Up For Debate - Are games too much of a time commitment these days?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Jul 28, 2019 4:00 PM
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It is time, more than money, which has become the battlefield of gaming today. Publishers across the globe are competing for your hours in their pursuit of cash, demanding spiraling hours of commitment daily, weekly, and monthly. Any one person only has so much time to dedicate to gaming though. At some point, something’s got to give. We’ve got to pick and choose which games are worth our time and identify which look as if they’re in it for the long-term.

As it stands right now, I’m pretty much at the limit of what I can play. The thinking behind this article was Final Fantasy XIV. More specifically, its new Shadowbringers expansion. The Final Fantasy series has been through a rough patch this last decade but FFXIV has stood out as the beacon of light since A Realm Reborn. I’ve always kept an eye on it but stayed well away due to the immense time commitments an MMORPG entails. And then Shadowbringers arrive with off-the-charts reviews. It’s the highest reviewed game of 2019 and a high point in Final Fantasy’s history.

The problem is, actually getting to play the best Final Fantasy in years is a ridiculous time investment. I’ll need to play through the base game plus the story of both of the previous two expansions before I can get to Shadowbringers. I could just pay for a story/level skip and get straight into Shadowbringers but that’s both gross and I feel I’d be doing it a disservice if I skipped all the story beats which lead up to this momentous expansion.

So I started playing. It’s been an okay-ish experience getting a couple of jobs (FFXIV’s classes) up to level 30 this past month, but I also know my progress is just a drop in the ocean compared to what’s left. And I’d be absolutely fine with that if there weren’t also so many other games competing for my attention. I could dedicate the next six months of my gaming to playing Final Fantasy XIV but that’s a tricky prospect when I’m covering games, reviewing them, benching them, and whatever else. I’ve also got my fingers in a whole lot of other pies. I’m horrifically addicted to smashing out Battlefield V’s weekly Tides of War challenges. Try as I might, I can’t kick my Rocket League habit. Me and the squad love a weekend Rainbow Six Siege session. I keep digging back into Apex Legends

It’s a good problem to have, I guess. When I’m gaming I’m never bored or scratching around for things to play. But I’m also eyeing up the impending arrivals of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Control, Blair Witch, Man of Medan, and more, and wondering just where the heck I’ll get the time to play these when I’ve already got so much keeping me busy.

The end result though, with all of these ongoing games and services, is that I'm playing fewer games than before. The amount of time I'm spending playing games has stayed much the same, but it's being split over a repeating handful that doesn't allow much time for the shiny new thing.

What are your thoughts on this thorny topic then, do games these ask too much of fans in terms of time commitments and daily challenges? Or is this much ado about nothing? Let us know below!

Are games too much of a time commitment these days?

How many games are you playing regularly?

Our favourite comments:

I think it's my job that has too much time commitment.

xiDando

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18:14 Jul-31-2019

You seem focused more on online games which are by nature more time consuming. My main focus at the moment is getting trophies on the playstation consoles mainly ps4. And the time investment on most games to get platinum or 100% is enormous, if you don't get bored midway or rage-quit.

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12:32 Jul-31-2019

I think it's my job that has too much time commitment.

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13:41 Jul-30-2019

Yes, I can't find time to play other games except WoW and BFV because in one you get left behind in terms of content and progression and in the other, because of the weekly unlockables...

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23:34 Jul-30-2019

Totally agree on that one. And those crazy patches...
When i finally get a time to play, some new patch hits me right in the face and 30 minutes of time time goes to new content being downloaded and installed.
Feels bad man. Real bad.

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23:40 Jul-29-2019

Depends on a genre... But racing games are definitely much of a time commitment 1000%
I remember old days, when focusing on a career mode only could lead to 5-10 hours of gaming and still leave you satisfied.
But those games were fun, each of them had unique, detailed story to tell.
Games now are all about graphics.

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00:25 Jul-30-2019

I disagree, racing simulators are better than ever gameplay-wise and I just got Dirt 4 and it's leagues better than Dirt 3, I have no idea why people hate on it, it works so much better with my wheel than Dirt 3, actual proper force feedback, much better control, handling, physics, just everything about driving, it's miles better than dirt 3 and so is the career.

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07:09 Jul-30-2019

I cant remember a decent Arcade racer this generation to be honest. sure we had some new arrivals such as the crew and NFS has really droped the ball after rivals so much so that afte Grid2 ive literally gotten into F1 and now Assetto Corsa

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09:53 Jul-30-2019

Forza Horizon 4 is a great arcade racer and so is Dirt 4 with the driving settings set on "fun" or whatever, instead of simulation.
Trackmania is also very, very, very fun.

