About 20 Percent Of Players Didn’t Finish Heavy Rain Or Detroit: Become Human

About 20 Percent Of Players Didn’t Finish Heavy Rain Or Detroit: Become Human

There’s a sizeable chunk of people who never finish the game or main story, even more accessible, narrative-driven adventures like Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human.

In an onstage interview at Gamelab 2019, as transcribed by Gamesindustry, Quantic Dream’s David Cage spoke alongside the maker of A Way Out, Josef Fares, about the difficulty of getting players to finish their single-player games.

A particular worry for games like A Way Out and Detroit: Become Human is that players will simply watch the game unfold on Twitch or YouTube, and never seek to play it themselves. It’s a concern that the maker of That Dragon, Cancer raised, where the game’s views on YouTube outstripped the amount of sales in the order of millions. “For a short, relatively linear experience like ours, for millions of viewers, Let’s Play recordings of our content satisfy their interest and they never go on to interact with the game in the personal way that we intended for it to be experienced,” That Dragon, Cancer developer Ryan Green said at the time.

That’s been less of an issue for Detroit and A Way Out, with Cage telling the audience that Detroit‘s branching narratives meant that all of the game’s content couldn’t be easily shown in a Let’s Play. “In the past, YouTubers were very problematic for us, because players were watching those videos thinking, ‘Okay, I’ve got the story, I don’t need to play the game, I know what it’s about,'” Cage said.

“With Detroit, the opposite happened. They were showing one walkthrough, but they couldn’t show all of the things that happened in all of the branches. Players watching thought, ‘I wish he’d done this’… Suddenly they became our allies, and they helped us to promote the game.”

But there’s still another major problem: too many players aren’t finishing the game at all, at least for the developers’ liking.

For Heavy Rain, only 78 percent of players finished the game, Cage told the audience. That figure was approximately the same for Detroit: Become Human, meaning at least one-fifth of players never saw any of the game’s endings, let alone the multiple branching paths.

For A Way Out, the completion rates were more stark. Fares said only half of the playerbase finished the co-op prison adventure, a figure that he was openly unhappy about.

“People say to me, ‘Oh man, A Way Out, 50% of people finished your game.’ I’m supposed to be happy about this? Are you fucking crazy? … It’s like having a movie in a cinema and half the people walk out,” he said.

Given that A Way Out is a pure co-op experience — the game can’t be enjoyed solo — the 50 percent completion rate isn’t all bad. Average playthroughs of the game take just under 6 hours, while Heavy Rain and Detroit clock in at 10 hours and just over 11, respectively.

The one advantage in Detroit‘s favour was the flowchart, which showcased not just the branching paths not taken, but also functioned as a shortcut so players could immediately access those parts of the story. The feature’s inclusion lead to more people playing Detroit a second or third time, moreso than what happened with Heavy Rain. “People want to know what’s going to happen next, and a story can achieve this for you,” Cage said.

A fuller breakdown of the panel interview can be read on GamesIndustry, while other snippets of the conversation and how Detroit and A Way Out were originally conceived can be read on Venturebeat.


  • I think the worrying thing is that people who watch it online probably aren’t the ones buying and not finishing the game. the unfinished playthroughs are more than likely also quite a few people who got bored of the story or didn’t like the direction it went in.

    • I think you nailed it.

      It’s always perplexed me how people will blame anything they can for something failing, even though I’d bet big that the majority of people watching Let’s Plays would likely never have bought the game to begin with even if Let’s Play videos didn’t exist.

      Anecdotal as it may be, it is rare that I’ll sit and watch an entire Let’s Play of a game, but if I do it’s a game I never intended to buy regardless. What has happened a couple of times however, is that I’ve watched a playthrough of a game I never intended to purchase only to end up buying it for myself. But of course developers and such love to ignore that is a thing that also happens as they make villains of people who create Let’s Plays.

      • Truth be told I love the dark souls series. I only ever bought the first one after seeing a few episodes of a let’s play. so let’s players are probably responsible for more free advertising if anything.

  • Most players don’t finish games. That statistic is not news.

    78% is actually a pretty high completion rate to be honest, one of the highest I’ve seen. Games like Mass Effect 2, Bioshock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City and even Portal only have around a 50% completion rate, and huge games like Skyrim sit at about a 30% completion rate.

    Source: https://au.ign.com/articles/2014/03/17/gdc-most-players-dont-finish-games

    78% is honestly a very good percentage when you look at it in that context.

    • Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. 78% is not normal for people to finish games. That’s how many normally DON’T finish single-player games. This should be the opposite of concerning for them.

    • Good work. I was thinking of the exact same article. They should be happy that the vast majority complete their game

    • I came here to say the same. With things like acheivements it’s staggering the amount of games where the acheivement for finishing the game sitting in the under 50% of playets have this marging a lot of the time.

  • 78% is pretty good. I reckon that if you could get the Netflix stats you’d find a tonne of people give a movie or show a shot but never get through to the end. Sometimes you just aren’t engaged by something. Particularly something made by David Cage.

  • If I were them I’d be glad Heavy Rain of all things had that many players complete it… I know I was left quite unimpressed with it, and I actually finished at least one playthrough.

    Can’t comment on Become Human though, but the underwhelming experience from Heavy Rain is likely why I haven’t been interested in even watching a Let’s Play of it.

  • The more alarming statistic is the 64% of people who answered ‘Yes’ to ‘Would you consider having a relationship with an Android that looks like a Human?’

  • I wish I didn’t finish Heavy Rain, to be honest.

    Those 20% are the lucky ones who didn’t get to see that garbage ending.

  • My system came with a copy of Heavy Rain, so I ended up playing it through to the end, but failing at as many quicktime events as possible. It made the game far more amusing, because criminy, it was awful.

  • If people are not finishing your games it’s because Heavy Rain was some boring nonsense, and now I know your studio makes games I don’t enjoy. Instead of complaining about streamers and reviewers, how about do your job better?

    If Rockstar put out a statement like this it would be “We’re unhappy that people are only playing Red Dead Redemption 2 Main Story just SEVERAL TIMES OVER before moving to the Online experience, even though there’s no branching and just 4 slightly different endings and it’s at least a 60 hour play-through. We’re hoping to do better next time.”

    Stop embarrassing yourself with these pathetic excuses David Cage.

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