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Author Topic: Why most people don't finish video games  (Read 863 times)
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PR_GMR
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« on: August 17, 2011, 02:37:06 PM »

Interesting article at CNN. And on the mark. I've not 'beaten' a single-player game in years. That's interesting that only 1 in 10 gamers actually finish a single player game. Why do so many gamers haggle over the lack of great single-player games.. when most of them don't finish them?
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 02:42:09 PM »

I think the developers are in kind of an odd situation where if they don't make a game a certain length, it is perceived not worth the $60 people have to pay for it, but adding all that length just makes it less likely that someone will finish the game.  I've just gotten to where it is the rare game that I am willing to invest a ton of hours into.  I personally don't want a game to be over 20 hours and if I can get it at 10 hours, that is perfect for me.  I don't play much multiplayer at all, so I still want single player games...I just want them more focused.  I guess if the industry got to a point where there were few games coming out, I would be okay with the really long ones.
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 02:42:37 PM »

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 02:37:06 PM

Why do so many gamers haggle over the lack of great single-player games.. when most of them don't finish them?

maybe the games aren't great enough to finish? icon_wink
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PR_GMR
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 03:00:30 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2011, 02:42:37 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 02:37:06 PM

Why do so many gamers haggle over the lack of great single-player games.. when most of them don't finish them?

maybe the games aren't great enough to finish? icon_wink

You suffer from severe 'Gamer ADD'. You opinion doesn't count.  icon_razz
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 03:06:39 PM »

I finished 25 games last year, this year only 3 so far. Part of that has been due to life, the other was that I put over 500 hours into Rift. The article didn't even mention MMOs, which don't even have an "ending".
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PR_GMR
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 03:08:03 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on August 17, 2011, 02:42:09 PM

I think the developers are in kind of an odd situation where if they don't make a game a certain length, it is perceived not worth the $60 people have to pay for it, but adding all that length just makes it less likely that someone will finish the game.  I've just gotten to where it is the rare game that I am willing to invest a ton of hours into.  I personally don't want a game to be over 20 hours and if I can get it at 10 hours, that is perfect for me.  I don't play much multiplayer at all, so I still want single player games...I just want them more focused.  I guess if the industry got to a point where there were few games coming out, I would be okay with the really long ones.

I'm liking the idea of shorter games more and more. I love the concept behind a 'God of War' or 'inFamous'.. but my attention on single-player peters out at around 4-5 hours. A game like 'Skyrim', with a purported length of hundreds of hours, is just mindboggling to me.
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Gratch
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 03:08:43 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on August 17, 2011, 02:42:09 PM

I personally don't want a game to be over 20 hours and if I can get it at 10 hours, that is perfect for me.  I don't play much multiplayer at all, so I still want single player games...I just want them more focused.  I guess if the industry got to a point where there were few games coming out, I would be okay with the really long ones.

Great article, and Grue also makes a very good point.  The problem with many (most) of the "epic" games these days - especially RPG's - is that they are padded to the point of ridiculousness with mundane, boring, and uninteresting things just to extend the length.  I'd much rather play a 15-20 hour RPG that has a tight story and interesting combat throughout, than spend 40 hours with one in which spend most of the game doing fetch quests and other BS.

That said, I do want my games to have an ending of some sort.  I think that's one of the reasons I've never been able to really get into MMO's, as there really is not definable end point.  It doesn't always happen, but I start every game with the full intention of finishing it then moving on to something else, rather than playing, and playing, and playing, and playing.
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 03:13:07 PM »

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 03:00:30 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2011, 02:42:37 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 02:37:06 PM

Why do so many gamers haggle over the lack of great single-player games.. when most of them don't finish them?

maybe the games aren't great enough to finish? icon_wink

You suffer from severe 'Gamer ADD'. You opinion doesn't count.  icon_razz

 icon_lol  22 games finished so far this year (hopefulyl with 2 more being add3ed this week), 45 last year, mister 'I haven't beaten a single player game in years'  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 03:23:43 PM »

I remember back when Max Payne was released, one of the shortest games ever (of high quality at least) at the time at its 10 hours. There was a lot of criticism over how short the game was, with many people refusing to buy it because they didn't feel that the short play time was worth their money.

