How Does Game Length Affect Other Developers?

Ben Kuchera in an accompanying piece on Polygon, emphasis my own:

People like to say that games are getting shorter, and this is a bad thing, but the data doesn’t support that view of the industry. A shorter game can be made for less money which leads to lower prices which means more people buy it … and so on. But it’s also tricky to assume you know what other people want out of their games. Maybe they want to buy one or two games a year that will last nearly forever. In that situation, long games are the best.

My comment originally posted on said accompanying Polygon article, edited:

How does game length affect game sales of other publishers? I have yet to purchase Dragon Age: Inquisition because I haven’t yet completed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Developers and publishers must see a hit in sales due to the fact that their potential audience is still wrapped up in a competitor’s (would you consider them competitors?) product.

I’d certainly love to experience more games that developers pour their souls into, I just don’t have the time. And when I’m spending $40-60 on a game, you can bet I want to finish it.

Game length must certainly cut into competing game sales. I’d love to see some investigation into this topic.

Need to know:

  • What is the market size? (Total video game consumers? How many of those own PS4/Xbox One/both?)
  • How many consumers eligible to purchase both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Dragon Age: Inquisition purchased both/one of these titles?
  • How many consumers are interested in both titles? (Past data might include consumers who purchased both a Batman: Arkham title and Mass Effect/Dragon Age title)
  • How many purchasers completed one/both title(s)?
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