Some Gamers Bash Comment About Game Length, Prompts Clarification

Outspoken game director Hideki Kamiya's tweet about prioritising fun over game length has stirred enough of a response to provoke a follow-up from his long-time producer. A day after Kamiya said this...

His Platinum Games colleague and producer on the upcoming Wii U game The Wonderful 101, Atsushi Inaba, tweeted this:

So it looks like @PG_Kamiya has caused another bit of controversy. What he is saying is his basic approach to how he creates an action game.

The idea is rooted in that you shouldn't pad your game with content users won't enjoy in order to control play time to the end of the game. It isn't something he wants to do, or thinks you should do.

BTW, if you didn't know @PG_Kamiya is the kind of game director who will pack as much content into the game as he can until he is satisfied. If we were to give in to all of his desires, the game we'd ship would probably be some super-long action game that no one would beat.

I've been teamed up with @PG_Kamiya as his producer for a long time now, and game length is something I've never once worried about. That means both the length of a single play-through and the replayability of the game. Never worried once. Never. Actually, my job really is to be the one who says "This is too %^&* long! Cut it!"

Of course, even though @pg_kamiya didn't intend for people to jump to their own conclusions, they did. In this case, that conclusion was "So TW101 is going to be short then?!"

Let me make my own conclusion: TW101 will be so much fun you are going to wear out your Wii U GamePad. You will have plenty of fun playing it for the first time, and just as much fun playing it over and over again. Actually, the Wii U GamePad is pretty sturdy, so you probably won't wear it out... And I'm sorry I can't explain to you in exact terms why I think you will have so much fun with TW101.

I promise there will be plenty of news about the game in the days and weeks to come. But I will say this - Everyone here is working incredibly hard to make sure you say two things about TW101. One: I'm happy I bought a Wii U! — Two: I'm happy I bought The Wonderful 101!

Sorry for the flood of tweets, but thanks for staying with me

Inaba's words might assuage those concerned about The Wonderful 101's length, but to the extent that they read as a damage control response to fans angered by Kamiya's sentiments, they will disappoint those of us who wish a developer could talk about fun being more important from game length without getting Internet commenter hellfire in response.

I found Kamiya's tweet refreshing. I like my games svelte. It made me more interested in playing The Wonderful 101.

And to those who have said that a games reporter like me isn't one to talk about the relevance of length to a game, I will reiterate what I've said before: I do pay for some games I play and, more importantly, I pay for plenty of things in my life. I'm quite familiar with the worth of a dollar. I am also familiar with games that are padded and waste my time, just as I am with some short lovely games that have delighted me for years.

I've played few games that were marred by being too short and far too many that would have been better if they had been pruned.


Comments

    Assuming we're talking normal $50 releases, I'm sorry, but I don't care how fun a game is if I only get 5 hours out of it. I've gotten about 20 hours out of XCOM so far, with plenty left. Deus Ex, I played I think 35 or 40. Arma2 (courtesy of DayZ) I was at about 400. Just Cause 2, 90 or so.

    Contrast with Battlefield Bad Company 2: About 4, felt ripped off.

      bad company twos long term content was the multiplayer, which is something you should have been aware of going in.

      I don't care how long the game is if I feel I got my moneys worth of entertainment, dollars don't translate into hours and you could have the longest game in the world but it won't matter if it's shit.

      I've seen a fair few games fall to the trap of using a dodgy mechanic to artificially extend gameplay at the expense of the actual gameplay, you end up with a game easily long enough but not fun enough to justify the price tag.

      ultimately a game should only ever be as long as it has to be, you do more damage by padding then you do by simply having a little less time played. what matters is the content not how long it takes to do, a burrito doesn't suddenly get better because you artificially limit how fast it can be eaten.

        "bad company twos long term content was the multiplayer, which is something you should have been aware of going in."

        There wasn't exactly an advisory on the game saying "We suck at single player content". in fact they were pitching the campaign mode as a major thing.

        I don't think they need to artificially extend the game just to make it longer, it'd just be good to plan for a decent single player experience in the first place, OR make sure people know what to expect. I don't MIND a short campaign, but as someone who doesn't give a rat's ass about multiplayer, I don't want to pay $50 for something I feel is worth $20.

      Vanquish was 6 or 7 hours. But it was 6 or 7 hours you could play again and again and it would still be the best 6 or 7 hours of your week.

      Compare to the 40 hours I've put into RE6 which has been about 90% dull.

      Journey was around an hour long, cost $20 and was the best money I spent this generation.

      Justifying a games price by the length is like justifying a movies ticket price by the length.

      You may as well just buy JRPGs so you can be all "VALUE FOR MONEY HURR".

    Fun should take priority over length. Some games go on longer than they should, and as a result I feel no motivation to replay them. Having said that, if you're going to make a short game, then you should price it accordingly.

    Make me happy I purchased a Wii U? Oh Kamiya. I believe!

    Won't argue with either points. Just will highlight some games that proved both points to be correct.

    minecraft, journey and such games are short in terms of length but good. minecrafy has no length. Its the mechanic. While journey is a mix of mechanic and atmosphere.

    then there are games that take several hours. Ff7. Gta. Ac3. While ac3 had pleanty of glitches the story was lengthy and good. Bioshock infinete was lengthy for a fps but the story was excellent. Usually fps games have very boring and short stories but this one felt lengthy and good and the gameplay was smooth.

    point is. Balance, budget, time, and scope.

    Bulletstorm was an incredibly short, but fun as hell game. I felt like I got my moneys worth from that.

    If u hate to finish a game the next day u buy it, u better not play TW101

    people to jump to their own conclusions, ....In this case, that conclusion was “So TW101 is going to be short then?!”

    Gee I wonder why people jumped to that conclusion? :P

    I like games being the 'right' length, and for me that means "If removing a feature/level/etc. doesn't noticeably reduce the quality of the game, leave it out" (or at least leave it out of the critical path).

    I'm currently replaying Mirror's Edge, which copped a lot of flak for being too short. I think it's pretty much the perfect length. I'm completely against adding more stuff just to pad a game to the expected play length, as if more of the same thing is somehow automatically value added.

    Last edited 01/05/13 9:46 am

    I already was happy I bought a Wii U! I will be happier when I can buy your game to play :P

    I'm still reeling from the notion that the Internet overreacted to something.

    I'm playing dragon's dogma right now and I wish the game was shorter. I'm spending most of the time running from one end of the map to another fighting the same enemy on the same exact spot. I like my games to be a bit lengthier but not to a point where it gets repetitive and annoying. i'm with Kamiya FUN >>> LENGTH.

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