Nowadays Max Payne feels rather lengthy.
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 03:24:03 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2011, 03:13:07 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 03:00:30 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2011, 02:42:37 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 02:37:06 PM

Why do so many gamers haggle over the lack of great single-player games.. when most of them don't finish them?

maybe the games aren't great enough to finish? icon_wink

You suffer from severe 'Gamer ADD'. You opinion doesn't count.  icon_razz

 icon_lol  22 games finished so far this year (hopefulyl with 2 more being add3ed this week), 45 last year, mister 'I haven't beaten a single player game in years'  Tongue

Finishing a race in forza, and a tour in Rock band doesn't count.
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 03:24:44 PM »

I think that this is also related to the large number of good games people can play on their phones for a few minutes at a time in order to scratch their gaming itch..
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Razgon
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM »

This is actually a sign of something much worse - Its how we operate in our day to day lives. Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time. That other stuff is mostly being only in some form, be that facebook, text messaging, or some chat service. The same thing happens to a lot of students across the world - They HAVE to update their facebook status, and check what other people do, diverting their attention constantly towards other things.
Work? Well, how many of you guys do non-work related things at work, and how much do you do it? Imagine your parents generation, and if they did non-work stuff at their workplace when they were young?

Our morning news constantly shows an update for viewers, what the people on the screen are talking about, which I find absolutely horrifying.

The ability to sit down and concentrate on one thing only is being slowly eroded. I suspect its the same reason we don't finish games- our attention wavers towards the next new shiny thing, and as such, if we return to the old game again, we can't remember half of it anymore.

The above is mostly the younger generation for sure, but for us older gamers, who often are people with high interest in new technology, it applies as well.
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 05:40:38 PM »

I must be the exception - I hate trying to play multiple games at a time, and I will play a game I start until it's done - 10 hours or 100.  Besides the very occasional FPS or RTS multiplayer with a friend or two, when single player games go away, I won't be a gamer any more.  I play games to experience a story.
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 05:44:17 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM

Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time.

Nonsense! TV series have never been as sophisticated and deep as they are these days, sitcoms and similar shows excluded. If you claim otherwise you're just applying selective memory.
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2011, 05:46:51 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM

This is actually a sign of something much worse - Its how we operate in our day to day lives. Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time. That other stuff is mostly being only in some form, be that facebook, text messaging, or some chat service. The same thing happens to a lot of students across the world - They HAVE to update their facebook status, and check what other people do, diverting their attention constantly towards other things.
Work? Well, how many of you guys do non-work related things at work, and how much do you do it? Imagine your parents generation, and if they did non-work stuff at their workplace when they were young?

Our morning news constantly shows an update for viewers, what the people on the screen are talking about, which I find absolutely horrifying.

The ability to sit down and concentrate on one thing only is being slowly eroded. I suspect its the same reason we don't finish games- our attention wavers towards the next new shiny thing, and as such, if we return to the old game again, we can't remember half of it anymore.

The above is mostly the younger generation for sure, but for us older gamers, who often are people with high interest in new technology, it applies as well.

tl;dr;needs moar lolcats.


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Razgon
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2011, 05:49:14 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 05:44:17 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM

Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time.

Nonsense! TV series have never been as sophisticated and deep as they are these days, sitcoms and similar shows excluded. If you claim otherwise you're just applying selective memory.

Not at all - Quite a lot of shows are based around the idea, that you don't have to watch it all to understand it. Of course, there are exceptions (HBO in general makes these), but take a look at what is shown at primetime every day on the major channels. Its things like "Friends", "Simpsons", reality shows, and other light entertainment shows that offers instant gratification instead of making the viewer pay full attention.

I have a friend who works at TV2 here in Denmark, who says that its something they think about all the time, when planning what shows to show and when to do it.
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TiLT
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2011, 05:54:58 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:49:14 PM

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 05:44:17 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM

Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time.

Nonsense! TV series have never been as sophisticated and deep as they are these days, sitcoms and similar shows excluded. If you claim otherwise you're just applying selective memory.

Not at all - Quite a lot of shows are based around the idea, that you don't have to watch it all to understand it. Of course, there are exceptions (HBO in general makes these), but take a look at what is shown at primetime every day on the major channels. Its things like "Friends", "Simpsons", reality shows, and other light entertainment shows that offers instant gratification instead of making the viewer pay full attention.

I have a friend who works at TV2 here in Denmark, who says that its something they think about all the time, when planning what shows to show and when to do it.

Of course they do! It's an important part of their job.

Let's put it like this: Most TV series today are made so that you can jump into them at any point and understand what's going on. 15 years ago, ALL series were made that way. Stop wearing those blinds, man!
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2011, 06:04:56 PM »

the only single player games i don't finish are the ones i don't like or can't get into

if games get too hard nowadays they have a difficulty selector,i would rather finish the game on easy if i am enjoying it enough to finish the game than not finish the game at all,some games in the past didn't give you that option(i still haven't finished FFX because of Seymore)
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Razgon
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2011, 06:12:45 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 05:54:58 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:49:14 PM

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 05:44:17 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM

Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time.

