into consideration? Is it better to play a ONE 30-hour game or THREE 10-hour games? Should the price of the game affect the review score? Should there even be a score at all?

In my mind, the right answer depends on what kind of review we are talking about. If we are discussing just the creative or artistic merits of a game, or some interesting ways on how technology is designed and implemented, then the price is not important, as Adam Sessler explains in this great video.

But if, however, the purpose of the review is to provide some sort of practical consumer information, say for a kid with $60 to spend over a few weeks of holidays, then the kid would need to judge the price of the game against its length. But these days many gamers actually prefer short games, or are less tolerant of fillers and grinding. Game length recently has been a topic of discussion lately, for example at PBS/Game show, and further continued by Polygon. So these need to be factored out. And of course, one wants to know whether the game is any good in the first place.

Let’s try to figure this out by attempting to quantify these things fairly, using information extracted from 30 games in my Steam library.

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