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23:31 Jul-30-2019

That's simply my opinion. That's how i feel about racing games these days. You don't need to share it.
Just like i don't share yours.

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23:38 Jul-30-2019

Just giving you recommendations mate, I think most people who like arcade racers would like them.

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07:49 Jul-31-2019

nah Forza is not arcade at all i tried to play ForzaH3 with my keyboard and it was more simililar to SimCade Racers like F1 or Project Cars. Nfs Split second velocity mario cart those are actual Arcade racers SimCade is relatively realistic

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14:52 Jul-29-2019

I think the increase of time each games demands depends if it is a multiplayer game (this ask for hours of grinding and constant signing up into the game) or singleplayer AAA or even indie games just shifting to more open world scenarios that has been happening in the last 7 years.

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13:28 Jul-29-2019

I mainly play Final Fantasy 14 and Monster Hunter: World.

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08:39 Jul-29-2019

lets be honest we are only having this conversation since long stretched out gaming scenarios exist today sothat you buy a booter or somthing to run through meaningless powerlevels to get to the interesting bits as games now need tobe 60hrs

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08:47 Jul-29-2019

Division had Power Levels and RNG GRINDS and farming to make it through to another area or redo of older missions. take that whole crap out and you have one of the best atmospheric games since the Metro series. Now Imagine Division with alo

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08:55 Jul-29-2019

alot of Uniquie Gameplay Moments and mechanics such enter and try to get a subway car running or escape a crumbling building after bad guys rig it with explosives UNCHARTED MOMENTS theyve always been in UBISOFT GAMES ASSASINS GHOST RECON FA

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09:02 Jul-29-2019

FAR CRY PRINCEoP I AM ALIVE but now none of UBISOFT GAMES HAVE THESE MOMENTS sure those were cheap 2 min thrills but that stuff is what we want from games especially singleplayer experiences. Let me give you another example TAKE PROTOTYPE

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09:07 Jul-29-2019

and now run it through power level stuff big huge mosters at level 45 my claws need to be upgraded at level 38 to fight them atleast rather than me simply using my hand blade. sounds lame right? my point exactly today games are artificaly b

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09:13 Jul-29-2019

today games are artificially bloated to make them bigger sure earlier we had 1000s of collectibles but those were optional until they weren't to stretch games out and now this AND people actully like it? ASSASINS creed is killed by it

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09:14 Jul-29-2019

and my guess is that this is why we dont have any new splinter cell game this method wont gel with that game at all

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06:04 Jul-29-2019

I have invested a considerable amount of time into Warframe so I understand your view point.
The Nightwave segments of the game are there to make sure you come back and do the weekly stuff if you want to get the rare mods (Umbra mod) and cosmetic stuff.


If it wasn't for that I doubt I'd play it as much. Tho I have had to choose what I will do in a gaming session because I don't have time to do everything in one go.
I basically spread it over the week and try to get it done.


The problem for me is since I want to get into programming and other stuff it just takes too much of my time...

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06:12 Jul-29-2019

So I'm left wondering, at what point will I have to say enough is enough.
I thought I put the final nail in the coffin of that debate when I finished the first Nightwave and didn't play for a week or so, but I got pulled back in when the 2nd season of Nightwave started.
I think I'm more addicted to learning the story (I think that has always been the case with me) that the actual farming/grinding etc.
Anyhow that's my story regarding the topic.

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15:23 Jul-29-2019

Same here,I'm going to college in a few months and I think it's time to uninstall all multiplayer games and only play singleplayer.

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08:54 Jul-30-2019

The thing is, can you keep your self in check and not install any MP games when you feel the urge?
If you can than KUDOS to you.

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20:19 Jul-29-2019

What is the state of wareframe now ? I'm really interested in it but have heard that the game is to complex for newbies, is that true xD ?

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08:53 Jul-30-2019

The mod system can be a bit confusing but you learn the stuff after a few weeks.
Also in case you want to get a general idea of the game I'll post a link to some podcasts about the game from FAVES a Discord server.
It's basically a Warframe server.
Link

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10:19 Jul-30-2019

The grinding is still there if you really want to get all the Warframes etc...
The story is interesting, no question about that.
And I'm certain you'll have a much better experience with it than me considering your hardware.