Nonsense! TV series have never been as sophisticated and deep as they are these days, sitcoms and similar shows excluded. If you claim otherwise you're just applying selective memory.

Not at all - Quite a lot of shows are based around the idea, that you don't have to watch it all to understand it. Of course, there are exceptions (HBO in general makes these), but take a look at what is shown at primetime every day on the major channels. Its things like "Friends", "Simpsons", reality shows, and other light entertainment shows that offers instant gratification instead of making the viewer pay full attention.

I have a friend who works at TV2 here in Denmark, who says that its something they think about all the time, when planning what shows to show and when to do it.

Of course they do! It's an important part of their job.

Let's put it like this: Most TV series today are made so that you can jump into them at any point and understand what's going on. 15 years ago, ALL series were made that way. Stop wearing those blinds, man!


So, you don't believe that the fact people are online today every second of their lives, through computers or phones, has anything to do with lower attention spans when it comes to for instance entertainment? Or studies?
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2011, 06:15:43 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 06:12:45 PM

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 05:54:58 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:49:14 PM

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 05:44:17 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 05:32:57 PM

Television shows, and television in general is being geared towards the generation that watches tv with only half of their attention, since they are doing other stuff at the same time.

Nonsense! TV series have never been as sophisticated and deep as they are these days, sitcoms and similar shows excluded. If you claim otherwise you're just applying selective memory.

Not at all - Quite a lot of shows are based around the idea, that you don't have to watch it all to understand it. Of course, there are exceptions (HBO in general makes these), but take a look at what is shown at primetime every day on the major channels. Its things like "Friends", "Simpsons", reality shows, and other light entertainment shows that offers instant gratification instead of making the viewer pay full attention.

I have a friend who works at TV2 here in Denmark, who says that its something they think about all the time, when planning what shows to show and when to do it.

Of course they do! It's an important part of their job.

Let's put it like this: Most TV series today are made so that you can jump into them at any point and understand what's going on. 15 years ago, ALL series were made that way. Stop wearing those blinds, man!


So, you don't believe that the fact people are online today every second of their lives, through computers or phones, has anything to do with lower attention spans when it comes to for instance entertainment? Or studies?

I never said that. Don't change the subject just because you lost this one. slywink
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Morgul
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2011, 06:18:42 PM »

I finish them, if they dont suck.

One thing though, according to steam I now have over 300 hours in civ 5.   

WTF?   When is that game going to end?  If I do not see the credits soon I am going to post on the developers forums.  This is bullshit.
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2011, 06:19:28 PM »

Sorry, I know that may seem like that to you, but my argument wasn't that particular thing, it was more of the fact the todays lifestyle leaves us somewhat challenged when it comes to attention spans
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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2011, 06:22:24 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 06:19:28 PM

Sorry, I know that may seem like that to you, but my argument wasn't that particular thing, it was more of the fact the todays lifestyle leaves us somewhat challenged when it comes to attention spans

I absolutely agree with that. My point was that TV series are not evidence of that, and that they can in fact be taken as evidence of the opposite.
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2011, 06:26:38 PM »

I was about to weigh in with my opinion but the CNN article mirrors my thoughts almost exactly.  Older gamers with less free time, too many games, and a focus on online multiplayer games without endings.

They use Red Dead Redemption as an example, and man, that one was tough for me to finish.  I knew I wanted to see the ending, but I had to make a conscious effort to keep myself from moving on to other games, to slog through the slow parts, and to see it through.

Bastion was just perfect for me.  Not expensive, not too long, innovative, and with an awesome ending.  See also: Portal, Braid, and more games I was able to finish without struggle.  Bring on the short games!
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2011, 06:28:57 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2011, 03:13:07 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 03:00:30 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2011, 02:42:37 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on August 17, 2011, 02:37:06 PM

Why do so many gamers haggle over the lack of great single-player games.. when most of them don't finish them?

maybe the games aren't great enough to finish? icon_wink

You suffer from severe 'Gamer ADD'. You opinion doesn't count.  icon_razz

 icon_lol  22 games finished so far this year (hopefulyl with 2 more being add3ed this week), 45 last year, mister 'I haven't beaten a single player game in years'  Tongue

You.. mofo..

