The Price of a AAA game on Next Gen? – The Order 1886 Revelation Unfolds

The Order 1886 wallpaper

The Rumours

With the rumours of Order 1886 being only 5 hours long, gamers have come out in full force voicing their disapproval if the game actually turns out to be that short. But firstly there are some things to clarify:

  • The video that leaked was a speed run that means it was In reality most gamers will take longer and won’t focus on trying to beat the game so quickly
  • On the other hand, there is no multiplayer mode just a single player campaign so there is little scope for replayability. Hence it could be arguably justified for people to raise concerns over the Game Length of the campaign because…that’s all there is!

So who approved the project?

Which brings me to who approved the scope of this project? I mean I would imagine the head of the project and key decision makers would have discussed this at length. End of the day, people are paying for the product so you got provide something matches the price tag.

Here’s how the conversation probably went about:

“OK, so I want to make this game with this Victorian theme and stuff…”

“Oh, that sounds like an interesting story, how does the multiplayer mode work?”

“There isn’t one. I want to create a cinematic experience. Just one single campaign, nothing more”

“What? How long will this campaign be? Will there be a Game+ Mode? ANYTHING?”

“Nope. Quality over quantity baby.”

“Mmmmm… This campaign better be long enough and good enough then because there’s isn’t much scope for replayability you know?”

“No worries it will be worth the players’ hard earned cash, definitely. * wink * ”

So I assume those sorts of questions would have come up at some point because you have to justify the price tag particularly after four years in the making.

How long should a game be?

From time to time, me and my friends discuss the games we play and the topic of whether we will buy this or that crops up regularly. Recently we got into a discussion about many hours we should play to get our money’s worth and how this impacted our purchase decision. And these were the general points concluded

  • When we buy a game we want to get £1-£2 per hour in return. Essentially we want a minimum of 20 hours from each game we buy at full retail price
  • If the campaign mode is short, this can be made up for with replayability in the form of an online/multiplayer

How Game Length Affects the Purchasing Process

Mortal Kombat X on PS4

Based on these two points this is how we tend to approach buying games

  • I personally opt for RPGs because I am pretty much guaranteed to get maximum gaming hours from my purchase
  • My friends don’t buy games that don’t have an online mode
  • Fighting games such as Mortal Kombat X (Out April 14) seems fun – trailers look awesome – but will become boring after some hours, hence won’t be worth investing at all
  • Why the hell did they stop letting people renting games? (R.I.P Blockbuster) – That way we would just blaze through games over the weekend and probably get a good return on investment

These were generic points that popped up but as you can see it’s important, regardless of how great the experience the developer will claim it to be. Making a game with just a single player mode was a huge gamble initially, it either pays off or it doesn’t. Some of those who have pre-ordered The Order 1886 are probably getting cold feet. Others who were planning to purchase on day one will now wait and they should to be fair. So will the gamble pay off?

The Evolve DLC PR flop

The blog article ended there but I decided to add a DLC extra. See what I did there? So…

Evolve-PS4_FPS

Kind of weird how one controversy follows another. Evolve was recently released along with DLC content on the release day which has obviously grinded a few players up the wrong way. I can see their sentiment because I mean how can you convince me that you didn’t purposely cut out some of the game features simply to sell as an add-on? I understand they were simply skins and nothing too important to the main gaming experience but have some respect for your consumers. It was just a massive PR disaster, like seriously they could have waited a month and people would have thought no different. Developers seem to be getting desperate (i.e. Micro transactions in Assassin Creed: Unity) and this seems like an omen for things to come. You only have to look at EAs recent results where they continue to be making substantial revenue from digital content. So to me this will be the new norm in the gaming industry, whether that’s good or bad, we’ll see…

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