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04:58 Jul-29-2019

I always start with some online games and play some coop bl then head to odyssey/kcd at night for a long patch

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00:12 Jul-29-2019

I have always just circulated around 1-3 games at a time, and then move onto something else when bored. Nothing's really changed for me honestly, other than possibly the interval in which I switch around.

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22:29 Jul-28-2019

I would say sometimes, but mainly due to AAA being so focused on open world games which are of course more time consuming. Though one could also argue that a lot of us also have less time to dedicate to gaming, than we had as teenagers or students. But personally I don't really mind time commitment that terribly, only way I really hate it is when it is used to incentivize microtransactions.

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22:32 Jul-28-2019

Since in some cases, they try bit too hard to sell you timesavers. But overall, even though I play 2-3 regularly, till I complete one and replace it, I haven't yet have many issues with it. Yes I sometimes miss on some good games I would enjoy, but then again, am I really missing out when I am enjoying whatever game I am playing? Not really and I don't mind longer experience.

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22:35 Jul-28-2019

In so me cases it is even not about completing any game. I own Skyrim since release, the initial release and it took me more than half a decade to actually finish main campaign. And I don't regret it at all, Skyrim was ton of fun, I am very happy I played it and "wasted" so many hours in it. And same is with many other games. It is not all about how quickly you can get through it,...

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22:36 Jul-28-2019

... but rather if you had fun doing it. I rather play 1 game for whole year and have ton of fun with it than having to switch between 100 games.

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22:05 Jul-28-2019

If any of you want to spend time on quality, Pillars of Eternity is really excellent. Not the type of game you feel you may have wasted time on.

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21:57 Jul-28-2019

11...after work...

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20:25 Jul-28-2019

It really depends on the game. I think games like Ark take up way too much time. My sister plays that game and it practically sucks the life out of her. She plays it 12+ hours a day when she's playing. It's always the same stuff too, farm materials and raise babies. GAAS games are designed to be that way, to be the one and only game you play. If you can fit in 2-3 GAAS into your life it probably means you don't have a job. I play games I can walk away from easy.

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20:15 Jul-28-2019

No! We grew up.

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23:53 Jul-28-2019

This hit right in the feels. As much as we don't wanna say it, but we all feel it creeping in. :P

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13:32 Jul-29-2019

no no no we stay together and we stay in denial that how we survive this ordeal

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19:44 Jul-28-2019

I think most games nowadays aren't worth the time. Short ones atleast you don't care as much nothings worse than investing a ton of time into the game only to find out that the game didn't amount to anything. "no time is wasted time" so as long as the journey was good and you enjoyed it that's all that matters really..

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09:28 Jul-29-2019

So true, same thing happened to me when I was playing Mass Effect Andromeda as it turned out to be nothing..

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10:21 Jul-29-2019

I liked the gameplay but everything else was awful in some ways even the original games looked better graphically. VA,wrtiting,story was a lot better in the original trilogy. I still enjoyed the gameplay but the massive cringy moments really tried their best to ruin moment to moment gameplay.

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17:53 Jul-28-2019

Most of AAA titles are trying to be and are even built to be that way. The longer you play the more you're attached to it, the more you're attached the harder it is to leave. Throw in MTX and it's a winning strategy!

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17:17 Jul-28-2019

I'd say it depends on style of game;
I've played probably thousands of hours in games like Age Of Empires, Need For Speed Underground 2, Burnout Paradise, Railroad Tycoon II....
it's primarily about pace/density of the game and replayability - for ex. I finished games like Call of Cthulhu, Sinking City, Plague Tale etc.. and deleted them because I don't feel any need to ever play them again; on the other hand I'm planning to re-play some older classics like Witcher (1), NFS Most Wanted (2005), TES Oblivion maybe....

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17:11 Jul-28-2019

being an adult and all i pretty much l know what i want to play(singleplayer narrative driven rpg, open world games third/first person with interesting setting) Not too many games come to mind. And if its good i dont care if its 8h or 80h i'll finish it.

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16:40 Jul-28-2019

Yes and no. Depends if all the time spent is quality time spent and not wasted.
For example:
Most modern open world games(in the last 5-6 years), have been a huge time waste, with them wasting your time going from one side of the map to the other none-stop.


While games like dark souls, tes, bloodstained, god of war, horizon zero dawn etc, etc where you constantly are doing something while on the move they can be as long as they have to be.


Especially great design is where you have tons of optional content, like in bloodborne, 2/5th(40%) of the game is optional so it's length varies as much as you want, from 8-20 hours I'd say once you get good at it, and if you are new it can be between 20 and 40 hours.

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