I.. am.. going.. to finish.. a single-player game.. before the year's thru!
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« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2011, 06:31:18 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 06:22:24 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 06:19:28 PM

Sorry, I know that may seem like that to you, but my argument wasn't that particular thing, it was more of the fact the todays lifestyle leaves us somewhat challenged when it comes to attention spans

I absolutely agree with that. My point was that TV series are not evidence of that, and that they can in fact be taken as evidence of the opposite.

oh...so we're actually agreeing :-D And yeah, you may be right about television as well...bastard ;-)
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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2011, 06:44:07 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 06:19:28 PM

Sorry, I know that may seem like that to you, but my argument wasn't that particular thing, it was more of the fact the todays lifestyle leaves us somewhat challenged when it comes to attention spans

I completely agr..........Ooooh!  Something shiny!
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« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2011, 08:01:17 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on August 17, 2011, 06:44:07 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 17, 2011, 06:19:28 PM

Sorry, I know that may seem like that to you, but my argument wasn't that particular thing, it was more of the fact the todays lifestyle leaves us somewhat challenged when it comes to attention spans

I completely agr..........Ooooh!  Something shiny!

See, I thought of that joke as well but got distracted before I could even post it.
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« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2011, 09:11:36 PM »

There's a bigger discussion about the perceived shortening of attention spans that I have thoughts on, but not enough time to put them down at the moment.

On finishing games, I think the big thing comes down to "long games are long".  Even the shortest games are around 5 hours long, which is pretty damn long to maintain focus on.  Back in the early days of film, directors tried making movies that long, but pretty quickly dropped the length of most movies down to around two hours or so.  It was just hard to keep people's attention for more than that, and that's a passive medium.  In the opera, which has some pretty dedicated fans, few run longer than three or four hours, and the ones that do are rarely performed and are seen as endurance events by their audience. 

Games that demand your complete attention for five to ten hours, or even more so the ones that go upwards of twenty to 100, have to be extremely compelling to keep the player interested for that long. 

The other thing that games have working against them that film, books, music, etc don't is the possibility of failure.  If I sit down to a four hour movie, I'm not gonna be able to screw it up and have to re-watch sections of it multiple times until I watch it right.  With games, that's a very real possibility, and you're going to lose some people's interest each time they have to repeat a section.

Really, I wonder if completion rate is lower now than it used to be, or if more developers are noticing and caring more because they're becoming interested in crafting complete experiences with a beginning, middle, and end, and wanting players to actually see all of those parts.  I think the days of a "Congratulations, you won! Thanks for playing!" screen as the finale are over, which is good.  I bet completion rates have probably gone up over the years.
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2011, 02:49:48 AM »

Quote from: TiLT on August 17, 2011, 03:23:43 PM

I remember back when Max Payne was released, one of the shortest games ever (of high quality at least) at the time at its 10 hours. There was a lot of criticism over how short the game was, with many people refusing to buy it because they didn't feel that the short play time was worth their money.

Nowadays Max Payne feels rather lengthy.

I replayed it last year on the PC, and it took me well over 10 hours to complete. I'd certainly wouldn't classify it as a short game by any stretch of the imagination. But yeah, back when it was released I think the PC shooter crowd was far more into SP component and probably more skilled on average, so no doubt it felt short to many.

For me, as soon as I seriously curtailed the number of games I buy my completion ratio excelerated. IMO there's just too many flavors in the candy store if you're always buying new games. slywink
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« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2011, 07:23:27 AM »

10 hour games would be perfect. if they are all 20 bucks, but they aren't so they aren't. of course there's exceptions for the really good games like Bioshock. but then we get shitty ass cod and it's clones for a premium price that has half assed everything. in the age of sequels everything is feeling a been there, done that already. MMOs are prime at this. Every fucking mmo thinks people want to play wow, so they clone wow and 6 month later have 5k subs and are scratching their heads(or asses) to why. jee, maybe there's a reason wow is bleeding subs like a geyser right now? I WONDER WHAT IT COULD BE!?

or and this is more than likely the case, we have a billion choices now and your shitty subpar game isn't worth finishing and most likely wasn't worth buying in the first place. if a person sinks 40 hours in RDR just messing around with SP and MP but doesn't beat the last mission(which i bet most people didn't realize that was the ending) does that really count as not finishing the game? Did the person do everything he wanted? Then he finished it. This article is so damn flawed in it's reasoning and reeks as publishers justification for continuing to fuck us up the ass with their prices and half asses games. What this really should have been about is the reason PUBLISHERS don't finish their game.

I will buy the next persona game and I will play all 100 hours of it and love every damn bit. I will also buy the next Bioshock and love every 10 hours of it. The trend? Both games will be amazing by proven developers that know what the fuck they are doing. What i won't be buying is the next cod for all it's 4 hours of same SP and shitty MP.
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